Public Safety Enhanced By Drones

Ensenada’s experience with CAPE’s crusaders in the sky


As we reported last year, the City of Ensenada had enhanced its police protection with the collaboration of a state-of-the-art technology company based in Redwood City, California.

This collaboration, which utilized the services of a network of drones, was initiated by Mayor Marco Novelo on a trial basis to determine how much the company’s assistance could improve public safety in regards to crisis management and crime prevention.

The result was a significant reduction in crime since the inception of the program in October of 2017, as reported by Mayor Novelo as late as June 2018.

The Mayor reported that as of that time, 513 arrests had been made as a result of patrols, and that management of crisis situations were greatly enhanced by drone surveillance. By the time the program ended, over 1,000 arrests had been made as a result of drone intervention and guidance!

That Bay Area company is called Cape, which provided Ensenada with a network of drones that gave emergency services here unprecedented and incomparable coverage of the entirety of its large geographical area.

In order to appreciate the level of sophistication that Cape provided to the police and other emergency services, Gerardo Cervantes, Operations Manager at Cape, who also has an office locally, said that a drone could be deployed to within a 5km radius of a 911 call in less than three minutes!

Once the drone arrived at its assigned destination, its “eyes” on the situation provided critical information  to the drone operator, revealing instantly what resources were necessary for adequate management of the emergency; for example, were fire trucks, ambulances or utility company’s services necessary, and, if so, what kind and how many of each? That information, rapidly communicated by dispatchers, could make the difference between life and death in critical situations.

Hector Elias is an Ensenada native who works with Cape locally. He explained that the drones are so sophisticated that they can operate independently of an operator, i.e., if for some reason the operator is disconnected from the unit (which so far has never happened in a practical application), it will automatically return “home” – its original launching point – and land itself safely!

Cape drones have shown that they are indispensable allies to the local police department. They are also valuable assets to the military, private industry, large agricultural concerns, and private security companies.

Hector demonstrated one of the most desirable traits of Cape drones: They can  be controlled remotely from anywhere in the world. As he stood at his test site at Playa Hermosa, he pointed to a drone that was coming in for a landing; that drone was being piloted by a Cape operator in Redwood City!

In the U.S., Cape is currently partnering with the city of San Diego for the UAS Pilot Integration Program, providing Cape-enabled drones to assist in emergency response support, offering the incomparable crime fighting and crisis management services that only a highly sophisticated squadron of drones can provide.

According to Mr Cervantes, the FAA’s flight pattern restrictions in the United States offer challenges  more restrictive than those in Mexico, such as “line of sight,” but he is certain that Cape will be able to offer solutions to any challenge posed by that federal agency, noting that the restriction could be lifted once the FAA is convinced that Cape’s drones can be operated remotely – and safely – from anywhere in the world.

As he says, with justifiable confidence, “There is no competition.”

There Is Hope For Ensenada

After much speculation about Ensenada being left out of the newly defined border zone that will cut taxes to half, the new Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) stated that he will review the situation.

Jorge Cortes, head of the coordinated businesses council in Ensenada (CCEE), Mario Zepeda, president of the Baja California Citizens Council and federal congressman Armando Reyes, talked at different times with AMLO regarding placing Ensenada into the tax-reduced zone and they all agreed that he was open about the idea but said that he had to review the matter thoroughly.

Although this seems like a win for Ensenada, who wants to be part of the tax-reduced area, no commitment was made by AMLO to include Ensenada in the border zone, which is comprised of every city that is within 19 miles from the border.

One of them did say that AMLO was analyzing the possibility of including Ensenada in the Border Zone  in a second stage of the process.

Jorge Cortes, from CCEE, said that he delivered a letter signed by all the business councils in Ensenada that will be directly affected by the change if it goes through on December 1st, the day he gets starts his term.

Jacobo Zepeda stated that he delivered another letter to AMLO and about 4,000 signatures of concerned citizens.


With information from

24 Beaches Being Cleaned This Weekend, And You Can Help!

More than 50 non-profits, schools, businesses & authorities from the state and city levels are working together to clean 24 local beaches as part of the International Coastal Cleanup Movement started by Ocean Conservancy more than 30 years ago.

This is the first time that an alliance is formed with different organizations in order to cover more beaches and pickup the biggest amount of trash possible and create awareness in the community about keeping our beaches and oceans clean.

Each organization will be in charge of cleaning squads that will start the cleanup on Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23 in several beaches around Ensenada and all the way to Baja Sur.

All the trash collected from the cleanup will be organized by type (Ex. cigarette butts, plastic bottles, cans, etc), weight and all the information will be put in a database which will allow authorities and non-profits to know what kind of trash is more often found in particular places. With this information campaigns can be made to address specific trash problems in certain areas.

