Synergy Spanish

This system teaches you Spanish, the easy way - not the academic way. With only 138 words you will be speaking Spanish.

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The best lawyer we have ever used!

Christian Limon, is with the Marcus Family Law Center, PLC, in El Centro (founded in 1974). She brings a comprehensive set of skills and expertise to assist her clients. She is licensed as an attorney both in Mexico and California, with her international practice in Imperial County and Mexicali. Her emphasis is family law, including cross-border custody and family support issues. Christian is also experienced in cross-border contracts and bi-national litigation (civil, commercial, family, and labor), advising several US companies in Mexico, including real estate development and maquiladora operations. Christian is a Spanish/English interpreter with a focus on legal documents and legal proceedings, as well as a California Notary. She is a member of the California BAR, Imperial County Bar Association, ANADE (Mexican Association of Corporate Attorneys) and AEM (Mexican Entrepreneurs Association).

Marcus Family Law Center, PLC

The Best Vet in Mexicali!

Dr. Rafael, the best veterinarian anywhere; he's close to the border, speaks English and has lived in Arizona! Click

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Mexico Insurance

In 2017 Walmart Opened 79 New Stores in Mexico!

Jim and I feel real at home in Mexicali because we live quite close to Mexicali’s Walmart.

It is a good thing for Mexicans and expats that Walmart México opened 79 new stores in Mexico last year in 2017, most of them under the Aurrera, Aurrera Express and Mi Bodega brands. But it is also angling for more online sales. This year, 2018, Walmart will begin offering free wireless in most of its stores throughout Mexico.

So far, Walmart has opened 29 stores in central Mexico, 22 in western states, 18 in the north and 10 in southeastern states, creating 4,619 new jobs and 9,120 indirect sources of employment.

In addition to that, two new Sam’s Club stores opened in Mexico City, representing a reactivation of the brand: the last new Sam’s Club opened its doors in 2014.

Walmart is betting that 2018 will be a good one for e-commerce. It announced last month it would install free Wi-Fi in all but one of its stores by mid-year. This includes, Walmart Supercenter, Superama, Sam’s Club, Bodega Aurrera, Mi Bodega Aurrera and Bodega Aurrera Express.

Of these, all but the warehouse-style Bodega Aurrera Express will offer wireless connectivity to its customers. The wi-fi service is already available at the members-only Sam’s Club stores.

Walmart hopes that free Wi-Fi access will help Internet-resistant shoppers to become more comfortable online and ultimately boost Walmart’s growing online e-commerce business, which represented less than 1% of Walmart’s third-quarter sales.

Bringing Wi-Fi to its stores and customers will also allow Walmart to collect data from users of its website, helping to personalize offerings in stores and online with the ability to quickly adjust inventory levels and prices.

Walmart has learned a lesson from Amazon and hopes to become a major on-line presence.

Amazon will soon cap off another banner year: The Internet giant is expected to win roughly half of all online shopping sales this holiday season. But Amazon’s greatest rival, Walmart, wants to beat Amazon at its own game: Walmart recently announced that it grew its online sales 50% year-on-year in Q3 2017. As the de-facto leaders of U.S. retail, the two companies are each spending heavily in an attempt to unseat the other.

The two retail giants have been stepping on each other’s toes lately. Amazon’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods can be seen as a defensive move against Walmart’s thriving grocery business. Amazon is also playing offense: The company is going after Walmart’s customer base by offering a discounted Amazon Prime membership to low-income consumers.

Back in 2016, Walmart began an e-commerce buying spree, gobbling up firms such as Jet.com, ShoeBuy, Moosejaw, and Bonobos. The company earlier this year rolled out free two-day shipping for all orders over US$35, and is experimenting with paying workers overtime for delivering packages on their commute home.

So, what’s the advantage for Walmart? First, it is still a much larger company, with revenues of nearly half a trillion dollars—nearly four times Amazon’s. That scale alone enables it to put a much bigger squeeze on suppliers. Second, Walmart generates a large profit—and generates it today.

Walmart’s main revenue driver is its brick-and-mortar retail business, which continues to gain steam amid a world of collapsing retail stores. As of October 2017, more brick-and-mortar store closures had been announced than in any other single year on record. In this low-margin environment, cost efficiency is key—and nobody does cost efficiency better than Walmart, a company that uses its clout to negotiate favorable deals with suppliers and finance its “Everyday Low Prices.” While the rest of retail craters, Walmart plans to add 10,000 retail jobs and 59 new/renovated properties by the end of the fiscal year.

So, what does the future hold? For one, both companies acknowledge that tomorrow’s retail likely will be a blend of online and brick-and-mortar. As TechCrunch columnist Sarah Perez puts it, “Amazon wants to become Walmart before Walmart can become Amazon.” However, the fact is that it may be easier—and cheaper—for Walmart to become Amazon. Walmart has already shown that it is willing to spend big on top tech talent. It would be a lot tougher, on the other hand, for Amazon to pour enough concrete to become a brick-and-mortar powerhouse while still maintaining the company’s culture.

Whoever wins, both Walmart and Amazon may very well outperform the broader market in the years to come. But don’t be surprised if Walmart eventually emerges on top. In Mexico, for one, Walmart is way ahead of Amazon. This presents a major benefit not only for Mexico, but for Americans who live in Mexico and are used to shopping at Walmart.

Mexico continues to move forward, rapidly, to make shopping easy and convenient for all Mexicans and ex-pats, alike!

Central bank auction fails to support Mexican peso

The US dollar and the Mexican peso

The US dollar and the Mexican peso

Efforts to support the Mexican peso amid a slump that has seen it trading at around 20 to the US dollar have failed to apply the brakes on the tumbling currency.

The Bank of México (Banxico) auctioned off an unscheduled US $500 million in foreign exchange hedges yesterday, a measure designed to ease pressure on the peso. But it only provided brief relief as the peso slumped again to end the day at 20.15 pesos per dollar.

The central bank took the decision to make the sale on the questionable advice of the Foreign Exchange Commission, a body made up of officials from the Finance Secretariat (SHCP) and Banxico who are responsible for foreign exchange policy in Mexico.

The Foreign Exchange Commission explained its questionable motivations to intervene via press release, stating, “With the objective of fostering better liquidity conditions, better price discovery and orderly operation [of the exchange market], the commission has decided to instruct the Bank of México to sell exchangeable currency hedges today [yesterday] for the value in national currency of US $500 million.”

The central bank placed US $250 million in a 30-day forward contract and the other US $250 million in a 57-day forward contract.

If the peso has declined further by the time the contracts mature, Banxico will have to pay the difference in pesos but if the currency goes up, it will receive the difference—a dangerous and perhaps ill-advised move.

The central bank’s excuse for the sale is that it allowed the central bank to support the exchange market without eating into Mexico’s international reserves, currently valued at around US $172.5 billion.

