Cuba and Mexico ratify their friendship

The governments of Cuba and Mexico ratified on Thursday the will to continue developing political-diplomatic dialogue and to broaden economic-commercial, investment, and cooperation relations.

Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez, confirmed this on Twitter, where he commented on the results of the 'cordial meeting' between the president of his country, Miguel Díaz-Canel, and his host Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

López Obrador welcomed the visitor in the Patio of Honor of the National Palace before holding a private meeting.

In his usual morning press conference, Lopez Obrador said that the visit by his Cuban counterpart was important 'because the Cuban people and the Mexican people are brothers'.

Shortly after arriving in the northern nation, Diaz-Canel expressed his joy for 'returning to the much-loved Mexico, a country so closely linked to the history of Cuba and of all Latin America', now as the new president of the Republic, after being elected last October 10.

The Cuban president was back in Havana in the early hours of Friday. He was welcomed at Jose Marti International Airport by Communist Party leder, Raul Castro.


  • Published in Cuba

Mexico convulsed by second mass shooting in two days

A gunfight between security forces and armed civilians in Mexico's southwestern state of Guerrero killed 15 people on Tuesday, authorities said, the second mass killing to shake the country in as many days.

Guerrero state public security spokesman Roberto Alvarez said 14 civilians and one soldier died in the shootout in the municipality of Tepochica, near Iguala, a city notorious for the 2014 disappearances of 43 student teachers.

A photograph of the aftermath seen by Reuters showed two slain civilians, one of them hanging limply off the side of a battered pick-up truck that had been riddled with bullets as security forces patrolled the area.

Defending his security strategy after suspected cartel gunmen killed 13 police a day earlier in the neighboring western state of Michoacan, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador blamed past administrations for Mexico's chronic violence.

However, the latest carnage is likely to increase pressure on Lopez Obrador to get a grip on a problem he pledged to tackle when he took office last December.

Guerrero and Michoacan are two of Mexico's most violent and lawless states, where rival drug gangs have battled to control smuggling routes to the Pacific and interior of the country.

The leftist Lopez Obrador told a news conference the ambush in Michoacan was "very regrettable" but reiterated that his commitment to greater spending on security and fighting the root causes of violence would eventually pay dividends.

"I'm optimistic we'll secure peace ... we're completely dedicated to this issue, but (past governments) allowed it to grow," said Lopez Obrador, who has criticized past efforts for taking a confrontational approach to battling crime.

Homicides in Mexico this year are on track to surpass last year's record.

Photos of the Michoacan crime scene on social media showed bullet-riddled police vehicles set on fire, as well as bodies of dead officers on the ground.

After taking office, Lopez Obrador created a militarized National Guard police force to contain the violence.

But many of the National Guard have instead been deployed to police Mexico's borders to placate U.S. President Donald Trump, who has threatened to impose tariffs if Lopez Obrador does not reduce the flow of U.S.-bound migrants from Central America.

The city of Iguala pitched Mexico's chronic security problems into the glare of international media after the 43 trainee teachers were abducted by a drug gang in cahoots with corrupt local police on the night of Sept. 26, 2014.

The resulting scandal battered the reputation of Mexico's former president and helped propel Lopez Obrador into office.

The last government said the drug gang killed and incinerated the youths, although investigators only ever definitively identified the remains of one of them. (Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz, David Alire Garcia, Abraham Gonzalez and Diego Ore; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Alistair Bell and Clarence Fernandez).

  • Published in World

Mexico: 4th Meeting of Cubans residing in Latin America & Caribbean (+Photo)

Delegates from 16 countries will come together this week in Mexico City to participate in the 4th Regional Meeting of Cubans Residing in Latin America and the Caribbean, sources from the Foreign Ministry reported.

The event will take place from October 18 to 20 and will address not only immigration issues, but also responds to the marked interest of Cuban nationals residing outside the country to achieve greater participation in the ongoing economic and social development processes in Cuba, Ernesto Soberon told Prensa Latina.

The director general of Consular Affairs and Cuban Residents Abroad (DACCRE) noted that the meeting will be held after 'a great leap in political terms: the participation, for the first time, of Cubans residing in other nations in the discussion of the draft of the new Constitution of the Republic.'

Through the Nation and Emigration website, opinions were submitted from 123 countries, 40 percent of which were reflected in the new approved constitutional text, he explained.

Soberon also stressed that there is an increase in the participation of Cubans located outside the island in exchange, cooperation, investment and business projects of different kinds, and predicted that in the future this would grow, especially at the local level.

In his opinion, the permanent and irreversible course of analysis and updating of migration policy has contributed to the strengthening of links with Cuban emigrees. Since this process began in 1978, 'No measure has constituted a setback; it has always been advancing, with greater or lesser speed,' he highlighted.

Regarding the upcoming Meeting, he insisted that the focus of debates will be this element of greater participation, while migration measures are being studied to solve the few pending issues that have yet to be resolved in this area.

