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Akumal murder victim

unofficially identified

Family seeks funds for return of remains

By Staff

The remains of a woman who was murdered reportedly in Akumal in mid-April and her body dismembered has been unofficially identified as that of Loriane “Lori” Archambault, 36, believed to be a native of the Montreal, Canada, area. While she was believed by police to be a resident of Akumal, informal sources there told the Pelican she was unknown to most residents and was thought to have relocated from Cabo San Lucas just a month or so before her death.

Akumal residents have been questioning why the police and/or the local press have dropped mention of the crime after the initial report and the discovery of the victim’s remains in two suitcases abandoned at a tourist-van stop in Playa del Carmen.

The initial report in the local newspapers also noted the police considered the victim’s then-unidentified man friend and co-worker, who has subsequently and unofficially been identified as Hugo Vergara Rangel, as a person of interest in the case. There has been no further mention as to suspects or whether an arrest has been made. “It’s disconcerting that the local press has mentioned nothing – custody or not?” noted one resident concerned about a possible killer on the loose.

A source from this area who has contact with the victim’s former co-workers in Cabo, said it is generally believed the victim relocated to Akumal at the urging of Vergara to join him in selling time shares or otherwise working at an area hotel.

A web search by the Pelican found a site requesting donations on Gofundme.com for the return of Ms. Archambault’s remains to Canada from Cancun, an expensive proposition requiring some $25,000, according to the site set up by family friend and emergency contact Lee Anne Lane.

Lane said she was notified by a “Niagara Regional police officer” of Ms. Archambault’s death on April 21, five days after the remains were discovered on April 16. S said Ms. Archambault had lived and worked in Cabo since 2005.


Gulf to open gas stations in June,

some outlets offering self-serve

By Staff
The Gulf brand is ready to open gasoline stations in Mexico in June, possibly offering the US standard “self-serve” option and bringing an end to the national Pemex monopoly of its nearly 11,000 stations nationwide. It is not immediately known when any of the new outlets will reach the Yucatan Peninsula.

Opening the nation’s energy market to competition and foreign investment is directed by 2014 legislation inviting not only gasoline distributors from foreign countries but also foreign investment in oil exploration and production.

As far as gasoline stations are concerned, the government is opening 50 percent of that market to foreign bidders including such brands as Shell, Texaco, Exxon Mobile Chevron and others that have already expressed interest in the lease process.

Sergio de la Vega, director general of the Mexican subsidiary of Gulf, said the company plans to have at least 100 stations operating by the time, estimated to be in 2018, that competition is in full play.

Snowbirds and ex-pats locally are already expressing confidence that along with foreign competition will come an end to certain practices by some Pemex stations that short-changed consumers.

The Roundup…

Compiled by staff
Payments and questions concerning the Aguas del Caribe water and sewer concession in Puerto Aventuras can be made as of May 9 on the first floor of the Fideicomiso headquarters in the Isla Building adjacent to the Chac Hal Al complex between 9 a.m. and noon Mondays through Fridays. Payments are accepted at a first-floor window by Ms. Karla Marin.

A Colorado judge agreed to a postponement of a court appearance May 4 for George W. Bowen, a fugitive who was arrested here after a wanted poster mysteriously appeared in the community. He faces charges of defrauding a number of Colorado residents. A time-share sales business operated by him had relocated recently to Puerto Aventuras and is now closed. (Background  in previous editions.) 

The municipal building codes need updating according to the president of the Mayan Riviera College of Architects, to keep up with modern times and rapid development. Code  enforcement is also suggested since previous illegal and health-threatening code infractions such as buried gas lines between walls and floors of some Puerto Aventuras condo complexes were allowed to continue unnoticed by inspectors…

Cuban competition is getting some notice from Maya Riviera tourism officials as the US market provided Cuba with its first cruise ship of tourists last week after 38 years. The tourism result of the US and Cuban rapprochement has already caused overbooked hotels as travelers were greeted with rum drinks and salsa dancers. Cause for worry here is that, according to the Associated Press, cruises are expected to generate tens of millions in foreign currency to Cuba that might otherwise have gone to the Mayan Riviera and Cozumel…

