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SETTING

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SETTING

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SETTING

The heavens open – is this really March?

The heavens open – is this really March?

March is on record as the driest month of the year in Jalisco, meteorologists sa...

Arts & Entertainment

The Akram Khan Dance Company

6 DAYS AGO
The Akram Khan Dance Company

The penultimate presentations in the May Cultural Festival will surely enthuse local modern dance fans when the 14-year-old Akram Khan Company, one of the foremost innovative dance outfits in the United Kingdom, present the show “Kaash.” 

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Entertainment Guide - May 22, 2015

6 DAYS AGO

City of London Sinfonia

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Local ukulele group continues to grow & thrive

-1 DAYS AGO
Local ukulele group continues to grow & thrive

A quick glance around Lake Chapala proves that the rich volcanic soil and great weather are the perfect combination for growing corn, onions, raspberries and squash. Who knew this area was also just right to grow enthusiastic ukulele players? 

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Baritone Fernando Loher: one for the future

27 DAYS AGO
Baritone Fernando Loher: one for the future

Last Sunday’s concert by baritone Fernando Loher at the Centro Cultural Gonzalez Gallo was an impressive performance. One of several fund-raisers for his upcoming studies in Berlin, his selection of Bel Canto and Latin American songs provided the perfect opportunity to demonstrate the full ran...

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Ribera Arts Review - May 29, 2015

-1 DAYS AGO
Ribera Arts Review - May 29, 2015

Friday fundraiser

Canadian and U.S. artists involved in the current 360 Xochi Quetzal Artist Residency in Chapala are coordinating with several local artists to present a concert of their work at the Centro Cultural Gonzalez Gallo in Chapala. The Friday, May 29 fundraiser for the cultural center (l...

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Ribera Arts Review - May 22, 2015

6 DAYS AGO
Ribera Arts Review - May 22, 2015

Naked Stage

The Naked Stage Readers Theater presents “Match,” written by Stephen Belber and directed by Georgette Richmond, on Friday, May 29, Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31. All performances start at 4 p.m. at Rio Bravo 10-A in Ajijic.

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At the Movies – San Andreas

-1 DAYS AGO
At the Movies – San Andreas

San Andreas

In this high-octane thriller, the infamous San Andreas Fault gives way (I’m sure we saw this four or five years ago in “2012” — California keeps coming back!), producing adevastating earthquake across California. A highly skilled helicopter pilot races to save ...

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At the Movies – Tomorrowland, MAd Max Fury Road, Mordecai

6 DAYS AGO
At the Movies – Tomorrowland, MAd Max Fury Road, Mordecai

Tomorrowland

When a scientifically minded teenager discovers a technologically advanced trinket that provides an astounding glimpse of the future, she enlists the help of a reclusive inventor to make “Tomorrowland” a reality today. Director: Brad Bird. Cast: George Clooney, Hugh La...

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Columns

The Ghostly River’s ‘Fattest Fossil Fumarole’

-1 DAYS AGO
The Ghostly River’s ‘Fattest Fossil Fumarole’

Our mission last Sunday was nothing less than to locate and measure the biggest natural fossil fumarole pipe in the Primavera Forest – and (for all I know) in the entire world. Mr. Guinness, be advised: we found it!

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The Bosque del Diente: A round trip through Rock Heaven

6 DAYS AGO
The Bosque del Diente: A round trip through Rock Heaven

Recently, social scientist Dr. Susan Street spoke at Guadalajara’s City Museum on the many problems besetting the Bosque de Nixticuil, the patchy remainder of a great forest that once stretched from the Huentitan Canyon to Tesistan – home to 15 species of mammals, 81 species of birds and...

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Daring alchemists: thunderous funerals, soaring castles aflame with burning proverbs

-1 DAYS AGO
Daring alchemists: thunderous funerals, soaring castles aflame with burning proverbs

The stuttery rains that have blown over the Cerrro de Santa Cruz some distance south of Guadalajara have been disappointing thus far (May 28). But campesinos there were so eager for the temporada de lluvias to begin, in any kind of way, that they celebrated extravagantly with a barrage of booking co...

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Corruption: Not ‘a cultural phenomenon’ as the chief executive once called it; instead it is death hidden in mass graves

6 DAYS AGO

For much of his life, President Enrique Peña Nieto dismissed Mexico’s destructive blight, corruption, as “a  cultural phenomenon.”   An unfortunate one, but so commonplace that Mexican business people – those citizens that evidently count – are bla...

