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‘Chapo’ will stay Mexico will keep drug lord By E. EDUARDO CASTILLO & MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN ASSOCIATED PRESS

ON PAGE 5A US prosecutors jockeying to try Guzman Photo by Bloomberg

Drug trafficker Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is escorted to a helicopter by Mexican security forces at Mexico’s International Airport in Mexico city, Mexico, on Saturday, Feb. 22.

MEXICO CITY — Mexico made clear Tuesday it is determined to keep Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in its highest-security prison for the foreseeable future, putting off U.S. extradition in a move that could bolster President Enrique Pena Nieto’s nationalist credentials but also shine a spotlight on the



MR. SOUTH TEXAS Zapatan celebrated for contributions By PHILIP BALLI THE ZAPATA TIMES


he Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association gathered Saturday to commemorate Renato Ramirez of Zapata as Mr. South Texas 2014. The Mr. South Texas Luncheon is one of the more than 27 events in the Washington’s Birthday Celebration calendar. Jose A. Palacios Jr., past president of the WBCA, said it is the marquis event for the celebration. “We’re honoring an individual through the WBCA that has really gone out of their way to improve the quality of life for South Texans,” Palacios said. “Mr. Ramirez has his hands in a lot of different things, so it was a very easy choice for the committee.” The Mr. South Texas selection committee is comprised of past presidents of the WBCA and former Mr. South Texas recipients who reside in Laredo. The formal announcement was made during a press conference held at Texas


Photo by Victor Strife | Laredo Morning Times

Renato Ramirez, CEO and chairman of the board for IBC-Zapata, is interviewed by the press Saturday morning at the Laredo Country Club, prior to the Mr. South Texas Luncheon.

Photo by Victor Strife | Laredo Morning Times

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar is joined by officals as they unveil the sign for the I-69 corridor Monday morning.

Route would link borders By PHILIP BALLI THE ZAPATA TIMES

Local and state officials gathered Monday to designate Loop 20 as “Future I-69,” an interstate previously referred to as the NAFTA highway. The goal is for the highway’s route to connect the Texas-Mexico border to the Canada-Minnesota border. The 1,600-mile national highway will connect Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Texas has connectivity in the Rio Grande Valley coming from Brownsville, McAllen, a future corridor in Laredo, Corpus Christi, Houston, Livingston, Nacogdoches and Texarkana. In 2012, Laredo’s ports of entry were the No. 1 busiest ports in the nation for buses and trucks, and ranked third in the nation for the busiest automobile port. It is because Laredo has the busiest truck crossing in the country that the I-69 corridor here is so important, said Texas Transportation Commissioner Jeff Austin III. He said the sound of the passing trucks in Laredo is the sound of money, compared to the refineries in Houston, which some refer to as the smell of money. “We need good roads where economic development is taking place,” he said. “It is creating jobs and it is moving goods and services to the rest of the country while keeping us competitive with strong local and regional economies.” Austin said I-69 is a priority for Texas and the Texas Department of Transportation because it is bringing interstate access to parts of the state that have not had access to an interstate before. “If you go back to the 2010 census, where I-69 is being developed, the average population growth along this stretch grew almost 25 percent,” he said. “We’re bringing an interstate system to parts of the state that normally has not had access to it before.” John Thompson of the Alliance for I-69 said the alliance is in the process of authorizing $1.2 billion that could be the first major infusion of new money into transportation in the state. Laredo City Manager Carlos Villarreal said the focal point for transportation is Laredo. “We have two of the busiest highways, and I-69 will only add additional traffic,” he said. Villarreal said he looks forward to begin the work on the loop once the money has been authorized. “Our priority will be to turn Loop 20 into interstate standards, and then working with the state to make sure I-69 gets expanded,” he added. “This is a good day for Laredo.”


Eagle Ford’s injuries put strain on hospitals By PEGGY O’HARE SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS

With drilling increasing dramatically in the Eagle Ford Shale, patients from the region with serious injuries have turned up in fast-increasing numbers at San Antonio’s top trauma hospitals. More people injured in falls, crashes, stabbings and shootings or suffering from burns also are increasing pressure on rural hospitals in the shale region, a trauma registry maintained by the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council indicates. At Dimmit Regional Hospital in Carrizo Springs, a Level IV trauma center, emergency-room visits have doubled — and, on occasion, tripled — from monthly levels recorded just three years ago, said Ernest Flores Jr., who retired as the hospital’s CEO earlier this month and now is a consultant for the medical facility. Dr. Brian Eastridge has wit-

Photo by Bob Owen | San Antonio Express-News

A vehicle owned by Chesapeake Energy is loaded on a tow truck following a collision with an 18-wheeler on Texas Highway 85, three miles outside of Carrizo Springs. Dimmit County Regional Hospital has seen a dramatic increase in trauma cases directly associated from the oil and gas industry in the Eagle Ford Shale. nessed the surge both in San Antonio and the South Texas play. “Not only are we seeing greater numbers of injury, but we’re also seeing greater numbers of more significant injury coming from

there ... all in a social era that we’re expected to do basically more with less,” said Eastridge, University Health System’s trauma director and vice chairman of STRAC, which collects the injury

data from hospitals in the 22-county region. “They’re gold-rush cities down there. There are lots of workingage people in fairly close proximity. It’s hard work, long hours, work

hard, play hard.” University Hospital and San Antonio Military Medical Center are catching much of the influx as the region’s only Level I trauma centers — hospitals providing the most comprehensive care, with general surgeons and surgical specialists on-site around the clock, teaching and research programs, injury prevention programs and rehabilitation services. There are no Level I trauma centers south of San Antonio. Rural hospitals in the Eagle Ford are Level IV trauma centers, meaning they provide more basic emergency medicine services. And a few counties in STRAC’s region have no hospitals at all, such as Live Oak, McMullen and Zavala counties. The largest oil and gas companies doing business in the shale play declined to be interviewed about the region’s rising injury



Zin brief CALENDAR




Wednesday, Feb. 26


Black History Jazz Concert. 7 a.m. to 8:45 a.m. Laredo Civic Center Auditorium. Jazz musicians from Dallas and San Antonio to join Vidal M. Treviño magnet school’s Jacqui DavisMcCaulley and Ric Cortez. Contact Cortez at 206-0351 or

Today is Wednesday, Feb. 26, the 57th day of 2014. There are 308 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Feb. 26, 1904, the United States and Panama proclaimed a treaty under which the U.S. agreed to undertake efforts to build a ship canal across the Panama isthmus. On this date: In 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte escaped from exile on the Island of Elba. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson signed a congressional act establishing Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona. In 1929, President Calvin Coolidge signed a measure establishing Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. In 1945, authorities ordered a midnight curfew at night clubs, bars and other places of entertainment across the nation. In 1952, Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that Britain had developed its own atomic bomb. In 1962, after becoming the first American to orbit the Earth, astronaut John Glenn told a joint meeting of Congress, “Exploration and the pursuit of knowledge have always paid dividends in the long run.” In 1987, the Tower Commission, which had probed the Iran-Contra affair, issued its report, which rebuked President Ronald Reagan for failing to control his national security staff. In 1993, a truck bomb built by terrorists exploded in the parking garage of New York’s World Trade Center, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others. In 1994, a jury in San Antonio acquitted eleven followers of David Koresh of murder, rejecting claims they’d ambushed federal agents; five were convicted of voluntary manslaughter. In 2012, in a case that drew national attention, Trayon Martin, 17, was shot to death in Sanford, Fla., during an altercation with neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, who said he’d acted in self-defense. (Zimmerman was subsequently acquitted of second-degree murder.) Ten years ago: Two church-sanctioned studies documenting sex abuse by U.S. Roman Catholic clergy said that about four percent of clerics had been accused of molesting minors since 1950 and blamed bishops’ “moral laxity” in disciplining offenders for letting the problem worsen. Five years ago: The Pentagon, reversing an 18-year-old policy, said it would allow some media coverage of returning war dead, with family approval. One year ago: A hot air balloon burst into flames during a sunrise flight over the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor and then plummeted 1,000 feet to earth, killing 19 tourists (one tourist and the balloon’s pilot survived). Today’s Birthdays: Singer Fats Domino is 86. Countryrock musician Paul Cotton (Poco) is 71. Actor-director Bill Duke is 71. Singer Mitch Ryder is 69. Rock musician Jonathan Cain (Journey) is 64. Singer Michael Bolton is 61. The prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is 60. Thought for Today: “One resists the invasion of armies; one does not resist the invasion of ideas.” — Victor Hugo (1802-1885).

Thursday, Feb. 27 Los Amigos Duplicate Bridge Club. 1:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. Laredo Country Club. Call Beverly Cantu at 7270589. Book-signing with Joe Lopez, author of “The First Texas Independence, 1813.” 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Villa Antigua Border Heritage Museum, 810 Zaragoza St. Books available for sale that evening. Call 727-0977 or visit

Friday, Feb. 28 Photo by Brennan Linsley | AP

Christian Life Seminar: What It Means To Be A Christian. 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., every Friday until April 11. San Martin De Porres Catholic Church’s St. Elizabeth Room. Free. Light snacks served. Contact Leah Cayanan at 2860654 or

Saturday, March 1 Used book sale, hosted by First United Methodist Church. 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. 1220 McClelland Ave. Hardback books are $1, paperback books 50 cents, and magazines and children’s books 25 cents.

Tuesday, March 4 Pre-Lenten all-you-can-eat pancake supper. 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. First United Methodist Church’s Fellowship Hall, 1220 McClelland Ave. Free, but donations accepted. Contact Sue Webber at 722-1674 or Meeting of Alzheimer’s support group. 7 p.m. Meeting Room 2, Building B, Laredo Medical Center. For family members and caregivers. Call Melissa L. Guerra at 693-9991.

