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Old 04-22-2011, 05:03 PM   #3166
torgo
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Planning on Mexico

I'm taking the family on vacation to Baja in May and returning in Oct to ride with a friend for 12 days. Going through Tecate and dont expect problems. All my buddies think I am crazy. I am looking forward to having the place to myself.

Riding Baja Oct 9th through 20th if anyone is interested.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:41 PM   #3167
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Where is safe?

I thought this thread was going to pass a long time ago because Avid riders are not like the popular media wave of sensational perverted information. The ride reports and information on this sight is so amazing and valuable.

Helped me with my trip to 2011 Dakar and home from SA. Please change the name to information on Mexico

I have lived in Playas TJ for two years ride Baja all the time have a house in Zwat and have drivin towing my boat there for years down from Los Angeles.

Mexico is the same as most countries so if there is a thread about 'Is Lybia Save' I can understand but tooooo much on Mex

Just ride it!


ps love to tag on rides here PM me!
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:54 PM   #3168
BobLoblaw
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I just spent 6 weeks touring around Mexico most of it in non tourist areas and on secondary roads. The only time I felt unsafe was when I read all the stuff about how unsafe it is
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:54 PM   #3169
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I had the good fortune to spend nearly 7 weeks in Mexico. From mid Jan 11 to end of Feb 11.
Crossing into Baja Norte at Tecate. Travelling south criss crossing Baja stopping in to visit Coco. Then continuinng to travel south. through Santa Rosalia over to Ciudad Insurgentes, over to La Paz down to Todos Santos and back around through Cabo San Lucas and back to the ferry at Pichilingue. I had thought that the hospitality that I encountered would be tough to surpass. Never was there ever any hint of anything but the most sincere hospitable peoples I have ever met. When I crossed on the ferry to Mazatlan I was told that the people on the mainland are not as nice.
My findings were that they were just as friendly, helpful, and sincere on the mainland. Including Mexico City, especially Creel and Batopilas.
After my visit I can not await to return.
When asked about if I ever felt in danger, or if Mexico is unsafe. I can safely say that my concerns with my safety are now reserved for when I enter the United States.
It is terrible that the Media has been so malicious and is doing its' best to slander an entires nations tourism industry.
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Old 04-23-2011, 05:57 AM   #3170
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Originally Posted by MikeMike View Post
3 decades ago the narco satanicos were making soup out of unlucky locals and a college student from Brownsville, anybody else remember that?
We were coming back from a caving trip in the Xilitla area and crossed at Matamoros the same week-end the story broke about the college student...scary shit!
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:20 AM   #3171
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We were coming back from a caving trip in the Xilitla area......
Hey! Quiet! Don't let out any more secrets about the Huasteca region if you please. Thanks!
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Old 04-23-2011, 06:44 AM   #3172
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Hey! Quiet! Don't let out any more secrets about the Huasteca region if you please. Thanks!
I've been trying to get the rest of The Lost Trail Riders to plan a dual sport ride down there, but some of the group is un-comfortable with the current situation...
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:56 AM   #3173
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I've been trying to get the rest of The Lost Trail Riders to plan a dual sport ride down there, but some of the group is un-comfortable with the current situation...
Motodiscovery has re-routed and currently does not offer tours out of McAllen/Reynosa.

Texas Adventure (Mextrek trips) to Galeana have been suspended.

"Big Jim", former Motodiscovery guide (and my neighbor here), continues to run custom tours for small groups. He has 70+ Mexico trips logged with no incidents.
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Old 04-23-2011, 11:29 AM   #3174
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Man, looks like I stirred up a hornet's nest!

First of all, I love it around McAllen and Reynosa. I haven't been out riding that much lately mostly because of finances and us starting a business, so my priorities are elsewhere. But ...

Not too many months ago you couldn't get into trouble around here, and what little trouble that occurred was very, very isolated.

Now we've got a three-way fight going on for control between the authorities, what was the Gulf Cartel (now it's supposedly a combination of several cartels that have allied), and the Zetas.

Historically the Gulf Cartel has stood for peace and prosperity, as long as you don't mess with them when they are dealing dope. Historically the Gulf Cartel doesn't do kidnappings, extortions, and so forth.

As is famously known the Zetas were originally US-trained elite military that deserted and were the muscle for the Gulf Cartel until they decided they didn't need the Gulf Cartel.

Around here you can trace almost all the violence and kidnappings to the Zetas.

The other side of the coin is that the military isn't playing favorites. If they spot members of either cartel the shooting begins. I don't think it's any secret that the military by and large has orders to shoot to kill cartel members.

There are at least 7 major Mexican cartels spread throughout the country and they all have different philosophies and loose associations; to some extent you practically need a score card to keep up with what's going on because alliances shift periodically.