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Internet muddles along on ‘best effort’ approach

13 DAYS AGO

In an earlier column I drew a comparison between the industry standards required for internet communications versus the construction codes enforced by building inspectors.  Both the Information Technology industry and the building industry have their “bibles” defining minimum standa...

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‘Packet switching’ allows data to travel the world

1 MONTHS AGO

Many professional disciplines have their own “bible” enumerating the industry minimums required to maintain safety standards.  Ask any fireman about the fire code and be prepared to witness a solemn mood descend as they explain that the code is “written in blood.”  ...

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The heavens open – is this really March?

2 MONTHS AGO
The heavens open – is this really March?

March is on record as the driest month of the year in Jalisco, meteorologists say.  Tlaloc, the Aztec rain God, obviously thought it was time for that stat to change.

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The living is easy

-1 DAYS AGO
The living is easy

“Summertime, and the living is easy.” 

Thank you Jerome Kern, that great song expresses the feelings of most full-time Lakeside residents who are sighing with relief this weekend. And why wouldn’t they be expressing joy and gratitude with giant sighs?

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Memorial Day’s vivid memories

6 DAYS AGO

“Memorial Day is early this year,” a friend said the other day. That simple statement launched a dynamic conversation and evoked a flood of memories. 

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A Midwesterner moves to Mexico – May 29, 2015

-1 DAYS AGO

My daughter wrote a blog post last month listing five things she liked and five things she didn’t like about Mexico. By her own admission, she had to stretch to come up with the five things she didn’t like. 

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A Midwesterner moves to Mexico – May 22, 2015

6 DAYS AGO

If you put a thousand monkeys in front of a thousand typewriters, at some point they’ll write the entire works of Shakespeare. Or so goes the theory.

If you put a lone woman in front of a keyboard to write about all the interesting things she’s discovering in Mexico, a pithy little colu...

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Expat Living

Jalisco’s most famous paleontologist passes at 92

-1 DAYS AGO
Jalisco’s most famous paleontologist passes at 92

The Universidad de Guadalajara (UdG) gave Federico Solorzano Barreto a solemn and dignified send off at the Paraninfo Enrique Diaz de Leon after the famed local paleontologist died at the age of 92 this week.

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Rock ‘n roll may be here to stay but not on vinyls, CDs

6 DAYS AGO
Rock ‘n roll may be here to stay but not on vinyls, CDs

The Union Jack is ever present this month in Guadalajara: on billboards, posters, street corners, in hotels and newspaper advertisements. With Great Britain as this year’s invited guest to the city’s May Festival, everything British is in. 

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Kite Festival scheduled at Ajijic waterfront

-1 DAYS AGO

Ajijic’s waterfront Malecon will be the setting for the second annual Festival del Papalote (Kite Fest) from Friday, May 29 through Sunday, May 31.  Activities get under way on Friday from 1 p.m., with troubadour Moises set to perform at 3 p.m. and free workshops in kite-making paper fold...

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Jocotepec hospital welcomes first born

-1 DAYS AGO
Jocotepec hospital welcomes first born

Jocotepec First Lady Lillian Olmedo Navarro offers a congratulatory embrace to the mother of the first infant delivered at Jocotepec’s brand new Regional Community Hospital. The healthy baby girl came into the world at 7:30 a.m. on May 19, weighing 3.1 kilos. She is the second child born to ...

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Laguna Chapalac – May 29, 2015

-1 DAYS AGO

Democrats Abroad

Democrats Abroad, Lake Chapala Chapter meets Monday, June 8, 4 p.m. at La Bodega Restaurant on 16 de Septiembre in Ajijic.  

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Laguna Chapalac – May 22, 2015

6 DAYS AGO
Laguna Chapalac – May 22, 2015

Memorial Day Picnic

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PV writer’s conference stressing publishing

3 MONTHS AGO

As aspiring writers well know, authoring a book is one thing, getting it published is another.

An opportunity to bridge that gap will be offered at the Puerto Vallarta International Writers Conference at Bibioteca Los Mangos March 6-8. Evelyn Bryne of White Bird Publications will be attending to gi...

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Suspense in Bucerias: expat pens first novel

6 MONTHS AGO
Suspense in Bucerias: expat pens first novel

After more than two decades wintering and living on the Jalisco coast, Barbara McKinley Morrison has used her experiences to pen her first novel.

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North Banderas Beat - March 27, 2015

2 MONTHS AGO
North Banderas Beat - March 27, 2015

Altruism Festival

Paraiso Felino, the no-kill cat shelter in the northshore inland town of San Juan, will again be  one of the 24 Vallarta-area community service organizations to benefit from the annual International Altruism Festival, set for May 17 at the Hotel Marriott, in cooperation with ...