Thursday, March 6 Los Amigos Duplicate Bridge Club. 1:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. Laredo Country Club. Call Beverly Cantu at 7270589 “Visiones del Anáhuac” exhibit opening reception. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Villa Antigua Border Heritage Museum, 810 Zaragoza St. Exhibit features paintings by renowned Mexican landscape artists José María Velasco. Call 7270977 or visit

Friday, March 7 Christian Life Seminar: What It Means To Be A Christian. 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., every Friday until April 11. San Martin De Porres Catholic Church’s St. Elizabeth Room. Free. Light snacks served. Contact Leah Cayanan at 2860654 or

Monday, March 10 Zapata County Commissioners Court meeting. 9 a.m. Zapata County Courthouse. Call Roxy Elizondo at 7659920.

Thursday, March 13 42nd Annual Zapata County Fair. 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Zapata County Fairgrounds.

Marijuana and cannabis-infused products are displayed for sale at Medicine Man marijuana dispensary, which opened as a recreational retail outlet at the start of 2014, in Denver, on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013. A southern Colorado county with two recreational marijuana stores has become the first in the state to announce tax totals from the new industry.

County reports pot taxes By KRISTEN WYATT ASSOCIATED PRESS

DENVER — A southern Colorado county with two recreational marijuana stores has become the first in the state to announce tax totals from the new industry. Pueblo County finance authorities announced Monday that its two shops had about $1 million in total sales in January, producing about $56,000 in local sales taxes. Pueblo County is the only place between Denver and the New Mexico state line that currently allows recreational pot stores. Its two shops were to be joined by three more opening in February. “We recognize that the eyes of the world are watching us, and we are proud to have erected a robust regulatory environment in Pueblo County,” County Commissioner Sal Pace said in a statement Tuesday.

NASA turns research to California drought FRESNO, Calif. — NASA scientists have begun deploying satellites and other advanced technology to help California water officials assess the state’s record drought and better manage it, officials said Tuesday. The California Department of Water Resources has partnered with NASA to use the space agency’s satellite data and other airborne technology to better assess the snowpack, ground water levels and predict storms. Jeanine Jones of the state’s Department of Water Resources together with NASA scientists announced the partnership in a Sacramento news briefing, saying that satellite images will help more accurately measure the number of fields farmers have chosen not to plant and where land is sinking because of excessive water pumping. “We value the partnership with NASA and the ability of their remote sensing resources

Pueblo County Clerk Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz projected the marijuana industry will generate roughly $670,000 in new tax revenue for his county this year. The money is a combination of a 3.5 percent pot sales tax approved by county voters last year, as well as “sharebacks” from the state on general and pot-specific sales taxes. If Pueblo’s sales continue at the January pace, the county’s pot industry will make about $11.2 million in gross sales in 2014, Ortiz projected. Colorado has more than 160 licensed recreational pot stores, all of whom had to report sales taxes Feb. 20. Most of the stores are in Denver County, which hasn’t yet reported its January tax haul. Pueblo County is the first local government to make its recreational marijuana sales tax totals public.

to integrate data over large spatial scales,” Jones said. Gov. Jerry Brown directed state officials to form such partnerships as part of his drought emergency declaration last month. Projects NASA is advancing include measuring so-called “atmospheric rivers” to better predict global storm systems farther in advance so rain can be captured in California reservoirs. Satellite images that show the amount of land farmers have chosen not to plant in a drought will arm officials in Sacramento with information about where to open food banks for farm workers. Satellites technology will help officials identify levees that are prone to break with high volumes of water, scientists said.

NYC Council steps away from St. Patrick’s parade NEW YORK — The New York City Council won’t have an official presence at the city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade this year be-

cause of rules that prevent gay and lesbian groups from identifying themselves while marching, Council Speaker Melissa MarkViverito announced Tuesday. The decision follows a similar one this month from new Mayor Bill de Blasio, marking a significant departure from previous mayoral administrations. In the Council announcement, Mark-Viverito said, “This City Council is committed to celebrating and respecting the diversity of New York City, and that is why we’ve decided to not participate in the parade. I hope the organizers will eventually realize that the parade will be better when all New Yorkers can march openly and proudly.” The parade, which started long before the five boroughs has joined to become New York City, is run by a private organization that has said that gays and lesbians can march, but are not allowed to carry gay-friendly signs or identify themselves as LGBT. An email to the parade’s executive secretary seeking comment was not answered. — Compiled from AP reports

Friday, March 14 42nd Annual Zapata County Fair. 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Zapata County Fairgrounds.

Saturday, March 15 42nd Annual Zapata County Fair. 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Zapata County Fairgrounds.

Monday, March 24 Zapata County Commissioners Court meeting. 9 a.m. Zapata County Courthouse. Call Roxy Elizondo at 7659920.

Monday, April 14 Zapata County Commissioners Court meeting. 9 a.m. Zapata County Courthouse. Call Roxy Elizondo at 7659920.

Submit calendar items at or by emailing with the event’s name, date and time, location and purpose and contact information for a representative. Items will run as space is available.

AROUND THE WORLD Another death in protest violence CARACAS, Venezuela — Maracay Mayor Mario Briceno Iragorry says an anti-government protester has died in one of the confrontations that have roiled this country for weeks. His death brings the toll to at least 16 since a series of protests that began Feb. 12. The protests have declined in recent days and the capital was largely free of barricades on Tuesday.

Bakery apologizes for bad taste Pistorius cookies JOHANNESBURG — A South African bakery apologized Tuesday for producing a line of cookies with bad taste messages relating to the upcoming trial of Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympian charged with murder in his girlfriend’s shooting death. Charly’s Bakery did that on

CONTACT US Publisher, William B. Green........................728-2501 Account Executive, Dora Martinez ...... (956) 765-5113 General Manager, Adriana Devally ...............728-2510 Adv. Billing Inquiries ................................. 728-2531 Circulation Director ................................. 728-2559 MIS Director, Michael Castillo.................... 728-2505 Copy Editor, Nick Georgiou ....................... 728-2565 Sports Editor, Zach Davis ..........................728-2578 Spanish Editor, Melva Lavin-Castillo............ 728-2569 Photo by Victor R. Caivano | AP

Russian newlyweds Alexander Emereev, left, and Dmitry Zaytsev are showered with rice in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Tuesday. The two men, who are from Sochi, planned to apply for political asylum from Russia after the ceremony. Twitter after South African media said the bakery posted photos of cookies decorated with images of Pistorius and messages such as one of a toilet door and a sign reading “Caution using toilet please don’t shoot!”

Pistorius fired shots through a toilet door at his house that killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, and will stand trial on a charge of murder. His trial starts Monday. — Compiled from AP reports

SUBSCRIPTIONS/DELIVERY (956) 728-2555 The Zapata Times is distributed on Saturdays to 4,000 households in Zapata County. For subscribers of the Laredo Morning Times and for those who buy the Laredo Morning Times at newsstands, the Zapata Times is inserted. The Zapata Times is free. The Zapata Times is published by the Laredo Morning Times, a division of The Hearst Corporation, P.O. Box 2129, Laredo, Texas 78044. Phone (956) 728-2500. The Zapata office is at 1309 N. U.S. Hwy. 83 at 14th Avenue, Suite 2, Zapata, TX 78076. Call (956) 765-5113 or e-mail




Laredo author to conduct book-signing Lopez focuses on ‘first champion of Texas liberty’ SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

File photo by Times staff

Jonathan Martinez showcases his goat during the Zapata County Fair in 2013 at the Zapata Fairgrounds.

Weigh days coming THE ZAPATA TIMES

In preparation for the Zapata County Fair, the North 4-H Club announced Tuesday that weigh days are coming up. Weigh days will be March 6, 10, 11 and 12, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, new county agent Robert Valdez can be contacted at 956-765-9967. Eligibility forms will

need to be hand-delivered to the Zapata County Fair Association Office, 1308 N. U.S. Highway 83, on March 5, 6 and 7, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. “If on March 7 at 8:01 p.m. we have not received your form or payment you will not be able to participate,” according to a North 4-H flyer sent out by the Zapata Chamber of Commerce. The flyer cited that there

will be “no exceptions.”

Other info The peewee goat show is Wednesday, March 12, between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Only hogs can be moved to the show barn, the email added. The next meeting of North 4-H is Monday. The Zapata County Fair commences March 13 and runs through March 15.

LEA cancels Saturday mariachi concert SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The Mariachi Grito Extravaganza show scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at the Laredo Energy Arena has been cancelled, arena officials stated in a press release issued Monday afternoon. “Unfortunately this show had to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances,” said Xavier Villalon, general manager for the SMG-managed La-

redo Energy Arena. “Elite Latin Productions and the arena hope to bring similar events to Laredo in the near future.” The event was to be the largest Mariachi event of the year with headliners such as Grammy Award winner Alicia Villarreal and Mexican actress and ranchera singer Yolanda Del Rio, among several other well-known Mariachi artists and bands. Tickets purchased via a

Ticketmaster outlet may be refunded in full at the original place of purchase. Patrons who purchased tickets at the Laredo Energy Arena box office may come by Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, from noon to 4 p.m., to receive a full refund. Questions about refunds may be answered by calling the Laredo Energy Arena at 956-7919192.