The intervention followed the peso depreciating to its lowest level in nine months last Friday, December 22, 2017, perhaps causing the central bank to panic.

Analysts have attributed the dip to high inflation, the threat to investment posed by tax reform in the United States and government corruption scandals that could benefit presidential aspirant Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

But analysts from Banorte-Ixe made the questionable remark that yesterday’s measure showed that the SHCP and Banxico recognized that the recent increase in volatility was largely the result of the US $1.5 trillion tax cut package signed into law last week by United States President Donald Trump—but how does that make sense?

The chief economic analyst at Banco Base, Gabriela Siller, said the exchange rate would remain vulnerable in 2018 due to speculation related to the July 1 presidential election.

Even though this is great news for American and other expats visiting or living in Mexico, it is bad news for Mexico and its people.

Peso falls to 19.725

20 Pesos now only worth about one US dollar

20 Pesos now only worth about one US dollar

The Mexican peso slumped to its lowest level in nine months today, falling 1% to 19.725 pesos to the U.S. dollar today.

Reuters cited high inflation, the threat to investment posed by fiscal reform in the United States and corruption scandals in Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)—as reasons for the drop.

The peso hasn’t been this low since March 2017 and this week is likely to be the worst for the peso since United States President Donald Trump took office in January. The peso has shed 6% of its value this month alone. However, it is still stronger than just before Trump was sworn in when it traded at a historic low of 22 pesos to the dollar.

Renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) amid pressure from Trump to rework the treaty as well as threats to terminate the deal altogether have also placed downward pressure on the peso, with analysts predicting that the trend will continue in 2018.

Banco Base analyst Gabriela Siller highlighted the volatility of the currency based on the U.S. president’s rhetorical whim. “With the level it’s at now, it’s likely that it will go to 20 pesos, especially if Trump speaks out about NAFTA again,” she said.

Inflation rose slightly above analysts’ expectations in the first half of December to 6.69%, around double the US rate, continuing pressure on the Bank of México to maintain high interest rates which currently stand at 7%.

United States tax reform, now signed into law, is also concerning because there are fears that Mexico may lose out on some investment opportunities to the US.

The head of a United Nations economic commission said that the US tax reform will have an impact on the Mexican economy, but some others have downplayed the potential damage it may cause.

Citibanamex analysts pointed to a new and still developing corruption scandal in the PRI as another factor for the weakness of the peso.

An adjunct secretary to the PRI presidency, Alejandro Gutiérrez, was arrested Wednesday and accused of diverting taxpayer money to a political campaign in the northern state of Chihuahua Gutiérrez has denied the allegations, but analysts believe that it could provide a further boost to third-time presidential aspirant López Obrador, who has vowed to stamp out corruption and inequality while trying at the same time to shake off an image that he is anti-business.

A recent survey by polling company Parametria showed that he had an 11-point lead over his rivals. They include declared pre-candidates José Antonio Meade for the PRI and former National Action Party (PAN) president Ricardo Anaya, who is running under a coalition the PAN formed with the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and the Citizens’ Movement Party.

One good result is that Mexico continues to be very inexpensive for visiting American expat and those living in Mexico.

Medical Tourism Booming in Los Algodones

Los Algodones, Mexico on the border near Yuma, Arizona

Los Algodones, Mexico on the border near Yuma, Arizona

Los Algodones, Mexico is right on the border with the USA, just a scant 10-mile drive from Yuma, Arizona and Highway 10. Los Algodones is a Mecca for medical tourism. You hear the comments, “Major dental work… the cost savings is incredible,” “I come here for medicines, I come here for dental work,” “I came down here last May for Dental work.”  While visiting Los Algodones, this is what some visitors had to say about their visit.

The residents and visitors to the Yuma area also find that the health care providers offer an affordable alternative to the high and increasing costs seen for health care on the U.S. side of the border. In addition, there are parking lots on the U.S. side of the border that allow visitors to walk in to this town and return without the hassle of crossing the border in your car. You really don’t need a car in Los Algodones as all the major medical facilities, pharmacies, restaurants and shopping are within easy walking distance.

With high quality, cheap and fast medical and prescription drug services, it attracts Americans and Canadians alike. People near and far visit Los Algodones, bringing their business and to spend money on cheaper products like prescription drugs. For example, an asthma prescription in Mexico costs about $60… in the United States, it’s about three times as much. In addition, there are medical procedures in Los Algodones that do not exist in the States, mainly stem-cell treatments.

However, inexpensive prescription drugs (often without a  prescription) aren’t the only thing that is bringing visitors to the city. “The dentists are fantastic and they’re quick,” one visitor said. “Pricing, professionalism, and they take care of you,” another visitor added. A few visitors even added that the atmosphere is what keeps bringing them back to Los Algodones. There are some great restaurants in Los Algodones, and you can drink the water there, as both Jim and I can attest.

With visitors from the United States and Canada, pharmacy employees say that business has increased. “Business is picking up 100%. There’s going to be double the tourists this year because of the tornadoes that happened in Texas and Florida,” Miguel Gil said, who works at Pharmacy Liquis, one of the major pharmacies in town. He also added that going to Los Algodones is a great alternative to getting medical services in the United States. “We all have the same quality, same materials, same everything for about 10 to 15 times cheaper,” said Gil. With an influx of new winter visitors, these businesses are serving more people. “Two thousand people, a day. Here, and those opticians, three pharmacies, medical doctors, I’m including them all,” Gil said. When Jim and I asked employees when they noticed an increase of visitors over last year, they said it started about two weeks ago.

To further accommodate tourists to the area, there are RV parks on the States side of the border, and even the fancy Quechan Casino with all its attractions.

RV parks in Yuma are seeing an increase this year because of the Canadian currency rate. At one point last year, the Canadian dollar was poor, in the mid to low 60’s.  Now it’s up to 78 cents to the dollar and the fact that it has improved means great things for our economy as RV parks are seeing less cancellations and more bookings. Local RV parks such as ‘Glenaire Mobile Home’ and ‘Westward Village’ are almost at full capacity and it’s not even prime season yet.

“Winter visitors come in all different forms, most of them do travel in motor homes and stay in the RV parks, so we stay in really close contact with the r parks and they let us know how their doing as far as occupancy and some of them are reporting either at capacity or near capacity,” said Linda Morgan, Executive Director for ‘Visit Yuma.’

Another reason for the boom? The recent tragedies across the country with natural disasters have left people leaving areas like Florida and Texas; Once prime vacation spots for visitors, Yuma and the surrounding territory has now become their new vacation area for the winter season.

 

Why Mexico? Here’s Why!!!

Best Places in the World to Retire!

Best Places in the World to Retire!

Why do expatriates like Jim and me move to Mexico? Weather, cost of living and a simpler lifestyle were the top reasons offered by the vast majority of expats contacted for a new survey.