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La Manzanillo Memo – April 4, 2015

2 MONTHS AGO
La Manzanillo Memo – April 4, 2015

Bare Bones Theatre 

Since 2011 La Manzanilla’s Bare Bones Readers’ Theatre, headed-up by Arleen Pace, has been entertaining us with their annual productions. During their inaugural shows the group had us laughing and blushing during lively performances of The Vagina Monologues.   From int...

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Barra de Navidad and Melaque Journal – March 27, 2014

2 MONTHS AGO
Barra de Navidad and Melaque Journal – March 27, 2014

The International Language

Barra’s families come from fishing and agriculture ancestry, so locals are drawn to certain musical styles. Of course, the town’s population includes tourists and expats, who along with locals, like to kick back and groove to banda, norteña and grupera sounds. 

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Puerto Vallarta Bulletin – March 6, 2015

2 MONTHS AGO
Puerto Vallarta Bulletin – March 6, 2015

Cat Tails

A cool cocktail, awesome hors d’oeuvres, live music and a spectacular sunset awaits at the PuRR Project Sunset Cocktail at Daiquiri Dick’s on on Tuesday, March 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. 

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Mexican Lifestyles

Direct flights to Costa Rica in Sept.

-1 DAYS AGO

Discount airline Volaris will connect Guadalajara with San Jose, Costa Rica, with two direct weekly flights, beginning September 10. The flights will leave Guadalajara on Thursdays and Sundays at 7:20 a.m., returning the same days at 7:05 p.m.  Tickets are already on sale on the airline’s...

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A package deal for the wealthy tippler

13 DAYS AGO
A package deal for the wealthy tippler

Here’s a unique experience for well-to-do tequila lovers.

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Getting a decent meal in downtown Guadalajara

-1 DAYS AGO

The rejuvenation of Guadalajara’s historic center has become an obligatory commitment made by all candidates running for the job of city mayor.

But little has been done in recent decades to fulfill these endless pledges.

Periodic street beautification projects represent the tip of a very lar...

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CASA cooks excel in May

-1 DAYS AGO
CASA cooks excel in May

Main Dish Salads and Cheesecakes headed the competitions during the Monday, May 18 meeting of the Culinary Arts Society in Ajijic (CASA) in the group’s new location, La Mision Restaurant on Rio Bravo. The afternoon’s judging was completed by Alfonso Perez, Marcela Gonzalez and Barbara Pa...

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The top-selling Mexico-themed new books of 2014

2 MONTHS AGO
The top-selling Mexico-themed new books of 2014

The production line of books on Mexico seems to get longer with each passing year. Dozens of tomes were published in 2014, the best selling titles of which appear below (guide books excluded) in no particular order.   Only one of the books in this list was self-published, which goes to disprove...

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Rebuilding your life after the death of a loved one

7 MONTHS AGO

Put yourself in this scenario: Your name is Judy. Your husband’s name is Bob. Together you have discovered Lake Chapala in central Mexico (for Bob it is “love at first sight”) and there you have recently purchased your retirement home, where “One entire sliding-glass wall opened onto a view of the l...

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The dangers of expired meds

27 DAYS AGO
The dangers of expired meds

Elias Iñiguez Mejia, the president of the Health Committee in the Jalisco Congress, is pushing for a statewide campaign to disseminate the risks posed by out-of-date medicines, as well as their correct disposal.

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IMSS seeks new ways to ease patient congestion

2 MONTHS AGO

The Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) in Jalisco is struggling to cope with the increase in the number of new subscribers to the national health care system.

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News

Missing students not forgotten

-1 DAYS AGO
Missing students not forgotten

Although the upcoming elections are occupying the minds of most Mexicans and media outlets, activists in Guadalajara seeking answers over the disappearance of 43 students in the state of Guerrero last year made sure this week that the eight-month anniversary of the incident was not forgotten.

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Learning is a blast at city’s mammoth children’s expo

6 DAYS AGO
Learning is a blast at city’s mammoth children’s expo

The theme of this year’s huge children’s educational fair, Papirolas, is ‘Artematicas’ – a combination of the Spanish words for art and mathematics. Here pre-schoolers get instruction in some neat dance steps, as well as counting out loud. The fair runs daily through ...

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Experts outline Lake Chapala boating dangers

-1 DAYS AGO

Ignorance of the perils of navigating Lake Chapala’s waters and failure to observe prudent safety precautions were probably major contributing factors in the recent drowning deaths of three expat residents, local experts say.

