US authorities find major cross-border ‘narco-tunnel’ to Mexico

Tunnel from Tijuana to San Diego had rail and ventilation systems, electricity and reinforced walls, authorities say.

Date: May 17th, 2022

Source: Al Jazeera English

Authorities in the United States have announced the discovery of a major drug smuggling tunnel that extends from Mexico to a warehouse in an industrial area in the US state of California.

The secret passage from Tijuana to San Diego featured rail and ventilation systems, electricity and reinforced walls, authorities said on Tuesday.

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Immigration Reform: Transgender Immigrants Skeptical Of New Detention Guidelines Designed To Protect Them

7/9/15 International Business Times

Photo by Andrew Bardwell from Cleveland, Ohio, USA, WikiCommonsJessycka Lettona describes most of her life as lonely, having grown up in Guatemala with a sexual orientation and gender identification that set her apart from most people around her. But the most recent chapter of her life, immigrating to the United States, began with a particularly isolating experience: spending seven months in a men’s immigration detention facility as a transgender woman. “It was a very ugly experience. It was a nightmare,” she said.

From October 2014 to May 2015, Lettona, 27, was detained in Florence, Arizona, and later in Santa Ana, California, after entering the U.S. in a bid for asylum. Fear seized her for those seven months while she endured groping, jeers and verbal harassment on a regular basis.

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Texas Plan to Execute Mexican May Harm U.S. Ties Abroad, Kerry Says

TexasThe New York Times, 12/11/2013

The scheduled execution next month of a Mexican national by the State of Texas threatens to damage relations between the United States and Mexico and complicate the ability of the United States to help Americans detained overseas, Secretary of State John F. Kerry has warned Texas officials.

The Mexican, Edgar Arias Tamayo, 46, was convicted of shooting and killing a Houston police officer who was taking him to jail after a robbery in 1994. Mr. Tamayo, who was in the nation illegally, was not notified of his right to contact the Mexican Consulate, in violation of an international treaty known as the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. That violation, an international tribunal’s order for his case to be reviewed and a judge’s recent decision to set Mr. Tamayo’s execution for Jan. 22, are now at the center of a controversy that has attracted the attention of the State Department and the Mexican government.

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Supporters of Mérida cite successes from aid package

Mexican engineersThe Texas Tribune, 12/9/2013

Criticism of the Mérida Initiative wasn’t on Alejandro Matamoros’ mind recently when he spoke about his passion for teaching how to mix hip-hop tracks and how it helps his at-risk students express how they view Mexico after years of bloodshed.

And controversy surrounding the estimated $1.5 billion aid package from the U.S. to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean wasn’t evident during an after-school program in this city’s Felipes Angeles colonia. The children here squealed in delight during dance lessons, where the featured music was a Chipmunks-like rendition of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”

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In Bed with the Bully: Consensual U.S. Surveillance in Mexico – Op ed

President Obama visits Mexico President Enrique Pena NietoNorth American Congress on Latin America, 11/07/2013

The revelations leaked by Edward Snowden that the NSA committed acts of espionage against top Mexican officials and the president himself have so far provoked only mild indignation from the Mexican political class. Secretary of Foreign Affairs José Antonio Meade appeared to be reassured by President Obama’s ‘word’ that he would launch an investigation into the workings of the U.S. government. Notwithstanding the incongruity that any government investigating its own internal wrongdoing would have any interest in publicizing conclusive evidence of its own criminal activity, President Peña Nieto has been reluctant to push the Obama administration further on the issue, presumably for fear of undermining Mexico’s position as a staunch U.S. economic and political ally.

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Mexico’s Energy Reform: Opportunities for the United States – Op Ed

energy - oil barrelsInternational Affairs Review, 11/05/2013

Energy reform would positively affect Mexico’s economy and upstream oil production capacity, strengthen U.S. energy security, and provide greater opportunities for energy development and trade in North America.

Mexican oil production has been steadily decreasing since 2004, mostly due to aging oil fields, years of underinvestment, and diminishing returns for the nation’s largest oil field, Cantarell. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates Mexican oil production will continue to decline over the next decade, assuming no dramatic changes in policy or technology. President Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) introduced an energy reform proposal in August 2013 aimed at attracting greater investment from foreign companies to help boost oil production and build a stronger economy. His proposal includes constitutional amendments that would allow PEMEX to undergo profit-sharing contracts with private companies without affording them concessions. The Mexican oil industry would look similar to those of Brazil and Norway, which have state-owned companies that welcome foreign capital to invest in exploring and developing their fields. Experts suggest the administration has the necessary votes to pass legislation for constitutional change, but Peña Nieto is facing considerable opposition from a public that is skeptical of privatization and his greater reform agenda.

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Calderon: Reported US Spying an ‘Insult’ to Mexico

calderonThe New York Times, 10/21/2013

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Monday that the spying the U.S. reportedly did on his presidential email system was an affront to Mexican institutions that should be addressed by current Mexico authorities.

“This is an insult to the country’s institutions, more than to a person, since this was done when I was president of the republic,” Calderon wrote in a tweet.

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Bill Seeks to Allow Drilling Near US Mexico Maritime Border

energy -drilling_platform_in_seaRigzone, 4/22/13

A legislative hearing will take place Thursday in Washington D.C. as lawmakers consider a bill that would lift the current moratorium on drilling along the U.S.-Mexico maritime border in the Gulf of Mexico.

H.R. 1613, the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement Authorization Act, would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and implement the terms of the U.S.-Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Reservoirs Agreement. That agreement, signed in February 2012 by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Patricia Espinosa Castellano at the G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, would govern development of shared oil and natural gas resources in the U.S. Gulf between the United States and Mexico maritime border.

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Real-time mapping of US-Mexico border crossing wait times

globe - pointing to South America4/2/2013

Using data from the US Customs and Border Protection agency, this map app plots border crossing points along the US-Mexico and US-Canada borders, indicating estimated wait times as reported by commuters crossing the border. Information is updated hourly.

Click here to view the map…

McCain, 3 other senators to tour US-Mexico border ahead of immigration reform debate

john mccain by marcnThe Washington Post, 3/27/2013

A group of U.S. senators who will be influential in shaping and negotiating details of an immigration reform package is traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona to get a firsthand look at issues affecting the region. Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona were expected to tour the border Wednesday with Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Michael Bennet of Colorado. They are all members of the so-called Gang of Eight — a bipartisan group that has spent recent weeks trying to craft proposed immigration legislation.

The trip comes as Congress is in recess and as the lawmakers wrap up a bill designed to secure the border and put 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship. President Barack Obama has urged Congress to pass immigration reform this year, and border security is critical to McCain and other Republicans who contend that some areas along the border are far from secure. “I wish every member of the United States Senate and Congress could see the border,” McCain told reporters in Phoenix on Monday. “Only when you can see the expanse, the difficulties and the challenges of the border, can you really appreciate the need for our border security.”

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