Last updateFri, 16 Mar 2018 10am

Looking back at our top stories of 2017

Here is PART TWO of our review of somethe Reporter’s leading stories last year.


New strategies involving the Mexican Army and federal police are being implemented to combat the spike in violent crime that has gripped metro-area Guadalajara in recent weeks.

Municipal and state authorities went public with a range of new tactics after a bloodthirsty weekend that saw a spate of killings, including the sight of three bodies left hanging on a overpass on the periferico (city beltway).

The free parking at meters in Guadalajara (municipal area) that Tapatios and visitors have enjoyed for the past six months is about to end. As a flurry of new “digital” meters were being installed, Guadalajara city council approved bylaws to resume operation of the parking meter network.  The new meters will accept three forms of payment.

San Miguel de Allende has been named the world’s top destination for 2017 by Travel + Leisure Magazine. The small city lies in the geographical heart of Mexico, a ten-hour drive from the U.S. border and four hours northwest of Mexico City.

After 35 years of contented living in free union, Edith Gisela González Rodríguez, 65, and Socorro García Aguilar, 62, legally tie the knot at a civil marriage ceremony held Monday, July 10 at Chapala City Hall. Hailing originally from Mexico City, González and García took up residence in San Nicolas de Ibarra in 1986, where they have shared in raising two sons and four grandchildren. They make up the eighth same-sex pair to unite in civil marriage at Chapala’s Civil Registry.

Police detain a teacher suspected of sexually abusing her pupils at a kindergarten in the lakeside town of San Nicolas de Ibarra. The parents of 11 youngsters filed criminal complaints against the English teacher employed at the Fray Juan Ruiz de Cabañas y Crespo preschool. Identified only as Ana N., 29, the teacher will be kept in custody until next January, at which time her legal status must be determined.


Guadalajara city hall is moving forward with a ban on equine participation in the decades-old calandria (horse-drawn carriage) tradition in the city center, despite growing concerns at how the  changeover is being managed.  Merilyn Gómez Pozos, municipal director of Animal Rights, announces that the first ten electric-powered vehicles that will replace the horses and carriages will begin service in October. (As of January 2, 2018 the vehicles had still not been introduced.)

Rafael Marquez, the captain of both the Atlas soccer club in Guadalajara and the national team, is sensationally accused of acting as a front man for a Mexican drug trafficker and placed on a U.S. Treasury blacklist. Marquez’s name features on a list of 21 Mexican citizens and 42 businesses and organizations that allegedly helped launder the profits and hide the assets of drug kingpin Raul Flores Hernandez.

Large squads of agents from Jalisco’s Traffic Department (Secretaria de Movilidad or SeMov) swoop down on the lakeshore area for twin operations to trap drunk drivers.  The agency reports that officers snared 23 individuals who reportedly tested above the legal limit of 0.41 milligrams of alcohol per liter of exhaled air.

Many Catholics are incensed as Guadalajara Mayor Enrique Alfaro inaugurates the sculpture “Sincretismo” by Ismael Vargas – a fusion of the images of the Aztec goddess Coatlicue and the Virgin of Guadalupe – on the central divider of Calzada Federalismo. The work, which they say is sacrilegious, is set in a nine-meter-high brass sculpture created in the semblance of papel picado (the folk art of tissue paper cut into decorative designs) and cost 5.2 million pesos (US$292,000).

Sandi Bookstore, the iconic English-language bookstore that has graced Guadalajara’s leafy Colonia Chapalita for the past 47 years, closes its doors. For around three decades, Libreria Sandi was the place to go in Guadalajara for English-language material.


Two major earthquakes rattle Mexico just 12 days apart. An 8.2-magnitude quake struck off Mexico’s southern Pacific coast September 7, collapsing buildings in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, while a 7.1-magnitude quake wreaked havoc in Mexico City and surrounding states on Tuesday, September 19 – on the 32nd anniversary of the devastating 1985 quake.  More than 100 are killed in the September 7 quake while 370 perish in the latter one, including 228 in Mexico City, where 40 buildings collapse. Search and rescue crews from Jalisco are key in liberating survivors trapped in collapsed buildings. In one case, members of Zapopan’s elite USAR team of firefighters manage to locate a 94-year-old woman trapped in a fallen property in Jojutla, the worst affected town in the state of Morelos.


Local residents give an overwhelming thumbs up to the Chapala government’s proposal to renovate the borders of the highway stretching through the center of Ajijic. Out of 2,000 ballots printed for the survey, 530 were marked “si” to indicate approval,  62 tagged “no” in opposition, and 15 declared null and void for ambiguous or improper marking.  

A crowd of 10,000 students and teachers converge on Plaza Liberacion on Monday to demand something be done about an epidemic of assaults targeting University of Guadalajara (UdG) students. The demonstration was touched off by the murder of Francisco Alvarez Quezada, 17, a promising student at the Tonala High School (Preparatoria) who was recently accepted into an English-language program sponsored by the U.S. Consulate in Guadalajara.