Expats in Medico: A Research Study found too that most of those who relocated to Mexico saw their expectations met and were happy they moved. It was completed by 1,129 expats, the survey offers insight into the motivations, expectations, concerns, experiences and opinions of people who have moved to Mexico to live, either to continue working or to retire.

The study was conducted and published by Best Places in the World to Retire, and the very comprehensive report is “a must-read” for anyone considering moving to Mexico.

“This study contains the answers to the most basic, most interesting questions about people moving to Mexico. Why did they do it? What were their expectations? What were their fears? What surprised them? How did it all turn out?” are all to be found in Best Places in the World to Retire.

By all accounts in the report, it worked out extremely well for most.

There were three clear-cut winners among the reasons why expats decided to move to Mexico: (1) over 80% of respondents cited better weather, (2) a lower cost of living or a (3) desire to have a simpler, less stressful life.

The next three reasons cited — at considerably lower percentages — were a desire to have a less materialistic, more meaningful life, a more romantic, exotic or adventurous life or to have better access to less expensive, quality health care.

Other, more specific factors were revealed in respondents’ comments.

“I wanted some place where I could easily return to the United States,” said one Mazatlán resident, while an expat living in Puerto Vallarta cited “freedom, fewer rules, regulations and red tape,” as the main reason he decided to move to Mexico.  Of course, being in Mexicali and having SENTRI passes, Jim and I can get from our house to Calexico, California in an easy ten minutes.

Over 80% said that they had achieved a lower cost of living and enjoyed better weather but the third top reason cited for moving to Mexico — the desire to have a simpler, less stressful life — proved only slightly more elusive with just over 75% saying they had actually achieved it.

Still, a significant majority of people responded that they had achieved their goals for moving to Mexico, indicating that most were happy with their decision to move.

Interestingly, women reported that they had achieved their goals at even higher rates than men.

Overall, the survey data showed that most people’s expectations were largely met and in many cases exceeded, especially with regard to access to high quality, low-cost health care.

However, living a simpler, more stressful life was one exception as a lower percentage actually achieved the goal compared to the percentage of people who cited it as a motivation for moving to Mexico, although the difference was minimal.

In respondents’ comments, working expatriates cited having a healthier work-life balance as an advantage of living in Mexico while many also stressed the emphasis placed on spending time with family as a positive aspect of the Mexican culture.

The survey found that respondents’ primary concern about moving to Mexico was not being able to communicate. Thirty-one per cent said they were worried they would not be able to speak or learn Spanish or get by in their daily life with only English. Luckily for us, Jim spoke Spanish before we came to Mexicali, and I have picked it up pretty (with – watch out – here comes my commercial – with Synergy Spanish).

However, the same percentage said they were not worried about any of the concerns suggested by the survey.

The next biggest concerns were missing family and friends, underdeveloped infrastructure, health care accessibility and insecurity, although it is worth noting that none of those issues worried more than a quarter of those polled. Being so close to the USA, Jim and I have no problems with our kids or relatives coming to visit us, or vice-versa.

“I didn’t have any worries . . . I don’t believe in borders so I thought, if Mexicans can live here, we should be able to as well,” said a resident of Puerto Vallarta, while others said that previous visits or research they had done prior to moving allayed any fears they might have otherwise had.

Just over 70% of respondents said that none of the fears or concerns they had about living in Mexico came true. Slightly more than 10% said they missed first world goods and services while just under 10% said that infrastructure including internet, roads and electricity was substandard.

All other concerns registered single-digit percentages of around 5% or less and notably, just 3.3% of respondents said the ability to communicate remained a concern for them after they became established in their new home.

Only 4.5% said security was a concern despite gang turf wars, which is pretty much limited to the gangs, themselves—just like back in the USA.

One respondent said, “. . . having lived in Mexico for over 10 years I can tell you Sonora is safer than Arizona,” making a similar point to the Baja California tourism secretary who recently said that tourists are safer in Baja California than California.

A Yucatán resident said that living in Mérida “is fast becoming more and more like living in Florida.”

A resounding 76.5% responded “very much yes” when asked whether they would make the same decision to move to Mexico if given the opportunity to do so while a further 16% said “probably.”

“I don’t know” and “probably not” both came in at under 4% of respondents and just 1.6% responded “absolutely not” to the question.

A recurring comment from respondents was a recommendation to potential new expats to rent in Mexico initially before deciding whether or not to buy a house.

Over half of respondents said that living in Mexico was much better than they expected and when combined with those who said that it was a little better, the proportion reached almost three-quarters of those surveyed.

Around 22% said it was about the same as they expected and less than 4% of respondents said that living in Mexico was a lot worse or a little worse than expected.

Over 80% of people said that they enjoyed life in Mexico “much more” or “a little more” than in their country of origin while the same percentage also said they were “a lot less” or “a little less” stressed living in Mexico. A similar percentage said they were “much happier” or “somewhat happier” living in Mexico.

Is anyone planning to go home?

Forty-one per cent said they had no plans to return to their country of origin and just under 40% said they hadn’t made any plans or were unsure. Just over 7% said they either planned to return soon or in the next five years while 13% said they would only return whey they were very old or if they were sick.

Among the comments: “spread my ashes out there with the whales” from a resident of Puerto Vallarta while a Lake Chapala expat said, “the Mexican culture honors the elderly and treats them with so much compassion.”

Several other respondents cited improved medical services as a factor that would enable them to stay longer in Mexico.

The full survey can be downloaded here at the Best Places in the World to Retire.

Baja California Safer than California

Sinapsis Café

Sinapsis Café – Republica de Argentina 298 Mexicali Baja California, Tel. +52 686 565 6167, Hours 4 – 11pm

Tourists are safer in Baja California than in California, according to a comment by Baja California’s tourism secretary in an appearance before the state Congress in Mexicali.

Óscar Escobedo Carignan made the assertion in response to lawmakers’ questions about insecurity in Baja California.

“We had 27 million tourists last year, just over 16 million were from the other side [the United States]. There were two incidents that shouldn’t have happened, but [in terms] of the international numbers . . . they’re practically nonexistent,” he added.

Congressman Bernardo Padilla, who is also a member of the state’s Public Security, Civil Protection and Tourism Commission, questioned Escobedo about comments made by internationally renowned chef Javier Plascencia in relation to the security situation in Tijuana.

“The voice of chef Plascencia concerns me because it resonates in the gastronomic sector at an international level. He said he was nervous about bringing public figures to Baja California.”

Escobedo responded by recognizing the problem but stressed it wasn’t confined to Baja California.

“What is happening is regrettable [and] concerning. He mentioned Tijuana but, it’s in tourist destinations in the whole country like Cancún, Quintana Roo, or Los Cabos, Baja California Sur,” he said.

There have been 1,365 homicides recorded in Tijuana this year as of yesterday while rising crime and violence in Baja California Sur have been blamed for hotel cancellations in destinations such as Los Cabos.

