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September 2015:

Familiar sight takes flight


Some say Trump the man to beat

By Staff
Clown Prince Donald Trump, the prime entertainer of the 2016 US presidential race so far, is drawing mixed reviews from Mexicans, some who see him as a crass buffoon heavy on insults with nary a grand design, and others who shrug and view his candidacy as a joke where serious discussion should be taking place concerning cross-border diplomacy.

The Trump Pinata Craze was launched in the border city of Reynosa by craftsman Dalton Avalos in a family workshop right after Trump’s tirade branding Mexicans as “rapists” and sprouting other insulting pejoratives. Reportedly, Avalos used extra layers of papier-mache so the effigy could be whacked “real hard.”

As the majority of their friends in el norte, most Mexicans see Trump as a self-aggrandizing blowhard who is everything but a serious contender for the US’s top job. On the positive side, though, Trump’s insensitive adjectives are spotlighting US voter fatigue with the Washington crowd’s  blather. Will the real candidates please stand.


Mexico’s heroin production rises

to meet demand from the US

By Staff
Death by overdose of heroin increased 175 percent in the United States between 2010 and 2014, the US Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports. Meanwhile, Mexico’s poppy growers, mostly in the violence-ridden state of Guerrero where 43 students went missing last year and presumed dead, have increased production to meet US demand for the illicit product by 50 percent in 2014. The CDC has labeled heroin use in the US as “epidemic.”

Increased use in the US is spread across men, women and age groups and income levels. The largest increase in use was from non-traditional addict groups such as women, the privately insured and people with higher incomes who are presumed smart enough to avoid addiction…but are not.

Meanwhile, doctors at the Providence Crosstown Clinic in Vancouver, Canada, are expected to be the first to offer prescribed heroin as a treatment for the addiction when other traditional remedies fail.


Calls for new Maya Riviera airport

revived after cave-in on the 307


By Staff
A roadway cave-in on Route 307 between Cancun and Playa del Carmen last week prompted a renewal of efforts to resume plans for a new airport serving the Riviera Maya and construction of an alternate seacoast route besides 307.


The sinkhole, presumably caused by an underground flow from a cenote or river, confounded traffic to and from the busy Cancun airport causing many visitors to miss their flights despite commendable response by the police and public works to set up detours and repair the roadway.

Repair was accomplished in 24 hours. At least two injuries were reported while one pickup truck barely avoided being swallowed by the hole left in the highway. Two people on a motorcycle were injured because of the road collapse. Laudable efforts by airport and airline personnel also were noted in helping passengers and airlines link up with later flights.

Spokesmen for businesses and hotel associations in particular said the event underscores the importance of resuming federal efforts to build an airport in the Tulum area – a planned project that was scuttled last year by  President Pena Nieto’s administration in favor of another airport in Mexico City.

Manuel Paredes Mendoza, executive director of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association, pointed out that the Riviera Maya has 10,000 more hotel rooms in the aggregate than does the Cancun area, highlighting what the association says is a need for an expanded transportation infrastructure.


Commerce Corner…


Women wing it over Pacific;

feat sets a plane terrific record

By Staff
Aeromexico completed its first transcontinental flight with an all-female crew on Aug. 19 when the huge Boeing jet piloted by females made the record setting flight from Mexico City-Tijuana-Shanghai, a 15-hour jaunt over 11,049 kilometers (6,865 miles) with 170 passengers aboard.

In addition to a female pilot and two co-pilots, there were 10 stewardesses completing the crew of 13 on Aeromexico’s historic flight, which is intended to set the stage for a new norm of using female crews as part of regular operations. The flight was made with the agreement of the Association of Airline Pilots in Mexico and the Association of Flight Attendants (ASSA) of Mexico.

In another flight of fancy, the Mexican Air Force base on Cozumel – Island of the Swallows – will receive eight new and modern airplanes to replace the current Pilatus PC-7 and will be used to help control and combat organized crime, according to air force officials.

Mexico, Canada tell US

they fear Pacific Rim deal

Mexican and Canadian auto parts makers say they  are worried about the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact proposed by the US because it could negatively affect some one million workers in the two American nations.

They are concerned mostly with a concession sought by Japan that would allow Pacific Rim partners to ship Mexican and Canadian-made auto parts in Asian made cars to the US duty free despite substantial parts content from Mexico an Canada.

Ed Fast and Ildefonso Guajardo, Canadian and Mexican trade ministers, said they fear their respective sectors would suffer severe economic damage.

Agents representing the two countries’ manufacturing sectors issued a joint statement noting that: “If this provision were to come into force, our companies and workers would be placed in a competitively disadvantaged [position] in the North American market. [It] would seriously compromise our operations in the North American region, and we may be forced to significantly reduce our operations.”


Let the snowy north know

early that you’re waiting

It won’t hurt for the Mayan Riviera tourist industry to blanket the northeastern USA and nearby eastern Canada news outlets and internet social pipelines with the Farmer’s Almanac weather predictions for this coming winter.

The venerable 199-year-old almanac sees another “deja vu” winter blanketing states from Maine to Montana with piles and piles of  snow somewhat like the record-breaking 100 inches that buried Boston last winter.