The Webb County Heritage Foundation and the Villa San Agustín de Laredo Genealogical Society will present a book-signing and reception Thursday with José Antonio López, author of “The First Texas Independence, 1813 - A brief biography on Don Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara Uribe, the First President of Texas.” The event will run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Villa Antigua Border Heritage Museum, 810 Zaragoza St. The public is invited to hear a presentation by the author, a native Laredoan, that evening. Before Sam Houston, Jim Bowie and William Travis, there was Lt. Colonel Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara, the first champion of Texas liberty. By answering Father Miguel Hidalgo’s “Grito” on Sept. 16, 1810, Gutierrez de Lara lit the spark that led to Texas Independence in 1813. He was the first president of Texas. Read about this genuine Texas hero, born on the banks of the Lower Rio Grande in South Texas, whose fascinating story is missing from mainstream Texas history books. Books will be available for sale that evening. For more information, contact the Webb County Heritage Foundation at, visit its Facebook page or call 956727-0977. López was born and raised in Laredo. He is a

Courtesy photo

José Antonio López, author of “The First Texas Independence, 1813 - A brief biography on Don Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara Uribe.” direct descendant of Don Javier Uribe, one of the earliest families that settled in what is now South Texas in 1750. He is the author of three books: “The Last Knight (Don Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara Uribe, A Texas Hero),” “Nights of Wailing, Days of Pain (Life in 1920s South Texas)” and “The First Texas Independence, 1813.” Although an early Texas history writer at heart, López has also written a number of newspaper and online magazine articles

on socio-political issues and current events that affect Spanish-surnamed citizens in the Southwest. He and his wife Cordy visit school campuses throughout South Texas teaching about the Spanish Mexican roots of Texas. López is the founder of the Tejano Learning Center LLC and, which is dedicated to Spanish Mexican people and events in U.S. history that are mostly overlooked in mainstream history books.







‘Chapo’ must be extradited THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS

The capture of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman marks a significant turning point in cooperation between U.S. and Mexican counternarcotics agencies. Both nations seem to recognize that the extreme violence and multinational reach of Mexico’s cartels make them more than mere law enforcement challenges. They are national security threats. Years of distrust blocked closer cooperation, fueled by American concerns that Mexican law enforcers could not be trusted with classified intelligence and that corrupt officials would warn drug lords of impending raids. Mexico, likewise, has been concerned about protecting its sovereignty. Allowing U.S. direct intervention can come at a heavy price, as Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras and Chile can attest. The capture of Guzman, head of the Sinaloa cartel, helps put those old worries to rest. The Sinaloa cartel is Mexico’s largest, accounting for many of the bloody turf battles that have led to nearly 80,000 deaths since 2006. Despite Guzman’s arrest, the battle is far from over. A lieutenant always stands ready to fill the power vacuum, and all too often, the replacement is someone even more ruthless than the fallen kingpin. Guzman was captured before, in 1993, and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He escaped and had been at large since 2001. Another drug kingpin, Rafael Caro Quintero, walked free from a federal prison in August because a judge

hastily ordered his release on technical grounds. Those two episodes underscore why Mexico’s judiciary and prison system cannot reliably dispense corruption-free justice. It’s all too easy for cartel kingpins to purchase special treatment, escape or walk free. They can even continue running their empires from inside prison. Until Mexico reforms its penal and judiciary systems, thugs like Guzman can continue to bend the system to their will. That’s why the United States should vigorously press for Guzman’s extradition at the earliest possible moment. GOP Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, agrees. “I think the concern is the fact that he’s already broken out of prison once,” the Austin congressman told ABC’s “This Week.” Extradition would ensure U.S.-Mexico cooperation wasn’t for naught. Grand juries in at least seven states have issued indictments against Guzman for drug trafficking, racketeering and being an accessory to murder. The threat of U.S. capital punishment could pose a big impediment to extradition since Mexican law prohibits death sentences. But it didn’t stand in the way of other extraditions, such as one in 2011 of Tijuana cartel leader Benjamin Arellano Felix and, in 2012, of Jesus Zambada, a chief deputy of Guzman. The promise of a long life behind bars seems more than enough to assuage Mexican death-penalty concerns while ensuring the justice that both countries want to see dispensed swiftly.


Fear: reason to shoot? By JOHN ROMANO TAMPA BAY TIMES

The outrage has already begun to fade. The jurors have returned to anonymous lives, and the news crews have left Jacksonville. Michael Dunn has only appeals and a prison sentence in his immediate future, and Jordan Davis’ parents have only memories. As for the rest of us? We are still debating this “stand your ground” law that is somehow celebrated and condemned, both simultaneously and vociferously. Yet, when all is said and done, nothing will have changed. This is not an argument that “stand your ground” be repealed. The problem is and has been from the beginning the amount of ambiguity in those self-defense statutes. How could a man be convicted of three counts of attempted murder for shooting into a vehicle but not be found guilty of first-degree murder for actually killing a 17-year-old in that same vehicle? The key phrase in Florida’s statute 776.013 (3) is whether a person “reasonably believes” it is necessary to use deadly force in a confrontation. The problem is that is a rather vague standard. “There’s a lot of latitude involved when the ju-

ry is given instructions,” said Dr. Patricia Wallace, a forensic psychologist. “And the problem is reasonable fear is an abstract term. We’ve never quantified what it means. Is it reasonable for a white person to fear a black male? Because, if it is, then you have the right to kill them. And all these trials will turn out the same way.” The jury in Dunn’s case convicted him of attempted murder because he shot at the vehicle as it drove away. But it was deadlocked on the murder charge because he claimed his first shots were in response to seeing a shotgun. No one else saw this shotgun, no shots were fired from it, three other people in the car said it didn’t exist, police never found it, and Dunn didn’t mention it until later. Yet several jurors seemed to agree his fear was reasonable. But it was easier to define reasonable fear when self-defense was limited to a person’s home. If someone is breaking into your house, using force is an easier call. So we have a law that allows the presumption of fear and not necessarily an identifiable threat to dictate jury verdicts. Shouldn’t the criteria for killing a person be higher?



There are no “toga and yoga” keggers. No football team. No lacrosse team. No jello shots, jungle juice, boilermaker binges or beer pong. And certainly no bongs. The most dangerous substance around evangelical Patrick Henry College is the Sweet Frog frozen yogurt place across the street from the Loudoun County, Va., campus. Yet, the thing that so many experts say is the tragic result of the unbridled, reckless indulgence of parties and booze — sexual assault — still happens on tightly controlled, superconservative, dry-as-a-bone campuses. A New Republic year-long investigation into the way the college known as “God’s Harvard” handled its sexual assault cases tells us that you don’t need John Belushi and togas to get “Animal House” behavior from college students. It’s a perfect test case into the root causes of sexual assault on campus and the way universities handle it, which President Obama addressed with parental ferocity last month. “It is estimated that one in five women on college campuses has been sexually assaulted during their time there. One in five,” Obama said in a speech Jan. 22. “These young women worked so hard just to get into college; often their parents are doing everything they can to help them pay for it. So when they finally make it there only to be assaulted, that is not just a nightmare for them and their families, it’s an affront to everything they’ve worked so hard to achieve. It’s totally unacceptable.” In response, Obama created a White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. A White House report also concluded that because many attacks occur at parties, victims are often “abused while they’re drunk, under the influence of drugs, passed out or otherwise incapacitated.” And some recent stories back that up: At the U.S. Naval Academy, a female midshipman reluctantly accused three classmates of assaulting

her, although she testified that she couldn’t remember much about the incident because she’d had so much to drink at an off-campus “toga and yoga” party. At the University of Missouri, a swimmer, allegedly raped by one or more football players, committed suicide 16 months later. At the University of Notre Dame, a 19-year-old freshman at a neighboring college committed suicide after accusing a Notre Dame football player of sexually assaulting her. At Vanderbilt University, four football players were arrested and accused of raping a student in her dorm room. Or, if you’d prefer, look at some survivor websites, or the comments section of just about every single article or column ever written about campus sexual assault, and you can read scores of other accounts. Yes, alcohol is often a factor. But listen to Vice President Biden on that one. “No matter what she’s wearing, no matter whether she’s in a bar, in a dormitory, in the back seat of a car, on a street, drunk or sober — no man has a right to go beyond the word no. And if she can’t consent, it also means no.” Yes, it is a good idea not to binge drink. But pointing to binge drinking when talking about sexual assault is like talking about parking after a series of car break-ins instead of calling the police and finding the bad guy. That’s called victim-blaming. So let’s take all that social lube away — the testosterone-fueled sports teams, the drunken parties, the fraternities. What do you have? At Patrick Henry, two women spoke to reporter Kiera Feldman about what happened when they were sexually assaulted by fellow students. In most of the cases Feldman examined, there was no alcohol involved. In one incident, yes, there was mild drinking at a lake off campus. Here’s the common thread: From Christian college to big public university to military academy, the women involved were victimized a second time in the way their cases were han-

dled. Sasha Menu Courey, the University of Missouri swimmer, told a nurse, a rape crisis counselor, a campus therapist, two doctors and an athletic department administrator that she was raped, but no one did anything about it. Sixteen months after the attack, she killed herself. At a preliminary hearing known as an Article 32, the midshipman was subjected to days of hostile cross-examination by defense attorneys, who asked what kind of underwear she had on and how wide she opens her mouth during oral sex. And at Patrick Henry College, the women were questioned about what they were wearing and whether they were flirting. One victim was assigned to read a self-help book on modesty. She was told by a college official to delete the emails, calls and texts from a young man who apologized for an assault after she asked about calling the police. The dean asked her to trust God instead. Patrick Henry officials released a statement calling the New Republic report “categorically false” and saying, “We take each allegation seriously and try to conduct appropriate investigations with a spirit of emotional support while seeking truth.” Too often at campuses across the country there is a reluctance to report a possible crime to the proper authorities. Why do university officials report a series of campus breakins or robberies to the police, but send sexual assault cases to a counselor? “It’s always about the concern for the young man’s reputation,” said Angela Hattery, a professor of women and gender studies at George Mason University who has done extensive research into campus sexual assaults. And the woman’s mental and physical health? Not so important, I guess. You can’t blame sexual assaults on clothing, flirting, binge drinking or parties. Even when you take all that away, there are still smart, clean-cut, young evangelical men who think they have a right to women’s bodies. It’s not about women stopping an attack. It’s about men learning that they never had the right to begin one.

