Saturday, June 22, 2024

More dead sea lions, turtles found on Baja Sur beach

More dead sea lions have turned up in the same area where 137 sea lions washed up on the beach earlier this month in Baja California Sur.

In San Juanico, Comondú, the bodies of 21 sea lions were discovered last week, some clinging to life before bleeding out from their snouts.

This brings the number of dead sea lions to 183 this month alone, BCS Noticias reports.

The fishermen who discovered the bodies say there were no marks from nets or boat propellers, so no official cause of death has been determined. 

A total of 351 loggerhead turtles have also been found dead from January to June this year in the same area, more than in all of 2019, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Mexican Center for Environmental Law report.

The non-profit organizations say that under Mexican regulations, if more than 90 turtles die commercial fishing with gillnets and longlines must be suspended for the rest of the year.

Last year 331 loggerhead turtles, 10 dolphins, 15 sea lions, 131 black sea turtles, eight olive ridley turtles and six whales were found dead on beaches along the Gulf of Ulloa.

Gangster thought to have met with politicians

Tamaulipas Governor Francisco Javier García Cabeza de Vaca had a series of meetings with former security minister Genaro García Luna in February 2012 in Los Cabos. 

At one of those, ex-drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán is thought to have also been present.

According to a declassified memo from Tobin Bradley, United States Consul General in Matamoros, the suspected meeting between El Chapo, García and the Tamaulipas governor was held in Cabo San Lucas where text messages entered into evidence during the trial of the one-time boss of the Sinaloa Cartel reveal he was hiding out at the time. 

García was arrested in the U.S. last year and is awaiting trial on charges of taking millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa Cartel when he was in charge of Mexico’s Federal Police. El Chapo is serving a life sentence at a Colorado supermax prison.

Intelligence on the meeting comes from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI. The memo, dated Wednesday, June 17, 2015, says that “Joaquín Guzmán Loera was the same day and in the same city and due to the closeness between Mr. Guzmán Loera and Mr. Genaro García Luna, everything indicates that he met the subject.”

Workers’ hospital woes

Members of the State Workers’ Social Security Institute (ISSSTE) union in San José del Cabo held a protest last week demanding improvements to the government’s health care system. 

General secretary José Ángel Ruíz Ceseña said government workers health clinics in Los Cabos lack even basic medicines such as insulin, and are not equipped to provide tomography, hemodialysis and laboratory services.  

ISSSTE workers protest in San José.
ISSSTE workers protest in San José.

“It should not be allowed that this clinic continues to be a white elephant,” Ruiz said, charging that patients are dying as a result. Others are being forced to go to private hospitals, which can cost up to 100,000 pesos (US $4,738) a day, because of the lack of quality care at ISSTE clinics, BCS Noticias reports. 

Staff members at the ISSTE clinic in La Paz also denounced poor working conditions last week, saying that coronavirus patients are not being isolated from patients who do not have the disease, and more than 100 workers have become infected.

As of Thursday, data from the federal government shows 9,226 accumulated cases in BCS and 424 deaths.

Celebrity perks

Celebrities who come to Los Cabos are not paid by the Los Cabos Tourism Trust (Fiturca), but they do enjoy special perks that Fiturca helps organize, director Rodrigo Esponda Cascajares says. 

His office helps organize up to 10 different activities for visiting stars each month, including meals in restaurants, yacht trips and camel rides, BCS Noticias reports, in exchange for things like Instagram posts. 

Recently, supermodel Winnie Harlow and ex-Olympic skiing champion Lindsey Vonn have posted photos to their accounts showing them enjoying a number of activities in the destination. 

Model Winnie Harlow rides a camel in Los Cabos.
Model Winnie Harlow rides a camel in Los Cabos.

Tonnes of trash

BCS produces almost 30,000 tonnes of plastic garbage each year, which amounts to around 45 kilos of plastic trash per person per year. Globally, Tribuna de Los Cabos reports, the average is 22 kilos a year.

Hans Herrmann, a marine ecologist with 30 years of experience in the field of biodiversity, conservation and natural resources and current president of The Mare Nostrum Global Initiative, shared the information with a group of business owners this week. 

Much of the waste is generated by food products, such as condiments and soft drinks. Diapers and candy wrappers are also heavy plastic waste producers.

Herrmann urged the government, tourism sector and residents to come together to make BCS a plastic neutral tourist destination

Shots in La Paz

An irate navy lieutenant in La Paz who wanted to keep the beer flowing at a restaurant after being cut off decided that firing several shots into the air was a reasonable course of action.

The man wanted to continue drinking on Wednesday and when a waiter told him he couldn’t serve him beer without food, the lieutenant pulled out his gun. Establishments that serve alcohol and not food are not able to open under coronavirus restrictions.

No one was injured in the incident, but the restaurant and several others nearby were closed down while police investigated, Diario El Independiente reports. 

Shot in Loreto

Loreto is the location for an upcoming Netflix film Baja which will premier on the streaming network at the end of this year, Metropolimx reports. 

The movie will be filmed within the municipality of Loreto, including the interior of the former Hotel Presidente in Nopoló and at the port.

The film focuses on a group of young American travelers who journey down the Baja peninsula from San Diego, California, and their misadventures along the way. Shooting will also take place in Tijuana, Rosarito and Ensenada, Baja California. 

Loreto was also the location of another film, Paloma’s Flight, the story of a photo-journalist, Paloma Ramirez, who loses her husband, a U.S. Navy SEAL, in a botched raid in Afghanistan and travels to Mexico to capture the country’s spirit and beauty. That film is set for release in 2021.

Mexico News Daily

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