Thursday, June 17, 2021

Isla Mujeres News & Events Thursday, June 17

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Our Northern Zone remains in Orange on the state epidemiological light for Monday thru Sunday next week, June 21-27. The Governor expressed concern over the rise on the graph for Isla Mujeres (among others). Also concerning is the Northern Zone's increase in Contagion Rate from 1.02 to 1.06, and he noted that whenever this is over one, it indicates cases are rising.On the graphs, Diminucion means decrease and Aumento is increase.

Raising Awareness About Indigenous Rights--Zapatistas Sail From Isla Mujeres to Spain
   Forty-seven days after sailing from Isla Mujeres on a "reverse journey" to Spain, a delegation of seven Zapatistas arrived in Europe on Friday. They landed in the Azores islands of Portugal, where port authorities tested them for Covid-19 and stamped their passports. The team was in good spirits and said they were treated with grace and respect.
      They started their journey in pickup trucks, traveling about a 1000 kilometers from Chiapas to Isla   Mujeres, where their boat, "La Montaña" (The Mountain) was waiting. They chose Isla Mujeres because the conquest of Mexico began here when the first Spanish expedition landed on the isle 503 years ago. The Zapatistas said they were making "A mountain-journey against the grain of history."
       They were seen off by fifty supporters, journalists and photographers, as well as Subcomandante Moises, leader of the EZLN (Zapatista Army of National Liberation). He wore the movement's hallmark black ski mask, as did the delegation, who added face shields at one point. The delegation is called the 421 Squad because they are four women, two men and one person who doesn't identify with either gender. They speak Tzotzil, Cho'ol or Tojolabal, in addition to Spanish, and range in age from 19 year-old Lupita to 57 year-old Bernal. The crew members include four Germans and one Colombian, and the delegation is accompanied by a journalist and an independent photographer who is making a documentary.
       A group of Otaomi women, members of the National Indigenous Congress who traveled from Mexico City, shouted from the dock, "Zapata Lives!". A French-speaking woman held up a poster saying "We will collapse borders and ports", as departure instructions were exchanged in German among the crew. Journalists riffed on the contrasts between the serious political event and the touristic environment, with golf carts roaring by and a bar busker shouting "Free Samples of Tequila" in English, then adding in Spanish "We have strippers, too!" They described the postcard-like scenery, which included a pair of women lounging in the water, in view of the cameras, wearing bikinis, glasses and face masks. Just offshore, the delegation was getting their sea legs aboard the old German flagship with its peeling paint and a large purple "ZAPATISTAS" banner hanging between the masts.
      The expedition is called "Crossing for Life: The European Chapter" and they are carrying four carved, painted dugout canoes ("cayucos"). The largest one commemorates their Mayan ancestors, and the second one celebrates the people in resistance and rebellion. The third honors those who have fallen since the EZLN uprising on Jan 1st, 1994, and the smallest one celebrates "Zapatista childhood".
       The Zapatista's iconic former leader, pipe-smoking Subcomandante Marcos (now known as Subcomandante Galeano) said if they disembark successfully, "There will be a party, dance, songs and cumbias (upbeat music)". He wryly added, "If not, we've brought four canoes, with their respective oars, and will begin our return. Of course, it will take a while before we see the outline of Ixchel's house again."
      The delegation spent six months preparing, which included living together in a replica of the boat in the mountains of Chiapas. The actual boat was a flagship built in Germany in 1903, which was previously making trips to Cuba, Panama and Colombia. The group's next destination is Galicia, Spain, where they plan to embark on an international tour of more than 20 countries, "by land, sea and air". Hundreds of European organizations and NGO's have extended invitations to exchange ideas about "coping with the inequalities derived from the capitalistic social and economic system." The EZLN website says they intend "to talk about our mutual stories, pains, rages, achievements and failures."
But there's a problem. 
        They had planned to meet up with another Zapatista delegation traveling by plane from Chiapas to Europe, but their colleagues are stranded in Mexico after encountering difficulties obtaining passports. The EZLN claims that bureaucrats discriminated against them due to the color of their skin, their manner of speaking & dressing, and their place of origin. They say all the requirements were met by the Zapatistas who traveled from their communities despite the pandemic, made appointments, waited in lines, presented their valid voting credentials & birth certificates, and paid fees between 600 pesos and nearly 3000 pesos, depending on the type of procedure.
        The EZLN said their problem is associated with the federal government's attempts to stop the flow of Central American immigrants to the US, which they characterized as "poorly disguised hysteria". They complained that the government's recognition of their indigenous roots and rights is just lip-service, and that the native population is being treated like foreigners in their own land. "We are Mexicans, here we had/happened to be born, live, fight and die. If we'd been born in La Unión Americana, or in Belize or Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador, Costa Rica or Nicaragua, then we would still be proud of those geographical locations and we would be denouncing their respective governments as bureaucrats, racists and ignorant.”
        In a letter from the Sixth Zapatista Commission, Subcomandante Marcos (now Galeano) said they demonstrated that the problem was racism by sending in a colleague with a white complexion and a beard, who easily obtained a passport by presenting his birth certificate and ID. However, the others were asked to prove they weren't Central Americans by presenting a middle-school completion certificate, which many don't have, or singing the national anthem, or providing relatives as witnesses.      
       The Commission said a colleague over 60 years of age was accused of wanting to go to the United States to work. He replied, "No, that's later, another time, in another round. Right now, it's Europe's turn." The bureaucrat sent him to another window. There he was told, "That is very far and the trip is very expensive; it can't be that you have the necessary money because you're indigenous. You'll have to bring in your credit card statement, and the one that follows it."
        On Tuesday morning, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the situation would be resolved that same day, since "All Mexicans can freely leave the country." He added, "I have already instructed the Secretary of Foreign Relations (Marcelo Ebrard/SRE) to review why they were not given their passports and to immediately attend to this. If a mistake was made, it will be resolved so that they have the possibility to travel without any problem and to be assisted. Because we are not authoritarian, we are not undemocratic. We are respectful of the freedoms for all." The SRE issued a statement that after the complaints expressed by the Zapatistas and the inconveniences caused, "The issuance of documents and the necessary procedures are being carried out with strict adherence to the dignity of the people and to the their human rights."
        The schedules of the delegations haven't been delineated, except for their plans to be in Madrid on August 13, which is the day when the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City) fell to Cortez and his armies.
Here is a "Brief Historical Background to the Zapatista Movement"
Here's a more in-depth article "A Spark of Hope: The Ongoing Lessons of the Zapatista Revolution 25 years On"
Maravilla Caribe Bed & Beach sponsors Isla Mujeres News & Events, who are celebrating 10 years of keeping English speakers informed about Isla Mujeres.


