Is Mexico Dangerous

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

  1. burrohas3wheels

    burrohas3wheels Gary Smith

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    VERY WELL STATED MikeMike.

    I had hoped this thread would discuss simple realities. Yes I've paid and No I haven't paid.

    By the way, my DVDs have never address the subject as of yet. This is because I had never previously come across the problem until the last few years in Mexico.

    I want to thank you for your perspective and will include the pro's and con's when the new film "Mexican Highways" is finalized early next year.

    http://burrohas3wheels.com
    #41
  2. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Now we're communicating on a whole different level. I can sincerely say thank you for considering to include the other side of the coin. Trust me, very little info exists on now not to pay in comparison to how to pay, you are doing your perspective viewers a favor here and that will help them.
    After all is said and done, it all comes down to helping others in one way or another.

    To get back to the original idea of this thread "Is Mexico Dangerous", I just read that 7 people were killed yesterday in a gas explosion at an upscale PDC resort on the Riviera Maya.
    Build up of gas in the kitchen area led to the explosion. Yes, there is a total lack of safety in many installations in Mexico because negligence litigation is practically unheard of and next to impossible to win here. Balconies in Mexican hotels are particularly noteworthy for problems, same goes for the lack of smoke detectors etc...

    The single biggest problem is the almost total lack of a physical ground in electrical installations coupled with an electrical "code" that hasn't been updated since Tesla first got a shock. You might want to also include some info on that for your viewers because staying in hotels will also be part of their journey and they likely won't be the finest ones in town. The infamous ungrounded electric water heater that mounts on the shower head is a classic example made even more interesting when the plug is located next to the soap holder. If you've ever seen one of these, you'll know what I mean. If you haven't seen one, you will recognize it as soon as you do! I often wondered why they never offered one on a bidet. :(0)
    #42
  3. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    MikeMike is correct about the best way to handle shakedowns....except that it's not true that no one ever posts about how to avoid paying. I've done it myself repeatedly, here and elsewhere, and so have others. Anyone who cares can find what others have done and work out their own approach.

    The problem is that most people don't care. Some actually like to puff themselves up by bragging about paying bribes (like one recent poster whose bucket list apparently included paying a bribe, and got so excited when he managed to check this off the list that he posted at length about it). The fact that I personally view this as pathetic doesn't alter the fact that people continue to do it.

    Keep fighting the good fight!

    Mark
    #43
  4. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

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    First stop by the cops in TJ. I had a blazer with expired STICKER on the plate, but the reg was up to date. The person i bought it from had told me the sticker would be mailed, which i later learned was not true, and that he just most likely lost the sticker, BUT, the reg WAS paid and current. I was stopped for not having a current sticker on the plate in TJ. We argued back and forth about the registration being current, but that yes, i was missing the sticker. SO i looked him right in the eyes and said, "Fine, you wait right here, i'm going to go look on another car for a sticker and put it on mine so you'll shut up and leave me alone." a few minutes later he was gone, no "fine" no bribe.

    2nd - I got stopped for riding my motorcycle in TJ without blinkers. I had just come back from a track day. He asked me, i splained it, and he said, ok, the fine is 20$. I said, I don't have any money. he said, if you don't pay the "fine" you'll have to come to the station with me, I said, OK, let's go. he said he'll let me off with just a warning this time. I said, that's what i thought. No fine, No bribe.

    3rd - In my cargo van, there's only two seats, I was not driving and was sitting on a 5gal bucket in the back, which is why we got pulled over. Cop said, you need to have seat belts on, I said hold on, grabbed the bag of tie downs and started making a seat belt. he said, if you did that to the cops in the US wouldn't you get in trouble, I said yeah, but we're not in the US. No fine, no bribe.

    4th - in a friends lincoln coming from Adelitas: Windows were tinted post factory and that's why we were pulled over. Cop says, windows are tinted, friend says, yeah, they're from the factory that way. He said, what about the spot where a cell phone antennae used to be (where there was not tinting.)
    Friend said, oh i don't know about that.
    Cop said something like, how much do you pay down here.
    I don't pay anything.
    Nothing?
    NO, nothing.
    ok have a good night.
    No fine no bribe

    5th - I pulled a bean move and turned left from the right lane of 4 at a red light. Got pulled over, and cop said why he pulled me over,
    I said, yeah, i know,
    he says, ok that'll be..... mmmmm 20$.
    I said, ok, I don't have any money.
    nothing?
    no.
    ok, i'll let you off with a warning.
    That's what i thought.
    no fine, no bribe.