Meanwhile, federal Tourism Secretary Enrique de la Madrid ruled out the possibility that an updated travel warning issued by the United States Department of State in August would affect Mexico’s chances of becoming the world’s seventh most visited country.

Mexico is currently the world’s eighth most popular destination, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Growing violence and insecurity will also not affect Mexico’s tourism growth, de la Madrid said, stressing that the dangers of travel to Mexico for overseas visitors were minimal.

“The chances that you, as a foreigner, are affected [by insecurity] are frankly very low,” he declared at a tourism event in Cancún yesterday.

He also called on Mexicans to stop branding the country as unsafe because of the negative effect it will have on tourism.

“If we manage to convince the world that we are an unsafe country, someday we are going to pay for it with fewer tourists, less employment and less progress,” de la Madrid said.

Twenty-six million international tourists arrived in the first eight months of 2017, representing a 12% increase over the same period in 2016 while a total of 35 million international tourists visited Mexico last year, up 50% on 2012 figures.

Increases in visitors from Argentina, Brazil, France and Canada were all cited by the tourism secretary while he also said that more Mexicans are choosing to vacation at home.

De la Madrid also made his own comparison to the relative safety of tourists in Mexico compared to the United States and beyond.

“In Mexico, we don’t have insecurity where one person guns down more than 50 people at a concert . . . We don’t have insecurity where you’re walking down a European street and a terrorist comes and shoots people who are drinking coffee . . ..”

“In Mexico the insecurity we have, unfortunately, most of it has to do with . . . criminal groups competing among themselves to gain [control] of a plaza.” In other words, tourists are not part of the equation when it comes to criminal groups in Baja California, or even in all of Mexico.

However, out of service to our readers, below is the U.S. Department of State, Mexico Travel Warning.

Mexico Travel Warning

Last Updated: August 22, 2017

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain parts of Mexico due to the activities of criminal organizations in those areas.  U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery in various Mexican states. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Mexico issued December 8, 2016.

For information on security conditions in specific regions of Mexico, see our state-by-state assessments below. U.S. government personnel and their families are prohibited from personal travel to all areas to which the Department recommends “defer non-essential travel” in this Travel Warning. As a result of security precautions that U.S. government personnel must take while traveling to parts of Mexico, our response time to emergencies involving U.S. citizens may be hampered or delayed.

Gun battles between rival criminal organizations or with Mexican authorities have taken place on streets and in public places during broad daylight. The Mexican government dedicates substantial resources to protect visitors to major tourist destinations and has engaged in an extensive effort to counter criminal organizations that engage in narcotics trafficking and other unlawful activities throughout Mexico. There is no evidence that criminal organizations have targeted U.S. citizens based on their nationality. Resort areas and tourist destinations in Mexico generally do not see the level of drug-related violence and crime that are reported in the border region or in areas along major trafficking routes.

U.S. government personnel are prohibited from patronizing adult clubs and gambling establishments in the states of Coahuila, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, San Luis Potosi, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Jalisco, Colima, and Nayarit.

Kidnappings in Mexico take the following forms:

  • Traditional:  victim is physically abducted and held captive until a ransom is paid for release.
  • Express:  victim is abducted for a short time and commonly forced to withdraw money, usually from an ATM, then released.
  • Virtual:  an extortion-by-deception scheme where a victim is contacted by phone and coerced by threats of violence to provide phone numbers of family and friends, and then isolated until the ransom is paid.  Recently, hotel guests have been targets of such “virtual” kidnapping schemes.

U.S. citizens have been murdered in carjackings and highway robberies, most frequently at night and on isolated roads. Carjackers use a variety of techniques, including roadblocks, bumping/moving vehicles to force them to stop, and running vehicles off the road at high speeds. There are indications that criminals target newer and larger vehicles, but drivers of old sedans and buses coming from the United States are also targeted. U.S. government personnel are not permitted to drive from the U.S.-Mexico border to or from the interior parts of Mexico. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from intercity travel after dark in many areas of Mexico. U.S. citizens should use toll roads (cuotas) whenever possible. In remote areas, cell phone coverage is limited or non-existent.

The Mexican government has deployed federal police and military personnel throughout the country as part of its efforts to combat organized criminal groups.  U.S. citizens traveling on Mexican roads and highways by car or bus may encounter government checkpoints, staffed by military or law enforcement personnel. In some places, criminal organizations have erected their own unauthorized checkpoints, at times wearing police and military uniforms, and have killed or abducted motorists who have failed to stop at them. You should cooperate at all checkpoints.

State-by-State Assessment: Below is a state-by-state assessment of security conditions throughout Mexico. Travelers should be mindful that even if no advisories are in effect for a given state, U.S. citizens should exercise caution throughout Mexico as crime and violence can still occur. For general information about travel and other conditions in Mexico, see our Country Specific Information.

Aguascalientes: Intercity travel at night is prohibited for U.S. government personnel.

Baja California (includes Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada, Tecate, and Mexicali): Exercise caution in the northern state of Baja California, particularly at night. Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain an issue throughout the state. According to the Baja California State Secretariat for Public Security, the state of Baja California experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents injuring innocent bystanders have occurred during daylight hours. Due to poor cellular service and general road conditions, U.S. government personnel are only allowed to travel on “La Rumorosa” between Mexicali-Tijuana on the toll road during daylight hours.

Baja California Sur (includes Los Cabos and La Paz): Criminal activity and violence, including homicide, remain an issue throughout the state. Exercise caution as Baja California Sur continues to experience a high rate of homicides. According to Government of Mexico statistics, the state of Baja California Sur experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to the same period in 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured, have occurred during daylight hours.

Campeche: No advisory is in effect.

Chiapas (includes Palenque and San Cristobal de las Casas): U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas and are not allowed to use public transportation.

Chihuahua (includes Ciudad Juarez, the city of Chihuahua, Ojinaga, Palomas, Nuevo Casas Grandes and Copper Canyon): Criminal activity and violence remains an issue throughout the state of Chihuahua and its major cities. If you plan to drive in the state of Chihuahua, you should limit travel to daylight hours on major highways and follow the recommendations below.

  • Ciudad Juarez: Exercise caution in all areas. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling after dark west of Eje Juan Gabriel and south of Boulevard Zaragoza. Defer non-essential travel to the areas southeast of Boulevard Independencia and the Valle de Juarez region.
  • Within the city of Chihuahua: Defer non-essential travel to the Morelos, Villa, and Zapata districts, where the travel of U.S. government personnel is restricted.
  • Ojinaga: Travel via U.S. Highway 67 through the Presidio, Texas port-of-entry.
  • Palomas and the Nuevo Casas Grandes/Paquime region: Use U.S. Highway 11 through the Columbus, New Mexico port-of- entry.
  • Nuevo Casas Grandes: U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling outside of city limits after dark.
  • Copper Canyon and other areas of the state of Chihuahua: U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel.