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Prison for Ark. man ASSOCIATED PRESS

Photo by Mayra Beltron | Houston Chronicle

Police walk away with evidence from the trash bag where a newborn baby boy was found on Tuesday in Houston. According to Carlos Michel, maintenance worker at The Reserve at Windmill Lakes Apartment complex, he heard a sound coming from the dumpster which he thought was a cat at first.

COLUMBUS, Ga. — An Arkansas man has been sentenced to a year in federal prison after prosecutors say he called in bomb threats to the Carmike Cinemas’ headquarters in Georgia. Prosecutors say 59year-old Keith Bowers of Jessieville, Ark., was sentenced Tuesday to serve a year and a day in prison for making a bomb threat. Bowers pleaded guilty in December to making two calls from Longview, Texas, in August 2012 to Carmike’s

Prosecutors say (Bowers) used a ‘Hispanic accent’ and said he was unhappy that Carmike underpaid immigrant workers for cleaning. headquarters in Columbus. Prosecutors say he used a “Hispanic accent” and said he was unhappy that Carmike underpaid immigrant workers for cleaning. He said he would detonate a bomb

during a screening of “The Expendables.” Prosecutors say Bowers provided cleaning services to businesses, including Carmike, and was angry about rivals he said used immigrant labor and could undercut his bids.

Newborn abandoned DA drops sexting case after citing ruling ASSOCIATED PRESS

HOUSTON — Police say they’ve found the mother of a newborn child who was discarded in the dumpster of a Houston apartment complex. The 16-year-old girl is not being identified and was taken Tuesday to a

hospital for observation. No immediate charge has been filed against her. A maintenance worker taking out the trash Tuesday morning at the complex in southeast Houston notified police after hearing a noise and finding the newborn in a trash bag. Police say the infant

was breathing when taken to a Houston hospital. The child’s condition is unknown but is expected to survive. The Houston Chronicle reports the infant was found with part of its umbilical cord still attached. No other information was immediately available from authorities.

US agents seize ammo ‘Rare find’ likely headed to Mexico as authorities there plead with US to stop gun trafficking ASSOCIATED PRESS

McALLEN, Texas — The U.S. Border Patrol says its agents have seized more than 36,000 rounds of ammunition found in an abandoned sport utility vehicle near the Mexican border. It issued a statement Tuesday saying agents in

its Rio Grande Valley Sector made the rare find while acting on an anonymous tip to suspicious activity near the Rio Grande. The Border Patrol says its agents were searching the Rio Grande City area, across from Camargo, Mexico, when they saw eight people swimming back to Mexico on Monday. The

agents followed footprints north to the vehicle and found dozens of cardboard boxes containing ammunition for automatic rifles. The Mexican government has been pressuring the United States to stop the trafficking of U.S. weapons, which it says has been fueling Mexico’s bloody drug wars.


FORT WORTH — Prosecutors have dropped a case against a teacher accused of exchanging sexually explicit texts with a 13-yearold student, alleging that an appeals court ruling found them to be protected speech. The Tarrant County Dis-

trict Attorney’s Office dropped the case against Sean Arlis Williams, a junior high teacher in the suburb of Everman. DA’s spokeswoman Melody McDonald told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram the decision resulted from an October ruling by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. That court ruled a

state law against sexually explicit online communication between adult and minor violated First Amendment free speech rights. The ruling came in the case of a Houston man accused of sending sexually explicit text messages to a student. His attorney, Mark Bennett of Houston, argued the statute was too broad.

Suspect charged Man accused of wounding two at Austin’s Sixth Street ASSOCIATED PRESS

AUSTIN — A man suspected of opening fire during an argument on Austin’s popular Sixth Street has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Travis County jail records show 19-year-old Paul Lenorris Whitley was being held Tuesday with bond set at $80,000. Online jail records don’t list an attorney for Whitley, who was arrested following the gunfire early Sunday as the bars were closing.

Police are trying to determine what sparked the shootings that left a man and a woman hurt. Their names and further details on their recovery weren’t immediately available. Investigators do not believe Whitley knew the victims.



US prosecutors want a shot at ‘El Chapo’ By ALICIA A. CALDWELL & ERIC TUCKER ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors across the United States are already jockeying over who will handle any case against drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, even though it’s far from clear whether he’ll ever be brought to this country to face charges. Who in the U.S. gets to prosecute the longtime fugitive, apprehended over the weekend in Mexico and now charged with violating his country’s drug trafficking laws, likely will turn on which office has the strongest case — and perhaps some politics. “You want No. 1 to be the best shot that you have,” said David Weinstein, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida in Miami who helped prosecute several high-profile suspected drug traffickers from Colombia and Haiti in his 11 years in the office. “What do they say? If you shoot at the king, you make sure you hit him in the head.” At least seven federal district courts have indictments pending against Guzman on a variety of charges, and several already are pressing for extradition. He had been dubbed “public enemy No. 1” in Chicago even before his arrest at a Mexican beach resort. He’s wanted as well by federal prosecutors in New York City, and years-old indictments in San Diego and West Texas accuse Guzman of masterminding a mammoth cocaine trafficking operation. The Justice Department hasn’t said whether it plans to seek extradition, allowing only that it will be “the subject of further discussion between the United States and Mexico.” Guzman is imprisoned in Mexico, where a judge will soon decide whether to release him or start the process of bringing him to trial. His lawyers filed an appeal Monday seeking to halt any attempt to extradite him, a common legal tactic used by drug suspects in Mexico. Any extradition request and its timing will be determined at the highest levels of the Justice Department, almost certainly with input from the State Department, said Marcos Jimenez, a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida whose cases have included several high-ranking Colombian drug cartel figures who were brought to the state for trial. While those cases had their own political complications, the fate of Guzman, one of the world’s mostwanted drug traffickers, is likely to be even more complicated. “There is going to


be a lot of diplomatic back and forth,” Jimenez said. Mexico’s Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong told The Associated Press on Monday that he has no knowledge of a formal extradition request from the United States, though he has heard expressions of interest. He said the Mexican government will evaluate and ana-

We think he’s being perfectly guarded and watched, and we don’t think it’s necessary to do anything else. He will be very isolated. He won’t be allowed to continue with his operations. MIGUEL ANGEL OSORIO CHONG, MEXICO INTERIOR SECRETARY

lyze any petition that comes in. There’s plenty of precedent for international defendants facing multiple U.S. indictments. Some defendants make appearances in multiple states. Luis Hernando GomezBustamante, a Colombian drug cartel leader whose operation exported more than 500,000 kilograms of cocaine, was detained by Cuban authorities in 2004, was extradited to the United States and eventually pleaded guilty in both New York — where he was indicted prior to his arrest — and Washington. Sometimes allegations in different jurisdictions are resolved through a single guilty plea. Eric Justin Toth, a former Washington private school teacher once featured on the FBI’s mostwanted list, was captured in Nicaragua last year and re-

turned to face child pornography charges. His guilty plea in Washington also covered a separate pending indictment issued in Maryland. Since Guzman’s arrest, federal prosecutors in both New York City and Chicago have said they want to try the case. Law enforcement authorities whose offices have worked the case the longest, have the strongest set of facts to win a conviction and have the resources to handle a massive criminal case would likely be in the best position, according to lawyers familiar with the process. Chicago authorities, for instance, contend the city is a major hub for Guzman’s Sinaloa drug cartel. Two high-up dealers are already cooperating with prosecutors, and an alleged Sinaloa lieutenant is awaiting trial there. In San Diego, where Guzman is also under indictment, U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy has built a career on prosecuting the Arellano Felix cartel. Benjamin Arellano Felix was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison in 2012, the highest-profile among many who were extradited from Mexico. Mexico waited nine years to extradite him following his arrest in 2002. “These kinds of fights between U.S. attorneys’ offices are quite common. Often they take a long time to make the decision,” said David B. Smith, a former Justice Department narcotics prosecutor who said such discussions often involve political considerations and sometimes even favoritism. But Robert Feitel, a former prosecutor in the Justice Department’s narcotics and dangerous drugs section, said he’s skeptical that Guzman will ever be prosecuted in the United States. He said Mexico typically has insisted on affidavits professing firsthand knowledge of the criminal conduct of a defendant wanted for extradition, creating a heavy burden. Though Mexican authorities would not have to worry about Guzman escaping from prison — he did that in Mexico in 2001 — if they sent him to the U.S., they would certainly be reluctant to turn over such a prominent figure in the country’s drug war, Feitel said. “He’s a terrorist in their nation,” he said. “Could you imagine if we were to send someone like him to Mexico if the situation was reversed?” Osorio Chong dismissed concern about Guzman escaping again. “We think he’s being perfectly guarded and watched, and we don’t think it’s necessary to do anything else,” Osorio Chong said. “He will be very isolated. He won’t be allowed to continue with his operations.”

