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Local Island NEWS in English - Updated Weekly
News for the Week of April 14, 2014



Beginning in December 2002, Insider was proudly the first website to provide readers the Cozumel News in English.

Articles are slected from local newspapers which we feel will be of interest to our diverse audience. These articles are then translated into English. We cannot always investigate the veracity of a particular article but offer these translations as a reflection of the Cozumel community news just as reporters write it for Por Esto, Diario de Quintana Roo, Novedades and El Seminario and many other sources.

We appreciate hearing from our readers and welcome your questions, suggestions and comments. Please send them to: questions@cozumelinsider.com

Note: All translated articles are the property of Cozumel Insider and cannot be used, displayed or reproduced without express written permission from Cozumel Insider.


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EDITOR's NOTE: Tourism is a large part of the economic engine that runs ALL of Mexico so it’s normal for everyone to try to protect that engine at all costs. But given the fact that over 83,541 people (a/o 12/31/11 per El Diario report of 08/04/12) were killed in this country, 30,000 are missing and 20,000 children were orphaned while Calderon was in office (20006 - 20012) and fighting the drug cartels, it is simply imprudent to bury one’s head in the sand and keep expecting travelers to believe the “it’s safe” story about Mexico. The Pina Nieto administration has not changed course concerning the cartels but instead modified its approach concerning the reporting of such government activities. Little information is available now via official channels other than statistics with regard to criminal activity within Mexico

Some of the news related items shared here attempt to illustrate common themes which I think are extremely important for part time islanders or travelers to understand now:

1) These are not the sleepy fishing villages of days gone by - Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel tout themselves as "world class" tourism destinations with over 3 million visitors each annually and as such will attract their proportionate amounts of crime.

2) There IS rising crime in these areas (so be ALERT and AWARE of your surroundings) yet the majority of crime goes unreported so there is no real way to have confidence in the few statistics that are released for this area.

3) Local/state police/judges, are for the most part, corrupt and usually complicit with criminal activity so they are not necessarily going to help you…especially if you are a foreigner. These "public servants" are only looking for a way to extort you (REALIZE you are on your OWN if anything should happen).

NEWS Archives:
Cozumel: 27 Ships this Week
04/13 - Numbers remain high this week in Cozumel as cruise ship arrivals will be 27 ships registered to dock for the third week of April 2014. This is 1 more than the number of ships last week and 7 more than the "20 in port" which marks a "high season" beginning. With high season at its peak now, an estimated 81,000 people will visit Cozumel this week via these cruise ship arrivals leaving an estimated US$ 6.5 million dollars behind in the local economy.

High season for cruise ship arrivals typically runs from November 15 - April 15 each year with the remaining 7 months of the year considered "low season."

Tthis week the economic activity is spread relatively even as 10 ships dock at Puerta Maya and 10 will dock at TMM/SSA International pier while Punta Langosta pier will see 6 arrivals and the downtown San Miguel pier will have 1 ship arrival.

This week begins with 1 ships docking on Monday, 7 on Tuesday, 6 ships Wednesday, 4 on Thursday, 5 on Friday and then Saturday will bring 3 ships in port and Sunday will see 1 ship.

View the Cruise Ship Calendar for this Week

Note: In 2014, Cozumel is on target to host 3,134,000 passengers sailing on 1,067 ships, up 26% and 23%, respectively, from 2013.
Cozumel Prepares for El Cedral Celebration
In a press conference earlier this week Cozumel’s Mayor, Freddy Marrufo officially unveiled the cultural and sports programs lined up for this years “Feria de Cedral 2014.” This 166 year old tradition is deeply rooted in the history of Cozumel. The Inauguration to this year’s event, which will take place on April 26th, will be overseen by the Governor of the State, and Cozumel native, Roberto Borge. Feria de Cedral events include traditional horse racing, cycling , walking , wrestling, bullfighting , dances , as well as the presentation of Yucatecan trova , workshops for children, a fair with rides and other family friendly activities. The artists who are scheduled to perform include: Benny, Sasha y Erik Primera Fila, Los Juglares, Ángeles Azules y Mariana Seoane.

The Ferias de Cedral and Santa Cruz date all the way back to 1848, and since then, people from the all over the Yucatán come to El Cedral every year to join the festivities. The festivities start on the 26th of April and will end on the 4th of May with the traditional dance, “La Cabeza de Cochino.” Last year Cozumel municipal officials applied to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to secure the Feria de El Cedral and the Feria de Santa Cruz de Saban as a cultural and history heritage event.
Tuesday April 15: Total Lunar Eclipse
Don't forget to charge your camera batteries and get out the tripods to photograph the spectacular lunar eclipse that will happen on Tuesday April 15th. An eclipse occurs only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. According to NASA, the earth's moon will transform during the eclipse from its normal brilliant white to a reddish orange color.

Since the Moon is above the horizon during this eclipse, with good weather conditions in Cozumel or any other city within the prime sight path, the entire eclipse will be visible. According to the website Ttimeanddate.com the full eclipse will begin April 15 at about 2:08am with MAXIMUM eclipse occurring around 2:46am and then ending at 3:23am.

Three other eclipses will occur during 2014:
◾Apr 29, 2014 Annular Solar Eclipse
◾Oct 8, 2014 Total Lunar Eclipse
◾Oct 23, 2014 Partial Solar Eclipse
Cozumel 's Heroic Rescue of Three Tourists
Three passengers visiting from a cruise ship were rescued by 3 City lifeguards who helped the tourist arrive safe and sound to shore at Chen Rio Beach. While swimming there at Chen Rio, the strong ocean current dragged the tourists offshore and they could not seem to get back close to shore and calmer waters..