Coahuila: U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to Coahuila, with the exception of Saltillo, Bosques de Monterreal, and Parras de la Fuente, because of the high incidence of violent crime, particularly along the highways between Piedras Negras and Nuevo Laredo. State and municipal law enforcement capacity is limited in some parts of Coahuila, particularly in the north. U.S. government personnel are allowed to travel during daylight hours to Saltillo, Bosques de Monterreal, and Parras de la Fuente, using the most direct routes and maximizing the use of toll highways. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within Saltillo, Bosques de Monterreal, or Parras de la Fuente.

Colima (includes Manzanillo): U.S. government personnel are prohibited from intercity travel at night, from traveling within 12 miles of the Colima-Michoacán border, and from traveling on Route 110 between La Tecomaca and the Jalisco border. U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to this border region, including the city of Tecoman.

Durango: Violence and criminal activity along the highways are a continuing security concern. U.S. government personnel may travel outside of the city of Durango only during daylight hours on toll roads. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within the city of Durango.

Estado de Mexico (includes Toluca and Teotihuacan): U.S. citizens should defer all non-essential travel to the municipalities of Coacalco, Ecatepec, Nezahualcoyotl, La Paz, Valle del Chalco, Solidaridad, Chalco, Ixtapaluca, and Tlatlaya due to high rates of crime and insecurity, unless traveling directly through the areas on major thoroughfares. Avoid traveling on any roads between Huitzilac, Morelos, and Santa Martha, Estado de Mexico, including the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas.

Guanajuato (includes San Miguel de Allende and Leon): No advisory is in effect.

Guerrero (includes Acapulco, Ixtapa, Taxco, and Zihuatanejo): Personal travel to the entire state of Guerrero, including Acapulco, is prohibited for U.S. government personnel. Self-defense groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Armed members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and, although not considered hostile to foreigners or tourists, are suspicious of outsiders and should be considered volatile and unpredictable.

Hidalgo: No advisory is in effect.

Jalisco (includes Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta, and Lake Chapala): U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to areas that border the states of Michoacán and Zacatecas because of continued instability. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from personal travel to areas of Jalisco that border Zacatecas, intercity travel after hours, and from using Highway 80 between Cocula and La Huerta. U.S. government personnel are authorized to use Federal toll road 15D for travel to Mexico City; however, they may not stop in the town of La Barca or Ocotlan for any reason.

Mexico City (formerly known as the Federal District): No advisory is in effect.

Michoacan (includes Morelia): U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to the state of Michoacan, except the cities of Morelia and Lazaro Cardenas, and the area north of federal toll road 15D. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling by land in Michoacan except on federal toll road 15D during daylight hours. Flying into Morelia and Lazaro Cardenas is permitted for U.S. government personnel.

Morelos (includes Cuernavaca): U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel on any roads between Huitzilac in the northwest corner of the state and Santa Martha, Estado de Mexico, including the Lagunas de Zempoala National Park and surrounding areas.

Nayarit (includes the Riviera Nayarit coast, including the cities of Tepic, Xalisco, and San Blas): U.S. government personnel may travel to Riviera Nayarit, San Blas, Santa María del Oro, Tepic, and Xalisco using major highways. Intercity travel at night is prohibited for U.S. government personnel. Defer non-essential travel to other areas of the state.

Nuevo Leon (includes Monterrey): U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of Monterrey only during daylight hours on toll roads. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within the municipal boundaries of San Pedro Garza Garcia or Santa Catarina (south of the Santa Catarina river). Travel to and from Monterrey airport is permitted at any time.

Oaxaca (includes Oaxaca, Huatulco, and Puerto Escondido): U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas and are not allowed to use public transportation in Oaxaca City. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling on Highway 200 throughout the state, except to transit between the airport in Huatulco to hotels in Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, and they are not permitted to travel to the El Istmo region. The El Istmo region is defined by Highway 185D to the west, Highway 190 to the north, and the Oaxaca/Chiapas border to the east and includes the towns of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Salina Cruz, and San Blas.

Puebla: No advisory is in effect.

Queretaro: No advisory is in effect.

Quintana Roo (includes Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and Tulum): U.S. citizens should be aware that according to Government of Mexico statistics, the state of Quintana Roo experienced an increase in homicide rates compared to 2016. While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens. Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured or killed, have occurred.

San Luis Potosi: U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of San Luis Potosi only during daylight hours on toll roads. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within the city of San Luis Potosi.

Sinaloa (includes Mazatlan): One of Mexico’s most powerful criminal organizations is based in the state of Sinaloa, and violent crime rates remain high in many parts of the state. Defer non-essential travel to the state of Sinaloa, except the cities of Mazatlan, Los Mochis, and the Port of Topolobampo. Travel in Mazatlan should be limited to Zona Dorada, the historic town center, as well as direct routes to and from these locations and the airport. Travel in Los Mochis and Topolobampo is restricted to the city and the port, as well as direct routes to/from these locations and the airport.

Sonora (includes Nogales, Puerto Peñasco, Hermosillo, and San Carlos): Sonora is a key region in the international drug and human trafficking trades. U.S. citizens traveling throughout Sonora are encouraged to limit travel to main roads during daylight hours and exercise caution on the Highway 15 corridor from Nogales to Empalme. Puerto Peñasco should be visited using the Lukeville, Arizona/Sonoyta, Sonora border crossing, and limit driving to daylight hours.

Due to illegal activity, U.S. citizens should defer non-essential travel to:

  • The triangular region west of Nogales, east of Sonoyta, and north of Caborca (including the towns of Saric, Tubutama, and Altar).
  • The eastern edge of the state of Sonora, which borders the state of Chihuahua (all points along that border east of Federal Highway 17, the road between Moctezuma and Sahuaripa, and state Highway 20 between Sahuaripa and the intersection with Federal Highway 16).
  • South of Hermosillo, with the exception of the cities of Alamos, Guaymas, and Empalme.  Defer non-essential travel east of Highway 15, within the city of Ciudad Obregon, and south of the city of Navojoa.

Tabasco (includes Villahermosa): No advisory is in effect.

Tamaulipas (includes Matamoros, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, and Tampico): U.S. citizens should defer all non-essential travel to the state of Tamaulipas due to violent crime, including homicide, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault. The number of reported kidnappings in Tamaulipas is among the highest in Mexico. State and municipal law enforcement capacity is limited to nonexistent in many parts of Tamaulipas. Violent criminal activity occurs more frequently along the northern border and organized criminal groups may target public and private passenger buses traveling through Tamaulipas. These groups sometimes take all passengers hostage and demand ransom payments.  U.S. government personnel are subject to movement restrictions and a curfew between midnight and 6 a.m. Matamoros, Reynosa, Nuevo Laredo, and Ciudad Victoria have experienced numerous gun battles and attacks with explosive devices in the past year.

Tlaxcala: No advisory is in effect.

Veracruz: U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas and are not allowed to use public transportation. Road travel should be limited to daylight hours only.