Cattle feeding changes ASSOCIATED PRESS

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska has surpassed Texas in the number of cattle in the state being fattened for slaughter, according to the latest federal statistics. Drought-ravaged Texas lost its fictional crown after its total dropped 7 percent over the past year, to 2.44 million head in feedlots with a capacity of at least 1,000 animals. That compares unfavorably with Nebraska’s loss of less than a half a percent, to 2.46 million head, the Lincoln Journal Star said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that, as of Feb. 1, there were 10.76 million head of cattle being fattened for slaughter nationally, compared with 11.07 million a year ago. Nebraska remains far behind Texas in the total number of cattle with 6.5 million head, compared with 10.9 million in Texas. Kate Brooks, a professor of livestock production and

agricultural marketing at the University of NebraskaLincoln, said record high cattle prices have helped push calves through the market. “A lot of that had to do with calves coming off of wheat pastures early due to some of the dry conditions we’ve been seeing in the Plains states,” Brooks said. Many Nebraska feedlots can boast abundant supplies of corn and water, Brooks said, and the growth of ethanol in Nebraska has created a supply of distillers grain — a byproduct of the fermentation process. Greg Ibach, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, said the figures could fluctuate over the next year but that the number of feed cattle in Nebraska has generally increased over time. Ibach said the state is a “natural fit” for feed cattle because it’s the nation’s secondlargest ethanol producer, the third-largest corn pro-

ducer and it offers nearly 23 million acres of range and pastureland. Texas lost 15 percent of its cattle — or about 2 million animals — between January 2011 and January 2013, as ranchers sold them to out-of-state buyers or sent them to slaughter due to an unrelenting drought. At its worst, 88 percent of the state was in the most severe stage of drought on the U.S. Drought Monitor map. Now, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, about 58 percent of Texas remains in one stage of drought or another. Far less land is in the worst dryness categories than in previous years, while 18 percent of the state is considered abnormally dry. There is little severe or worse drought in East Texas and parts of Southeast Texas, where many of the state’s cattle are produced. With better conditions, experts have said, more and more Texas producers are looking at handling more cattle.

File photo by Eric Gay | AP

In this March 6, 2013 photo, Dan Phillips, a member of the San Antonio Living History Association, patrols the Alamo during a pre-dawn memorial ceremony to remember the 1836 Battle of the Alamo and those who fell on both sides, in San Antonio.

Takeover proposed ASSOCIATED PRESS

SAN ANTONIO — Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson is proposing a state takeover of Alamo Plaza, saying that taking control of the 19th century square from the city would help bring improvements to the area and highlight its historic significance. Patterson wrote in a Monday letter to San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro that the city should consider transferring or leasing the downtown plaza to his office, which oversees the Alamo Mission, so the area can be under a “singular authority.” “I think it’s going to be easier to get the state of Texas to support a state effort” than a local project, Patterson wrote. The city of San Antonio owns the land from

roughly the western border of the Alamo grounds to the far sidewalk along Alamo Street, including the Alamo Cenotaph monument. Part of the west wall of the 1836 fortress now is on private property and the area now includes Ripley’s Haunted Adventure and Guinness World Records Museum and other businesses some say are inappropriate for a former battle site and mission-era burial ground. The city has struggled to agree on a plan that would better promote the shrine and it will form a 21-member committee in March to study ways to improve the area and update its 1994 master plan for the plaza. Patterson, who is running in a four-man race for the Republican nomination for lieutenant gov-

ernor, chastised the city government for allowing a boxing match promotion in the plaza this summer. But his critics accused him of using the Alamo for political gain in October when he approved a rifle-carrying gun-rights group to hold an “open carry” rally in front of the Alamo. Patterson was among the speakers at the political demonstration, an unprecedented event at the historical site. Jack Cowan, acting president of the Alamo Plaza Project, an independent, nonprofit group seeking a more historic, reverent setting in the plaza, said he wants the state to have the site. “The city does these studies but never takes action,” as in 1994, when a panel recommended closing the plaza to traffic, Cowan said.

Gov’t: Nix food ads Obama aims to phase out junk, curb obesity By DARLENE SUPERVILLE & MARY CLARE JALONICK ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON — It’s not just about what America’s kids are getting in the lunch line. The Obama administration is moving to phase out junk food advertising on football scoreboards and elsewhere on school grounds — part of a broad effort to combat child obesity and create what Michelle Obama calls “a new norm” for today’s schoolchildren and future generations. “This new approach to eating and activity is not just a fad,” Mrs. Obama said Tuesday as she described the proposed rules at the White House. Promotion of sugary drinks and junk foods around campuses during the school day would be phased out under the Agriculture Department rules, which are intended to ensure that marketing is brought in line with health standards that already apply to food served by public schools. That means a scoreboard at a high school football or basketball game eventually wouldn’t be allowed to advertise Coca-Cola, for example, though it could advertise Diet Coke or Dasani water, also owned by Coca-Cola Co. Same with the front of a vending machine. Cups, posters and menu boards that promote foods that don’t meet federal standards would also be phased out. Ninety-three percent of such marketing in schools is related to beverages. And many soda companies already have started to transition their sales and advertising in schools from sugary sodas and sports drinks to other products they produce. Companies are spending $149 million a year on marketing to kids in schools, according to the Agriculture Department. The announcement at the White House was part of a week of events marking the fourth anniversary

File photo by Rogelio V. Solis | AP

This Feb. 27, 2013 file photo shows first lady Michelle Obama and Food Network chef Rachael Ray discussing lunches with students from the Eastside and Northside Elementary Schools in Clinton, Miss. of the first lady’s “Let’s Move” program. Mrs. Obama also traveled to Miami Tuesday to announce that the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the National Recreation and Park Association will serve more fruits and vegetables at after-school programs and ensure kids get 30-60 minutes of physical activity a day. NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” star Amy Poehler introduced the first lady. The proposed school marketing rules come on the heels of federal regulations that now require food in school lunch lines to be more healthful than in the past. Separate rules, which are to go into effect in September, will cover other food around school as well, including in vending machines and “a la carte” lines in the lunch room. Calorie, fat, sugar and sodium limits now will have to be met on almost every food and beverage sold during the school day, as mandated by a 2010 child nutrition law. Even though diet sodas would be allowed in high schools under the proposed rules announced Tuesday, the rules don’t address the question raised by some as to whether those drinks are actually healthful alternatives to sugary soda. Some healthful-food rules have come under fire from conservatives who say the government shouldn’t dictate what kids eat — and from some students who don’t like the new alternatives. Mrs. Obama defended herself against critics, saying that “I didn’t create this issue.” She said kids

will eventually get used to the changes. “That’s our job as parents, to hold steady through the whining,” she said. Aware of the backlash, the Agriculture Department is allowing schools to make some of their own decisions on what constitutes marketing and is asking for comments on some options. For example, the proposal asks for comments on initiatives like Pizza Hut’s “Book It” program, which coordinates with schools to reward kids with pizza for reading. Rules for other school fundraisers, like bake sales and marketing for those events, would be left up to schools or states. Off-campus fundraisers, like an event at a local fast-food outlet that benefits a school, still would be permitted. But posters advertising the fast food may not be allowed in school hallways. An email to parents would have to suffice. The idea is to market to the parents, not the kids. The rules also make allowances for major infrastructure costs — that scoreboard advertising Coca-Cola, for example, wouldn’t have to be immediately torn down. But the school would have to get one with a different message or product the next time it was replaced. Schools that don’t want to comply could leave the National School Lunch Program. Very few schools choose to give up those government dollars, though. The department already has tested the program in 11 states.


Agenda en Breve LAREDO 02/26— LISD y la Escuela Magnet Vidal M. Treviño presentarán un Concierto de Jazz conmemorando el “Black History Month”, de 7 a 8:45 a.m. en el auditorio del Laredo Civic Center. Se han invitado a músicos de Jazz de Dallas y San Antonio. 02/27— La Webb County Heritage Foundation y Villa de San Agustin de Laredo Genealogical Society presentarán una forma de libros y recepción con José Antonio López, autor de The First Texas Independence, 1813. En Villa Antigua Border Heritage Museum, ubicado en 810 calle Zaragoza, de 6 a 8 p.m. Más información escribiendo al 02/28— “Go Red for Women” de la Ciudad de Laredo invita a un evento a partir de las 8 a.m. en el Departamento de Salud, donde se ofrecerá una clase de CPR, por parte del Departamento de Bomberos de Laredo. Inscripción limitad a 50 alumnos. 02/28— Laredo Chamber of Commerce y Falcon International Bank invitan al evento ‘Power Lunch’, un programa de H-E-B, para informar a pequeñas empresas cómo pueden llevar sus productos a los pasillos del supermercado. El evento será de 11:30 a.m. a 1:30 p.m. en Falcon International Bank, 7718 McPherson. 02/28— Couples for Christ Foundation for Familia and Life invita a una Charla/ Seminario sobre Vida Cristiana con el tema “Qué significa ser un Cristiano” de 6 p.m. a 8:30 p.m., todos los viernes hasta el 11 de abril. El objetivo es fortalecer los matrimonios y familias. El evento es gratuito. 02/28— El Ballet Folklórico UT Pan American presentará el concierto Alegría Gira 2014 en el Centro de Artes Escénicas de LISD, a las 7:30 p.m. Puede comprar los boletos en la sucursald e IBC del Mall del Norte. Costos: 12 dólares por adulto, 10 para adultos mayores y 8 para niños. 02/28— BÉISBOL— El equipo de béisbol de TAMIU se enfrentará al de Oklahoma Christian University a las 12 p.m. en el campo Jorge Haynes. Costo de boletos 5 dólares y gratuito para estudiantes con credenciales de estudiante validas. Más información visitando 02/28— SOFTBALL — El equipo de softball de Texas A&M International University se enfrentará al de Oklahoma Panhandle a las 12 p.m. en el campo Dustdevil. Costo de boletos 5 dólares y gratuito para estudiantes con credenciales de estudiante validas. Más información visitando 03/01— First United Methodist Church realizará una venta de libros usados, desde las 8:30 a.m. a la 1 p.m. en 1220 McClelland Ave. Libros de pasta dura a 1 dólar; pasta blanda a .50 centavos; revistas y libros infantiles a .25 centavos.

