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Old 03-16-2011, 11:49 AM   #2986
PirateJohn
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Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
That's because the drones are disguised as enchiladas
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:56 AM   #2987
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Drones in the air are not boots on the ground.

I don't think that we actually have many people on the ground because Mexico has strongly resisted allowing US agents to carry firearms, and you know that none of those guys are going to go to Mexico without a rifle or three.

The Global Hawk is interesting because they just announced a few months ago that they were going to start flying them along the border. Looks to me like it didn't take them long to get past the border since they claim to have used them to research the Zapata shooting, and that happened somewhere around the DF.


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Old 03-16-2011, 12:08 PM   #2988
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Unless the drones are flying over the homes of Mexican politicians it isn't going to be worth a damn, compadres.
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:02 PM   #2989
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Drones in the air are not boots on the ground.
The point I was trying to make is that there is more US military/ intelligence involvement in Mexico today than most people are probably aware of. I just used the phrase "boots on the ground" that a Fed police official used last week in one of the local papers when he described US involvement.
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:14 PM   #2990
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Originally Posted by PirateJohn View Post

In the photo above, the craft is being used to investigate the strange markings on the ground...

.....perhaps the Mayan warning about the coming end of the age
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:08 PM   #2991
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The point I was trying to make is that there is more US military/ intelligence involvement in Mexico today than most people are probably aware of. I just used the phrase "boots on the ground" that a Fed police official used last week in one of the local papers when he described US involvement.


I was a bit surprised when an ICE agent got shot. That's Immigration and I doubt that there are many Mexican immigration cops permanently stationed in the USA, for example.

But as far as military ... eh ... I have often wondered if some of the clandestine helicopter traffic around the border (plenty of complaints about the big Russian-built Marine 'copters were crossing here at will) was to pick up US-based mercenaries, but that's merely my speculation.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:09 PM   #2992
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In the photo above, the craft is being used to investigate the strange markings on the ground...

.....perhaps the Mayan warning about the coming end of the age


More like the mapping of Senator Leghorn's new subdivision that he is building with taxpayer money.

Anyway ... if there is a way to waste money, or to screw up something that should be simple, then give 'em a US military aircraft and someone will make it happen.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:16 PM   #2993
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Unless the drones are flying over the homes of Mexican politicians it isn't going to be worth a damn, compadres.

There is a video out there somewhere of some clowns in an airplane, flying into a mountain range in the fog, that almost hits a cliff. At the end of the video you see them showing the audience the dents in the wings of the plane and leaves and twigs where they actually hit the tops of the trees.

I have this vision of the unmanned planes returning to Corpus Christi with ganja stuck in the wings after a flight through the Copper Canyon.
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:25 PM   #2994
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I don't think that we actually have many people on the ground because Mexico has strongly resisted allowing US agents to carry firearms, and you know that none of those guys are going to go to Mexico without a rifle or three.

sorry my friend but that is totally incorrect.

The signs warning that arms are not allowed into mexico and the penalty prision stuff, blah, blah, has been taken down and new sings are up like this:

"CAUTION, IF YOU DO NOT CARRY ANY FIRE ARMS WITH YOU, PLEASE STOP BY AT MEX CUSTOMS AND WE'LL LOAN TO YOU ONE OR TWO FOR YOUR OWN PROTECTION. BUT PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU RETURN THEM ON YOUR WAY BACK TO USA. THANK YOU"
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:51 AM   #2995
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sorry my friend but that is totally incorrect.

The signs warning that arms are not allowed into mexico and the penalty prision stuff, blah, blah, has been taken down and new sings are up like this:

"CAUTION, IF YOU DO NOT CARRY ANY FIRE ARMS WITH YOU, PLEASE STOP BY AT MEX CUSTOMS AND WE'LL LOAN TO YOU ONE OR TWO FOR YOUR OWN PROTECTION. BUT PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU RETURN THEM ON YOUR WAY BACK TO USA. THANK YOU"

Funny!

But I don't think so ...

As we all know there's the law, and there's The Way Things Really Are.

Just so that we don't get any nOObs into trouble, the reality is that *BOTH* the US and the Mexicans are looking for firearms going into Mexico. On the US side they do spot checks and on the Mexican side at Progreso they open the trunk of your car about 75% of the time.


*SO DON'T TAKE FIREARMS INTO MEXICO UNLESS YOU HAVE A MEXICAN PERMIT FOR A HUNTING WEAPON, AND THOSE ARE PRETTY RARE THESE DAYS*

But I will have to say that one day I saw a guy in the crowd among the tourists in Progreso wearing blue jeans and openly carrying a Browning Hi Power in a holster on his hip.

I don't really understand how he got away with that, but it happens.

For folks that say that Mexico forbids the private ownership of firearms, that isn't quite accurate. Supposedly a civilian cannot own a military caliber weapon, but someone with the right paperwork (and I have heard of resident gringos that have their paperwork in order getting into the system) can request a defensive firearm from the local military outpost/commander.

I am sure that it's not cheap, and I suspect that you are limited to around .380, but self defensive firearms in the house do indeed exist in Mexico.

