Monday, January 20, 2014

Central America News Roundup Sept 20, 2011: Mexico, Belize

article from September 20, 2011
By Jamie Douglas

Mexico’s oldest person

There is hope for me yet. Leandra Becerra Lumbreras of Zapopan, Jaliso, celebrated 124 years of being on the planet on August 31, 2011. That’s almost twice my age! And listening to her talking, she may yet have a few years ahead of her. She has lived in the house she is in for over 40 years, outliving all her children and most grandchildren. Her great- granddaughter Miriam Albear Hernández showed pictures of a lovely young girl, an old photo of Leandra from the turn of the century. On Sept 16, Mexico celebrated its 201st anniversary since independence, making the Aztec nation a mere 77 years old when she was born. During her lifetime, she witnessed the Mexican Revolution, which lasted from 1910 to 1920 (some say 1917), killing between one and two million citizens, as well as the 1918 flu epidemic, which was responsible for another 300,000 casualties. Two world wars passed, along with major changes brought to Mexico by the constant march of time. From very primitive peasantry to very modern cities and superhighways, this woman witnessed so much history from the sidelines.

Undiscovered archeology

When going back in time, there are, of course, many archeological sites throughout the country, some fully restored, but many more are still waiting to be explored or discovered. Emiliano Gallaga Murrieta, an official with the National Institute of Archeology and History (INAH by its Spanish initials) estimates that there are over 40,000 such sites in the state of Chiapas alone. The terrain of Chiapas is very rugged and covered in jungle, making the rediscovery of the sites very difficult. I have stumbled through the jungles of Chiapas on several occasions and was always taken by the fact that there were signs of civilization everywhere. Being an archeologist in Mexico is one profession with good job security!

US-Mexico bilateral relations

In bilateral relations between Mexico and the USA, Felipe Calderón and Barack Obama signed a multinational agreement to promote transparency and combat corruption.

Does that mean that all the lobbyist and corrupt politicians in the USA will be exposed for the crooks they are? Wishful thinking!

Belize butane problem

Belize is suffering from a butane problem. The government of Belize is in a dispute with regional butane companies that refuse to use authenticated scales in distributing their product in Belize, so those companies are on strike against selling in Belize. Several other companies have stepped up the effort to keep Belizeans supplied with butane imported from Mexico, but this is a more expensive product. The public is being advised to remain vigilant about the prices being charged, which are supposed to adhere to a controlled price listing that is dependent on the source of the butane.

Cell-phone crime in Belize

While consumers suffer through this debacle, crimes committed with cell phones as well as cell-phone theft are about to suffer a big blow of their own. A new law is coming into effect requiring all citizens to register their cell-phone numbers or risk having their SIM cards deactivated. Theft of a person’s cell phone must be reported immediately, otherwise the owner will be held liable for any crime that can be traced to that phone. Prosecutors expect this to greatly enhance the ability of the police to investigate crimes. At the same time, they assure that a set of Supreme Court procedures are in place to protect from the invasion of privacy of the country’s citizens. If I lived in Belize, I would be among the first to register, because the police need all the help they can get!

Jamie Douglas
San Rafael, Mendoza
Where the Malbec Wine is always Fine

I encourage you to write me at cruzansailor [at] gmail [dot] com with any questions or suggestions you may have. Disclaimer: I am not in any travel-related business. My advice is based on my own experiences and is free of charge (Donations welcome). It is always my pleasure to act as a beneficial counselor to those who are seekers of the next adventure.