Much of the really graphic violence that goes on is aimed at settling scores between the various cartels. That has no bearing on tourists and motorcyclists unless you happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Like unwittingly talking to a cartel member when they get shot (which happens). Or being in a nightclub when the entire place gets hit (happened at least once in Tampico).

The odds of getting caught in a shoot out are pretty low. Two years ago it was a big, big deal when there was one shootout between the military and about 4 Gulf Cartel members in Reynosa. Today it happens more often but honestly there is more gun violence in most US cities than there is in Mexico.

Roadblocks? Around here the Zetas pretty effectively controlled all the traffic going into and out of Reynosa for a few months. What were they doing? Charging tolls on commercial trucks (an associate told me that it was $400 for every truck that went through the Pharr crossing) and looking for migrants (another toll) and opposition cartel members.

But that has generally been over with for some time.

This nonsense in San Fernando is worrisome however. Just with the sheer numbers the Zetas seem to have branched out beyond extorting South American migrants. That, and killing the American missionaries over their pickup truck doesn't exactly encourage anyone from going into that area, and that's a pity for many reasons.

Pilot has some great points, but I will clarify one thing that we discussed. I can see the fighting throughout Mexico between the cartels going on for a long time. I don't see the fighting in Tamaulipas continuing however. For one thing the Zetas are no longer the kind of power that could set up road blocks; they are being forced to hit and run, and to sneak around after dark. For another thing, Monterrey, Reynosa, and Matamoros are so important to the nation's economy that I see the Mexican government taking extreme measures to keep the highways open (case in point - even when there was all the fighting in Laredo a few years ago you could still very safely drive or ride through town; messing with the autopista between Reynosa and Monterrey caused the military to come out in force; my suspicions are that with everyone afraid to drive on Rt. 101 the Marines will level San Fernando if they have to in order to regain control )

Bottom line:

- I have been telling everyone that, at the moment, Matamoros and Reynosa aren't the best places to enter Mexico right now, but if you do it's not exactly a death sentence either. We have had several folks come through and ride right down Rt. 101 - against my advice - and except for a big military presence things were kosher

- By and large Reynosa and Matamoros are safe during the day. Most folks get off the streets in the Centro of Reynosa as the sun goes down

- I'd stay off of Rt. 2 along the border between Reynosa and Laredo. The Zetas used to control several of those little towns, and if you are going to run into a bad guys road block it's going to be somewhere in that area around Falcon Lake. The word, incidentally, is that the young Zetas were forced into a tent city around the ruins of Ancient Guerrero (that's precisely where the guy on the jet ski supposedly got killed) and now are relocating to Laredo.

- Rt. 101 is safe in the sense that the military has a huge presence and you don't actually go through San Fernando on that route, you go around the edge. It's never smart to ride Mexican roads after dark and I would certainly advise that if you are riding between Reynosa, Matamoros, or Victoria that you get through that area during the middle of the day. (There is a big Pemex where Rt. 87 intersects with Rt. 101 - I'd go there and just ride with any large group that seems to form that is going your way).

- I think that I would stay off of Rt. 180 through Soto La Marina right now. I know that we have had some guys ride over there and camp overnight at La Pesca without any trouble but there have been off and on road blocks there, buses being stopped (I have to wonder if this is where some of the San Fernando bodies actually came from), and some retaliation beheadings of bad guys that were accused of being bus hijackers. That is a relatively narrow, isolated road over there.

- By and large there haven't been any tales of trouble along the toll road between Reynosa and Monterrey for some time. This is in spite of the Zetas supposedly holding some of the small towns along the way as you go into Monterrey.

- Likewise there haven't been any tales of trouble on the main truck route between Laredo and Monterrey.

- Monterrey seems to be pretty peaceful, although people are nervous because for a long time they had zero troubles there and now they have some. But from what friends are telling me just use common sense and you shouldn't have any trouble in Monterrey. Ditto with Saltillo.

Anyway, once you get south of Monterrey and Victoria you are pretty well clear of the "extended border trouble areas."

And you would have to be pretty durned unlucky to get caught up in something as a tourist if you follow the above exceptions.
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Old 04-23-2011, 12:26 PM   #3175
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^^ Sounds like you need to get your priorities straightened out.

Always appreciate your take on things down there, PJ. Everybody's gotta figure it out as best they can.

Ran into Skip in Batopilas last month and he gave a clear analysis of the situation and his decision to not do trips through Reynosa for the time being. It's one thing to jump on the bike for a ride south - something else entirely to be responsible for others as a business owner.