There are also provisions for things like shotguns and hunting rifles but I'm not familiar with those requirements. Around here we have several places that used to have a fair number of gringo hunters but at the moment the Zetas are in control of those areas.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:20 AM   #2996
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What you can take into Mexico...

Nunchucks, throwing stars, brass knuckles, and blades of all descriptions are recommended, however.

Bonus: Honey Badger tattoo

The thinking that one has to get armed up to any degree to travel in Mexico leads to self-destructive karma. The effect is insidious, most people don't realize how it effects their outlook.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:39 AM   #2997
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Honey Badger is my co-pilot!
(Actually, he rides in my topcase. Just open it up, and......)
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:41 AM   #2998
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Just my fuckin' opinion...

Since first peddling a bicycle from Ensenada to Cabo San Lucas in the mid-eighties, to my brother Brad and I later retracing that route on our Harleys in 1998, much has changed in México. Eleven years ago, on a shakedown ride to Guatemala astride a KLR 650, experiencing the mainland unveiled far more opportunities to explore the diverse cultures of a country that so many North Americans have come to love. In 2001, both while on the way to and from riding South America, I realized that there would be no denying the lure of Latin America in general, but because of the relative safety and ease of travel, more so Mexíco. Like many other foreigners, I was succumbing to the seductive warmth and hospitality of a welcoming people.

Then, once returning from South America, an irresistible beckoning resulted in two more subsequent four-month journeys into Mexíco and Nicaragua. But this mysterious passion wouldn’t fade there. (It’s undeniable, my name is Glen and I am a Latin culture addict.)

In 2006, after a lengthy solo cruise around the earth, when departing Ethiopia, much to the dismay of family and friends, I opted to first airfreight into the more familiar refuge of happily chaotic Mexíco City rather than hyper-organized California. Be it on the road or where we are born, home is not necessarily where our bodies exist, but rather where our spirits thrive. It was then that I decided to rush back to Palm Desert, fill my panniers with worldly possessions and return to purchase Mexican property. I had moved to Mazatlán, permanently. Because the intensity of the previous years of international travel required a period of deep introspection to digest what had touched my soul—I realized that reconciling those events was not possible in the sterility of orderly America.

Writing my last book while living beyond the shadows of affluence in sunny Mazatlán was an occasional struggle to rationalize a world in flux through the eyes of a wandering biker. The satisfaction though, was to record those thoughts for others to experience and later evaluate, enjoy, and sometimes challenge. And posting journals in real time was a rewarding achievement--traveling through fifty-seven developing countries while daily sharing whatever crossed my mind with Internet voyeurs trapped in office cubicles.

And every year since living south of the US border, I’ve made it a point every winter, to roam Mexíco and Central America. Like always, I had traveled alone and without mentionable concerns for safety. Opinions vary on the wisdom of solo moto-travel, mostly regarding security or bringing along someone else to enjoy the journey. But for the first time since hitting the road hitchhiking across the US at age 16, I had to wonder about the wellbeing of another.

Because my brother Brad is also one of my senior black belts, I always knew he could handle any situation at least as well as me. As two experienced bikers we seldom had second thoughts when planning rides together. But recently, when mapping out "Hiba’s Big Adventure" of three thousand miles through Mexíco, for the first time, I had to consider potential dangers for a female, (even if she is Superwoman.) But she is familiar with life’s unprovoked tragedies from growing up during the Lebanese civil war that lasted until 1990 when the Syrians then marched in to occupy her country. Followed by sporadic, violent political unrest in this land of the Phoenicians, the UN finally helped expel Syrian soldiers. Then in 2006 in an effort to cripple Hizbollah by destroying the Lebanese infrastructure, the Israeli military invaded, firing three million cluster-bombs in five weeks on a nation the size of a large US county. Yet when all that happened and while the Druze killed members of her Catholic family, as an Arabic speaker, she managed to learn French (and Spanish) so she could earn her bachelors degree in psychology at the French university in Beirut. Following that, she studied American videos, spoke with tourists and quickly managed to teach herself English so she could eventually come to the US and finish her PhD. This woman does not scare easy.

Still, her safety was my responsibility and for the first time ever, I had to think about something that I never before worried about—was Mexíco safe?

As rabblerousing US politicians and extremist television pundits incite anger for personal gain, equally malicious counterparts thrive in México. An inept, corrupt government has convinced their public that more than the narcos themselves, it is American demand for drugs and weapons smuggled in from Texas that is the real reason for the murderous rampage plaguing their land. And the corporate monsters economically strangling hard working Mexican citizens divert attention by pointing a finger north, successfully shifting the blame for their ruthless greed to Los Gringos.

Having first sensed this growing divide ten years ago and commenting then, the situation has only worsened. As Hiba and I compare notes from our respective backgrounds, we conclude that like everywhere else in the world, in Mexíco, exploitation and corruption prevails uncontrollably as the guilty escape justice. In all-night conversations, we reluctantly confirm that the bad guys are winning.

