Friday, July 4, 2008

The good and the bad in Baja news

Since first learning of the Villages of Loreto Bay a year ago, George and I have spent an inordinate amount of time searching the Internet for news of the development and the surrounding area. It's an addiction and a cure isn't likely until we move down there next winter! For the most part, the news is positive and such is the case with a recent article that appeared on the site.

Written by English-born Tony Burton, who specializes in covering ecotourism and natural history in Mexico, the article is a generally favorable look at the Villages and appears to have been penned this past winter. Here's the link:

The only inaccuracy we could find in the story was the reference indicating that construction on the wind turbine project is set to begin this year. According to David Veniot's recent sustainability update posted on the official Loreto Bay homeowner's site on June 20, that project is still on hold.

Otherwise, it's another positive look at Loreto Bay. And it's got some nice photos, too.

We came across the mexconnect site early on in our searches and have found it to be a very useful site loaded with lots of relevant info, including a series of articles on different types of Mexican visas and what's necessary to obtain them. The site offers a one-week free trial and membership at only $30 a year thereafter.

As a former newspaper editor and reporter, I also keep tabs on Baja through The Gringo Gazette, two different English-language newspapers, one of which covers northern Baja, while the other focuses on southern Baja. Although there has been some coverage of the Loreto area, the middle part of Baja isn't a priority for either of these publications. For that reason, I haven't bothered to subscribe to either one but some articles are available online without paying a subscription fee.

The northern version, which doesn't appear to be published on a regular basis, has lots of scary news about border problems, specifically the ongoing drug wars between Mexican police and drug lords. Larger border towns, including Rosarito, Juarez (across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas) and Tijuana are particular trouble spots.

On a personal note, I'm reluctant to continue having dental work done across the border after recent events in tiny Palomas, a short walk across the border from equally tiny Columbus, New Mexico. For the past year, I've been making the four-hour drive there for dental work and I've been very pleased with the results and the cost. But since the first of the year, there has been an explosion of drug-related murders in Palomas. It's hard to believe Mexican drug lords are concentrating their efforts in such remote outposts, but just last Monday three men in a car were shot to death in downtown Palomas, with a total of 30 killed in drug-related violence since the first of the year. And for a town the size of Palomas, that's a staggering number.

On a more positive note, the Mexican government has stepped up efforts to curb the violence in border towns by sending in Army troops and federal police and the U.S. is looking for ways to help in the effort.

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