NUEVO LAREDO, MÉXICO 02/26— Cine Club presenta “El encanto del erizo” a las 6 p.m. en el Auditorio de Estación Palabra. 02/27— Gala de la Orquesta Sinfónica Infantil y Juvenil (OSIJ) a partir de las 7 p.m. en la Sala Sergio Peña. 02/28— Cine Club presenta “Los amantes del círculo polar” a las 7 p.m. en Estación Palabra. 03/01— Concierto “Rock, Arte y Lucha” a las 5:30 p.m. en Maquila Creativa. Entrada libre.





MEXICO— Un juez federal inició el martes un proceso penal contra Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán por delincuencia organizada, lo que garantiza que el capo permanezca en el futuro inmediato en México, donde las autoridades aseguran que no tiene posibilidad de escaparse en el penal de máxima seguridad donde fue recluido. El Consejo de la Judicatura Federal, que supervisa el trabajo de los jueces en el país, informó que Guzmán fue notificado de la decisión. Este es uno de dos procesos penales abiertos hasta ahora con el

hombre considerado líder máximo del cartel de las drogas de Sinaloa. La Judicatura notificó la víspera que otro juez debe decidir aún sobre si iniGUZMÁN cia otro proceso penal por crimen organizado y tráfico de cocaína. Guzmán tiene tres días hábiles para apelar la decisión del juez, añadió la judicatura. “El Chapo” fue detenido el sábado en un condominio en el balneario turístico mexicano de Mazatlán con lo que terminó una cacería de 13 años contra, quien fuera considerado por autoridades como el capo más poderoso

del mundo. El inicio del proceso penal hace imposible una extradición rápida a Estados Unidos, donde es requerido en al menos siete tribunales. El gobierno ha dicho que hasta ahora no ha recibido ninguna petición de extradición a Estados Unidos. Altos funcionarios han dicho que antes de considerar la extradición, esperan que Guzmán enfrente todas las acusaciones en el país y que sea sujeto a interrogatorios por parte de autoridades mexicanas para obtener información que permita desmantelar el cartel de Sinaloa, el principal grupo del narcotráfico en México, y que se ha extendido a una doce-

na de otros países. Pero expertos consideran que el gobierno del presidente Enrique Peña Nieto no ha sido capaz hasta ahora de que arrestos de figuras de alto perfil se traduzcan en investigaciones que permitan desmantelar las complejas redes criminales. Poco después de su arresto, usuarios de las redes sociales pusieron en duda que el hombre detenido no se pareciera a “El Chapo” Guzmán. Pero el martes, el área de servicios periciales de la Procuraduría General de la República señaló que se realizaron tres pruebas, incluida una genética y otra de huellas dactilares, que les hacen tener la certeza de que se trata del capo de las drogas.




Inversión estatal restaría pobreza

Renato Ramírez fue reconocido por WBCA POR PHILIP BALLI



La Asociación para la Celebración del Natalicio de Washington (WBCA por sus siglas en inglés), se reunió el sábado para honrar a Renato Ramírez de Zapata como Señor Sur de Texas. El almuerzo para el Señor Sur de Texas es uno de los más de 27 eventos en el calendario por la Celebración del Natalicio de Washington. José A. Palacios, anterior presidente de WBCA, dijo que es el evento marqués de la celebración. “Estamos honrando a un individuo, a través de WBCA, que ha hecho un gran esfuerzo para mejorar la calidad de vida de los tejanos del sur”, dijo Palacios. “El señor Ramírez ha ayudado en diferentes causas, así que ha sido una selección fácil para el comité”. El comité de selección del Señor Sur de Texas, está formado por anteriores presidentes de WBCA y antiguos representantes del Señor Sur de Texas quienes residen en Laredo. El anuncio formal fue hecho durante una conferencia de prensa realizada en el Texas Community Bank en Laredo el pasado mes de junio. El Señor Sur de Texas es elegido en base a los méritos de los candidatos. Ramírez se unió al banco IBCZapata cuando fue fundado hace más de 28 años. Más allá de su liderazgo bancario, su impacto personal sobre el desarrollo de la región incluye un corazón generosamente filantrópico que se extiende desde Zapata a Laredo y

Foto por Victor Strife | Laredo Morning Times

Renato Ramírez y su esposa Patricia Ramírez saludan al público mientras recorren la avenida San Bernardo, el sábado por la mañana, durante el desfile Anheuser-Busch Washington’s Birthday Parade. Ramírez, Presidente y CEO de International Bank of Commerce-Zapata, fue nombrado Señor Sur de Texas 2014, para la Celebración del Natalicio de George Washington, edición número 117. más allá de los límites hacia México. Es miembro de la junta directiva del Proyecto de los Derechos Civiles en Texas, una organización sin fines de lucro que se enfoca en la protección de los derechos civiles de aquellos incapaces de protegerse a sí mismos. Ramírez dijo que esta distinción fue inesperada para él. “Me siento abrumado por el honor y muy agradecido de que muchos amigos me hayan propuesto y hayan votado por mí”, dijo. “Me siento honrado de estar en la compañía de muchos

iconos del sur de Texas”. El fiscal general Gregg Abbott estuvo presente en el almuerzo diciendo que se trataba de un tiempo extra especial el estar en Laredo para reconocer al Señor Sur de Texas. “Me siento honrado de participar en su reconocimiento”, dijo Abbott. “No se trata sólo de un buen hombre de negocios, sino de un buen líder de negocios quien ha hecho de su comunidad un mejor lugar”. (Localice a Philip Balli en el 728-2528 o en

Tamaulipas presentará una inversión de 670 millones de pesos para disminuir los índices de marginación y pobreza en la entidad, dijeron autoridades del vecino estado a través de un comunicado de prensa. La inversión será destinada a programas y acciones que disminuirán la pobreza de la entidad, a través de la Secretaría de Desarrollo Social (Sedesol) Alrededor de 300 millones de pesos se destinarán al programa alimentario “Nutriendo Tamaulipas”, el cual beneficia a 362 mil familias en Tamaulipas, de acuerdo con Homero de la Garza Tamez, titular de Sedesol Tamaulipas. Otros 100 millones se aplicarán para la entrega de apoyos en las zonas de alta y muy alta marginación de la entidad, entre los que destacan: apoyo a Centros de Bienestar Social, Programa de Empleo Temporal (PROTEGE) y entrega de tinacos, entre otros. Además se aplicarán 250 millones de pesos en obras de infraestructura, entre las que destacan, introducción de drenaje sanitario, agua potable, electrificaciones y construcción de espacios públicos, dijo De la Garza Tamez. “Este es un presupuesto inicial aprobado por el Gobierno del Estado, ya que tenemos un compromiso y un interés absoluto en mejorar las condiciones de vida de las familias tamaulipecas, por lo que continúa haciendo gestiones ante las instancias correspondientes, para incrementar las inversiones en materia de desarrollo social”, enfatizó. Asimismo, se invertirán 20 millones de pesos en programas de apoyo a la juventud y la mujer, los cuales serán coordinados por el Instituto de la Juventud de Tamaulipas y por el Instituto de la Mujer Tamaulipeca, respectivamente.


Indagan gobierno y obras de ex presidente POR RAÚL SINENCIO ESPECIAL PARA TIEMPO DE ZAPATA

(El siguiente es un artículo que trata acerca de hechos trascendentales que protagonizó Emilio Portes Gil, en la vida de los Tamaulipecos y México. Segunda de dos partes). Uno de los políticos representativo del México post revolucionario es Emilio Portes Gil. Este tamaulipeco protagoniza la inopinada legalización de las drogas.

Suerte Al parecer Tamaulipas abreva en otros dispositivos locales. Oaxaca se le

Historiador revive proceso de legalización de drogas en el Estado de Tamaulipas planteado por el gobierno de Emilio Portes Gil, quien después fuera Presidente de México. Portes Gil concedió plena vigencia al decreto tamaulipeco para drogas en 1925, sin importar las carencias en materia de salud.

adelanta con amplio margen. En 1922 allá estrenan la Ley Contra los Vicios del Alcoholismo y de las Drogas Heroicas, que autoriza la venta de estas últimas sólo “en droguerías, farmacias y boticas”, “mediante prescripción de un médico titulado”. Impide en cambio “el cul-

tivo de la planta Rosa María, conocida con el nombre vulgar de marihuana”. Según vimos, a Portes Gil le toma apenas horas analizar el decreto tamaulipeco de 1925, concediéndole plena vigencia. Abogado reconocido, parece lucir amplios conocimien-

tos jurídicos con tan presuroso trámite. Pero Portes Gil comete grave error. La entidad por entonces carece de facultades en materia de salud, exclusivas del Congreso de la Unión. A cuenta de ello, largo juicio de amparo revierte la normatividad portesgi-

lista. Esto, porque la Suprema Corte de Justicia emite inapelable sentencia en 1931. “Si tratándose de venta de drogas heroicas, no se aplican las disposiciones” federales, sino las de un orden de gobierno distinto, “se violan, en perjuicio del acusado, las garantías que otorga el artículo 14 de” nuestra Carta Magna, dictamina la primera sala del máximo órgano jurisdiccional. Con mejor suerte corre la reglamentación de Oaxaca. Las reformas aprobadas en 1946 hacen ver que continúa aplicándose entretanto. (Contenido cortesía de Raul Sinencio, según fue publicado en ‘La Razón’ de Tampico, México)





Hawks season ends Zapata loses in area title game

Photo by Tony Gutierrez | AP

Texas pitcher Yu Darvish will start on Opening Day for the Rangers against Philadelphia on March 31.