    6th - pulled over on the R1 for being white. wasn't a cop, was in plain clothes, so for all i know could have been a jacker. he's asking me about the reg and my license, I said, it's at my house around the corner, why don't you follow me there, and i'll show you. he said nothanks, that wont be necessary. and as i'm starting the bike back up, I'm telling him, don't ever fuckin pull me over again for no reason F'in piece of shit. no fine, no bribe.

    7th - pulled over for brake light being out.
    He said, the fine is usually 500 pesos, but do you want me to help you?
    I said, yeah, give me a screwdriver so i can fix my light.
    he said, no i don't think you understand, do you want me to give you a lesser fine.
    I said, no, i want you to give me a screwdriver so i can fix my light.
    he said, how about you give me 200 pesos and we'll just forget about this. since i had alot of toys and such strapped to the bike, I didn't feel like dealing with it. I gave him 200 pesos, said, have a bean taco for me, and took off.

    six years, plenty of chances to get F'ed with by the cops, and only 200 pesos out. i don't pay these F'ers unless the risk isn't worth the reward.

    OH, just remembered. went to jail for kidnapping and minor prostitution. and because the girl, who ran away from home because her dad was beating her and stealing her money, wouldn't roll on us, they beat her, and let us go less than the standard 48 hours later.

    And the bleeding heart liberals wonder why we're so dead set against letting these poeople into our country. They just don't get the different in socio-economics and how it IS affecting our country.

    Whatever, i've lived in TJ for six years, and i'm used to the BS.

    Don't let these pieces of shit push you around. if you know you've done nothing wrong, tell them you've done nothing wrong, and say, are we done here??? have a good day. When they see you're not going to roll over, they'll usually let you go and look for the weaker gazelle.
    #44
  5. markharf

    markharf Been here awhile

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    Most Hispanic immigrants I meet in the States--legal or illegal--work harder and are more trustworthy than a great many of my born-American acquaintances. But maybe that's just me.

    Plus, you should've counteroffered 20 pesos on #7, then settled for 50 or maybe 75.

    Mark
    #45
  6. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Was that a US registration sticker?

    Around here, Texas seems to be pretty lax about making sure you have current stickers and licenses. They usually issue a minor ticket for those things, but in Florida they'd tow your car.

    And while I won't indict myself, having Florida plates and all that and having not been back to Florida for over a year, I can tell ya for a fact that I have pals here with cars displaying out of state plates and the local cops are clueless. The Border Patrol checks plates but not registrations - trust me on this one 'cause I've asked them and have first hand experience.

    Mexican cops and US plates? Even more clueless, especially if you read the above, although I can see how they might know about Texas issues around here.

    ...




    Well Amigo, I'm about as liberal as they come, and I take exception to that comment.

    I've talked to too many of the local Mexican cops not to realize that like cops everywhere, most of them are pretty decent.

    Yeah, the system they have to work under is tough. No doubt about that. They might shake a wealthy gringo down for their spare change, but I've had those guys give me a police escort to my hotel when I stopped to ask for direction.

    So not only wouldn't I paint the entire cop or Mexican population with the same brush, but I'd rather have some of the Transitos in my house than some of the home grown rednecks that I know. :lol3
    #46
  7. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Now that gave me a helluva good laugh! :)
    #47
  8. duitswes

    duitswes NAM Biker in CA

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    The Yucatan is actually very safe IIRC. Safer than most of the USA. Homicide rate of about 2 per 100 000 as opposed to about 40/50 per 100 00 in say South Africa, or 2 per 100 00 in Canada. I may be mistaken about the exact numbers though. There was an article in the Economist this year if anybody wants to google.
    #48
  9. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    I meant safety regarding buildings and services, not local crime.

    I am not sure where they got their stats because most crime in Mexico goes unreported (save for the US news of course). The actual rate of solved crimes from the reported crimes hardly registers. If you take into consideration that hardly any crime is reported the results get skewed. What usually happens here is that the cops wait until a known criminal ends up dead in one way or another and then they pin about 60 to 100 crimes on the dead guy and clear the books. Been happening that way for decades.
    #49
  10. duitswes

    duitswes NAM Biker in CA

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    I don't trust the statistics much either. Especially not if the persons job depends on the data he reports. But that is true everywhere.

    Yes, stuff like building and medicine safety is another matter of course. Probably as relevant as homicide.
    #50
  11. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    The road conditions will get you a long time before the narcoterrorists will, yet you don't see that many serious traffic accidents. Oh, you see some ... and people definitely get killed in traffic ... but somehow everyone manages to cope.
    #51
  12. olyflyer

    olyflyer Long timer

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  13. J.W.Mudd

    J.W.Mudd "Moto Loco"

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    OMG lets scare the hell out of tourist! :huh

    Perhaps we should look at our own numbers before slinging "Media Mud".