During the encounter in the Mexican capital, other issues of interest to both parties will be addressed, such as the tightening of the US economic, financial and commercial blockade and its impacts; and an exchange on the best working practices of national associations of Cubans residing in Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • Published in Cuba

Migrant caravan gathers in southern Mexico on way to United States

Mexico City, October 14 (RHC)-- Several hundred migrants from Africa, the Caribbean and Central America set off from southern Mexico on Saturday in a caravan headed to the United States, according to local media.

The migrants assembled and departed before dawn from Tapachula in the southern state of Chiapas near Guatemala, despite an ongoing crackdown on migration on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.  They proceeded on foot toward Huixtla about 20 miles (32 km) away.

The scene was reminiscent of a string of caravans that left Central America a year ago, at one point ballooning into a group of 7,000 people in southern Mexico.  The en masse migration drew extensive media attention and triggered a crisis with U.S. President Donald Trump, who called the caravans an “invasion” and demanded Mexico do more to halt their progress.

Accompanied by police who warned truck drivers not to let migrants hitch rides, some in Saturday’s caravan said they planned to trek the hundreds of miles across Mexico and enter the United States.

Many in the group of as many as two thousand people wore baseball caps and bulky backpacks, Reuters photos showed.  Some migrants carried children on their shoulders, and one woman walked while balancing a pink bucket of belongings on her head.

The Mexican government in June struck a deal with the United States vowing to significantly curb U.S.-bound migration in exchange for averting U.S. tariffs on Mexican exports.

Arrests at the U.S.-Mexico border fell in September for the fourth month in a row, after record high crossings this Spring, and the Trump administration credited cooperation from Mexico and Central American countries for the sustained drop.

Edited by Ed Newman
  • Published in World

Thousands of children sent to Mexico to await outcome of asylum claims in U.S.

The U.S. government has placed more than 21,000 people in the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) and walked them over to Juarez since January, including more than 5,000 minors, Mexican officials reported on Friday.

However, only a fraction of those remain in this Mexican border city opposite El Paso, Texas, as many Central American and Cuban migrants have given up on their asylum petitions, are now pursuing them in other cities or have attempted to cross on their own, the officials said.

On Friday, London-based Reuters reported that the U.S. has placed more than 16,000 migrant minors in the MPP program, including 500 who were less than 1 year old.

Migrant advocates have decried the MPP program because most Central American families are unfamiliar with Mexico — where they must wait months for their next appointment in U.S. immigration courts — and border cities like Juarez, Tijuana, Nuevo Laredo and Matamoros are notorious for their high crime rates and drug cartel activity.

Advocates cited by Reuters also raised concerns over the coming flu season and the vulnerability of Central American families on the MPP program. In Juarez, authorities this summer sent medical personnel to migrant shelters to administer more than 1,700 flu shots and are still providing a 90-day “seguro popular,” or preventive health insurance to the migrants.

As of Thursday, the Chihuahua state Migrant Assistance Center next to the Mexican side of the Paso del Norte Bridge had recorded the arrival of 21,150 non-Mexicans from the United States. Of those 5,499 were minors ranging in age from a few months to 17 years old.

But the numbers have been dwindling, recently, said Dirving Garcia Gutierrez, coordinator of the center. “Few Central Americans are coming (to Juarez) any more. Now we’re getting a lot of Mexicans” and they’re not part of MPP, he said.

In fact, only 1,567 Central Americans, Cubans and citizens of countries other than Mexico remain in Juarez’s shelters. On Thursday, only five foreigners — three Cubans and two Hondurans — came to the Migrant Assistance Center to sign up for appointments in El Paso to seek asylum in the United States, Garcia said. The Juarez center is managing the asylum waiting list on behalf of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Officials like Garcia say they spent the summer working seven days a week due to the continuous arrival of thousands of migrants on their way to the United States. The numbers dropped dramatically after the Mexican government deployed its new National Guard to the border with Guatemala and began enforcing its own, stringent immigration laws.

The Juarez migrant center is still teeming with people, but now it’s Mexican citizens fleeing drug violence in the countryside.
Mexican migrants confound their own government

More than 100 people sit or lay on the sidewalk of a side street leading to the Paso del Norte Bridge and the promise of the American Dream.

The pavement is cold as temperatures have dropped into the 60s overnight. Mexican families that a few days ago struggled to find respite from 90-degree temperatures are now donning donated socks and jackets.

Cecilia A., a mother of two, is among them. She says her family fled the Western state of Jalisco after one of her brothers and her nephew were murdered and another brother disappeared.

“Vagrants killed my brother. My nephew was killed coming out of a party. He called us to say some people had left him next to a bridge. We went to look for him but couldn’t find him. The next morning we found the body. He was beaten to death,” she said as she huddled with one of her daughters on a sidewalk.

The mother of two, who asked that her full name and hometown not be used, said she is hoping to apply for asylum in the United States. When asked when she would be presenting her claim, she directed

BorderReport.Com to a man in a jacket and baseball cap who is keeping track of the list. BorderReport.Com couldn’t talk to the man because he was being questioned by Juarez police at the time.