Starting game one


The basketball season came to a halt for Zapata in the area championship game as the Hawks could not overcome a slow first half. West Oso raced to a 21-10 first quarter lead and never looked back as the Hawks dropped an 87-65 decision. Zapata came in second in District 31-3A and picked up a postseason win over Rio Hondo for the bi-district title. It set up the much anticipated showdown with West Oso for the area championship game on Friday. The Hawks’ Javy Lopez led all scorers with 24 points while Alonzo Gutierrez chipped in with 17 to account for the bulk of Zapata’s offense. West Oso unleashed an aerial attack on Zapata which had four players in double figures. The Bears’ Jason Haywood torched ZHS for 22 points while James Patterson scored 18 and was followed by Chad Johnson with 17 and Raul Castro’s 13. The Bears raced out to a 21-10 first quarter advantage behind Patterson’s 10 points, including a long 3 from beyond the arc. West Oso did not slow down in the second quarter as the Bears added 28 more points to really start separating. Hayward had the bulk of the scoring as he dropped 11 of his 22 points on the Zapata. The Hawks, behind the efforts of Lopez, Gutierrez, Juan Gil and Jake Gutierrez, valiantly attempted to stay on pace with West Oso as the quartet accounted for all of Zapata’s offense in the second quarter. The Bears took a 49-26 halftime lead. Zapata was able to match West Oso’s offen-

Darvish to start on Opening Day ASSOCIATED PRESS

Photo by Danny Zaragoza | Laredo Morning Times

Zapata’s Danny Chapa and the Hawks season came to an end in the area championship to West Oso, 87-65.

sive output in the third quarter for the first five minutes and was able to outscore the Bears 17-15. A bright spot for ZHS was the 3-point shooting as they connected on nine 3s while West Oso had eight in the game. The Hawks were also 6 of 10 from the free-throw line while West Oso was 7 of 11. While the Bears held the lead the entire game, Zapata did not quit working and was motivated to play hard as head coach Juan Villarreal shouted instructions to his players.

Zapata baseball Zapata routed Hebbronville 12-0 on Monday night behind the arm of Joel Rodriguez,

who improves to 1-1 on the young season. Rodriguez had five strikeouts in three innings of work on the mound. Kris Hinkel pitched two innings in relief with four K’s. The Hawks defense was able to hold the Longhorns to three hits in the game and did not allow anyone to cross home. Zapata was led by the bat of Carlos Gutierrez, who went 3 for 3 at the plate. Alonzo Gutierrez was 3 for 4 after returning to the team Saturday. Gutierrez was playing in the postseason for the basketball team. Clara Sandoval can be reached at Please send your pictures from sporting events around Zapata County if you would like them to be published in the Zapata Times.

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Yu Darvish will be the opening day starter for the Rangers. Manager Ron Washington says he informed Darvish on Tuesday morning that the right-hander from Japan will start March 31 against Philadelphia at home. Darvish is going into his third major league season. He started the second game last season, when he came within one out of a perfect game against Houston. He went on to lead the majors with 277 strikeouts and finish second in the AL Cy Young Award voting. The last Rangers starter with consecutive opening day starts was Kevin Millwood from 2006 to 2009. Darvish will be the sixth different opening day starter in six years for Texas. Matt Harrison started last year’s opener.



Despite hurdles, home market still growing By MALENA CHARUR THE ZAPATA TIMES

LAREDO — Trends in residential real estate over the past year was the topic of Monday’s Laredo Gateway Rotary Club meeting. George Royle Wright, who has been in the business for more than 50 years, discussed the shortage of lots and financial restrictions developers face to build houses. “When the article appeared in the newspaper (about the lack of land), some came to ask me if it was true, and yes, it is true and has been true on many occasions in the past,” Wright said. Many of these lots are owned by people who are not building, and not because they do not have customers — or for any other reason — but to save the lots for themselves. “Long ago people would buy two or three lots, build on one and the others would be for any of the children who would live near them. It turns out that the children are not interested in these lots for a variety of reasons. So, we have vacant lots throughout the city at a high price due to inflation over the years,” he said. Builders, he added, are afraid the market will not be there when it’s time to get a return on their investment. Banks had a difficult time in the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009 and are not willing to go through that situation

again. “In the past if somebody came in and said, ‘I want to build houses,’ he did not ask how much, but where do you build and you paid. Now the bank asks how many contracts you have in hand,” Wright said. He added that while in 2007 prices dropped sharply, they have been recovering. Wright said the value is per unit and not in terms of individual ownership. He ex-

plained that values were higher in 2006 than in 2013; however, there was an increase in sales in residential property of about 10 to 15 percent in 2013, and growth points to the city’s northeast. One rotary member asked whether the increase was connected to the oil industry, and whether the rising prices were due to the lack of water. “The only way to get water is through the city. If you have 50,000

acres, and the city can invest in infrastructure services in that area, then you can develop,” Wright said. Yolanda Sciaraffa, sales and marketing manager at Stewart Title Company and a Gateway Rotary Club member, said that in a couple of months there will be a new development north of Laredo. “We are talking about several well-known construction companies here in Laredo that are about

File photo by Times staff

Five homes ready for occupancy on Vanessita Court in the Santa Fe Subdivision in South Laredo are shown in 2010.

to open more subdivisions in the city. They are waiting for the paperwork from the city to begin cleaning lots and beginning construction in that area,” Sciaraffa said. She said she sees an opportunity for growth as prices have been rising, and people are looking for houses. “It’s likely to more of a fight next year to find available houses,” Sciaraffa said. As to whether there is a demand in terms of renting or buying houses, Sciaraffa said the public is more educated and is looking to buy houses instead of renting. She added that real estate agents have a four-to-six-month supply of houses, instead of the normal nine-month supply. This means once a house is put on sale, it sells quickly. Wright, however, said he believes the demand for rental units will continue for at least another two years. Although conditions have changed, Wright believes growth will continue. “When I entered the real estate business in 1961, the city had a population of 23,000 people,” Wright said. “We are now close to 300,000 residents. Now tell me the city has not grown. There is no reason to believe we will not grow.” ( Contact Malena Charur at 728-2583, or at Translated by Mark Webber of the Times staff.)

Collapse may mean trouble End of Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange a setback for odd currency By RAPHAEL SATTER & YURIKO NAGANO ASSOCIATED PRESS

TOKYO — The sudden disappearance of one of the largest bitcoin exchanges only adds to the mystery and mistrust surrounding the virtual currency, which was just beginning to gain legitimacy beyond the technology enthusiasts and adventurous investors who created it. Prominent bitcoin supporters said the apparent collapse of the Tokyo-based Mt. Gox exchange was an isolated case of mismanagement that will weed out “bad actors.” But the setback raised serious questions about bitcoin’s tenuous status and even more tenuous future. At least one supporter said the blow could be fatal to bitcoin’s quest for acceptance by the public. A coalition of virtual currency companies said Mt. Gox went under after secretly racking up catastrophic losses. The exchange had imposed a ban on withdrawals earlier this month. By Tuesday, its website returned only a blank page. The collapse followed the resignation Sunday of CEO Mark Karpeles from the board of the Bitcoin Foundation, a group seeking wider use of the exotic currency. San Francisco-based wallet service Coinbase and Chinese exchange BTC China sought to shore up confidence in the currency by saying the Mt. Gox’s sit-

uation was isolated and the result of abusing users’ trust. They offered no details. “As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we are seeing today,” the statement said. Since its creation in 2009, bitcoin has become popular among tech enthusiasts, libertarians and risk-seeking investors because it allows people to make one-to-one transactions, buy goods and services and exchange money across borders without involving banks, credit card issuers or other third parties. Criminals like bitcoin for the same reasons. For various technical reasons, it’s hard to know just how many people worldwide own bitcoins, but the currency attracted outsize media attention and the fascination of millions as an increasing number of large retailers such as began to accept it. Speculative investors have jumped into the bitcoin fray, too, sending the currency’s value fluctuating wildly in recent months. In December, the value of a single bitcoin hit an all-time high of $1,200. In the aftermath of the Mt. Gox collapse Tuesday, one bitcoin stood at around $470. Central banks across the globe have been hesitant to recognize bitcoin as a form of money, and Tuesday’s vanishing act isn’t helping.

