San Diego media report that this Sunday U.S. authorities are going to open up the cargo lanes along the Otay Mesa port of entry to northbound regular traffic from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. It’s a one-day test that could be expanded to relieve border congestion along this part of the Tijuana border, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune and KPBS-San Diego.
As Tijuana officials kicked off a bus tour to attract more tourists to the area, the New York Times reported that the city has become a draw for a different kind of visitor, the so-called death tourist. People seeking an end to terminal illnesses are finding an over-the-counter solution at Tijuana veterinary clinics that sell pentobarbitil, according to the story.
The Los Angeles Times ran a story about a Kentucky woman who married a Mexican illegal immigrant who ended up being deported facing deportation. In order to stay together, the couple is living in Tijuana while she works north of the border and he takes care of the kids. The story is complemented with an audio slideshow.
I’ve also added a news feed to this blog (see right column) so we’ll see how well that picks up these kinds of Tijuana-specific stories.
photo: Regular weekend traffic at the Otay Mesa northbound border crossing lanes.
North of the border, comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert deliver the news with their trademark deadpan style of humor. In Mexico, there’s Brozo the clown, played by Victor Trujillo, who injects bawdy insinuations into his unrestrained weekly analysis of the country’s top stories.
Being familiar with Spanish is no guarantee you will catch all the double entendrees in this show. One of the show’s guests, a bird sock puppet, is apparently a veiled reference to Brozo’s own male anatomy. Brozo’s other helpers include a priest, a robot, a soldier, and a sexy female reporter who sings and gyrates at the end of her interviews.
One recent show touched on the political fallout from twelve people being trampled to death during a botched law enforcement operation in a Mexico City club. There was also a segment of man-on-the-street interviews about what kind of herbs or foods eliminate erectile dysfunction. You get the picture.
Brozo’s latest Televisa news-comedy show is called El NotiFiero, which airs Friday nights in Tijuana. Here’s a video clip of Brozo and here’s a 2002 story by The New York Times.
The arrival of boatloads of diesel to make up for a shortage of cheap fuel along the Mexican side of the border made the weekend front page in Tijuana (above). U.S. consumers are creating a high demand for the state-subsized gasoline. Several other border-related stories this month caught my eyes and ears in the English-language media:
*The Wall Street Journal ran a Page 1 story today by Joel Millman on how the demand north of the border for cheap Mexican gas is resulting in a mini-boom in business that install extra large fuel tanks in U.S. trucks. The owners are using the containers to cross the border and stash up on the fuel.
*The Los Angeles Times ran a story by Richard Marosi about the flight of Tijuana’s upper-class residents to San Diego’s southern suburbs where they are seeking refuge from violence and kidnappings in Mexico.
*NPR aired a four-part series by reporter John Burnett about how some U.S. law enforcement agencies along the border are confiscating large amounts of drug money in cars heading into Mexico. The money is going towards supplementing their department budgets, raising the question of whether the agencies are becoming overly-reliant on the drug cash.
*Someone also forwarded me a link to an electronic newsmagazine, FLYP, about the flow of firearms from the United States into Mexico.The piece uses some interesting multimedia elements including a zippy sound that mimics the sound of turning an electronic page.