    Tijuana is one of the more dangerous cities in Mexico – particularly if you are a cartel member. It had a murder rate of 7.2 per 100K, exactly the same as Philadelphia, which by chance has about the same population. This would only put TJ about 1/3 of the way up the list compared to most US cities. New Orleans being the hands down violence winner at 18.2 murders per 100K. Have you read any travel warnings to New Orleans recently in the US press :deal

    Baja or New Orleans...I would pick Baja over a visit to New Orleans!

    30 days a counting until my next Baja adventure :freaky The chances of me getting wacked are the highest during my drive on US freeways to Sea-Tac airport.:lol3

    Cheers,
    JM






    .
    #53
  14. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    I love New Orleans, but I have seen some weird stuff there.

    Mexico ... not so much. :evil
    #54
  15. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Look, there are cities in Mexico that are dangerous. Saying Tijuana is anything like a comparable US city is BS plain and simple because the great majority of crimes (including homicides) go unreported and more importantly unprosecuted in Mexico.
    Tijuana has only been cleaned up recently and it used to be under the mayorship of Hank Rhon who is a despicable human being who once remarked when asked about what animal was missing from his private zoo/menagerie that he was missing a woman because he found them to be the most intriguing animal. A true asshole but a wealthy one and that makes him all the more dangerous and it made TJ very dangerous. The top cop in TJ after the Hank Rhon as mayor period, just lost his job last week and his underling was appointed because the cop who cleaned up TJ was considered to be infringing on the human rights of the narco criminals. This guy undid the damage of Hank Rhon and his reward was being fired.
    The danger in Mexico, luckily for most tourists, does not concern tourists but it can and does concern people who live here. This has been discussed before. I am not a tourist, I live here and have lived here for close to two decades full time, something that only makes me a rookie when it comes to being even close to understanding Mexico. You could spend a lifetime here and never unravel what goes on.
    However, you can't make excuses for the violence in Mexico or even try to compare it to American cities, it is apples and oranges especially for the tolerance level and how policing operates. Making excuses only makes the situation worse because people then don't think it is so bad. It is bad here but it isn't bad for the average tourist, at least not yet. I believe that is what you are trying to communicate, no? I am trying to communicate this in all my posts on the subject.
    Also, most non-ADV type people are geographically challenged when it comes to Mexico and have no idea where Monterrey is compared to Mexico City.
    If you really want to get in touch with how things are, consider that people are now leaving Monterrey and moving to Mexico City because, wait for it, Mexico City DF is now considered safer than Monterrey by many people. Try to figure that one out!
    The level of violence in Mexico is something that shouldn't so much "scare" people as it should "concern" them. Awareness is a good thing and most ADV types are usually more aware than other tourists because they are more in touch with their environment and not locked in and locked down with security at night and protected in their enclaves and locales like most vacationers are.
    I am a huge fan of Mexico, I am more "bullish" on the future of Mexico than many people are and I encourage everyone to visit and experience all that Mexico has to offer. But ignoring or making excuses for the level of violence and crime is something that I will never do and I will leave that up to the corrupt politicians to whitewash things and browbeat the humble masses into accepting.
    I believe in Mexico, and I also believe that denying there is a high level of violence and crime in some areas does a disservice to many people inside and outside of Mexico. Instead of comparing Mexico to the USA, compare Mexico to Mexico instead. Compare today's Mexico to the Mexico of the 60's and 70's and right up until the last devaluation in 1994-1995. The results of that comparison will be of far greater interest than some little charming cartoon characters belittling what is happening in order to not scare tourists away.
    As usual, this is just my opinion but I have had the chance to discuss security with some fellow ex-pats on this website and what we talk about is different from the idea of denying the problems endemic to certain areas of the country. For example, there are not many US children in classrooms where their classmate's bodyguards are stationed outside, are there? Try comparing the kidnapping rate to the US per capita, or maybe the rate of extortion of small business owners, or police corruption, or political corruption? All of that does exist in the US but no where near the levels like can be found in some parts of Mexico.
    There are a handful of places that you will never find me and these include a Chinese coal mine and any ejido, barrio, or infonavit aka "infiernovit" in a border town like Nuevo Laredo, Piedras Negras, Matamoros, or Ciudad Juarez after 9pm unless I have one damned good reason to be there.
    #55
  16. PirateJohn

    PirateJohn Banned

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    Can't argue with a thing here. This should make for required reading for newbies before they post on the subject of Mexico.
    #56
  17. Kiko

    Kiko Long timer

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    I agree with most of what Mike is saying, however, it gets slippery when comparing crime/corruption in Mexico with crime/corruption in the US.