Mt. Gox “reminds us of the downside of decentralized, unregulated currencies,” said Campbell Harvey, a professor at the Duke University Fuqua School of Business who specializes in financial markets and global risk management. “There is no Federal Reserve or IMF to come to the rescue. There is no deposit insurance.” However, Campbell said, Mt. Gox’s disappearance “doesn’t mean the end of the road” for bitcoin and other virtual currencies. The collapse “might represent the end of the ’wild west,’ where anyone can set up shop and deal in crypto-currencies,” he said. But “increasingly sophisticated investors” are funding serious ventures that will “raise both quality and confidence.” Documents purportedly leaked from Mt. Gox lay out the scale of the problem. An 11-page “crisis strategy draft” published on the blog of entrepreneur and bitcoin enthusiast Ryan Selkis said that 740,000 bitcoins were missing from Mt. Gox. That’s equivalent to hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of losses, although figures are fuzzy given Bitcoin’s extreme volatility. “At the risk of appearing hyperbolic, this could be the end of bitcoin, at least for most of the public,” the draft said. In a post to his blog, Selkis said that the document was hand-

File photo by Rick Bowmer | AP

This April 3, 2013 photo shows bitcoin tokens in Sandy, Utah. The website of major bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox is offline Tuesday amid reports it suffered a debilitating theft, a new setback for efforts to gain legitimacy for the virtual currency. ed to him by a “reliable source” and that several people close to the company had confirmed the figures. Reached by phone, he declined to comment further. The Japanese government has not announced any formal investigation. The scandal may cost customers dearly. At the Tokyo office tower housing Mt. Gox, bitcoin trader Kolin Burges said he had picketed the building since Feb. 14 after traveling from London in an effort to get back $320,000 he has tied up in bitcoins with Mt. Gox. “I may have lost all of my money,” said Burgess, next to placards asking if Mt. Gox is bankrupt. “It hasn’t shaken my trust in bitcoin, but it has shaken my trust in bitcoin exchanges.” Mt. Gox CEO Karpeles did not

immediately return several messages seeking comment. A security officer at the office tower said no one from Mt. Gox was in the building. Tibbane, an Internet company that Karpeles is CEO of, still has its name listed on the building’s directory. “I have no idea” where they are, said Burges, the trader. “I’m both annoyed and worried.” Bitcoin’s boosters say the currency’s design makes it impossible to counterfeit and difficult to manipulate. But it has struggled to shake off its associations with criminality, particularly its role in powering the now-defunct online drug marketplace Silk Road. Last month, another member of the Bitcoin Foundation, Vice Chairman Charlie Shrem, was arrested at Kennedy Airport on charges of money laundering.

The Zapata Times


CHAPO Continued from Page 1A country’s woeful judicial system. Experts say Pena Nieto’s administration and those of his predecessors have proven unable to match headline-grabbing arrests like Guzman’s with complex, long-term investigations and prosecutions of deep-rooted criminal networks. Cases have stalled and cartels have continued to operate. Last year, one of Guzman’s closest allies walked out of the prison where the U.S. said he was running drugs from behind bars. The Mexican government says there is no way Guzman will repeat the 2001 escape that let him roam western Mexico for 13 years as he moved billions of dollars of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin around the world. Authorities here say they want to be the first to interrogate Guzman, and use the information to dismantle his Sinaloa cartel, a multibilliondollar enterprise that dominates drug trafficking in much of Mexico and stretches into 54 countries. Two federal judges ruled Tuesday that Guzman will have to stand trial on separate drug-trafficking and organized-crime charges in Mexico. And the Pena Nieto administration said the man widely considered the world’s most-powerful drug lord until his capture Saturday will face at least six other pending criminal cases before it even considers extraditing him to the U.S. “I don’t think it’s going to happen anytime soon,” Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said in a radio interview. “This is the start of a full investigation that will allow us to fully eradicate his organization. It would be pointless to do anything else.” But experts on both sides of the border warned that keeping Guzman in Mexican hands could squander the opportunity to exploit his unparalleled knowledge of the country’s biggest drug cartel. U.S. prosecutors have proven far more capable of offering captured drug lords the incentives to cooperate with law enforcement,

experts said. U.S. officials routinely use family members as tools to pressure defendants into giving up information, granting visas to relatives of cooperative prisoners while threatening to leave loved ones penniless by freezing assets of drug lords who refuse to play ball. Mexican authorities arrested Guzman, 56, along with his 20something former beauty-queen wife and twin toddlers, but let her go because there were no charges pending against her. Observers called it a staggering missed opportunity that wouldn’t have occurred in the U.S. “The U.S. attorneys have many tools. They’re pretty good at flipping people. They can offer far more things than the Mexican authorities can offer,” said Alejandro Hope, a security analyst and former official in Mexico’s domestic intelligence service. “Right now the challenge is just to keep him in prison. That would be success enough. I don’t think he’s going to provide too much information.” One of Guzman’s closest allies and mentors, Rafael Caro Quintero, walked out of a federal prison in August after a procedural ruling that cut 12 years off a 40-year sentence for killings that included the murder of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. A threejudge federal appeals court in the western state of Jalisco found that he should have been tried in state, not federal, court, and vacated his sentence in a ruling widely seen by Mexican and U.S. officials as inexplicable and likely corrupt. Months earlier, the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted more than two dozen people and companies that belonged to what it called a drug-running and moneylaundering network that Caro Quintero ran years from behind bars. A U.S. law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said Caro Quintero, who has not

reappeared in public since his release, was passing orders through prison phone calls as well as lawyers and family members who visited him, even as he was shifted between at least three Mexican prisons. U.S. investigations found a number of upper-tier traffickers have been similarly able to run cartels from behind bars. “For someone as powerful as Caro Quintero was, and is, it was certainly true,” said the U.S. official, who agreed to discuss the matter only on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. “Even without telephone communications you can transmit a lot of instructions that then are followed.” David Weinstein, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Miami, said the biggest concern in keeping Guzman in a Mexican prison will be his ability to continue running his global drug empire. “It could be argued that he would be doing the same thing from a jail, and just bide his time,” said Weinstein who previously ran the narcotics section in Miami. Weinstein said Guzman almost certainly had some help from various corners of the Mexican government in evading capture for so long. That’s likely information that could be helpful to U.S. prosecutors, but also potentially embarrassing to Mexico, a risk that Pena Nieto can manage with the drug lord behind bars in the Altiplano prison in the state of Mexico, a short drive from the capital. Keeping hold of Guzman also appears to have become a point of national pride for the Pena Nieto administration. “We think he’s being perfectly guarded and watched, and we don’t think it’s necessary to do anything else,” Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, the country’s highest law-enforcement official, told The Associated Press. “He will be very isolated. He won’t be allowed to continue with his operations.”

RAMIREZ Continued from Page 1A Community Bank in Laredo last June. Mr. South Texas is chosen based on the candidates’ merits. Ramirez joined IBC-Zapata at its founding more than 28 years ago. Beyond his banking leadership, his personal impact on regional development includes a ve-

ry generous philanthropic heart that extends from Zapata to Laredo and across international boundaries to Mexico. He is a board member on the Texas Civil Rights Project, a nonprofit agency that focuses on the protection of civil rights of those who are unable to protect them-

selves. Ramirez said the honor was unexpected to him. “I am overwhelmed by the honor and very appreciative of the many friends who proposed me and voted for me,” he said. “I am humbled to be in the company of so many icons in South Texas.”


INJURIES Continued from Page 1A rates and stretched medical resources. Several referred questions to the South Texas Energy and Economic Roundtable, an industry group that handles public advocacy for oil and gas interests in the region. STEER President Omar Garcia said safety is a top priority for the group’s participating companies, noting some have contracted outside health care providers, such as XstremeMD, to avoid burdening local hospitals and clinics. The news isn’t all bad for health care providers in the area, Garcia added. Success in the Eagle Ford is spurring growth at some hospitals and generating more high-paying jobs in the medical field throughout South Texas, Garcia said. Some San Antonio-based hospitals have sought STEER’s input on which markets in the shale play need more medical facilities, he said. But San Antonio’s major trauma centers must remain flexible and prepared to handle the increased patient caseload and more acute injuries, Eastridge said. When rural hospitals become overwhelmed, patients go to one of San Antonio’s Level I trauma facilities, “which taxes the top tier of the system,” he said. Dimmit Regional receives about 1,000 emergency-room visits a month and sometimes as many as 1,200, Ernest Flores said. Three years ago, 400 or 500 visits a month were typical. To cope, Flores brought in more nurses and staff during his tenure as CEO, boosting the hospital’s number of employees by 30 percent. He also worked with Air Evac Lifeteam, a company headquartered in Missouri, to station a medical helicopter by the hospital. The Eagle Ford boom has changed the landscape dramatically, but Flores doesn’t complain. “The good it’s done for this community has been unspeakable,” he said. “We have a new school coming up. And the hospital’s doing well. The community’s employed. ... Overall, the economy has really done well because of what happened.”

Rush’s downside The numbers tell the story. Since 2008, when the Eagle Ford Shale became part of Texas lex-

icon, almost all types of traumatic injuries have increased, some of them significantly, throughout the play, according to the region’s trauma registry. Certain injuries in STRAC’s jurisdiction — which spans from Maverick and Dimmit counties in the west to Karnes and Gonzales counties in the east — showed notable spikes in 2011 and 2012. Annual numbers for 2013 are not yet available. The data provided by STRAC included patients treated at rural hospitals and those brought to University Hospital, SAMMC, Methodist Hospital or North Central Baptist Hospital in San Antonio for more critical care. Among the injuries that increased the most: falls from varying heights. Such incidents jumped 150 percent in 2012 from the number recorded in 2008, STRAC’s data showed. Similarly, the hospitals saw a surge in car crash injuries, which increased 114 percent in 2012 from the 179 victims treated in 2008. Knife wounds treated by the hospitals nearly tripled in the same time period, while gunshot wounds more than doubled. Karnes, DeWitt, Dimmit, Maverick and McMullen counties recorded significant increases in traumatic injuries resulting in hospital care, the data showed. The number of patients who suffered such injuries in Karnes County in 2012, for instance, more than tripled the level recorded there in 2008. Dimmit County showed a similar uptick. The statistics did not specify which injuries occurred at oil and gas work sites. Incidents that resulted in immediate fatalities also weren’t included, since victims in those cases did not go to hospitals for medical care. The data also did not include patients treated and released from a hospital in less than 24 hours, STRAC officials said. “The most common injuries you’ll see are motor vehicle crashes,” said Shawn Salter, CEO of the medical helicopter service San Antonio AirLife, which routinely responds to emergency calls in the Eagle Ford Shale. “Whenever you go to industrial-related scenes like drilling and fracking, you will see everything from burns — steam, thermal, chemical burns — (to) crush injuries, fractures and falls.”

The Zapata Times 2/26/2014  

The Zapata Times 2/26/2014