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Background

INTRODUCTION

Congratulations you’ve taken the first step to enlightenment to understanding the truth behind the frightening media frenzy generated by the US press, allegedly substantiated by “travel alerts” and advisories emanating from various Departments of the US government.

In a US court of law, one party has the “ burden of proof” to move forward with evidence to substantiate their claim. In a civil matter this would be the “plaintiff”. In a criminal proceeding this would be the prosecutor. 

In the former case, the “plaintiff” must prove his case with a “preponderance of evidence” that his/her claim tips the scale of justice, sufficiently to warrant the award of damages.   Theoretically, the  magic number of “51%” is considered “sufficient proof” to award the claim, since it is more likely—than not—that the claim is true. 

In a criminal court, the prosecutor must present sufficient evidence to show the defendant’s guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”; a much more substantial burden than the civil arena (i.e.51% is far too low a threshold). 

In either event, the failure of the plaintiff/prosecutor to present sufficient evidence to meet their “burden  of proof” subjects them to a dismissal, for failure to do so.  And in some cases, justifies the opposition to a financial reward for improperly asserting the claim in the first place.  

I realize this “Basic Law 101” may seem irrelevant in the context of this discussion. However, in the case of the USA Media vs. Baja Mexico, the media has surmounted an unprecedented assault upon the State of Baja contending that it is unsafe to tour, and may result in your loss of life!  Shouldn’t these allegations  be subject to some objective criteria other than their own bold assertions? I think so,…AND SO SHOULD YOU!!! 

At a minimum, they should be required to demonstrate by the preponderance of evidence that: 1) US tourist are more, at danger, traveling Baja, than any other travel destination; 2) that this warning applies to every area of Baja and not based upon the dangers  of  isolated sections of Tijuana; and  3) That their allegations of  murder of  “USA citizens” include ANY innocent US tourists.  As to this 3rd point—murder of innocents—they should be held to the prosecutor’s threshold…beyond a reasonable doubt!!! 

Indeed, it is one thing to say that your neighbor’s house is an ugly, disgusting, trashy, stinking, rat infested cesspool.  Its another to say that, BESIDES all that, if you dare to walk in the door, you stand a chance of being murdered!!! 

I’m BajaBrent, a retired attorney/litigator. I reside in Baja 40 miles south of the TJ/San Diego border.  I also have a cottage in north county San Diego.  I have commuted across the border—through TJ– several times a month for the last 12 years.  I am active in the communities from Rosarito to Ensenada, but that’s another discussion set forth in the “about us” portion of this site as well as the other related websites. 

When I practiced law,  I was always known  fighting for the underdog: the little guy.  But that pursuit is worthless, unless the guy has a legitimate claim to make, and the means to assert the same.  Most times, the latter part of the equation was the deal-breaker, but every once in a while, you’d take the case: it was the right thing to do….damn the torpedoes!!!

For the last 12+ I have lived/loved the Baja, shared it with countless others, and enjoyed others that travel through the same.  Over the last 2-3 years I’ve witnessed a significant drop in tourism, directly as a result of the negative media campaign undertaken by the press, politicians and (so-called) pundits.  The impact of this campaign is adversely affecting every hard working man, woman and child on the Baja Gold Coast, because tourism is the lifeblood of these communities.  And these are my friends, and the friends of my neighbors, and the friends of the friends of my neighbors. 

After 2 years, of hearing complaints, fielding inquiries, and answering phone calls, that I chose to undertake this project.  Admittedly, you may perceive that I have an inherent bias predicated upon what I have already shared: towards Baja.  However, I will present to you my findings, based upon substantial research that reasonable free-thinking minds can come to one conclusion: the media is attempting to dupe their readership!!!

What if I was to tell you that the media frenzy is manipulative, misleading  and in many cases predicated on scant or no evidence whatsoever? What if I was to tell you that in some cases the allegations are fallacious and their evidence false? What if was to tell you that the entire campaign may have a ulterior motive, that may not be sinister, but certainly impeaches the credibility of those who published these allegations?