Garcia of the Migrant Assistance Center said his agency will not manage a waiting list for Mexican asylum seekers as it does for Central Americans and others. He explained intricacies in Mexican law that forbid impediments to the free travel of its citizens, including placing them on waiting lists.

The center is, however, providing whatever humanitarian assistance it can and offering to bus the people sleeping near the Paso del Norte Bridge to Juarez shelters. On Friday, dozens of Mexicans with children and travel bags received free meals at the center, courtesy of a Protestant church.

“We saw the need since last month and got involved. We’re here Monday through Friday providing between 150 and 180 meals,” said Oliver Luna, youth leader at Centro Mundial Amor Eterno church.

Luna said he’s heard stories from the migrants about the hardships that drove them to the border. But what strikes him the most is that their own government will not help them.

“They’re on the sidewalk all day, enduring the rain and the heat, and now the cold nights are coming,” Luna said. “The government has resources, they could be helping them, too, but they are being insensible. … That’s why people like us have to come in from the outside to help.”

  • Published in World

Mexico reveals roster for Premier12 global battle

Group A host team and world No. 6 Mexico announced the final roster for the II WBSC Premier12 2019, the biggest international baseball event of the year and qualifier for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Mexico skipper Juan Gabriel Castro included 14 pitchers (five of them left-handed), two catchers, eight infielders and four outfielders on the roster.

Castro’s goal is not only advance to the Super Round but also win the last game of the Premier12 on 17 November at Tokyo Dome. “Our mentality is to win the title in Japan, it must be everyone’s mentality”, Castro told reporters. “I can’t guess the final result; what we can do is to get ready and prepare the best way we possibly can”.

Two members of the 2019 Mexican National Team that finished fourth place in the first edition of the Premier12. Left-handed pitcher Brennan Bernardino made three appearances in 2015, saving 2 games (against Venezuela and Canada). In 5.2 innings of work, he didn’t give up a single run, with 4 hits, 1 walk and 7 strikeouts. In addition, Juan Perez played Mexico’s eight games, as a shortstop and center field. He led the Mexican offensive batting .348 with a homer, 3 RBI and 4 runs.

Mexico will begin the WBSC Premier12 on 2 November at Estadio de Beisbol Charros de Jalisco as host of Group A, alongside No. 2 USA, No. 8 Netherlands and No. 12 Dominican Republic.

“I think we have a good opportunity to advance to the next round with this team, managing our pieces”, added Castro. “We know that USA; the Netherlands and the Dominican Republic will come well prepared too, but our goal is not only Jalisco, our goals are also Japan and next year’s Olympic Games”.

On 26-27 October, Mexico will face No. 9 Venezuela to tune-up for Premier12, in the “Giants of Latin America” series. The two games will be held at the Hermanos Serdan Stadium in Puebla.

  • Published in Sports

José José Cremated in Florida Amid Family Drama Between His 3 Children

José José has been cremated, nearly two weeks after his death.  

The Príncipe de la Canción (The Prince of Song) died on Sept. 28, after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. According to multiple reports, the late singer was cremated on Tuesday in Miami, Florida. Telemundo reports that José José's ashes will be divided among his three children -- Marysol and José Joel from his second marriage to Ana Elena Noreña and Sarita from his third to Sara Salazar.

José José will be honored in a special memorial in Mexico City on Wednesday, where a portion of his ashes will be displayed for his fans and family to pay tribute.

It's been an uphill battle for Marysol and José Joel, who tried to prevent their father's cremation. The brother and sister wanted the singer's body to be present for the Mexican memorial service and to be laid to rest in his native country. José Joel even pleaded to his late father's wife, Salazar, and his step-sister a day before the cremation during an interview with Univision to stop the process and let his body rest in Mexico.

Hundreds of fans gathered on Sunday to honor the "El Triste" singer in Miami. It was a closed casket memorial. On Tuesday, it was revealed that José José's body was not in the casket during the memorial, as it was still at the morgue.

Since the singer's passing, many fans and celebrities have paid tribute to José José. Marco Antonio Solis even honored the singer during his concert at the Hollywood Bowl over the weekend.

José José became a household name in 1971 after winning over audiences with his rendition of Roberto Cantoral’s song "El Triste" at a renowned music festival in Mexico.

Over the course of his career, which spanned five decades, he sold over 120 million records -- making him one of the most successful Latin American singers in history, and was, without a doubt, one of the most beloved figures in Mexican music.

  • Published in Culture

Legendary Mexican crooner José José dies from cancer

Local media outlets are reporting that legendary Mexican crooner José José, known as the “Prince of Song,” has died from pancreatic cancer. He was 71.

Multiple outlets said Saturday the singer known for sad love songs had died at a hospital in South Florida.

José José, whose real name is José Rómulo Sosa Ortiz, climbed to the top of the Latin charts in the 1970s slow ballads like “El Triste” or “The Sad Man,” and “Almohada” or “Pillow.” The power of his voice and ability to sing technically difficult tunes at a high register made him a treasured cultural icon in Latin America.

His music also became popular in non-speaking countries such as Japan and Russia. 

  • Published in Culture
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