Cartel boss “El Chapo” was secretly transferred to a less-secure prison in Ciudad Juarez last week, just  across the border from El Paso, Texas, spurring two schools of thought: One is that he was being set up for another escape and the other, that an extradition transfer to the US to face multiple criminal charges in multiple states was imminent…

The Mexican Army plans to keep troops patrolling the streets of Mexico until such time as local and federal law enforcement units are able to get a better handle on controlling crime. Some of these troops have been periodically deployed in Playa del Carmen and in the Puerto Aventuras area… A joint venture by US Delta Airline and Aeromexico concerning flights between the two countries has been approved by the Mexican government with stipulations on the number of landing slots at the Mexico City airport…

Long day, short pay – A bricklayer in the Riviera Maya earns between 350 and 400 pesos a day ($20-$23 USD) while an apprentice is paid 180 to 200 pesos ($10-11.50 USD). More construction projects that last longer – as much as a year or more on major hotel projects in the booming Riviera Maya – is why pay rates here are a bit higher than in Chetumal, the state capital, where journeymen earn what an apprentice does in this area…

Trivial pursuits

Sunday, May 22, at 4 p.m. at Latitude 20 Restaurant and Lounge with Shannon Rachynski. Proceeds go to the needy…

Cap’t Rick  Sportsfishing will again host several wounded warriors to participate as guests at the upcoming 12th annual Dave Harris Memorial fishing tournament on May 21.

Art exhibition of ipad and oil paintings by local artist Adam James Butcher will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. May 14 at the Puerto Aventuras Art and Information Center at the junction of Bahias Xcacel and Yanten. Ten percent of sales for the evening will be donated to the award-winning youth sailing club. Coming soon to the center is a book containing the works of the late Michel Brown who was for many years a resident here showing his work to strollers along the popular Dolphin Walk on Sundays, a practice by Brown and other artists that is missed…

While dates are uncertain,  also coming up soon is the opening of La Europea wine and liquor store under construction adjacent to the main-gate entrance and behind the Pemex gasoline station; updating of  main gate landscaping, lighting and traffic flow; location and design of a potential doggie park. Also, a hoped-for removal by CFE of an electrical wire over an area of the Phase 4 canal that is preventing access of larger boats to the docks of people who purchased lots there; the start of condo projects at the Phase 4 entrance and creation of more much-needed golf-cart parking in Centro…

Nature Watch…

PA’s Dolphin Discovery announces

birth of 2 healthy manatee calves

Human care extends life, stalls extinction

By Dolphin Discovery
The community of Puerto Aventuras has once again witnessed the birth of two manatees, the first one on March 20th from Dorothy and Pablo, the second on April 10th from Julieta. Pablo is the resident male manatee in Puerto Aventuras and was transferred here from the Aquarium of Veracruz as part of the “interchange of the genetic diversity program “ between the aquarium and Dolphin Discovery.

The calves, which soon will be named, include a female and male, each weighing around 33 pounds. During the first three weeks of life, the newborns were breast-fed every 30 minutes, rapidly gaining weight and consistently growing until they weigh as much as their family members and other companions of the lagoon. The natural lagoon of Dolphin Discovery in Puerto Aventuras hosts three adult manatees, the aforementioned Julieta, Dorothy and Pablo, plus two other calves, Conchis and Clau, that were  born in 2015.

The birth of a manatee is an important achievement since they are an endangered species. Eight out of the combined 16 manatees that live at various Dolphin Discovery dolphinariums were born in captivity while the rest have been rescued.

Manatees are herbivores and the mothers, such as Julieta and Dorothy, eat up to 132 pounds of lettuce a day when breast-feeding. This means they eat two tons of lettuce every month in addition to a varied diet of fruits and vegetables. The gestation period  of manatees exceeds a year, and they are close relatives of the pachyderms. Births are natural and exit tail first 90% of the time. Reproduction of manatees, like other species, is synonymous with well-being and tranquility.

With proper care, manatees can achieve a lifespan of 50 to 60 years in the care of humans, unlike the more rapid death rate of manatees in the wild.  Experts say that survival of manatees in their wild habitat is threatened by the pressure of human activity among other reasons,  as on the crowded rivers of Florida where manatees are constantly injured by propeller blades of boats passing overhead. The manatee could be extinct in a matter of several decades.