    The C/C in Mexico is of a different breed altogether if you ask me. Much of it is transparent, expected, and part of everyday life. You need an addl electric meter, well then pay CFE 500p and then also pay the field worker 2500p or you can wait a few years. Happens everyday.

    Whereas in the US, crime/corruption is more likely to be found behind the curtains of corporate America or Wall Street on insider trading well-hidden from the view of the American on the street. Or what about US presidents who in the last week of their terms issue full pardons for billionaire criminals who had made contributions to their party? The list can go on forever.

    Both kinds of C/C are bad. The US is just more efficient at keeping it hidden.
    #57
  18. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Mark has the right idea, and that is why you can't really compare what passes for extortion on a daily basis to anything in the US. Americans would never tolerate having a telephone technician come and then try to shake them down for an extra C note for them to start work. That sort of stuff gets reported and the same goes for politicians caught with their hands in the cookie jar or any other place where they don't belong. That sort of stuff is actually applauded here by political insiders and is a measure of how "good" a politician you are by how much you can steal and cheat. Yes, that exists in the US but to a lesser degree and at least some show is made of prosecuting such behavior.
    What irks me is when people don't take what is happening here in some areas seriously and are just as guilty of doing a disservice as those who say all of Mexico is violent and out of control (like many in the US media actually believe it to be) the flip side with those saying it's all ok and blown out of proportion aren't doing anyone any favors.
    Border areas are nortorious, as are a few other places here and that is no lie. The rest of the country is business as usual for those not wrapped up in local intrigues and dramas for some reason or another (work, family, business, etc...). Get rid of the narcos and the politicians and let Mexico be run by the Mexicans. Amen to that.
    #58
  19. El Stigo

    El Stigo Hey Ese its EL STIGO

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    ANYWHERE BETWEEN THE US, MEXICO & WHO KNOWS
    I LIVE AND RIDE ALL THE TIME IN MEXICO BUT LOCAL TALENT HAS LOCAL INFO THAT A BOY FROM THE CENTER OF THE COUNTRY DOESN`T HAVE.

    I AM CURRENTLY IN MONTERREY AND LEAVING FOR TORREON, DURANGO, SIERRA DEL ORGANO, SOMBRERETE, ZACATECAS, JEREZ, AGUAS, LEON, CELAYA, ETC., ETC.

    I HAVE BEEN TO ALL THESE PLACES ON THE MOTORCYCLE...BUT AMD LOOKING FOR INSIDE INFO!

    HAVE NOT FOUND MUCH RIDING HERE IN MONTERREY...EXPLORED SANTIAGO, LOS RAYONES, MONTEMORELOS YESTERDAY AND TODAY GONNA TAKE IT EASY FOR LUNCH AND THEN BACK TO THE HOTEL (DEL VALLE AREA) AND TRY TO DO AN OIL CHANGE ON THE GSA.

    I AM LOOKING FOR LOCAL EXPERTISE ON GREAT FOOD RECOMENDATIONS, PLACES TO SEE AND VISIT, ETC. DURING THE ROUTE. THIS IS A WORKING TOUR SO DON`T HAVE TONS OF TIME....BUT WANT DISTRACTIONS ON THE WAY...HÜEY!

    MIL GRACIAS A TODOS!

    EL STIGO

    :jose

    www.facebook.com/adventurecartel
    #59
  20. El Stigo

    El Stigo Hey Ese its EL STIGO

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    SR,

    I know the areas pretty good...traveling surface streets mostly.

    Monterrey, been here. Learning more and got some good tips from a guy at the apple iShop who is an avid hiker and camper so next trip will mean more exploring.

    Mty to Torreon....BORING!

    Parras, been there. I am associated with the wine business out of Valle Guadalupe and happen to know the owners of Casa Madero and Rivero Gonzalez wineries in Parras. Nice place to visit

    Torreon, been there. Don`t much care for it but business is business
    Durango, been there. Have visited...need to spend more time.

    All are nice but I have not explored outside of the pueblos themselves for lack of time.

    After Durango I am heading to Sombrerete/Sierra de Organos then down to Zacatecas and Jerez, then on to Aguascalientes, Leon, etc

    Just looking for good insider info for this and future trips.

    A meet up would be great! Looking foward to it.

    I am in Monterrey Monday then off to Torreon Tuesday, expect to be in Durango on Wed or Thur and then need to kill the weekend and begin fresh in Zacatecas monday morning then off to Aguas.

    My best

    Stigo
    #60