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Old 06-27-2012, 05:59 AM   #8866
tricepilot
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Originally Posted by einnocent View Post
We were in Valladolid yesterday. Got pulled over by the local fuzz for going wrong way down one-way street. He told me to turn around and go back, no shenanigans. Polite and professional.

We decided to rush to get to Holbox so we could catch the ferry,......


And for situational awareness:

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Old 06-27-2012, 06:00 AM   #8867
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Originally Posted by Pedro Navaja View Post
The cuota & libre join at Nueva Rosita on the map, but don't let that fool you. You exit the cuota way south of Nueva Rosita, and the entry point for going back north is even further south, so I guess it has been extended over the last few years. Mex 57 is in good shape as of last year all the way to Saltillo. I prefer this route to Saltillo over the route from Nuevo Laredo via Monterrey. It is what most of us refer to as the "high plains desert route" and it is an easy straight shot. You will rise three high plains on your way to Saltillo. When you go through Monclova, go right through town. DO NOT take any of the bypasses that go around the city. The bypasses are known to be speed traps and places for other "encounters." Usually RV's. Just stay on 57 and it takes your straight through town. The in-town traffic is not really an issue.

When you go through town you will pass the intersection of Madero and Harold Pape. As you head south you will see a larger fire station on your right. Just keep riding south a couple of blocks and you will see a split in the street. Stay right and don't get on the overpass where the split happens. You stay on the feeder road and to your right is the restaurant Los Corrales. Stop and have lunch there, or a late breakfast. It's a great place.

If you are taking a leisurely ride, consider visiting Cuatrocienegas. Very small town, but lots to see. More? Contact me via PM.


Mike

Good information.

thanks Mike
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:35 AM   #8868
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Originally Posted by miguelito View Post
There were a cross section of causes, including Traffic accidents as well as out and out murders. Unfortunately I don't have that document on the computer I'm traveling with, or I could break it down in more detail. The data set I was using is here: http://travel.state.gov/law/family_i...death_600.html


Interesting. I called up the stats for a 2 year period of time and there was 1 ... Count it 1 ... death of a US citizen in Tamaulipas. Statistically you are literally more likely to drown in a pool in the Yucatan than get shot in Reynosa or Matamoros.

Considering the number of gringos and Latin folks that have settled around Tijuana because they cannot afford real estate in San Diego those numbers aren't shocking at all.
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:54 AM   #8869
tricepilot
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Considering the number of gringos and Latin folks that have settled around Tijuana because they cannot afford real estate in San Diego those numbers aren't shocking at all.
Factor in poor judgement in many of these cases. Time of day, location, associates, drugs and/or alcohol etc.

The prudent traveler has much, much less of a risk profile.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:06 AM   #8870
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Originally Posted by PirateJohn View Post
Interesting. I called up the stats for a 2 year period of time and there was 1 ... Count it 1 ... death of a US citizen in Tamaulipas. Statistically you are literally more likely to drown in a pool in the Yucatan than get shot in Reynosa or Matamoros.

Considering the number of gringos and Latin folks that have settled around Tijuana because they cannot afford real estate in San Diego those numbers aren't shocking at all.
Indeed! Someone posted the link to this Lonely Planet Blog a month or so ago here, which makes a strong statistical case that Americans are safer in Mexico than they are in the US.
"What you don’t get from most reports in the US is statistical evidence that Americans are less likely to face violence on average in Mexico than at home, particularly when you zero in on Mexico’s most popular travel destinations."
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:32 AM   #8871
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Here's an interesting general article (opinion) on Mexico.

Better than the usual fear and loathing type stuff.


http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn....se/?hpt=hp_bn2
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:50 AM   #8872
tricepilot
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Originally Posted by mark883 View Post
Better than the usual fear and loathing type stuff.

http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn....se/?hpt=hp_bn2
Outstanding piece by Fareed Zakaria.

Analytical, not emotional.