Obviously, you or those responsible would shout: “PROVE IT!!!” And indeed, I shall, HOWEVER IT IS THE MEDIA that FIRST  set forth their claims and it is he/she that makes the allegation that has the “burden of proof” ( i.e. It is not I who have to prove that the media has made false accusations; they are the ones in who first promulgated bogus claims.  Accordingly, since THEY are making these allegations they should bear the burden of proving that their allegations are factually based, upon reliable evidence of a substantive nature. This they didn’t achieve…as you are about to discover…. In the context of this discourse, you will come to realize the factual basis of my claim, as well.

BACKGROUND

Since  2006, Baja Mexico has  been the target of an a negative media campaign predicated, initially upon antecdotal touirst incidents.  Initially reported in the San Diego Union Tribune (UnionTrib) and LA Times, eventually repeated in many major newspaper and media across the United States.  From there these same stories became sensationalized on the world wide web, through websites, blogs, chatrooms etc. Although we recognize that individuals may have unnecessarily suffered in some of these cases, it is far from the truth that these were anything more than isolated events, embellished, sensationalized and dramatized by the various media.

Contemporaneous to these reports, the Federal  Mexican Government, under the Presidency of Calderon,  initiated a campaign  to oust  the organized crime element involved in drug trafficking which is the main conduit for transporting contraband into the United States. It is beyond the scope of this project to indulge in the “politics” of this campaign, but unquestionably there have been positive results as it relates to the former media campaign.  There have been no other antecdotal events! 

Meanwhile, however, the media is having a “heyday” with their newest whipping boy: the so called “Mexican Drug War”

The drug war impacts a couple Mexican Stages as well as border cities in particular including Mexicali, El Juarez, and Tijuana among others. Relevant to Baja. incidents in TJ,  fuel the media frenzy as to alleged killings, kidnappings, and other criminal incidents which foster terror in the US.  But is this unique? 

The drug war has always been waged in Mexico at some level. Within the first couple of years that I moved here, there was an execution of 19 family members in El Sauzul, a northern suburb of Ensenada.  The person responsible for this, was puportedly arrested in Los Angeles Ca, a few months ago.

But some years, the death toll is higher than others, and in 2008 it was the highest in recent years.  However,  I believe it is the US press/media. although has SOME factual basis to their reporting, they are  exploiting events south of the border for their OWN pocketbooks. Several points will justify.

First, lets be clear, in all the reports of thousands who allegedly lost their lives in 2008, there have been very few tourist, let alone gringos involved in the same, including TJ. Admittedly,  there have been unrelated isolated incidents of crime against tourists, but no more than in any other tourist destination, including the Federal Park system in southern California.

Second, no one is interested in defending Mexico, north of the border.  This is a fact, always has been, always will be.  To the “Joe and Josie Rednecks” of  US, Mexico is the root of all evil: it’s the Alamo; illegal immigration; marijuana makers; and killer bees! Mexicans are considered “banditos” and the USA needs a bigger wall to protect it from these outlaws. To this  group of Americans, Mexico and Mexicans are the new “niggers” of this millennium .  They will “pile on” to any Mexico bashing, anywhere, anytime, and with everyone who shares their view.  It’s a racist-nationalist frenzy incorporated into the hate culture.

Third, the US press/media is enjoying the feeding of this frenzy.  From the San Diego Tribune, to the LA Times, and all the way right to Bill O’Reilly (Fox News), the facts are distorted, overblown, spun and in many cases downright contrived to pander to their advertisers, and perpetuate terror. 

Why?  The US economy is suffering an unprecedented financial meltdown.  Baja-bashing promotes: stay at home, “vacation in your own backyard”.  Let’s face it, spring-break in your hometown or in LA or Vegas is “ole hat” to many, but pile on Baja Terror stories, and the option becomes clear.

More sublte, however, in the case of the periodicals, they are losing their TAILS through their subscription base and advertisers, as the World Wide Web, undercuts their readership and ad revenue.  Indeed, the Union Trib, LA Times. New York Times, and even the Wall Street Journal, have lost up to 1/3rd of their readership in the last 3 years.  Most of these publications have been sold or are negotiating their liquidation as I write.  They CANT COMPETE.

Furthermore, lets remember that a HUGE revenue stream to these publications, especially the LA times and Union Trib is derived from the USA real estate industry and tourism industry (ie. Hotels, restaurants, cruise lines, etc). Likewise, so is the readership.  Most importantly, very little IF ANY advertising revenue is generated from MEXICAN businesses.  Accordingly, it is to their advantage, to bash Baja, (and Mexico) each and every day 365 days a year.  And to sensationalize, dramatize and embellish these stories so that people buy their papers advertisers support their media spin. 