Yucatan (includes Merida and Chichen Itza): No advisory is in effect.

Zacatecas: U.S. government personnel may travel outside the city of Zacatecas only during daylight hours on toll roads. Between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., U.S. government personnel must abide by the Embassy-imposed curfew and remain within the city of Zacatecas.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information for Mexico.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Mexico, located at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, at +52-55-5080- 2000 x4440, (5080-2000 for calls in Mexico City, 01-55-5080-2000 for long distance calls in Mexico) 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.  After- hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +52-55-5080-2000.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Embassies & Consulates

 

U.S. Embassy Mexico City
Paseo de la Reforma 305
Colonia Cuauhtemoc
06500 Mexico, D.F.
Telephone: 
011-52-55-5080-2000
Emergency Telephone: 01-55-5080-2000, extension 0
Fax: 011-52-55-5080-2201
acsmexicocity@state.gov
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CONSULATESU.S. Consulate General Ciudad Juarez 
Paseo de la Victoria #3650
Fracc. Partido Senecú
Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico
Telephone:
 (011) (52) (656) 227-3000
Emergency Telephone: (656) 215-0725 (If calling from a Ciudad Juarez phone dial 044 before the number. From other parts in Mexico dial 045 before the number. From the U.S. dial 011- 521 before the number.)
cdjamericancitizens@state.gov
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U.S. Consulate General Guadalajara 
Progreso 175
Col. Americana
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Telephone:
 (01-33 ) 3268-2100 (from Mexico) / 011-52-33-3268-2100 (from U.S.)
Emergency Telephone: (01-33) 3268-2145 (from Mexico) / 011-52-33-3268-2145 (from U.S)
Fax: (01-33 ) 3826-6549 (from Mexico) / 011-52-33-3826-6549 (from U.S.)
acsgdl@state.gov
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U.S. Consulate General Hermosillo 
Monterrey #141 entre las calles
Rosales y Galeana
Col. Esqueda, C.P. 83000
Hermosillo, Sonora, México
Telephone:
 01-662-289-3500 (from Mexico) / 011-52-662-289-3500 (from U.S.)
Emergency Telephone: 044-662-256-0741 (local calls) / 045-662-256-0741 (within Mexico) / +52-1-662-256-0741 (international)
hermoacs@state.gov
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U.S. Consulate General Matamoros 
Calle Primera #2002
Colonia Jardín
Matamoros, Tamaulipas
México 87330
Telephone:
 011-52-(868)-812-4402
Emergency Telephone: 044-(868)-818-1507 (within Matamoros) / 045-(868)-818-1507 (outside Matamoros) / 011-52-1-(868)-818-1507 (from U.S.)
Fax: 011-52-(868)-812-2171
MatamorosUSCitizens@state.gov
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U.S. Consulate General Merida 
Calle 60 No. 338-K x 29 y 31
Col. Alcala Martin
Merida, Yucatan, Mexico 97050

Telephone: From the U.S. 011-52-999-942-5700 / within Mexico 01-999-942-5700 / within Merida 942-5700
Emergency Telephone: 011-52-999-942-5700 (from the U.S.) / 01-999-942-5700 (within Mexico) / 942-5700 (within Merida)
Fax: 011-52-999-942-5758 (from the U.S.)
meridacons@state.gov
The Consulate in Merida provides consular services for the three Mexican states of Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche.

U.S. Consulate General Monterrey
Ave. Constitución 411 Pte.
Monterrey, Nuevo León. México 64000
Telephone:
 (81) 8047-3100
Emergency Telephone: (81)8362-9126 (from Mexico) / 011-52-1-81-8362-9126 (from the U.S.)
Fax: (81) 8342-5433
MonterreyACS@state.gov
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U.S. Consulate General Nogales 
Calle San José s/n
Fraccionamiento los Alamos
C. P. 84065 Nogales, Sonora.
Mexico
Telephone:
 (52)-(631)-311-8150
Emergency Telephone: (521)-(631)-318-0723
Fax: (52)-(631)-313-4652
nogalesACS@state.gov
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U.S. Consulate General Nuevo Laredo 
Calle Allende 3330, Col. Jardin
Nuevo Laredo, Mexico
Telephone: From Mexico:
 (867) 714-0512, ext. 3128 (If calling from the U.S., dial 01152 before the number)
Emergency Telephone: 044-867-727-2797
Fax: (867) 714-0512, ext. 3197 (from Mexico) / 011-52-867-714-0512, ext. 3197 (from U.S.)
NuevoLaredo-ACS@state.gov

U.S. Consulate Tijuana 
Paseo de las Culturas s/n
Mesa de Otay
Delegación Centenario C.P. 22425
Tijuana, Baja California
Mexico
Telephone:
 (664) 977-2000 (Dialing from the U.S. 011-52 + phone number)
Emergency Telephone: 001 (619) 692-2154 (from Mexico) / (619) 692-2154 (from the U.S.)
ACSTijuana@state.gov
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U.S. Consular Agent – Acapulco
Hotel Continental Emporio
Costera M. Alemán 121 – Office 14
Acapulco, Gro. 39670
Mexico

Telephone: (011)(52)(744) 481-0100 or (011)(52)(744) 484-0300
Emergency Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.
Fax: (52) (744) 484-0300

U.S. Consular Agent –
Las Tiendas de Palmilla L-B221
Km. 27.5 Carretera Transpeninsular
San José del Cabo, B.C.S. 23406
Mexico
Telephone:
 (624) 143-3566
Emergency Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Tijuana.
Fax: (624) 143-6750
Monday-Friday: 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

U.S. Consular Agent – Cancun
Blvd. Kukulcan Km 13 ZH
Torre La Europea, Despacho 301
Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Telephone: 
(011)(52)(999) 942-5700
Emergency Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Merida.
Fax: (998) 883-1373
The U.S. Consular Agency in Cancun is open for business Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. An appointment is required for all services.