"Don't let perceptions of Mexico fool you. Despite all the violence, despite being overshadowed by its flashier neighbor, it is quietly on the rise."
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:10 AM   #8873
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You Texicans might also get a kick out of this story I heard on NPR last night.

I thought it fairly well fair and balanced. (to borrow a phrase )

http://www.npr.org/2012/06/26/155761...ug-traffickers
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:17 AM   #8874
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Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
Factor in poor judgement in many of these cases. Time of day, location, associates, drugs and/or alcohol etc.

The prudent traveler has much, much less of a risk profile.


I suspect that if I ever become a statistic after hitting the late night pubs in Nuevo Laredo or Reynosa that my obituary here will read something like "at least he didn't do drugs.".

Anyway, I think that we can all agree that the dangers are highly over-rated although there are some things and places that I have wanted to see and travel to but will wait until the political climate is more stable.

Which reminds me. Mexican Presidential elections are coming up soon. Any predictions other than "don't expect to find an open bar on election day?".
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:21 AM   #8875
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Originally Posted by PirateJohn View Post
I suspect that if I ever become a statistic after hitting the late night pubs in Nuevo Laredo or Reynosa that my obituary here will read something like "at least he didn't do drugs.".

Anyway, I think that we can all agree that the dangers are highly over-rated although there are some things and places that I have wanted to see and travel to but will wait until the political climate is more stable.

Which reminds me. Mexican Presidential elections are coming up soon. Any predictions other than "don't expect to find an open bar on election day?".

You going down to vote for the PRI candidate, PJ?
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:33 AM   #8876
tricepilot
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You Texicans might also get a kick out of this story I heard on NPR last night.

I thought it fairly well fair and balanced. (to borrow a phrase )
Although I'm very familiar with this story, here's a section of that report I found most interesting:

"In September 2010, a young couple, David and Tiffany Hartley, rode their water scooters six miles up the Salado River into Mexico. The Hartleys wanted to take pictures of a beautiful church that emerges from the water when Falcon Lake is low.

But the Old Guerrero church is also a Zeta staging area. When the Hartleys showed up with their cameras, men in boats gave chase and fired on them.

"Mr. Hartley, sadly, didn't make it across like Mrs. Hartley did," says Aaron Sanchez, a captain with the Zapata County Sheriff's Department. "He got shot by these individuals."

David Hartley's water scooter and body were never found. A Mexican state police investigator assigned to the case was himself decapitated, his head mailed in a suitcase to a nearby army post.

But the situation began to change last fall, after the Zetas seized a small Mexican island in the middle of Falcon Lake. The government sent in helicopter gunships and blasted the gang with missiles and .50-caliber machine guns.

Twelve people were killed.

Texas authorities say the Zetas have since kept a much lower profile"

The pieces about just exactly where Hartley rode that ski on the Mexico side and the response by the Mexican government to the stronghold on the island I was not familiar with.

In concert with my earlier posting today, Mr. Hartley's decision to ride a jet ski six miles upriver into a remote area on the Mexican side of Falcon Lake wasn't a good one, and he subsequently found trouble when he literally ran into the realization that its an area controlled by the Zetas. Very poor risk management decision to explore this remote area along the border in the first place, although there is a significant chance he wasn't aware just how risky his choice was, or that the Old Guererro Church was a "Zeta Staging Area".

Every day, millions of people withdraw money from ATMs without any issue. Try that alone, at night, in a sketchy area of a strange city and your odds of finding trouble skyrocket.

I would, however, based on this article being posted here, go bass fishing on Falcon Lake on the US side in a heartbeat.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:44 AM   #8877
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But if I were a bass, I would stay on the Mexican side, because it would be less likely that a gringo bass killer would find me.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:53 AM   #8878
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:20 AM   #8879
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Originally Posted by mark883 View Post
You Texicans might also get a kick out of this story I heard on NPR last night.