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At least 2 dead linked to local police forces

-1 DAYS AGO

At least two men who died in anti-cartel offensive have been linked to local police forces

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43 dead in drug cartel offensive

-1 DAYS AGO

Federal authorities have rejected suggestions that 42 presumed drug cartel affiliates who died in a police operation at a ranch near Tanhuato, Michoacan were victims of a massacre.

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‘Andres’ to bring rainfall

-1 DAYS AGO

Heavy rains were expected in Guadalajara and its surrounding areas Friday as “Andres” became the eastern Pacific basin’s first tropical storm of 2015. At press time the storm was lying about 690 miles southwest of Manzanillo, Colima.

Andres is expected to strengthen to a hurricane...

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Is Mexico too lenient with juvenile offenders?

-1 DAYS AGO

In the United States, more than 200,000 juveniles under the age of 18 are incarcerated after being tried in adult courts.  Some children as young as 12 potentially face a lifetime of imprisonment for violent crimes committed before they even started middle school.

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Mexico in line to be first country to try out dengue vaccine

6 DAYS AGO

A dengue vaccination could be ready before the end of the year and Mexico could be the first country to approve its use, according to federal Health Secretary Mercedes Juan.

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Cops stay cool in Vallarta

6 DAYS AGO

State and municipal police in Puerto Vallarta have been asked to maintain a low profile in the wake of the May 1 disturbances in the port. Although the federal government is maintaining its operation in Jalisco aimed at dismantling the criminal gangs, local cops will be acting “with discretion...

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Entrepreneur dies after fall

20 DAYS AGO

Well-known Silicon Valley entrepreneur Dave Goldberg died of a head injury after falling in the gym of a private villa within the Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita. Details surrounding the death are still not clear, but it is believed Goldberg died after tripping while checking his smartphone on the...

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Expats unable to vote

6 DAYS AGO

Many British expats were unable to vote in the May 7 general election as ballot papers failed to arrive in time for their postal vote to be counted.   Meanwhile, the re-election of the Conservative government has meant that expats who have been outside of the country for more than 15 years may ...

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Mexican garden in UK

6 DAYS AGO

A surrealist Mexican garden inspired by the master work of English painter Edward James has won gold at the prestigious Chelsea Flower show in London, England.   The garden, titled “The Surrealist Pillars of Mexico,” featured iconic Mexican plants and a host of multi-colored dalias....

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Financial indicators as of Thursday, May 28, 2015

-1 DAYS AGO

–Mexican Stock Market (BMV) opened at 44,682.59, a decrease of 600.88 points from Thursday, May 21, 2015.

–Interest paid on 28-day Treasury Certificates (CETES) was steady at 2.99 percent from Thursday, May 21, 2015.

–Bank Interest paid on 28-day 10,000 to 50,000 peso P...

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Financial indicators as of Thursday, May 21, 201

6 DAYS AGO

–Mexican Stock Market (BMV) opened at 45,283.47, an increase of 245.33 points from Thursday, May 14, 2015.

–Interest paid on 28-day Treasury Certificates (CETES) was up at 2.99 percent from Thursday, May 14, 2015.

–Bank Interest paid on 28-day 10,000 to 50,000 peso Prom...

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Obituary – Deborah Greenfield

20 DAYS AGO
Obituary – Deborah Greenfield

Ajijic resident Deborah Greenfield passed away in her home ON April 16 at the age of 94.  

Born in New York City on September 15, 1920, Greenfield attended New York University where she met her future husband James Greenfield, a manufacturing engineer. They married in 1941. 

After h...

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Obituaries–Jerry Unger

27 DAYS AGO
Obituaries–Jerry Unger

Jerry Unger of Riberas del Pilar died February 6 in a New Jersey VA hospital, following a short bout with lung cancer. He was 75.

Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1939, Unger graduated from St. Mel’s Academy in 1957, and went on to graduate from Wright Junior College in 1962. He was drafted into ...

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Homeless play soccer amid city landmarks

-1 DAYS AGO
Homeless play soccer amid city landmarks

With the majestic backdrop of the Cathedral, the seventh annual homeless soccer tournament was held in downtown Guadalajara on Thursday, May 28 and Friday, May 29.  The event is sponsored by the Street Soccer Organization and the Telmex Foundation and is designed to bring together people over...

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Chivas victory against local rivals Atlas marred by fan violence

6 DAYS AGO
Chivas victory against local rivals Atlas marred by fan violence

Ten years ago an outing to a soccer game in Mexico was a peaceful pastime, perfect for the entire family. Yet it seems the violence that has marred the sport in South America has spread to this country.