Up until 2008, the media was busy, sensationalizing, dramatizing and embellishing the Iraq war.  They had their best writers deployed, embedded, and admonishing the conflict and its daily death count. Once the Iraq conflict—and its body count–stabilized, there was nothing else to sensationalize, but for MEXICO. So all the editors, writers, etc. who had been covering Iraq were redeployed or otherwise engaged in the newest conflict: the MEXICAN DRUG WAR.  After all it’s the “perfect storm”, as unlike the Iraq war, where reasonable minds could disagree as to its purpose, very few if any US citizens see Mexico as anything than the bad guy! 

I watched Bill Oreilly on 2/05/09 report that the “Mexican Drug War” accounted for 5800 deaths in 2008, whereas in Iraq in 2008, only 350 American soldiers were killed. His conclusion was that Iraq was safer for Americans than being in Mexico!  (I replayed this “spin” on his website, as I couldn’t believe it).  First, he did not count the TOTAL Americans killed in Iraq in 2008, only US soldiers (my condolences). We all know that there is a significant number of non military “contractors” dying there as well. He also didn’t include the ENTIRE death toll in Iraq including, civilian-Iraqis, the enemy and anyone else caught in the crossfire.  FINALLY he did not disclose that very few, IF ANY of the alleged 5800 dead bodies in Mexico were US citizens!  Yet this is the type of media bias is being wagered against Mexico.  (The estimated loss of life in Iraq is between 800,000 to 1 million, or 100,000- 150,000/ yr. hardly comparable to Mexico). 

But, meanwhile, the press blusters forward, making Baja sound deadlier than Baghdad.  This is a disgrace to those who serve in Iraq, and is likewise a disgrace to Mexico.  The two wars are not even closely comparable at ANY level, other than the grief of those who have lost loved ones.  In Mexico, this tends to be limited to drug warriors, the military, the police, and occasionally an innocent bystander, the same type of innocent, who might be hit by a stray bullet in a drive by shooting if in the wrong place at the wrong time  in east LA, Philadelphia or New Orleans. 

Even though the Dept. of State renewed a “Travel Advisory” on 2/20/09,  about Mexico, alleging possible incidents of crimes against tourist, it was unable to specify ONE US fatality  included in the violence. 

Meanwhile, what the Dept. of State OR US government failed to issue was a Travel Advisory about traveling in the USA.  Indeed, more gringos died in ALABAMA on 3/10/09 (when some looney tune went on a shooting spree killing many at random including the Sheriff’s wife and child. TEN PEOPLE DIED exclusive of the suicide of the killer.

WANT SOME MORE??  Feb. 14, 2008: Former student Steven Kazmierczak, 27, opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, fatally shooting five students and wounding 18 others before committing suicide.

Dec. 5, 2007: 19-year-old Robert A. Hawkins opened fire with a rifle in Omaha, Nebraska at a Von Maur store in the Westroads Mall, killing eight people before taking his own life. Five more people were wounded, two critically.

Oct. 7, 2007: 20-year-old Forest County, Wisconsin Sheriff’s Deputy Tyler Peterson went on a shooting rampage at a Crandon home where seven young people had gathered for pizza and movies. Peterson killed six and injured the other before fatally shooting himself.

April 16, 2007: Cho Seung-Hui, 23, fatally shot 32 people in a dorm and a classroom at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, then killed himself in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

IN LAST 2 YEARS 61 GRINGOS EXECUTED; 24 WOUNDED in USA.  (and these are just MASS KILLINGS).  Gringos have a greater chance of being executed in the USA: going to the mall; attending class; or sitting on their front porch…than they do vacationing in Mexico… And these statistics do not include the everyday murders committed in the ongoing US Drug War in every community throughout the US inclusive of Detroit, New Orleans, Philadelphia or LA

ADD the 3000+ who died in 9-11 …and I cant believe people who brag about their safety in the USA!!!

AGAIN THE MEXICAN DRUG WAR IS AMONG NARCOS, COPS, MILITARY, and therefore, so are the fatalities,,, occasionally an innocent gets caught in crossfire….BUT NONE WERE American Tourists.

for website see www.BajaTravelAdvisor.com

 

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