I thought it fairly well fair and balanced. (to borrow a phrase )

http://www.npr.org/2012/06/26/155761...ug-traffickers

Man, a multiple beer discussion there ... Great area with a ton of history and a lot going on right now.

I have told the stories several times but for the newbies reading this just as data points Yours Truly 1) took photos of the Mexican side of Old Guerrero and the church about a year before the Zetas moved in and 2) had his motor home break down in nearby San Ygnacio last year and became a fixture in Zapata, TX for about 2 weeks until we got that straightened out.

Firstly, the episode with the Hartley's was much talked about in the Rio Grande Valley and in Zapata and I have never met ANYONE that thinks it actually went down like she says it did.

Secondly, it is widely accepted that the Zeta commanders had the yahoos that were involved killed because they brought too much heat to the Zetas. That goes a long way towards sending a message to the kids that messing with tourists isn't a smart career move.

Mexican Rt. 2 along there used to be a fun ride but right now I wouldn't recommend it although I haven't heard of much activity over there during the last 6 months or so. But at the time the Zetas definitely held several towns and regularly set up roadblocks.

San Ignacio is maybe 10-15 miles northwest of Zapata and Falcon Lake. From the highway it's nothing fancy but has a great traditional Centro a few blocks from the Rio Grande that has been restored. The Brando film Viva Zapata was filmed there in 1953. And I have had my eyes on some lots that overlook the Rio Grande, so that just shows you what I think of the area.

The Rio Grande is very narrow and not particularly deep. There are small boat docks on both sides. The Mexican side is sparsely populated and the locals said it was pretty common for folks to cross the river and walk to the convenience store in San Ygnacio.

The mechanic that worked on my motor home said that he had seen a jet ski several times that matched the description of Hartley's missing jet ski. He also told me that he had seen the Mexicans straffing the woods behind his house with rockets and gun fire and while I was in San Ygnacio I saw a Mexican Marines helicopter make a low, slow pass just inside Mexico. I was close enough that I couldn't quite hit him with a rock but I am pretty sure that I could have hit him with a pistol round if I had wanted to. He was definitely vulnerable to rifle fire from where I was on the US side.

While I was in the RGV the Zapata County Sheriff complained that the Marines (and we ain't talking the USMC here folks) were routinely crossing the border and hovering. I have had more than one person tell me that they were sending a message to some rogue Border Patrol cops who were living in an RV park (not the one I was in - that was my first concern when I got there )

The bass fishermen had been regularly crossing Falcon Lake illegally and fishing near old Guerrero. The town was built in the location because there is a small Mexican river that empties into the Rio Grande. There is a bridge across that river that was submerged when Falcon Lake was constructed and that's a fishing hotspot. Obviously if the border is in the center of a lake that is very broad at the dammed end it's possible to claim that you don't know where the border if you stray slightly, but if you are past the Rio Grande and boating up a tributary some ways it's beyond credibility to argue that you didn't realize that you had strayed into Mexico.

Anyway, there had been several holdups among the bass fishermen before the Hartley shootings occurred. Most of it was pretty minor (shakedown for pocket change) then it seemed to get more and more serious. Still, it couldn't have been that bad because the bass fishermen kept going back to old Guerrero. I haven't heard much since I left The Valley but the word is that the Mexican military pretty well cleaned house.

That whole issue of Old Guerrero is pretty irritating. After decades of trying to keep people out of the old city (Mexico forcibly relocated several folks that didn't want to leave and after the lake was built discovered that -oops - much of it didn't flood anyway) they were just starting to turn it into a tourist destination. Then this nonsense happened and scared off the tourists.

I wrote a couple of articles on Ancient Guerrero. Lemme see ...

Index to the articles that I wrote. Looks like the Guerrero article is in 4 parts:

http://www.examiner.com/road-trip-tr...io/john-gilmer
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:26 AM   #8880
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Building permit

Trying to get a building permit in San Antonio is a pain in the the butt specially when you did the plans
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