The three rescued tourists were from Atlanta Georgia. Roberts Arbers 48, Joseph Arbers 17, and William Allison 17. They were passengers of the Carnival Paradise cruise. This incident occurred Tuesday around 1:45 PM at Chen-Rio on the East coast of the island, according to the information released from the municipal offices.

It was reported that a lifeguard named Leandro Esquivel was watching the activity of persons who were enjoying the beach, when suddenly he realized that three tourists who entered the sea and were playing with the waves, were dragged by the surf going offshore. He immediately called for support by radio to the other lifeguards who were on the beach of San Martín, and quickly arrived to rescue the visitors. Seconds later the lifeguards, Carlos Ceballos and Denis Caztín arrived and entered the water with their so-called "torpedoes” giving signals for the swimmers and the three lifeguards rescued the three tourists
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Once back on land, the rescued visitors opted not to be served by paramedics of any clinic. They were then returned back to the cruise ship in which they arrived. Cozumel's lifeguards work for the city in the "Protection Civil" department along side the firefighters and other rescue personnel.
Cozumel's Passion Island Ready for Construction
A boutique type hotel, which is intended for construction on “Passion Island”, has all federal and municipal permits authorized in order to build. The decision as to when the work begins is now in the hands of the developers.

The director of urban development, Umberto Suarez Castillo, said that the City Council has delivered the permits of this project and the developers complied with all requirements of law, so now the decision is up to the investors. He said that this work will be the first of its kind in the island and investors have all relevant federal permits.

He said that the US$ 27 million project consists of suites located on the seashore of Passion Island and consists of a boutique hotel that was authorized at the beginning of this year. The construction of 35 huts will connect to land by a rustic dock.
As it is known, Passion Island is a portion of land of 300 meters at its widest point and is attached to Cozumel by just a thin strip of sand.
It is currently used for cruise ship tourists arriving to Cozumel and is promoted as the best beach of the island, offering Mexican buffet, open bar, and activities for children.
Cozumel Not Favored by "Spring Breakers"
Cozumel is not a destination for so called "Spring Breakers" due to the lack of nightlife. Officials of the Directorate ofTtourism recognize that the island’s focus in on cruise tourism. The President of the Tourism Commission, Cesar Trejo Vazquez, states that during Spring Break mainly teachers or parents, also off during Spring Break, arrive to the Island to vacation. It is estimated that Cancun will receive up to 50,000 "Spring Breakers" this year which is 20% more than last year. On average, each student has a stay of four to eight days and spends an average of US$ 1,000 dollars each. The Counselor stated that Cancun and the Riviera Maya are preferred by the youth tourism sector and Cozumel has no alternatives to offer this tourism sector which seeks diversity of attractions and nightlife.
Cancun: Project Ready to Scan Wetlands by Satellite
For the first time in Mexico, through satellite transmission, they will be able to identify the portion of wetlands that are currently surviving through the use of remote sensing. Puerto Morelos will be one of the five sites in which the pilot project applies.
It will also be applied to the Laguna de Términos, Campeche; The Pantanos de Centla, Tabasco; Marismas Nacionales, in Nayarit and Sinaloa, and the continental wetland in Cuatro Ciénegas, Coahuila. The project is led by a team of experts from the National Commission for the knowledge and use of biodiversity (Conabio) since early February.

The first results of the study called "Application of Remote Sensing Method", which checks via satellite the current coverage of the wetlands in Puerto Morelos, their patterns of change and the level of carbon emissions, will be broadcast to the public in November. In this case, Berenice Vázquez Baldera, biologist and analyst in remote sensing of the institution, said this technological facility is to help understand the characteristics of a wetlands site.
Mexico: New "Stop Kidnapping" Security Plan Announced
Mexico, the 2013 world leader in kidnappings, has announced a package of strategies to combat a crime which has spread at alarming proportions since the PRI government of president Enrique Peña Nieto took office on Dec. 1, 2012.

Without elaborating on specifics, the Peña Nieto administration said its new strategy will focus on the 10 states most plagued by the crime: Durango, México, Guerrero, Michoacán, Morelos, Tabasco, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas. Secretary of Government Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, the second most powerful man in the government, delivered up a list of ultra general bullet points, while attorney general Jesús Murillo Karam discussed how Mexico is committed to the rule of law and respect for human rights. The government says 74% of kidnappings occur in these 10 states where initial focus will be, although it also claims that Mexican citizens have so little confidence in police and courts that less than 1 in 10 of all kidnappings nationwide are even reported. According to Osorio Chong, kidnappings in Mexico rose by 24% in 2013 and those are only the ones which were reported to law enforcement.
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July 12, 2013 (Most Recent) Comprehensive Mexico Travel Warning
Because we are continually asked about travel safety in Mexico and Cozumel, INSIDER always maintains the most recent, complete version of the U.S. State Department Mexico Travel Warning HERE on our website for traveler convenience.

The good news continues to be that there are currently no regional security warnings in place that cover Quintana Roo, Cancun, Cozumel or Costa Maya so make vacation plans now to get here for some fun in the sun!

The Mexico Travel Warning dated July 12, 2013 from the Department of State can also be viewed in its entirety on the Department of State website.
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