I always knew that the euphoria of living in Mexíco, once peeling back the layers, would subside as the reality seeped in that people everywhere are basically the same. Yet once conversations with friends and neighbors became comfortable enough to discuss politics, I was sadly surprised to hear of such animosity toward Los Gringos. Whether necessary or not, building that wall between our two countries was extremely offensive to nearly all Latinos--as is the confusing signal that they are free to come and work for substandard wages if willing to crawl across our deserts dodging authorities. To them, this was a sign that as a people, they are not welcome. Combine that with political rhetoric and hateful punditry on both sides of the border, and it’s easy to understand why the gap between neighbors is widening.

But so far, other than typical street crime against tourists that exists in every country, foreigners have been exempt from kidnappings and murder. When you do hear of such actions against Americans, the victims are former Mexican nationals with US citizenship who are somehow involved in the drug trade. For now, it appears that the insanely gruesome criminal acts perpetuated across Mexíco are confined to narcos battling for turf. Thus far, travelers are off-limits. The question is though, as the violence explodes from border-towns to the countryside, how long before subsets of somewhat disciplined drug cartels zero in on softer targets?

However, living in Mexíco and traveling through Mexíco are separate issues. Due to the ever increasing, blood running in the streets of Mazatlán and other tourist areas, disinvesting appears prudent. Polling those whom I know reveals that foreigners with families are moving back to their respective countries while single males seem willing to discount the risk and stick it out.

For motorcyclists traveling the developing world, the most consistent danger is the often bewildering driving habits of locals and the unfortunate lack of adequate hospital facilities if the unthinkable should occur—once outside major cities, there are few trauma centers in Mexíco. To a somewhat lesser degree, Mexican cops often appear when least convenient to compensate for pathetically low salaries by fining traffic violators on the spot. Some might argue though that they would rather pay twenty bucks without the point against their driving records while also avoiding costly insurance premium hikes.

But if merely riding within or through areas far below the border, and if skipping politics while making polite attempts at speaking Spanish, motorcyclists in particular, will as usual, be classified as travelers versus tourists and likely continue to be greeted with typical Latin hospitality.

Ojalá que le vaya bien,
Glen and Hiba
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:30 PM   #2999
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.........This woman does not scare easy.

Still, her safety was my responsibility and for the first time ever, I had to think about something that I never before worried about—was Mexíco safe?

.......

But so far, other than typical street crime against tourists that exists in every country, foreigners have been exempt from kidnappings and murder. When you do hear of such actions against Americans, the victims are former Mexican nationals with US citizenship who are somehow involved in the drug trade. For now, it appears that the insanely gruesome criminal acts perpetuated across Mexíco are confined to narcos battling for turf. Thus far, travelers are off-limits. The question is though, as the violence explodes from border-towns to the countryside, how long before subsets of somewhat disciplined drug cartels zero in on softer targets?

However, living in Mexíco and traveling through Mexíco are separate issues.

......

But if merely riding within or through areas far below the border, and if skipping politics while making polite attempts at speaking Spanish, motorcyclists in particular, will as usual, be classified as travelers versus tourists and likely continue to be greeted with typical Latin hospitality.

Ojalá que le vaya bien,
Glen and Hiba
Hello Glen,

One really important part that does affect the entire nation is the highly manipulated press. Is frustating that most of the red news does not provides the total picture, and the natural paranoia of the honest civilians becomes into a swirl of increasing fear to the distorted facts, that implicitly leads to a descending economy, and so on and on.

I have been living for more than 12 yrs on Reynosa, and have had hear most of the gun fire battles, and all you can watch on TV news the next day is weather news and the partial true of "cartel problems" that happend in other state.

I'm happy you took some time to put your opinion here.

thank you.

Arte
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Old 03-17-2011, 06:33 PM   #3000
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Originally Posted by strikingviking View Post
But so far, other than typical street crime against tourists that exists in every country, foreigners have been exempt from kidnappings and murder. When you do hear of such actions against Americans, the victims are former Mexican nationals with US citizenship who are somehow involved in the drug trade. For now, it appears that the insanely gruesome criminal acts perpetuated across Mexíco are confined to narcos battling for turf. Thus far, travelers are off-limits. The question is though, as the violence explodes from border-towns to the countryside, how long before subsets of somewhat disciplined drug cartels zero in on softer targets?

Ojalá que le vaya bien,
Glen and Hiba
Well, I can't address the whole enchilada above, but I will say the answer to the above quoted question has been rolled over in this thread several dozen times. Yes. Mexico is changing. And the world along side it. And while it does, and uou said this yourself, governments might not get along, but people do. That's true the world over.

Unless and until motorcycle travelers in Mexico start becoming targets most of us will continue to return to Mexico. This thread was never about any fact that there are no unsafe aspects to travel in Mexico, rather, posting discussion about what those challenges are, posting a few hints and tricks of the riders trade, and letting said reader decide for him or herself what to do. Plus as a bonus we throw in a few pics of starlets and weather girls to keep the masa rich and invigorating.

The good news is, Mexico isn't going anywhere. Things may change down there, but essentially, they remain the same. I have faith in her people. The cartels may be winning in a few spots, for now, but like all cyclical things, even those spots will come back around.

It's my own country I'm worried about.
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