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Old 08-15-2011, 11:41 AM   #3886
MikeMike
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If you are crossing at Matamoros, cross as early as possible and book on through to Tampico at least during daylight your first day. South from Tampico is fine, however, here in Veracruz we have been having a very high amount of daylight shootouts throughout the city. The principal streets have seen a number of confrontations at all hours day and night, as well in the colonias.
South of Veracruz it has been very quiet (almost too quiet) lately.

Go to this website for the absolute most up to the minute news of what is happening.

www.narcoviolencia.com

Bookmark that site if you are interested in what has been happening. Throughout Mexico where there is trouble.

I am not an alarmist for travelers, far from it, and my posts have reflected on how this is a problem that can affect local residents rather than travelers. However, with the increase in daylight shootouts on principal streets here, I am willing to be the first to caution travelers. It's a heads up. If you want alternate routing around Veracruz, PM me and I can send you details on some nice rides where you will totally avoid the problems that have been happening.

That website I am recommending beats all the others hands down except for maybe www.lapoliciaca.com

WARNING both sites contain material that is VERY GRAPHIC so hush anyone away who shouldn't be subject to looking at this sort of stuff.

When people start throwing grenades into crowds of tourists in front of the Plaza Acquario on a Sunday afternoon, it deserves some mention on here, same goes for the Tianguis in Boca del Rio on the main street around the same time. Not to mention when the bad guys start taking on bus loads of soldiers right outside the army installation on the aptly named Calle Ejercito Mexicano, like what happened on Friday afternoon. It shows the impunity that the bad guys enjoy courtesy of the corrupt police and state, local governments here. Last month they did an independent test of all the cops in the state of Veracruz and only about 15% were deemed employable in law enforcement.

Me? Yesterday morning, I left Boca del Rio early in the AM and went into the mountains on the Veracruz/Puebla border and enjoyed a temp of 11c with winds at the summit of the pass from Francisco Madero to Guadalupe Victoria (aka the right turn instead of the left turn for Quimixtlan) and ran into some local riders later in Perote and shared a nice lunch with them.

That is what riding in Mexico is all about, get off the main routes and poke around on the secondary roads. The trouble is mostly urban stuff, except for the highway from Matamoros to south of Sota La Marina for example. But that is Taumalipas and that state, like Chihuahua, was sold out by their corrupt governors a long time ago.

There have been no problems in Orizaba nor in Cordoba, same goes for Tlacotalpan and Catemaco, the Huasteca Alta up around Platon Sanchez has been ok, and there was trouble in San Raphael and Martinez de la Torre but most of that has been flushed out.

Remember, the military are taking no prisoners these days and are responding with overwhelming force as you will see on the first website I recommended. There is now a lot of talk about a new paramilitary group that is financed by some people with resources who are fed up with extortion and kidnappings (as most of the crime is mafia type stuff and not just drug related, in fact, most of it is total turf war for extortion, kidnappings, and migrant smuggling and then comes the local drug market that has developed over the last decade).

So that is that and I am sorry to be a resident here and have to tell people to be so careful about visiting where I live, but these days it is better to be prudent. The reason I am posting this is because of the daylight attacks in urban areas that are heavily transited, which are exactly the routes that someone coming through will take.

You don't have to avoid the state of Veracruz, just pay some close attention to what is happening in town. Enjoy the good riding on the secondary roads because that's where the worry free fun is.

MikeMike screwed with this post 08-15-2011 at 11:48 AM
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:57 PM   #3887
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So that is that and I am sorry to be a resident here and have to tell people to be so careful about visiting where I live, but these days it is better to be prudent.


