Is Mexico Dangerous

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by burrohas3wheels, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    Mister Burro has a severe communications problem. What he thinks he's saying is not coming across; what we're all hearing he's not even aware of saying.

    I've had days like that.

    Mark
    #21
  2. burrohas3wheels

    burrohas3wheels Gary Smith

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    I know I might be using some big words for some of the previous posters so please read more carefully and use a dictionary. Regarding my time in a Chicago jail. Think about how easy it is to get framed there. Do you know anything about Chicago's crooked cops?

    You must think that paying a fine to the cop on the road in Mexico only happens to motorcycle adventure riders from outside of Mexico. Get a grip. For a long time I was curious about the payment of fines on the road to cops so I asked every national I had a chance to pose the question. 100% said they just pay the cop. I've watched it happen multiple times. In six years traveling Mexico and onto Ushuaia I have only been stopped 3 times. Only once was the stop bogus.

    Knock yourself out, stand your ground and wait until hell freezes over for it to change. Oh yeah, and pot will stop crossing the MEX/US border as well.

    There are lots of riders who simply want to enjoy a trip through Latin America. My article is for them. If I or they listened to the righteous (we U.S. citizens) have to change Mexico and the be afraid mentality (don't go to Mexico) stuff I am hearing on this thread in response to my article, no one would ever do anything.

    I have a question, is Mexico to be considered were only the chosen few should venture? How about we let everybody enjoy a tour by giving them useful knowledge.

    It doesn't take a tough guy to tour in Latin America (though some may think so) just a real person.
    Read the article at http://burrohas3wheels.com/Is Mexico Dangerous.htm
    #22
  3. burrohas3wheels

    burrohas3wheels Gary Smith

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    It's difficult to say. I simply having to much fun in Mexico right now. I still have to finish touring Brazil. The orignal plan was to ship the moto to Cape Town from Rio but that got squashed when the Main bearing casing came apart. It's still in the plans because we want to return to Africa.
    #23
  4. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    I rest my case.
    #24
  5. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    So you want me to buy a DVD that says its not ok to bribe a cop in the USA but it is ok to bribe a cop in Mexico?

    Thanks for your contribution to putting emerging democracies right.

    Have you thought about taking out an ad in High Times?
    #25
  6. burrohas3wheels

    burrohas3wheels Gary Smith

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    I certainly think laws should be obeyed but I don't always do it. I suspect most of us don't. Is speeding ok in Mexico? No, but even Adventure Riders haul butt. Would it be ok if I made a movie about setting a new speed record through Mexico? The law and what is actually practiced are different things.

    Laws withstanding against paying a fine to a cop on the road, my private poll of Mexican nationals indicate that 100% do just that. It's not that they agree with it, it's just seems more practical to them. Apparently no one wants to spend time going to the police station and loose 1/2 days wages when most don't make that much money anyway. If locals want it that way that's the way it is going to be.

    View the entire article at http://burrohas3wheels.com/Is Mexico Dangerous.htm
    #26
  7. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    100%?
    I say that is a load of bull.
    Guess you haven't met many Mexicans. There are a fair share of them that would never pay a bribe.
    Time for you to do some traveling and research. You can make all the excuses you want for contributing to corruption, no wonder gringos become targets for corrupt cops.
    #27
  8. Kiko

    Kiko Long timer

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    Haven't paid in mordida in 10 yrs.

    On the other hand, my wife doesn't want to go to court to pay, so she will try to pay on the spot for her own convenience. Last time she got pulled over (passing in a no passing zone), she tried to pay the officer but he refused to take the money which then forced her to go in person to pay.

    Every time she has been stopped, she had in fact broken a traffic law, something most mordida storytellers fail to mention in their retelling. If you broke a traffic law, it is a fine. If you bribe a cop, it is a mordida.

    I was stopped about 3 weeks ago in Matehuala for speeding, about 6 km over the 40km speed limit. The cop told me the problem, and then simply ask that I slow down, because he wanted me to enjoy Mexico and be safe. Probably wanted to practice his English also.

    We say in Mexico: Es lo mismo pero no es igual. They may all be cops, but they are all not equal, or the same.
    #28
  9. burrohas3wheels

    burrohas3wheels Gary Smith

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    The statement has been made that I don't have much experience and that I am spamming. Let me cover both.