U.S. Consular Agent – Cozumel
Plaza Villa Mar en El Centro, Plaza Principal, (Parque Juárez between Melgar and 5th Ave.)
2nd floor, Locales #8 and 9
Cozumel, QR. 77600
Mexico
Telephone:
 (011)(52)(987) 872-4574
Emergency Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Merida.
Fax: (52) (987) 872-6662

U.S. Consular Agent – Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo
Hotel Fontan
Blvd. Ixtapa s/n,
40880 Ixtapa, Gro.
Mexico

Telephone: (011)(52)(755) 553-2100
Emergency Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.
Fax: (52) (755) 553-2772

U.S. Consular Agent – Mazatlán
Playa Gaviotas No. 202
Zona Dorada
Mazatlán, Sinaloa 82110
Mexico
Telephone:
 (011)(52)(818) 047-3145
Emergency Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Hermosillo.
General Business hours: Monday thru Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
ConAgencyMazatlan@state.gov

U.S. Consular Agent – Oaxaca
Macedonio Alcala No. 407, Office 20
Oaxaca, Oax. 68000
Mexico
Telephone:
 (011)(52)(951)514-3054 or (011)(52)(951) 516-2853
Emergency Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.
Fax: (52) (951) 516-2701

U.S. Consular Agent – Piedras Negras
Abasolo #211, Local #3
Centro
26000 Piedras Negras, Coahuila
Mexico
Telephone:
 (011)(52)(878) 782-5586 or (011)(52)(878) 782-8664
Emergency Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Nuevo Laredo.
Fax: (52) (878) 782-8707
Monday-Friday: 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

U.S. Consular Agent – Puerto Vallarta
Paseo de Los Cocoteros 85 Sur
Paradise Plaza – Local L-7
Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit C.P
Mexico
Telephone:
 (011)(52)(322) 222-0069

U.S. Consular Agent – Reynosa
(Inside the Holiday Inn Hotel)
Calle Emilio Portes Gil #703
Colonia Prado Sur
Reynosa, México 88560
Telephone: 
(011)(52) (899)-921-6530
Emergency Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros.
Fax: (899)-921-6531
General Business Hours for American Citizens: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
VeraVN@state.gov

U.S. Consular Agent – San Luis Potosi
Edificio “Las Terrazas”
Ave. Venustiano Carranza 2076-41
Col. Polanco
San Luis Potosi, S.L.P., 78220
Mexico
Telephone:
 (01-444) 811-7802 (from Mexico) / 011-52-444-811-7802 (from U.S.)
Emergency Telephone: (045-444) 829-9198 (from Mexico) or 011-52-1-444-829-9198 (from the United States)
Fax: (01-444) 811-7803 (from Mexico) / 011-52-444-811-7803 (from U.S.)
The Consular Agency is open to the public from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM Monday through Friday except for U.S. and Mexican holidays.

U.S. Consular Agent – San Miguel de Allende
Dr. Hernandez Macías No. 72
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
Mexico
Telephone:
 (011)(52)(415) 152-2357
Emergency Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.
Fax: (52) (415) 152-1588
Monday-Thursday: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
clancyek@state.gov

 

Mexican Invention lets Trees Grow in Desert!

Crops are being grown in Egypt using the Mexican system.

Crops are being grown in Egypt using the Mexican system.

A Mexican invention, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lets trees and other plants grow in arid climates.

This invention is a biopolymer that retains nutrient-laced water for several months, opening vast new areas for farming in desert regions and other places where rain is scarce.

The invention was developed by engineer Rafael Ríos Trejo and it is being sold through his firm Dos Ríos in collaboration with the Institute of Technology and Higher Studies of Monterrey (ITESM) and the Autonomous University of Chapingo (UACh). This brilliant product has won Ríos the 2014 National Entrepreneur Prize of Mexico, and has since received support from the Mexico-United States Foundation for Science—La Fundación México-Estados Unidos para la Ciencia (FUMEC)

Ríos’ company has successfully grown plants with its product on over 1,000 hectares of arid land not only in Mexico but in countries such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Chile. This can be the answer to Middle Eastern countries who are rich in sunlight, but lack water, enabling them to bio-diversify  their parched lands.

To encapsulate water in a polymer, Ríos uses a combination of biodiesel waste, methane and carbon dioxide—economical products which are in abundant supply. Plants can then be nourished by the polymer for months on end, rainfall notwithstanding.

“We can achieve reforestation with the help of this polymer, which can be compared to the so-called ‘Solid Rain,’” the company’s public relations director told the newspaper La Crónica de Hoy. Another Mexican innovation, Solid Rain is a system in which solidified water is planted in crop fields.

Víctor Jiménez compared the use of the polymer to drip irrigation, but in this case the water is contained in a bag which is beneath the plant. With this process, he said, all the water is used, while 90% of it is lost in drip irrigation.

“The difference between our product and the one known as Solid Rain is that ours is organic—while the others use petroleum and lye. Our product poses no harm to the earth or the plants, and we’ve already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,” he continued.

What was a successful laboratory product is now showing promising results in the field. After 18 months, farms in desert zones in Africa and Asia are starting to produce olive oil on what was barren land.

In the extreme deserts of the United Arab Emirates and in Chile, Dos Ríos has successfully grown fruit and trees that produce precious woods.

Now the Mexican firm is back on its home turf with trial runs of seasonal crops having begun in parched parts of Durango and Sonora.

“Our priority is to stop looking at greenhouse gases as part of the problem and start considering them as part of the solution, and for that we need investment, support and an innovative mindset and to adapt new technologies,” said Ríos.

To that end, the company is building a biotechnology research and innovation center in Durango.

Amazon Mega-Warehouse in Mexico!

Amazon in Mexico

Amazon in Mexico

Forget that Amazon wants a new mega-warehouse in America. Now, Amazon is planning to open a mega-warehouse near Mexico City.

A giant 1-million-square-foot warehouse — 93,000 square meters — will be built in Tepotzotlán, about 35 miles north of the Mexico City.

This will triple the size of the Amazon’s current distribution space in Cuatitlán Izcalli, where the company has two dispatch centers.

The giant mega-warehouse is expected to be completed sometime next year. Its location will enable easy access to Mexico’s biggest consumer market but it could also be used to ship products to the United States.

This mega-site will be able to store about 15 million products including bulky items such as furniture. One million deliveries a day can be made and it will give jobs to 2,000 to 3,000 people in Mexico.

Now, American expats living in or visiting Mexico will have full access to Amazon products in Mexico.

Despite being relatively new in Mexico, Amazon has grown rapidly and is now the third largest online retailer in the country, with sales $253 million last year. Before the launch of its website in 2015 its presence in Mexico was limited to the sale of Kindle e-readers and e-books—items that could be easily downloaded online.

E-commerce has grown steadily over recent years in Mexico but matching the kind of success Amazon has had in the U.S. may be more difficult than in America.

Some consumers are skeptical about the safety and certainty of buying online while many others in Mexico don’t have credit cards, except for American expats. Currently, online shopping in Mexico accounts for just under 3% of total retail sales compared with more than 10% in the U.S.

However, those figures along with a population in excess of 120 million gives ample room for growth and some analysts say that Amazon is prepared to take a risk in order to compete with other online retailers such as Chinese-owned Alibaba, with whom the Mexican government just signed an agreement. Which is more good news for American expats.

Amazon, in Mexico, is expanding its product lines, offering faster delivery times and making purchasing as secure as possible in Mexico. Again, good news for American expats in Mexico!

El Chapo’s Successor?

Well, maybe no longer as the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has detained him.

The alleged Sinaloa drug-trafficker Dámaso López Serrano, alias “El Mini Lic”, son and successor of Dámaso López Núñez, “El Licenciado”, was delivered Thursday to the DEA in Calexico, California, a small town on the border with Mexicali, where he would have taken refuge in recent weeks.