For me I will avoid any area that gets very hot regardless of who is being targeted. But that's just me. YMMV. Not to say it's a go/no go decision about Mexico. Just a routing issue. For now.

BTW, the Texas sheriff investigating the Falcon Lake shooting did say his CI's all reported that the shooters were dispatched by Zeta leadership after the story broke. Just FYI.
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:18 PM   #3176
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^^ Sounds like you need to get your priorities straightened out.

Always appreciate your take on things down there, PJ. Everybody's gotta figure it out as best they can.
Thanks Amigo!


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Originally Posted by SchizzMan View Post
BTW, the Texas sheriff investigating the Falcon Lake shooting did say his CI's all reported that the shooters were dispatched by Zeta leadership after the story broke. Just FYI.

Yeah ... lots of weirdness about that entire episode. The overwhelming feeling around here is that something is wrong with her tale. Something. It's just that no one can quite put their finger on what's missing.

And yes, all indications are that the kids that did the shooting were killed because of the publicity. There is a lot of evidence to indicate that the higher ups in all of the organizations don't want to involve gringo tourists, but when you arm a bunch of 14 year olds with automatic weapons to say that they might be "unpredictable" is to be kind.

There had been several fishermen robbed in that same area when the Hartleys went over to look at the church in Ancient Guerrero. The Hartleys weren't naive - they had lived in Reynosa and I have heard they actually had Mexican plates on their truck. So draw your own conclusions: naive? dope deal gone bad? mistaken identity?

Just a year earlier that place was safe and Deb and I drove the Land Rover over onto the Mexican side to look around the ghost town without any hassles whatsoever. Things will return to whatever passes for normal some day:

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Old 04-23-2011, 01:41 PM   #3177
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Very good PJ. I guess i had misunderstood your timeline as to when things would end. I think the border will be cleaned, but its gonna be difficult.

I guess it comes down to everybody assessing the risk for themselves. For me its too high now. Just be informed and know whats going on and where.
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:50 PM   #3178
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Article about the bodies in San Fernando. 177 found so far. This is on top of the 80 or so found a few months ago.

Entire article here: http://www.laht.com/article.asp?Arti...tegoryId=14091

I think this is interesting and explains who may have been targeted. There has been some discussion locally that once upon a time it paid well to smuggle dope across the border, but now more and more people are forced into the trade. The ones that get paid anything at all get paid poorly, and if you screw up you get a bullet.

The expression used to be "a bullet or a bribe." Now the joke is that the bribes are no longer offered.

~~~


"The local cell of Los Zetas is also suspected in the August 2010 massacre of 72 mainly Central American migrants in San Fernando.

Some gangs have resorted to using unusual methods to recruit gunmen because of high casualties in the war being waged by rival drug traffickers for control of territory, the Mexican government says.

The incidents involving the buses may have been an attempt to recruit gunmen
, investigators said."
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Old 04-23-2011, 01:57 PM   #3179
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Arte was talking about the clandestine sales of gasoline around Reynosa, and I commented that there was some discussion locally that gasoline was being stolen from Pemex.

Well ... yesterday someone blew up a gasoline tanker in Nuevo Progreso. There are all sorts of conflicting stories right now (one local newscast said that the Pemex in N. Progreso blew up - why don't they at least send a reporter there to check it out?) but the photo looks like it's on the little truck route around Progreso that just happens to exit right at the Pemex.

Anyway, anyone see any coincidences with tales of gasoline being stolen, this tanker exploding while someone was siphoning fuel, the reporters supposedly being warned away by young kids in jeans carrying walkie talkies, all while the local police car stayed away?

Story at http://www.themonitor.com/articles/r...ire-large.html

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Old 04-23-2011, 02:04 PM   #3180
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Very good PJ. I guess i had misunderstood your timeline as to when things would end. I think the border will be cleaned, but its gonna be difficult.
I wasn't specific enough. I just thought that, for the sake of folks reading, that I should explain my position a bit better.

You did good my friend!


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Originally Posted by pilot815 View Post
I guess it comes down to everybody assessing the risk for themselves. For me its too high now. Just be informed and know whats going on and where.

Even though my riding is temporarily curtailed, I am doing some business in Mexico and expect that to increase.

Ironically, since a portion of our business involves finding investors that want to relocate from Mexico it would arguably be to my advantage to paint a doom-and-gloom scenario. But I really don't see things that way.

I see Mexico as being incredibly dynamic, and in ascendancy. What they are going through today really isn't much different from what South Florida went through during the days of the Cocaine Cowboys, or what Chicago and NYC went through when the mobs ruled there.

PS -

I expect to be taking some business trips to Monterrey sooner or later. I am looking forward to it. Neither of my other partners will go there at the moment.
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