    Credentials: Well I have crossed borders hundreds of times over the years including Eastern & Western Europe, Asia, Africa and most of Latin America. Traveling for our entire life my wife and I have over 50 countries under our belts operating one form of vehicle or other including backpacking. We've seen about almost everything that can can cause trouble for travelers. Besides motorcycle adventure riding and motocross I've hitched hiked across half of the U.S. sleeping under overpasses and flop houses. I've been held up 3 times twice being shot at and twice with a knife in my throat. I've led long term contract negotiations. Many of our closest friends work for a NGO. They are ex-military officers who have spent their entire life surviving around the world. One is currently working in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria at this time. A depth of knowledge is at my disposal. As a side note; I was once fortunate to gain knowledge of survival from John Testrake the pilot of the TWA airplane hijacked in Lebanon so many years ago while spending a weekend camping with him.

    Spamming: As the first post indicated I initially tried to cut and paste the article I wrote but each time I tried it appeared the text was to big. Being new to posting on this form I simply placed a link to my site where the text was complete. If the majority of readers would like to spam this off of this form it is ok with me. If the majority of readers would like it to stay then please support that as well.

    Readers can take or leave my position. Constructive dialogue is always appreciated.
    #29
  10. miguelito

    miguelito Been here awhile

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    I think this is true. The reason paying a cop directly still occurs is that it generally costs less than paying the fine. For the guy that's just trying to make a buck hauling vegetables to town with an expired registration, it's more economical to just pay the cop. In a poor country, and for poor people, this "system" works on some level. That said, I've been riding around Mexico, and living here for three years now, and have never been stopped by a cop, and I've broken untold speeding laws, so this discussion seems kinda abstract to me. In answer to the post's title: "Is Mexico Dangerous?", I can only speak from my own experience, and say, no. It isn't any more dangerous than traveling any number of other countries, including the US. BTW, my experience here has included an evening spent with a member of the drug trade, and that night ended with him calling me his hermano.
    #30
  11. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Thanks, I'll leave it, you don't have a clue how things work in Mexico and it appears I can cross Chicago off the list, too.
    #31
  12. burrohas3wheels

    burrohas3wheels Gary Smith

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    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p>Below is a question I have asked 15 more Mexican Nationals this week and their replies are all the same. I have posted one actual email followed by their answer to my question.</o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Buenas Dias: I have a couple of questions concerning Mexican culture if you have the time. They involve paying traffic tickets to the police and the use of checks/money orders.<o:p></o:p>

    <o:p></o:p>

    1. Do most people just pay the police when stopped or do they go to the police office to pay? <o:p></o:p>

    2. Do most people in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Mexico</st1:place></st1:country-region> write checks/money orders to pay bills or do they pay in cash?<o:p></o:p>


    Unfortunately that is the way to do the things in <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Mexico</st1:place></st1:country-region>, police is corrupt and the people is very busy. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    If you get a ticket from de police you have to go to their office to pay for it and it will take you almost half day, does not matter if it is much or little money, otherwise if you offer 50 or 100 pesos to the police the will lack slips by. Maybe you will spend a little less or more money but you don´t need to spend your precious time on it. I know it´s not the right way, sadly, is what people do. that is why <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Mexico</st1:place></st1:country-region> is what it is. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    About the other question, this is the order as people pay their bills, a 60% pay credit card, 30% cash 10% checks.

    So...you can take the words of some gringos or that of a natioinal. Again it is up to you.<o:p> </o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    #32
  13. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Well, let's see, I can round up at least that many Mexican nationals that abhor the idea of paying a cop and won't do it.
    What it means is that you are lamely trying to legitimize that you get off on the idea of police corruption in developing countries but won't tolerate it in your own country.
    That's how you spell hypocrite.
    Guess it helps you sell those DVD's.
    Take half a day to pay a fine here? Not likely. But then again, you wouldn't know how long it takes to pay a fine because you never have paid one.
    But you are an expert on that, too. LMAO
    #33
  14. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Ouch!

    Fair or not, around here supposedly the Guv'ner cleaned house of all the Reynosa Transitos a few years ago because they were pickin' on the gringos.

    Now I hear that we go to the front of the line at the police station, with the poor officer being told "Why the hell did you bring him here??" :huh

    Seriously, I did get stopped by the Transitos last year and they did it by the book when they realized that they had stopped a middle-aged Norte Americano that didn't have drugs or weapons.

    So if you aren't doing anything wrong (and as the folks have mentioned, if you did the crime then expect to pay the fine) then I wouldn't get too tense. Fines in Mexico for minor speeding and such are on the order of $20US; just consider it a tip towards the Policeman's Pension Fund, smile and go on.
    #34
  15. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    The one piece that Mister Burro got correct is that "fines" paid on the spot for actually breaking the law should be considerably less than US$20--he says 50 to 100 pesos, I say US$5. Don't pay more.
    #35
  16. burrohas3wheels

    burrohas3wheels Gary Smith

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    My questions to Mexican Nationals have all been asked of freinds currently living in Mexico whom I have know personally for over 2 years. These are people who trust me not as a aquaintance but as a local and friend. Their responses have not been embelished by me.