UNESCO recognizes charreria, the competitive tradition similar to rodeo in the United States, as a part of Mexico’s intangible cultural heritage.

Guadalajara’s Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and world middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan slug it out for an honorable draw on Mexican Independence Day in Las Vegas, although the decision proved controversial. Golovkin is the main aggressor in an absorbing fight that swings back and forth but never really harms the tough Tapatio who impresses judges with his resilience and some powerful counter punches.


Guadalajara-born golfer Lorena Ochoa is inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame.  In just seven seasons on the LPGA Tour, she won 27 LPGA titles and two major championships, was ranked No 1 in the world for a record 158 consecutive weeks (the longest streak in women’s golf) and had been voted player of the year four straight times from 2006-2009. She quit professional golf seven years ago at the peak of her career, just two years shy of her 30th birthday.

British multinational oil and gas company BP inaugurates its first two branded gas stations in Guadalajara. According to Alvaro Granada, director of BP Mexico-Downstream, Guadalajara is destined to become one of BP’s most strategic markets.“We are talking about 100 to 120 service stations in the metropolitan area in the next five years,” Granada said at Wednesday’s launch of the BP gasolinera on Avenida R. Michel, a few blocks from the Alamo Glorieta and the highway to the airport and Chapala.

Guadalajara’s Spanish nationals come out of the woodwork to show their support for the preservation of Spanish unity in the face of Catalonia’s latest push for independence.  Draped in the yellow and red of their country’s flag, some 50 vocal exponents of this sizable community stage a rally outside the city’s Spanish consulate, singing songs, chanting and orating with typical Iberian passion.

Chapala Mayor Javier Degollado takes a big step forward in creating a municipal traffic department with the swearing in of Reinaldo Martínez Villanueva as commanding officer. The agency is being set up to operate independently of Jalisco’s Secretaria de Movilidad (SeMov) and the municipal police force.

In front of an pumped-up full house, Spanish tenor Placido Domingo sprinkles superstar gold dust on the opening of the University of Guadalajara’s latest cultural space, the Conjunto de Artes Escenicas on the northern periferico. Given a standing ovation before he belts out his first note, Domingo doesn’t disappoint his fans ,some who paid up to 5,000 pesos for a ticket.



Ground is broken for the Promotora de la Salud Hospital complex, an off-shoot of the Clínica Mascaras that is under construction on the Chapala-Jocotepec highway opposite the Chula Vista Country Club.   With growth of the Chapala region’s expatriate community surging at an all-time high, the expansion of high quality health care services only adds to the area’s magnetism for retirees.

The stop-start saga of Guadalajara’s outer city beltway, the Macrolibramiento, finally ends as Mexican Transportation and Communications (SCT) Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza opens the final stretches of the four-lane toll road that cuts a semicircular arc to the south of the metropolitan area.  The 111-kilometer road is designed to redirect heavy traffic away from the metropolitan area and Periferico (city beltway).

The firm Centro para el Retiro de Ajijic (Ajijic Retirement Center) lays the first stone of a planned 200-unit assisted living center. La Pueblita is geared toward aging baby boomers and will be similar to a “Life Plan Community” center in the United States, according to Doctor Trinidad Zepeda Santoscoy, president of the advisory council for the company. The planned investment is around 500 million pesos ($US26 million).

Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez, the outspoken former archbishop of Guadalajara, causes more controversy by stating in a communique that femicides occur because of the “imprudence” of the crimes’ victims – i.e., women.  His statement has drawn the outrage of more than 16 civic organizations.


The country’s lowest earners get an early Christmas present after the Mexican government announces that the country’s minimum wage will increase by 10.4 percent on December 1.  This is the highest annual rise for more than a decade. Although this sounds like a substantial hike, the minimum wage will only go up a little more than eight pesos a day, from 80.04 to 88.36 pesos. That’s equivalent to US45-cents a day raise.

The Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) sees U.S. novelist Paul Auster criticize the current White House administration, as Iranian author Azar Nafisi speaks passionately about the dangers of totalitarianism around the world and its effect on free speech and other liberties.

A tour bus carrying 27 tourists of various nationalities flips over on a highway in the  state of Quintana Roo Tuesday, killing 12 people.  Eight of the deceased are from the United States, including an 11-year-old boy and a grandmother from South Florida.

Guadalajara’s Jewish community marks Hanukkah with the Luces por la Paz (Lights for Peace) festival, held in the Capilla Tolsa of the Instituto Cultural Cabañas.  Representatives of different religions are invited to participate in the traditional candle-lighting ceremony,

The Jalisco state legislature loses its only congressman from the left-wing Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) when Saul Galindo is murdered outside his ranch in Tomatlan on the morning of Thursday, December 28.

Work begins on repaving the center lanes of a long stretch of Avenida Lopez Mateos, the vital thoroughfare running diagonally southwest to northeast from the southern periferico to Glorieta Colon.  The works stretch from Avenida las Rosas in the north to Avenida Copernico, a few kilometers to the south.  Zapopan Mayor Pablo Lemus says circulation on the avenue will be back to normal within 90 days.

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