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Leaked emails say US soldiers are operating in Mexico

U.S. special forces are secretly operating in Mexico, while the U.S. government is “allowing” the powerful Sinaloa Cartel to traffic drugs across the border, according to documents released by WikiLeaks this month.

Since February the controversial whistle-blowing organization has been publishing “The Global Intelligence Files” – over five million emails leaked from Stratfor, a Texas-based global intelligence company, which date from July 2004 to December 2011.

“U.S. special operations forces are currently in Mexico. Small-scale joint ops with Mexico’s [special forces],” wrote “US714,” a U.S. law enforcement officer in charge of border investigations, to Stratfor staff in an email from June 2011 released on Sunday.

This was corroborated by a Mexican diplomat referred to as “MX1,” who told Stratfor “I can confirm that there is Marine presence, but I don’t know if it is MFR [Marine Force Recon – the U.S. Marine Corps’ special operations unit].”

“Operational coordination and indeed joint exercises have been conducted, and there are more in the planning stages,” said MX1. “We do indeed have US military presence in Mexico as part of the MI [Merida Initiative] coordination office (even though they are sometimes under official cover as DOS [Department of State], etc…) There are advisors and intelligence operatives that work on the tactical level with their Mexican counterparts.”

Under the Merida Initiative, the United States has been providing Mexico with funds, equipment, training and intelligence in order to help fight drug trafficking. But there are officially no U.S. troops operating south of the border, for this would represent a violation of Mexico’s sovereignty.

“Mexican public opinion would be outraged if there were U.S. soldiers engaged in a direct operational role in Mexico,” said MX1.

“I can’t confirm that there are independent U.S. operations in Mexico of any sort,” he added, but “the repercussions on cooperation from a black op that we are not aware of would be immense, even if the [Mexican] government didn’t care.”

Breaking the story on Monday, NarcoNews.com revealed that another of the leaked emails identifies MX1 as Fernando de la Mora Salcedo, a former member of the Mexican Consulate staff in El Paso, Texas and now a consul in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Stratfor emails were passed on to WikiLeaks by the hacking group Anonymous. Stratfor condemned this “deplorable breach of privacy” in a statement earlier this year.

“Some of the emails may be forged or altered to include inaccuracies; some may be authentic,” stated the Stratfor press release. “We will not validate either. Nor will we explain the thinking that went into them. Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimized twice by submitting to questioning about them.”

In another email from June 2010, MX1 suggested that the U.S. and Mexican “governments will allow controlled drug trades,” alleging that the “the major routes and methods for bulk shipping into the US have already been negotiated with U.S. authorities,” and that large shipments of drugs belonging to the Sinaloa Cartel “are OK with the Americans.”

Run by billionaire drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, the Sinaloa Cartel is one of Mexico’s most powerful drug-trafficking organizations.

De la Mora’s comments appear to back up the legal defense of a high-ranking member of the Sinaloa Cartel soon to go on trial in Chicago for drug trafficking.

Vicente Jesus Zambada Niebla was arrested in March 2009, just hours after meeting with U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents in a Mexico City hotel. In pre-trial proceedings earlier this year he claimed immunity under a deal allegedly struck between the U.S. government and the Sinaloa Cartel.

In exchange for information on rival organizations, Zambada said he and the cartel leadership were given “carte blanche to continue to smuggle tons of illicit drugs into Chicago and the rest of the United States” between 2004 and 2009.

As part of the arrangement, he also claimed the Sinaloa Cartel received weapons through the “Fast and Furious,” a botched operation in which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) illegally sold 2,000 firearms to Mexican gangs, with the purported aim of tracing the weapons and then prosecuting the criminals.

One of the highest ranking Mexican drug traffickers to ever go on trial in the United States, Zambada’s case is due to begin in October.

WikiLeaks made headlines worldwide this week due to the ongoing controversy surrounding the organization’s founder Julian Assange.

Wanted in Sweden for questioning over two allegations of sexual assault, Assange has taken refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Assange has offered to be questioned within the embassy but refuses to return to Sweden for fear he will be extradited to the United States.

Ecuador offered Assange political asylum, but last week the British government provoked a major diplomatic row by threatening to enter the embassy and arrest Assange, an action that would represent a clear violation of international law.

If extradited, Assange fears he would face similar treatment to Bradley Manning, a U.S. Army whistleblower who passed thousands of documents to WikiLeaks. Bradley has been imprisoned by the U.S. government for over two years (mostly in solitary confinement) without trial.

Earlier this year the Stratfor leaks revealed a grand jury in Virginia has already issued a secret sealed indictment against Assange for espionage, while prominent U.S. politicians have even called for him to be executed.

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