    The body of my thread is simply to express what I've encounter during my continuing travels within Mexico. Travelers need all the information they can get not somebodys righteous perception of the way things should be, but how they are.

    Because there are varying opinions on this thread, Adventure Travelers to Mexico have a choice of which posts they choose to accept on this subject. It's all about gaining knowledge.
    #36
  17. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Two years?
    ROTFLMAO

    I am done with you. Go back to telling stories about fighting corruption in the US and supporting it in Mexico.
    #37
  18. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Amigo ... Mexico is a big ... read "huge" country. And like the USA things change from state to state, and city to city.

    And like it or not, fair or unfair, in many places there are at least two tiers of guv'mint. What applies to working class locals doesn't necessarily apply to travelers.

    Case in point. I was hangin' with a guy who did some translations in ultra-tourist friendly Nuevo Progreso and he pointed out that he was happy to be with me because we could walk up and down the streets with a beer in our hands. If he - a local - did that the cops would bust him. But hangin' with me, he didn't have any worries.

    Local folks have issues with the authorities that don't necessarily apply to tourists.

    And tourists get special and inappropriate attention in some circles because the gendarmes think that we are stupid, don't know the laws, and have too much money.

    So a little knowledge of the laws ($100 is ridiculous for a fine; $20 is more like it) coupled with a sense of humour goes a helluva long way.

    MikeMike is right. Listen to him.
    #38
  19. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Let me preface this post as meaning no disrespect to those who have paid off cops in the past. This is simply another perspective that I hope
    and pray everyone will at least consider.

    I am going to say it one more time. The problem with corruption is that it doesn't just end with the bribing of a police officer. It continues and continues. It is a chain of events. A lot of people simply think the officer pockets the money, they don't see the political machine behind it. Cops are appointed politically, same for DA's, same for any position of public servitude in Mexico. It is all through nepotism, corruption, etc...
    So you are not just funding one officer, you are funding an entire political machine. Don't believe me? Go ask your 15 nationals again about how the system really works.

    So yeah, I get a little PO'd when someone says it is okey dokey to just pay off a cop every time they shake you down. Why? Because I have been living here permanently approaching two decades and traveled here since 1978 when I was young and dumb, I have family here, I have a vested interest in seeing Mexico succeed against corruption and prosper as it should and offer some hope for a future for its young people instead of the cynicism and systematic corruption that is rampant.

    No, I wasn't born in Mexico, but it is common sense that if you take off your shoes in your home you should not stomp through someone's place with your dirty boots. Remember that Mexicans fight corruption all the time.

    If you really want to sell a DVD and give advice about Mexico you should think about including how NOT TO PAY corruption. That is to say "What you have to do if you have not broken a law and are unfairly targeted."
    If you have broken a law then it is case closed. Instead of flashing money, show some respect and class and own up to your actions as you would in the USA.

    Nobody ever explains how NOT TO PAY, it just isn't as glamorous as giving someone the "inside advice" on how to deal with those evil federales and transito cops.

    Anybody can bribe a cop, but too few have the know how to not pay and take it to another level out of standing up for their principles. So how do you do it? You simply say "no", you don't offer a single centavo, and you hold your ground. They'll either capitulate or take you in. Guess what?
    In all my time I have never been taken in. Not once. It's not called a "Mexican Standoff" for nothing. Sure they will try to bully you and BS you with all kinds of shinanigans, but if you remain firm they will capitulate and let you go with a "warning" which you will "respectfully" acknowledge because you depart leaving them having saved face which is the single most important feature in a macho partriarchial culture in Mexico. You shake their hand and you can wash it later without embarassing them.
    That is how the dance goes.

    It is easier for them to simply go looking for one of the "15 nationals" that will eagerly pay and be victimized. They'll find them or one of the people that have bought into the bribery "advice". It is easy to find another sucker that can be bullied and cajoled into paying up.

    If this sounds too much like a rant, sorry for that. But I really encourage ADV riders to say "no" respectfully or pay the fine if it is valid. It won't sell someone's DVD but it will make the world a better place for the next rider coming through.

    The sign reads "Please don't feed corruption" with emphasis on the "please".

    Make a difference by passing on advice as to how not to pay, that is what is going to sell your DVD's.
    #39
  20. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Good points.

    Get a receipt. If it's a shakedown they won't give you a receipt.

    Suggest that we all go to the police station to pay the fine in front of a supervisor. If you do that, then the ossifer doesn't get any of the money and it goes directly into the town coffers.

    Write down the cop's name (in most places they have name tags).

    Etc.
    #40