Today the Governor welcomed the first cruise ship arriving to Cozumel in over a year, the "Adventure of the Seas". He said that Cozumel is the most important cruise destination in the world & this represents an important step in reactivating the economy of that island and the Mexican Caribbean.

In OTHER news, earlier this month two guests tested positive during a seven-day cruise aboard the "Celebrity Millennium", which was the first major sea cruise with North American passengers since the pandemic. It set sail on Saturday, June 5 from San Maarten with a fully vaccinated crew. The adult passengers were required to show proof of vaccination and a negative C-19 test within 72 hours before departure.
It was reported that 95% of the passengers were vaccinated. Children were only required to show negative C-19 tests. Its port stops were in Barbados, Aruba and Curacao, before returning to San Maarten on Saturday, June 12th.
The positive results were discovered during the required "end of cruise testing" and announced by the Captain around 5p on Thursday, July 10th. Within two hours, more than 200 of the ~600 passengers had been tested with no further positive results, according to The press release from Celebrity Cruises noted that the two positive individuals had been cabin-mates and were asymptomatic. They were quarantined and monitored by the ship's medical team. All activities continued and everything remained open for the rest of the cruise.

YESTERDAY.....Since the beginning of this hurricane season, personnel with the municipal Department of Civil Protection have been working at cleaning the storm drains and de-silting the absorption wells, as well as monitoring the lagoons to prevent flooding. Residents are reminded to obtain information from official sources and to avoid false reports. They are encouraged to keep their yards and rooftops clean of objects that could become projectiles.


YESTERDAY...Happy World Turtle Day! There are 44 sea turtle nests being protected at the Tortugranja, containing 5,229 eggs. Since 2019 and 2020 were both very active seasons, this season is expected to be slower. Staff and volunteers monitor the eastern beaches of the island, particularly “Media Luna”, “El Hangar”, “Bachilleres” “Acapulquito” and “Invasión”.

Last month, the Tortugranja invited Mexicans with a background in associated fields to apply to volunteer at the facility, offering them training, basic lodging, environmental activities and a certificate. Eight volunteers were accepted & have joined the staff providing surveillance, egg collection and cleaning of the nesting beaches.
Residents & visitors are reminded to avoid taking flash-photos or using white light, to avoid disturbing the turtles, and to report any suspicious activity that could threaten them.

YESTERDAY.... As of today, Isla Mujeres reported a total of 316 cases of C-19 with 35 deaths and 271 recuperated. Since last Wednesday, that's six more cases and another death, unfortunately.