The results from the ocean cleanups all around the world will be published in Ocean Conservancy’s website and will also be available at the next Expo Environment, organized by the local Environmental Protection Office, in a booth that will show visitors the quantity of trash collected and exhibit the most weird objects found in the beach.

You can help by attending any of these cleanups, they start at 8:00AM and end at 1:00PM. Volunteers should bring a hat, comfortable closed shoes, sunscreen, water (in a reusable container), fruit and gloves. They are stressing out to not bring any water in disposable plastic bottles.

The locations available are:

Saturday, September 22, 2018- Ensenada and Baja Sur

  1. San Miguel
  2. Stacks
  3. Tres Emes
  4. El Mosquito
  5. Playa Hermosa
  6. Conalep
  7. Pacifica
  8. La Mision
  9. Villa Jesus Maria
  10. Bahia de Los Angeles
  11. Isla de Cedros
  12. Guerrero Negro
  13. Laguna San Ignacio

Sunday, September 23, 2018 – San Quintin

  1. Arroyo Santo Domingo
  2. Playa San Ramón
  3. Laguna Figueroa
  4. Chapala
  5. Playa Santa María
  6. La Chorera
  7. Humedal El Arco
  8. Punta Azufre
  9. Punta Mazo and Monte Ceniza Natural Reserves

We have no news of organized efforts being made in Rosarito and Tijuana but you can always show up at your local beach and do your part to help out, better yet take some friends over and help even more!

Fore more information visit the Facebook event “Limpieza Internacional Costera“.


Ensenada’s Restaurant Scene: Il Massimo Cucina Italiana

This week we visited Ensenada’s newest authentic Italian food establishment; it’s a small, fresh and well-lit restaurant called Il Massimo Cucina Italiana, brought to us by owner and chef Massimo Zaretti, born in Rome, Italy, and raised there until his family migrated to California when he was 13 years old.

This is his first restaurant, although he is no stranger to the restaurant business, he grew into the restaurant business as his father was a successful restauranteur until his retirement, and Massimo himself has amassed more than 20 years’ experience working in such prestigious restaurants around the world as the St. Regis in Thailand, the Grand Hyatt in Singapore, the Hilton in Tokyo, The Wolfgang Puck Catering in Vegas and many more.

His cuisine evokes the freshness of the Mediterranean Sea, which is reflected all-around in the classy setting he offers his clients, an ambiance embellished with bright colors and pictures of Italian seas and Rome.

As we entered the restaurant, Massimo opened the door and greeted us, checking in with us and other clients during our dinner.

The wine list offers a small but reasonably priced selection of local wines from our valleys, which Massimo says will be expanding as he gets to know more of the local wines. You can always bring your own bottle of wine by paying a service fee of $8 USD or buy one bottle from his list and he will waive that extra fee for the one you brought.

My wife and I started our dinner with a couple of delicious mini-Caprese appetizers, freshly made pesto and bread that was brought to us, on the house, while we waited for our real appetizers: Tentacolo di Polpo which are octopus tentacles marinated and lightly fried in olive oil, accompanied with fried leek slices. I have tried variations of this appetizer in different places around Baja and I will have to say that these were the best, crispy on the outside and tender and flavorful on the inside.

Since we liked the mini-Caprese we decided to go for a full-size one which traded the halved cherry tomatoes for slices of locally grown heirloom tomatoes and basil, fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of Pesto, very refreshing.

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For main dishes we decided to go with the pasta, choosing the Cannelloni al Forno, which are made-from-scratch cannelloni filled with a mixture of ricotta, spinach and béchamel sauce covered in an incredibly delicious marinara sauce with cheese; you can’t go wrong with these!

We finalized our meal with a Panna Cotta de Rosa, which melts in the mouth leaving a delicious rose aftertaste, and Massimo’s own Tiramisu made with Nutella and banana slices instead of the usual coffee and cocoa flavors.

At the end of your meal, the staff will serve you one of the house’s aperitifs, which depending on what is planned for the day, could be limoncello, arancello or chocolate liquor.

The recently opened Il Massimo is going straight to the top of my authentic Italian restaurant’s list. Not only does this place offers great food at very reasonable prices (entrees go from $9 to $13 USD), but they offer great service, something that is not always easy to find around here.

Il Massimo is open Tuesday to Sunday from 1 PM to 10 PM and is located in Boulevard Costero #987 right next to Subway. Reservations can be made by calling (646) 977-7089. Parking space is available alongside the restaurant.

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