The newborn manatees can be viewed along the dolphin walk at Dolphin Discovery Puerto Aventuras alongside sea lions and dolphins. Other dolphinariums from the group that have manatees are in Isla Mujeres, Cozumel and Dreams Hotel of Puerto Aventuras.




Mexico on right track

in post-petroleum era

Successful government policies

will help ride out the storm

By Glen Olives Thompson
Mexico News Daily |

  The standard view among experts in world energy markets for at least a half-century has been that demand for oil and other non-renewable energy sources such as coal and natural gas would continue to rise as supplies inevitably declined, eventually culminating in a worldwide energy crisis, political disruption, and even wars.

Books have been written about this as well as countless essays and white papers, and only god knows how many survival shelters have been built  in anticipation of the coming collapse.

But then something funny happened on the way to the apocalypse. Back on June 16, 2013, in Germany, of all places. It was a sunny, windy Sunday. Wind and solar farms were almost literally bursting with energy and the grid was in danger of overloading.

Free renewable energy, of course, had priority and grid managers had to make a decision. Energy market prices went briefly negative. So brown coal energy producers, instead of selling their power, had to pay the grid managers to take their electricity. It was an ominous portent.

This anomaly was reported in The Economist, but nobody paid much attention. Crude was selling at US $98 a barrel, a near record high. Investment in non-traditional energy extraction in the U.S. and Canada, such as fracking and exploitation of shale fields, was pouring in.

Energy independence! A new energy economy! Jobs! Prosperity! Irrational exuberance, as it turns out. Oil prices are now hovering between US $30 and $45 per barrel. Bankruptcies and bad loans among American and Canadian upstart energy producers are mounting, hundreds of billions of dollars in new investment have been erased, and the Dakotas are looking more and more like a wasteland of rusting rigs and broken dreams.

What happened?

Renewable green energy production worldwide finally got its footing, shale field production in the U.S. grew almost exponentially, Iraqi oil output expanded to record highs, Iran returned to the global oil market after sanctions were lifted and, most recently, the Saudis, who can produce oil at a cost of US $3 per barrel, have rejected an agreement to freeze production levels in the hope of punishing competitors like the U.S. and Iran while weathering the storm (a perfect storm, as it turns out).

We are living in a post-petroleum era. The game has changed, and despite taking a hit, Mexico is poised to not only ride out the storm, but surf the waves.

Yes, Mexico’s economy has traditionally depended on oil production as a major source of revenue. But that is only one cylinder of a six-cylinder engine (an imperfect analogy, but bear with me). There’s also increasing manufacturing, tourism, services, remittances and, of course, the black market drug trade.

The fuel injector, if you will, on that first cylinder isn’t working at capacity, but the others will keep the engine plugging along at a rate of 3% GDP growth per year – not too shabby, even in the best of circumstances.

Other less diverse Latin American economies that depend disproportionately on oil revenue, such as Brazil and Venezuela, by comparison, are in freefall and widespread civil unrest is becoming an increasing problem.

Yes, Mexico took a punch on the kisser, to be sure, but it then parried, didn’t panic and caught its breath. The value of the peso plummeted, but the current Mexican administration acted responsibly and prudently. It slashed public spending and initiated a package of measures to ameliorate the peso’s decline.

It worked. The peso has stabilized, inflation is well below GDP growth, and the economy continues to power through the gears of the global economic transmission.

Since writing “Mexico: rising sun of the Americas” a year ago, I’ve had reasons to doubt my sanguine conclusions and analysis, as a lot of negative news has eclipsed the pockets of good things happening.

But having reread that piece, and analyzed Mexico’s response to the end of the oil era, I remain convinced that the fundamentals remain in place for Mexico to not only survive, but also thrive, in an increasingly volatile global economy.

Glen Olives Thompson is a professor of North American Law at La Salle University in Chihuahua, a specialist in law and public policy and a regular contributor to Mexico News Daily.

PRODUCTION DEADLINES: The Pelican Free Press encourages and welcomes public announcements of events and activities. The deadline for publication during our monthly schedule is the last week of the previous month. Thank you.

The End – Previous edition below

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