Exactamente, Mike. That's what we want you here for. Give the straight facts from the scene, info resources, and let the grownups here make their own decisions. Just as easily, you can post when things clear up a bit.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:45 PM   #3888
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Excellent info MikeMike. Thanks for keeping us updated. I may be coming down to Tampico in November. If I do, I'll ask you for an update.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:15 PM   #3889
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Thanks, I was a little doubtful if I should post what has been happening because as I stated I am not an alarmist and it has been said a million times before that the trouble affects locals more than outsiders. But last Friday to Sunday was a bad stretch of broad daylight incidents on heavily traveled streets.
Also, the kidnapping of 3 marines and a cadet by the bad guys has everyone on edge here. Usually they appear dead almost immediately but this time they appear to be holding them for some reason. That is not good as it signals are ramping up of the impunity and bravado of the bad guys which is the last thing we need.
Tourism here is down probably at least 75% from previous years and the traditional end of summer vacation push and impulse just isn't happening. The beaches are empty and the hotels and restaurants are suffering a lot. However, the state and local governments first denied that the Hotel and Restaurant Owners Association had legit numbers for how bad the situation was, then they turned around and blamed the association members for bad service and that is why there are no tourists. Just head in the sand nonsense and "Crisis? What crisis?" statements that most of the local newspapers carry because the government basically owns them and they will publish whatever nonsense comes along.
Everyone is on edge locally, and it is only just heating up and likely to get worse especially if the paramilitary thing really is true and not just a rumor. It appears the grenade at the Plaza Acquario was an intentional target of innocent people in order to divert the military so they couldn't respond to other shootouts. Up to now, innocent people have been caught in the crossfire but now they are targets.
That website www.narcoviolencia.com is legit and gives good information so keep it handy and you can click not just on Veracruz but other states as well for up to date reports. I have no idea who is behind it but they are doing a real public service because what passes for the media here are for the most part out to lunch, disinterested, or just taking money to not report anything or taking money to report nonsense.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:53 PM   #3890
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Thanks Mike.

Very useful updates. Keep it coming. I will start monitoring the web sites as I prepare to pass your way late October. Hope we can connect and do some riding on my way to Oaxaca.

JD
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:24 PM   #3891
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For sure! Just give me a few days notice and I will clean off the schedule and do some riding.
Now if I could just remember who it was that promised to tell me the story about the electric man or the sparks man or something like that...
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:58 PM   #3892
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For sure! Just give me a few days notice and I will clean off the schedule and do some riding.
Now if I could just remember who it was that promised to tell me the story about the electric man or the sparks man or something like that...
"Master of Sparks"
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:28 AM   #3893
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That's it! Looking forward to hearing that one. LOL! Thanks
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:24 PM   #3894
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Originally Posted by SchizzMan View Post
Thanks Mike.

Very useful updates. Keep it coming. I will start monitoring the web sites as I prepare to pass your way late October. Hope we can connect and do some riding on my way to Oaxaca.

JD
You should subscribe to the ALARMA magazine to monitor the situation in Mexico and if you see it complicated, maybe cancel your trip to Oaxaca

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Old 08-16-2011, 10:31 PM   #3895
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You should subscribe to the ALARMA magazine to monitor the situation in Mexico and if you see it complicated, maybe cancel your trip to Oaxaca
More good input. Thanks Bato!

And yes, if it starts looking iffy down south I will adjust my travel plans accordingly.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:58 AM   #3896
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Alarma is ok, but it's kind of tough to be perusing it while sipping coffee at Sanborn's as it upsets the customers and staff. LOL!
Warning for graphic material on the following websites so don't go looking at with kids or at work.
Seriously:

www.narcoviolencia.com

www.lapoliciaca.com

http://nuevoalarma.com.mx/

are all going to give you up to the minute information. Again, almost all of that is not something that travelers worry about, but something locals have to grapple with. Until, of course, it is happening on the main streets in broad daylight and then it becomes something that will concern travelers. For example, a forum member rode with me on two separate occasions last month and 3 of the streets we rode on were scenes of daytime violent events. Up to now it had been in the colonias and on main streets but well after dark. It is the daytime attacks that are worrisome in my opinion as they present a serious risk to both residents and travelers.

But enough of this, I am looking forward to riding with more forum members in the areas that both time and violence have forgotten!
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Old 08-17-2011, 07:50 AM   #3897
mark883
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Originally Posted by MikeMike View Post
Alarma is ok, but it's kind of tough to be perusing it while sipping coffee at Sanborn's as it upsets the customers and staff. LOL!
Warning for graphic material on the following websites so don't go looking at with kids or at work.
Seriously:

http://nuevoalarma.com.mx/




You aint kidding there.... one thing I can't get over with Mexican media- they ain't afraid to show it all.

They need a 'filtered for gringos button' or something....
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:42 PM   #3898
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Balacera

So has the balacera in Veracruz stopped or still going on., Was this a series of sporadic events or is it like that 24/7 ?
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:44 PM   #3899
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Average is about a one a day these days.
Yesterday there was a short one in Reforma, today has been quiet but I don't want to jinx anything.
Tourism is buey, buey down.
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Old 08-17-2011, 06:00 PM   #3900
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You wont catch me in Mexico unless its a resort town and I fly in .
If i had dark skin and knew the language it might be different.
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