The Geoportal for Isla Mujeres reports a total of 5 active cases by colonia as: Downtown-2, Colonia #5 (Sac Bajo)-2, and Miraflores-1.
The Geoportal for Isla Mujeres reports cumulative cases by colonia as of June 2nd as follows: Downtown-16, Aeropuerto-2, Bahia-2, Electristas-6 Salinas-25, Meteorologico-32, Salina Grande-11, Colonia #5 (in Sac Bajo)-1, Caridad del Cobre-8, Ampliacion la Gloria-7, 23 de Noviembre-13, col.Isla Blanca-5, Lol Beh-0, Miraflores-14, El Canotal-40, Colonia #6-0, La Gloria-54, Sin Nombre (Punta Sur)-3, and Guadalupana-7....which is a total of 246. (This is less than the total reported since that was over 300 in early June and the total reached 246 on January 12th.)
The Growth Rate of cases in the Northern Zone is 0.59 compared with 0.55 last week and 0.58 the week before.
The seniors in Isla Mujeres have received two doses of C-19 vaccine & residents in their fifties have gotten their first dose, which is true of a majority of Mexicans. Island residents in their 40's have received their first dose. Residents in the tourist areas of Quintana Roo have been given priority to benefit from the 1 million doses of J&J vaccine being donated by the US, along with some residents of border cities & in the tourism areas of Baja California. Those are expected to arrive within a week or so.

YESTERDAY.... Overcast, rainy skies obscured this morning's sunrise. #3 is the current satellite. Today's official forecast accompanying #2 says intense rain & gusty winds (65kph/40mph) are expected in our region (but the torrential rains will be elsewhere). The extended forecast shows the rain & wind continuing tomorrow & Friday, and a windy Saturday.


JUNE 14--Missing after taking the noon Ultramar from Isla Mujeres on Saturday to go shopping at Costco & other places, wearing a light colored dress, heels and carrying a black purse. Regine Beatrix Roessler, 60, German, also speaks English and some Spanish. Thank-you.

 Update today..."All of the necessary reports and paperwork are in place, we are officially though the red tape and the government agencies are all working together and making this a top priority right now." There were rumors that she had been picked up by immigration, and it has been confirmed that is not true. They were waiting on receiving an Missing Person report from her family in Germany, which has been completed. Before that, privacy laws prevented Costco from sharing security video and information about whether her card had been used, etc. There is another woman in Cancun who was mistaken for her, and it has been confirmed that she is not Regine.  


  This blog is brought to you by....

MaraVilla Caribe   Bed & Beach    Four rentals with large glass doors overlooking our white sand beach and the beautiful Caribbean sea, with  kitchenettes & fast WIFI. In the upscale neighborhood of  Bachilleres, convenient to downtown or the colonias, yet separate.  Quiet & Private.   
Free amenities include hammocks, portable beach chairs, beach towels, washer & dryer, loungers, shared bikes, BBQ grill, and safes.  Panoramic views from the rooftop terrace. Large sliding doors open to a patio & the white sand backyard-beach, overlooking the Caribbean sea.  Downtown is  ~ a mile away; we're on all four bus routes or  flag a $3 taxi. Off street parking. In the quiet neighborhood of Bachilleres sleep to the sounds of the sea.$275/$325/$425 wk   $40/50/$65nt  Monthly Discounts
Fine dining a few steps away at Da Luisa or try the neighborhood eateries a couple blocks farther. We provide a list of links & direction to over 20 eateries within ten minutes walk, including Mango Cafe,  Mike's Pizza, Brisas, Rosa Sirena, Coco Jaguar, Manolitos, Green Verde, Kash Kechen Chuc, and the large department store-grocery Chedraui & the local craft brewery.  Visit marinas, bars, & beach clubs that are minutes away by bike or on foot. Attend Yoga classes a couple villas away at Casa Ixchel. Fresh juice, produce & tortillas a few blocks away in the village, as well as a variety of other stores.



Full moon rising over the Caribbean  


Nearly full moon Wednesday, June 23 rises at 6:42 p over the Caribbean & the sun sets at 7:32

Full Moon rises on Thurs, June 24 at 7:49p

Fri, June 25 at 8:52

Sat. June 26 at 9:48

Sun, June 27 at 10:36

Mon, June 28 at 11:18

Tues. June 29 at 11:56

 Sunrise in June~6:05 (first of month)-7:33a (end of month)


Public events have been suspended due to C-19, mostly. Some holidays have featured online competitions and events. 

Sources for Weather Information:
LINK to Civil Protection Q Roo weather bulletin  (Spanish)
LINK to Mexico National Weather Service (Spanish)
 LINK to satellite images for the Mexico National Weather Service
 LINK to GOES East Band 16 GIF (animation)
LINK to a private weather station on Isla Mujeres

LINK to US National Hurricane Center 


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