False Checkpoints?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by ZGGS, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. ZGGS

    ZGGS Tele Ripper

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    Has anyone experienced a "false checkpoint" in Mexico? I read the State Department's write-up of what to watch for and in several areas they warn of false checkpoints. I've experienced official (or what I assume were official) checkpoints and learned to respect and appreciate the military police presence. But, the "warning" doesn't say anything about what to actually look for or do, which seems sorta useless. Anyone come across one of these so-called false checkpoints and know what to look for? And any advice on what to do if you realize a checkpoint is not legit? Thanks.
    #1
  2. David13

    David13 Been here awhile

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    Yes.
    There is a video recently posted, about one in Mexico. I forget who it was. He went south thru' Baja then over to the mainland.
    They strung a cable across the road, with a small red flag. Fortunately he saw it and stopped.
    Then he said he didn't argue, he just paid.
    Maybe someone has a link.
    One of the recent threads about travel in Mexico.
    I just got back Sunday from Mexico myself. No road blocks. Just one breakdown, and tow.

    Ah, it's RexBuck, Mexico by Geezer.
    Let me try a link.
    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=760007&highlight=mexico&page=6
    dc
    #2
  3. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    The above is exactly like the "road tax" rope-across-the-road phenomenon one often sees in places like Chiapas. Not really a big deal, they're just wanting a donation to the local "cause". They're not a threat and not to be feared, although your first time encoutering it without knowing whats going on it can be a bit unnerving.

    You can find anecdotal stories on actual bad guy road blocks. Ride during the day and you'll avoid most hassles and road hazards such as Standing Bull and Wandering Cow.

    If you find yourself at an actual bad guy roadblock, which would be like hitting the lottery, my advice is to hand over everything including your bike if necessary. Its when one gets startled, refuses to cooperate, and flees when the fun starts.
    #3
  4. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    no
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  5. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Put on your body armor and go for it! :2guns
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  6. Clockwatcher

    Clockwatcher Been here awhile

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    This is just one of many reasons I wont ride in mexico.............ever:eek1
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  7. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    If you dont want to go, dont go. No need to preach about it to the rest of us.
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  8. Wolfgang55

    Wolfgang55 Long timer

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    Going thru Mex City.
    Fed cop working the stop lights by hand & watching for tourist.
    Green to Red w/ yellow lasting at a near 1/4 second.........155 USD on the spot

    You deserve what ever you get from that shit hole of a country, as soon as you leave the US.
    The more I hear of their criminally corrupt behavor of the Mexican Police at all levels, the more I smile.
    #8
  9. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Never seen a Federale working a traffic light. If you paid 155 USD on the spot, you paid a mordida to the cop, not a traffic ticket. The only legal way to pay is go the police station and pay the ticket. I've ridden tens of thousands of miles in Mexico and never had an issue refusing to pay a mordida. Some of them were even legitimate stops and the transit cop let me go.

    If you think its such a shit hole as you put it, why do you go?

    On another note about checkpoints, its interesting how thorough the military has gotten in Baja. Just last week I went through a couple places where they literally checked everything. I used to get pretty much waved through them all, not anymore. Its good to see that they have gotten more serious.
    #9
  10. ZGGS

    ZGGS Tele Ripper

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    Thanks everyone. Good information. Love the video.
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  11. David13

    David13 Been here awhile

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    Even tho' I just broke down in Mexico, and had to get towed and all, I really enjoyed it. The truth is every person I encountered was polite, friendly, helpful, reasonable, honest, And humble.
    Not like the constant flow of egotistical jerks you run into here in the good ole USA. I probably would like living there more than here.
    I suspect that the truth is that there is a far greater percent of thieves and corrupt people here, than there.
    So many of those people are 10 times poorer than the people here, yet they wouldn't steal a dime from you.
    Go. You will have nothing but a good time. It's more dangerous here.
    Oh, but don't go down there and get into the drug trade. Then your life is on the line. Just like here.
    dc
    #11
  12. kennyanc

    kennyanc Long timer

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    I just got back from a 3 week ride in Mexico. Had a fantastic time but did come across a few non-military checkpoints. :norton Had a fantastic ride from Oaxaca to Zipolite and got stopped at 3 roadblocks on the way. Cars, rocks, and people blocking the way and wouldn't let traffic thru. I rode to the front of the long line of cars, went right to the guy who looked to be in charge and proceeded to talk to him in my very broken Spanish. Asked him what it was all about, how long it would be, etc. They were protesting the lack of response by the Federal government to their need for funds for infrastructure and roads in the rural communities. They were passing out flyers and had cups available if you wanted to donate to their cause. I agreed with them that their government was much the same as the government in my country, all a bunch of banditos....:lol3 Must have gotten my point across because it got a big laugh from the crowd of protesters. After 5 minutes or so I made a small donation to the cause and I was allowed to ride on through. I dropped a few pesos in their collection cup, they moved the rocks out of the way, and I was on my way. Just another day in Mexico.

    And Zipolite was very nice. Planned to stay 3 nights and ended up staying a week. :lol3
    #12
  13. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    Protest roadblocks and rope-across-the-road-for-donations stoppages are fairly common. Saw the former on the way to Cuetzalan last month. Bunch of colectivos plugging the highway in protest of this or that. The Federales showed up and broke it up.

    Bad guys dressed as policia or military setting up at night to stop rivals or rob tourists, there are stories. And, IMHO, manageable if not avoidable if you don't ride at night.

    Daytime roadblocks by bad guys who have stopped ADV riders and robbed them?.....not saying its never happened, but I've never heard of it.
    #13
  14. lhendrik

    lhendrik Truffle Rustler

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    Watch out for Mexican vampire bats too. Horrible. They swoop down at toll booths too..
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  15. Dan Man

    Dan Man ex-adventurer

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    if there is no rope, just give a friendly wave and hammer it.
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  16. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    I think I went through one of them many years back. The guy sure did not look like any "official", did not show me any badge either.:eek1

    Just pulled a 45 out of his pocket so I could see it, then put it back in....!:lol3

    $20.00....bargained down to $10.00.:wink:
    #16
  17. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

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    I'm laid up in the sling with a nasty bug or I'd look for it harder, but somewhere on ADV is the story of a rider who saw the rope, thought about it for 1/4 sec, and hammered it anyways

    Like this: :pynd

    "They", of course, dropped the rope. :rofl
    #17
  18. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    I hear the red light cameras in California and Toledo Ohio are just as bad.
    Just imagine if they got cameras in Chicago!
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  19. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

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    I figure if they have a gun its a legitimate stop.

    Schizzman and I ran into a couple crazy young horses running a roadblock outside of Real de Catorce. We stopped and waited. That's pretty much it for my roadblock stories.
    #19
  20. Kiko

    Kiko Long timer

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    Desperados collecting pesos for kindergarden supplies..

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    #20