More Baja links

– The string of events the past few weeks in Baja seems to have attracted a lot of country wide attention.

– News bits like this don’t seem to help the situation: Kidnapped Spanish tourist found blindfolded beside Tijuana road

– You just can’t make up news this bizarre:

A mysterious helicopter crash during Baja California’s storied Baja 1000 off-road race set off a strange chain of events that left four people dead and two missing after a nighttime raid on a local morgue, officials said Thursday.

…Among the last-minute entries were two men who registered a black pick-up truck called Azteca Warrior, according to media reports and Ensenada city spokesman Daniel Vargas. One of the men, registered as Pablo Gonzalez, was tracking the race team’s progress in a helicopter (60 miles west of the city of Ensenada ) when it crashed into high-tension wires, killing Gonzalez and another passenger and injuring two pilots.

Two people who said they were relatives of Gonzalez showed up at the morgue Wednesday and tried to claim the body, but were not allowed to take it, authorities said. A few minutes later, the gunmen struck. …The convoy of 14 vehicles pulled up in front of the city morgue on Calle Guadalupe. The attackers stormed the building, snatched a corpse, loaded it into a vehicle and sped off through the hills toward Tecate, where two police officers had set up a roadblock. “They tried to stop them. The gunmen answered with bullets,” said Edgar Lopez, a spokesman for the Baja California state police. …Federal authorities are investigating whether the body is that of drug cartel figure Francisco Merardo Leon Hinojosa, nicknamed El Abulon — The Abalone.

– LA Times has an interesting article about the housing boom by norteamericanos in Baja Sur: Taking Baja South

They arrive by land, air and sea, with visions of the good life dancing in their heads. At first, their numbers are so small as to be barely noticeable. But within a few years they may end up taking over your street, your colonia, practically your entire town. They bring their curious native customs with them—skinny Frappuccinos, “personal watercraft,” wireless Internet access—and replant them in foreign soil. Relentlessly, they remake the landscape in their own image, transforming derelict colonial-era manses into stunning million-dollar homes, and majestic swaths of lonely seaside acreage into $300-per-round golf courses. And though many of them make a diligent effort to learn the local tongue, befriend the natives and blend into their adopted country, others stubbornly resist assimilation: hanging out in their gated compounds with other English-speaking exiles, eschewing the local coffee shops and taco shacks in favor of Starbucks and Burger King, plowing their SUVs like woozy battleships through the narrow streets of picturesque 17th century towns.

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