The Latest: Taxi driver in ‘caravan’ fears El Salvador gangs

04/25/2018 ABC News

By Toksave

The father of two young girls from El Salvador says President Trump’s criticism about a caravan of asylum seekers raises doubts in his mind whether he will succeed in winning U.S. asylum but still plans to try.

Taxi driver Jovanne Torres was in Tijuana Wednesday with his wife and daughters ages 4 and 10 months after arriving in a bus that makes up part of the caravan Trump has called a threat to the U.S.

They plan to seek asylum on Sunday at a San Diego border crossing.

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Mexico pledges $4.3 million effort to stop Tijuana spills

03/26/2018 The Washington Post

border usa mexicoMexico is pledging to spend $4.3 million to clean the Tijuana river channel after two California cities sued a U.S. agency over the decades-old problem of sewage fouling U.S. wetlands and beaches.

Mexico’s National Water Commission said Monday it will strengthen and clean overflow channels and drains, to prevent sewage and garbage from flowing into the Pacific near the U.S. border. It also will renovate pumping stations and electrical components to carry the runoff to treatment plants.

The California cities of Imperial Beach and Chula Vista and the Port of San Diego contend the International Boundary and Water Commission’s U.S. section failed to comply with the federal Clean Water Act.

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Tijuana sewage spills have been an environmental problem for decades so what’s the solution?

03/25/2018 The San Diego Union-Tribune

ocean waves and beachThere was not a cloud in sight on this winter morning as surfers rode the waves south of the U.S. border fence, off of Playas de Tijuana. Anna Lucía López Avedoy stood on the street above, focusing instead on the stream pouring from a storm drain, splashing down a small rocky cliff, trickling down the sand and finally into the Pacific Ocean.

“This is not rain water, this is not water that should be running through a storm drain,” said López, a former Tijuana lifeguard who teaches a class in ecology to tourism students at Tijuana’s largest public university, the Autonomous University of Baja California. “I think it’s time we highlight the situation.”

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Tijuana’s resurgence of homicides subject of USD policy brief

02/06/2018 – The San Diego Union-Tribune


By Toksave

The expansion into Tijuana of a new drug trafficking group, the Cartel Nueva Generacion Jalisco, is a key factor in explaining the city’s record number of homicides in 2017, according to a paper released Monday by the Justice in Mexico project at the University of San Diego.

Citing numbers obtained from the Baja California State Secretariat for Public Security, the study reports 1,780 homicide victims in 2017; the Baja California Attorney General’s Office has reported 1,744. In either case, Tijuana had more homicides that any other city in Mexico last year.

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New Uber Service in San Diego Crosses Mexican Border

3/18/16 NBC New York

uberUber unveiled a new feature of its popular ride service in San Diego Thursday: the company will offer one-way rides across the U.S.-Mexico border, from San Diego to Tijuana.

The service is called UberPASSPORT and promises to make that trip to Mexico “hassle-free.”

The company says it chose to launch the service in San Diego due to the city’s proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border and the frequent use of the border crossing.

The service officially launches on Friday, March 18.

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Tijuana turns to Bus Rapid Transit

10/24/2015  The San Diego Union-Tribune 

— Given a choice, few passengers would willingly board Tijuana’s rag-tag fleet of multi-colored buses that crowd the city’s major thoroughfares. Riders complain they’re old, inefficient, slow, uncomfortable — and expensive. They say that service can be spotty, unsafe, and at rush hour overcrowded.

Now, after years of false starts, Tijuana is moving forward on a major overhaul of its public transportation system, often criticized as serving political interests rather than its 1 million daily users. Next fall, a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is expected to start service to some 300,000 passengers a day, the first step in a plan that aims to modernize public transportation in the entire city.

Passengers will pay through Smart Cards, and for a single fare of about 14 pesos — less than a dollar — they’ll be able to transfer without extra charge. The service will be safer, cheaper, faster, and more comfortable, city officials say, with stations offering free internet service. The system will create new economic zones along the way, they hope, as people invest in shops, restaurants and other businesses.

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The first suspected narcotunnel found since El Chapo’s escape has all the hallmarks of Mexico’s top cartel

8/5/15 Business Insider

Map_Downtown_Tijuana_Northern_Baja_California_MexicoThe tunnel is roughly 19 feet deep, 5.5 feet high, and over 400 feet long, and it bears all the signs of the famously subterranean Sinaloa cartel and its leader, “Lord of the Soil” Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán. According to Spanish newspaper El País, the tunnel was discovered by Mexico authorities on June 30, but details were only released on Sunday. No arrests have been made.

The entrance on the Mexican side was located in a warehouse emblazoned with the name Importadora y Exportadora Hega, a company about which internet searches turned up little. (According to El País, googling the company shows that it does cemetery construction.) The passageway, which had not been completed, connected the US and Mexico at a point near the busy border crossing at Garita de San Ysidro, near the city of Tijuana and across the border from San Diego.

The tunnel had light fixtures as well as rail track. Though its exact purpose and designers remain unknown, it is suspected that it was built to smuggle drugs.

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