How bad was it? Friends and acquaintances around Boston are already weighing get-way options. We tell them we think Jet Blue Airways has pretty decent fares for non-stop flights to Cancun out of Boston during the high season. We suggest they might want to consider a now escape to the Mayan Riviera where there are plenty of great villas, small and large and or(all inclusive hotels to choose from.

We suggest they start with Pelican Free Press sponsors Akumal Villas (see logos in left  hand column of this page), Roguez Realty and the unique Gaia Hotel in Tulum for great choices of shore-front villas that can be shared by families and friends. They all guarantee “no snow.”

And as luck would have it so far, Hurricanes Danny and Erika gave us a pass and forecasters don’t see much of a threat as the Atlantic hurricane season rolls gently by without any overt threats. Of course, weather is unpredictable to a degree. Plan accordingly.


Briefly Noted…

Umbrella time – The National Water Commission (Conagua) says September will be the wettest month of the year and that from the 15th of the month to Oct. 15 has the most potential period for a hurricane… Drug Stop – The US has sanctioned 15 Mexican businesses – one in Playacar – and six individuals for supporting a major drug cartel’s operations by laundering drug money. The action freezes assets held in the US and prohibits US firms from doing business with the companies and individuals… Meanwhile, US authorities implicated the Xaman Ha Center on Playa del Carmen Blvd., south of the Playa town center, as one of a number of businesses laundering drug money. Local businessmen here said it was a shame the illegal operation had to be routed by US rather than Mexican authorities…

While use of drones in this area has drawn a few complaints concerning invasion of privacy issues, Mexican authorities will be using them to guard against a reported increase in turtle-egg poaching… The peso hit its lowest point against the dollar last month at 17+ as authorities cautioned against increasing local prices for goods and services in deference to the local consumer… Akumal Bay was hit again with a major patch of sargassum recently just after cleaning up a previous invasion. Sargassum remains a problem to the point that a political party sponsored a contest offering a prize to whoever could remove the most sargassum in a given time period… Two 13-year-old girls visiting in Playacar last week were struck by lightning and died while on the beach. One other girl taken to a hospital survived…l

Rising profits – The Cancun area’s director of tourism reports the domestic tourist market grew from between 5 and 7 percent. Spending by that segment is about 38 percent of total tourist spending there…But small hotels saw a drop in business, some of it attributed to cancellations because of the sargassum invasion… Police recruits, male and female between the ages of 19 and 35 are being sought by the municipality as the municipal administration sustains courses for police to learn English and take continuing-ed courses at local schools… Compulsory medical checks for drug use will be made in November for some 500 drivers of public transport vehicles…

HIV cases in Playa del Carmen exceed the national average by five times, reports the Positive Life Association… PA poblado parents made their case when they blocked a teacher previously accused of raping a student in Playa del Carmen, from being transferred to a school in Puerto Aventuras poblado at the start of this school year… Employees burned when their Pepsi truck slammed into the concrete base of a sign at the Calica bridge a few miles north of Puerto Aventuras last week causing a fire. Two employees suffered major burns over 50 percent of their bodies. It was raining at the time, resulting in poor visibility – and reminding officials to assure continued lighting along 307’s black stretch from Akumal to Playa…

The federal consusmer protetion agency has conducted gasoline station inspections in Q. Roo and found  a small number of them falling short of proper “liter to liter” –or accurate – delivery of petrol to consumers, usually falling short of the paid-for amount either by design or malfunctioning pumps. Twelve locations were sanctioned in Q. Roo, but most of them in the Benito Juarez (Cancun), and Othon P. Blanco municipalities. None were reported in Solidarity…

Resurfacing of Arco Vial  roadway in Playa began last week and is slated to take three months to complete. Officials warn users of that roadway to leave early or use a detour of their choice… The second step up in the state’s minimum wage will rake effect in October with a slight increase to 70.10 pesos per day from 66. Inspectors will check to assure businesses meet the minimum pay or face fines up to 350 minimum wages… Reminders Drivers face fines for driving cars without liability insurance on federal highways… And – Licenses are now required for the practice of real estate business. Mexlaw in Playa del Carmen ( see logo on this page) has more information…


Nature Watch…

Not a Paamul Jack Photoshop joke!

And wait until you read

what happens next

By Staff

“Mommy, do goats grow on trees?”

“No, son. Wherever did you get that idea?”

The boy shows his mother the picture. She’s flabbergasted. It has to be Paamul Jack playing around with Photoshop again like he did with the crocodiles last April Fool’s Day, she thinks. (See April issue of Pelican Free Press).

Not so. It’s real..and these goats, looking every bit like branch managers, actually form a sort of sure-footed production line of grooming products. This photo was taken in the Moroccan village of Tamri where the agile goats perform a balancing act on narrow “argan tree” limbs to  access the argan fruit, which they obviously love to eat while performing their balancing feat.

But that’s not all there is.

After gorging on the argan fruit, the goats leave droppings under the tree containing the fruit’s seed. The seed kernels are collected, washed out (thoroughly one expects), ground and pressed to remove the argan seed oil…which is then used mainly as an ingredient in local culinary and cosmetic products. Moroccans dip breakfast bread in it, or spread it over couscous and other foodstuffs.

The oil is also gaining international favor as an ingredient in cosmetic products such as moisturizing creams and hair treatments, leaving us to muse about humans using oil from goat bottoms to groom the top of their heads. That’s nature for you.


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