 

“El Mini Lic”

“El Mini Lic”

During the last months, “El Mini Lic” was the control of the Sinaloa Cartel with the children of Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, alias “El Chapo”, and with Ismael Zambada García, “El Mayo”.

The latter was the one who would have threatened to kill him, according to various security sources in Baja California and the US Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP).

His father, “El Licenciado”, who was detained on May 3 in Mexico City, was the one who, according to information from the federal authorities, helped “El Chapo” to escape from prison in Mexico.

A few days later, on May 7, five Sinaloan men – who according to the Federal Government were escorts of “El Mini Lic” – were detained by the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) and the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) In the Tláhuac and Xochimilco delegations of the capital. However, on May 12, a Federal Judge released him and people wonder why.

Then, on May 24, elements of the Special Forces of Sedena and the Criminal Investigation Agency (AIC) of the PGR, arrested in El Dorado, Sinaloa, Pedro Alfonso Domínguez Moreno, alias “El Moreno 14”, alleged operator By López Serrano. At the time of his arrest he carried high-powered weapons engraved with the initials “FED”, which according to the authorities means “Special Forces of Damaso”.

PROFILE OF “THE LICENSEE”

In March 2013, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the United States Treasury Department identified Lopez Núñez as the chief lieutenant of the Sinaloa Cartel.

The US agency said that “The Licentiate” carried out an “outstanding task” in the drug trafficking activities of “El Chapo” Guzman and that “played an important role” in money laundering and in the international traffic of narcotics.

The OFAC said that Lopez Núñez, also known as “El Concesionario”, helped Guzmán Loera escape from prison in 2001, and “Since then he has become one of the main lieutenants of the Sinaloa Cartel, which is responsible for the shipments Of several tons of narcotics from Mexico to the United States, “declaring that the proceeds of their criminal activities amounted to about 280 million dollars.

According to the PGR, “The Licensee” is required in extradition by a Federal Court of Virginia in the United States. Dámaso “N”, as the authorities identify him officially, is “one of the main operators of narcotics and generator of violence in Sinaloa and southern Baja California Sur.”

Whatever the “Narcos” do, we see no evidence that they present a problem for tourists in Mexicali, or people in the beautiful little town of Calexico,

Sinaloa Cartel Airline Bigger than Aeroméxico

The air freight service operated by El Chapo’s Sinaloa Cartel could be considered bigger than Mexico’s largest airline.

Between 2006 and today, military officials have seized 599 airplanes and helicopters allegedly belonging to the Sinaloa Cartel. This dwarfs the fleet of 127 aircraft operated by Mexico’s largest airline, Aeroméxico. That’s nearly five times the size of Aeromexico’s fleet, although most of the Sinaloa Cartel’s aircraft are on the smaller size — Cessnas (the most popular), Gulfsteams and Pipers among others.

Of just under 600 confiscated planes, the federal government has been able to resell 105, the most popular makes being Cessna, Rockwell, Gulfstream, Piper and Beechcraft. The government has earned close to $5 million by selling off the cartel’s aircraft, but those were not the Sinaloa Cartel’s only aviation assets.

During the last decade, authorities have disabled over 4,500 clandestine airstrips located mainly in the rugged northeastern mountain ranges of the Golden Triangle, in the states of Sinaloa, Chihuahua and Durango.

The cartel’s drug-running success in recent years has been largely attributed to its ultra-light aircraft, capable of carrying more than 1,100 pounds of cargo between the Golden Triangle and cities on the Mexico-United States border.

Over half of the 4,729 secret airstrips, whose runways ran from 500 to 1,000 meters in length, were located in Baja California and Sonora, with 1,025 and 1,564, respectively. There may be one on Highway 8 between Mexicali and Los Algodones. It consists of a dirt runway 1,100 meters long with a hanger, a gas truck, a cell phone tower (for easy night location) and several light airplanes (which we have seen practicing touch-downs). Since, however, this is so obvious, chances are it is just for those who like to have fun flying.

Most of the cartel’s planes were piloted by high-ranking officers of the Mexican Air Force. One of the pilots was arrested in April 2008 and extradited to the United States two years later, where he pleaded guilty to the charges against him in a Texas court.

Jorge Kessler

A Mexican and German national Jorge Arévalo Kessler, 44, studied aviation at a military school in Jalisco. He declared during his trial that greed made him one of the cartel’s highest ranking pilots.

Arévalo, along with two graduates from the Defense Secretariat aviation school, Alejandro Flores Cacho and Ricardo García Sánchez, began trafficking illegal drugs between South America and Mexico as early as 2003. The other two men remain fugitives.

Jorge Gustavo Arevalo-Kessler’s career flying planes for the Sinaloa Cartel’s private airline ended with an arrest in Mexico City and an admission of guilt before a U.S. federal judge.

German by birth, Arevalo-Kessler became a Mexican citizen and rose to the rank of captain in the Mexican air force, where he worked as an instructor and trained hundreds of pilots. His post-military career was quite different.

He received an offer to fly for Emirates Airlines and could have retired with a pension. Instead, he went to work for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman and flew bundles of cash and cocaine to and from Venezuela, Panama and Mexico. “He has had so many privileges given to him because of his education and his ability to fly the planes,” U.S. District Judge Gray Miller said during Arevalo-Kessler’s sentencing. “I mean, he’s flown fighter pilot — or piloted fighter planes. He’s flown commercial jets, small and large. Unfortunately, like he said, he was blinded by the greed and got himself in the situation that he got himself into.”

He is the nephew of a long-time Mexican Secretary of Defense, and was the personal pilot of disgraced former Mexican President Carlos Salinas.

His American connections are visible too. When finally arrested, Arévalo Kessler was flying a former U.S. military plane that was part of the 1990’s Forest Service scandal,  involving planes intended for firefighting diverted into CIA covert drug running operations, the most spectacular result being the C-130 busted on a runway at Mexico City’s Intl Airport carrying cocaine worth $1 billion.

Kessler’s American connections are visible too. When finally arrested, Arévalo Kessler was flying a former U.S. military plane that was part of the 1990’s Forest Service scandal,  involving planes intended for firefighting diverted into CIA covert drug running operations, the most spectacular result being the C-130 busted on a runway at Mexico City’s International Airport carrying cocaine worth $1 billion.

Or maybe the most spectacular result was this: 14 firefighters burned to death in an out-of-control forest fire in Colorado in August of 1994. No planes were available to help. They’d all been leased out on more lucrative assignments.

Arevalo-Kessler received 11 years in federal prison on charges of conspiring to engage in money laundering. He only had a few words in response, according to a transcript of the 2011 trial which was unsealed last year.

“And all these black days, I have thinking I’m — I’m praying and I just asking the Lord to get — be near and speak with truth,” Arevalo-Kessler said. “And the only thing I want to let you know, Your Honor, is that I have time to think about what I did. What I did — I did was wrong. “