******warning for mexico route 200******

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by rtwpaul, May 15, 2011.

  1. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    Riding from ushuaia to prudhoe bay, s america and central america with a group of 20 riders. Just a few days left to cover mexico, left acapulco yesterday headed north to manzanillo on coastal route 200.

    *****avoid this road at all costs*****

    Late afternoon I was chased by Mexican bandits (don,t know who) they were in a pickup truck 4 of them with shotguns but on the bike they couldn't keep up....this is the good news

    The bad news, because there is a large group they have a chase truck...the mexican bandits stopped it as it was slow, they took the truck and trailer with two bikes on it and left the driver at the side of the road in the middle of the night

    As I get more details I will add to this...so even though the road is incrediable avoid at all costs
    #1
  2. Cal

    Cal Been here awhile

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    Okay I have driven this exact stretch of road 4 times in the last 2 years and I would do it again in a heart beat,all in the daylight hours!
    It is in my opinion 1 of the best rides in Mexico.
    I think the key to your problem might just be you saying that it was the middle of the night, I am usually in bed by then. You also say late afternoon and then say left at the side of the road in the middle of the night.
    Cal
    #2
  3. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    I agree great road but when you take into account breakdowns etc. Sometimes it can't be helped being caught in the dark

    ...but saying that the military have now classed as one of the most dangerous roads in western mexico...riders as always will make their own choices all I am doing here is making people aware

    Also when I was chased it was daylight!!!!
    #3
  4. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

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    I live in Manzanillo, just off of 200 and have to say that it's about the safest road around here. This kind of stuff just happens in Mexico, doesn't matter where you are. I'm guessing you were in Michoacan which is arguably the most dangerous place in mexico except possibly a couple of border towns. Shit happens here. Sorry it happened to you. A group of 20 riders is really asking for the wrong kind of attention though. Keep a low profile and you'll be fine. Like the other guy said, breakdowns or no breakdowns, BE OFF THE ROAD BEFORE DARK. WELL before dark. I don't care what kind of schedule you need to keep, riding after dark here is just not a good idea. No matter where you are you can find someplace to sleep. If you're on some kind of organized tour that has to make it to a certain destination each day, you might want to reconsider. Just curious, where exactly did this happen?

    EDIT: Did I see 4-5 of your group come into the Las Brisas neighborhood of Manzanillo last night around 9? I saw a bunch of large loaded-down bikes go by while I was grabbing some tacos. Not a regular sight around here.
    #4
  5. BobLoblaw

    BobLoblaw Comfortably Numb

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    I rode that stretch of highway less than a month ago and plan to ride some of it again next year. Saw nothing unusual.

    There are some very remote sections north of Lazaro Cardenas where a late in the day breakdown could be a problem.

    Hey AW, didn't know you were in Manzanillo or I could have joined you for a Taco.

    On MX 200 from Puerto Angel to Mazatlan I only saw three large motorcycles touring.

    A group of twenty riders would sure stand out.
    #5
  6. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    Holy crap you guys are moving. Just saw you at the Panama customs a week ago!. :huh I was the guy on the orange KTM.

    Thats a bummer about the chase truck and the bikes. Mex 200 has traditionally had some issues, but i have never heard of anything bad happening in the daylight hours. That section north of Lazaro is lonely.

    I have to think that someone saw your group coming through, phoned ahead to some ass clowns that there was a bunch of easy targets coming by......

    Solo riders go through there all the tie without issues, so it must be the size of your group that attracted the banditos.
    #6
  7. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    Kilometer marker 141
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  8. MCP

    MCP Been here awhile

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    thought a group of riders would be safer.

    Thats the route I'm looking at in Sept from PV to Panama.

    I missed a shoot out in March further north, keep your head down, safe riding.:hide
    #8
  9. tedmagnum

    tedmagnum Ted_Magnum UK

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    "Reason 438" why riding in a convoy of 22 flash expensive bikes in poor countries with high crime with the LWD support crew is a bad idea.....


    Sorry for the lack of sympathy but these tours make me cringe...


    I'm certain that plenty of the folks who do these tours do it for "safety" but don't realise they are shouting out "PLEASE ROB ME, I'M SUPER RICH AND SUPER DUMB"...

    Hardly subtle is it... The pistoleros probably had $$$$$$ in their eyes as soon as they saw the motorcade roll by.

    The solo/small group biker almost never ever has such problems.

    Anyway, I hope no one was harmed.. It still sucks !
    #9
  10. SR

    SR Long timer

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    Don't forget to blame the criminals and the authorities whose job it is to protect people. You should be able to ride in groups of one or 10 or 100 bikes without fear of being car jacked, especially on the highway between two major tourist resorts. Mexico is going to wake up one day without a tourism industry if they don't get their act together.
    #10
  11. ApexJeff

    ApexJeff Been here awhile

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    I did that stretch this Jan.. You are right on!!! I have done all of Mexico and have a casa in Sonora.. We came across road blocks, shoot outs the day before and generally did not feel safe. The stretch north of PV is also one of the worst with potholes and truck traffic coming down to PV.. I have done this road 3 times in last 4 years and WOULD NOT DO THIS AGIAN unless all this narco crap ends!!
    #11
  12. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    That's amazing, I thought it would take like, at least two lifetimes:eek1
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  13. BobLoblaw

    BobLoblaw Comfortably Numb

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    "Unless all this narco crap ends" I guess we won't be seeing you on this road for some time then:D And geez, potholes and trucks that eliminates a lot of roads in MX.

    Roadblocks and shootouts, very provacative stuff. I'm glad you survived.

    How about some details, location, time of day, circumstances :deal
    #13
  14. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Adios Mexico

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    A bit of background here is useful. The "narcos" are not the ones robbing you. They're making stupid huge money running drugs, so they don't really give a shit about the GPS you might be carrying. We're just talking about old fashion highway bandits here. In fact, in the area in question, southern Michoacan, the narcos are a much more effective law enforcement agency than any of the official ones. La Familia Michoacana (known just as La Familia around here), the gang that controls the area we're talking about and one of the most powerful in Mexico, is well known to kill thieves, meth dealers (they don't condone the sale of meth to locals, even though they produce it) or anyone harming the innocent. In fact they typically make very gruesome examples of them.

    A good read about this area for anyone interested:
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/05/31/100531fa_fact_finnegan?currentPage=1
    #14
  15. ApexJeff

    ApexJeff Been here awhile

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    All that you have said is very true,, and YOU STILL THINK THIS ROAD IS SAFE?
    #15
  16. tedmagnum

    tedmagnum Ted_Magnum UK

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    Of course... But that's assuming we live in a perfect world !! We are very far from that i'm afraid..

    Let's be realistic here.... We all have to live in the here and now and not just bitch about how it should be...

    Ride safe buddy, Ted
    #16
  17. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    I spent quite a bit of time in southern Michoacan and had the opportunity to talk to plenty of locals and gringo ex-pats. When there is a problem, they call who they know in La Familia to voice their concerns since the cartel is the only thing resembling law enforcement around.

    They want to do business, and they dont want trouble. Its that simple. I'm also willing to bet that these guys got jacked up by regular road bandits and not La Familia. The cartels, even their enforcement gangs, dont have the time to be jacking up tourists, its just not worth the effort for them. Of course, YMMV. This is a sign that Mexico is headed toward "failed state" status IMO. It not there yet, but its headed that way. There are arguments that the Calderon government actually works for the Sinaloa cartel. I dont know anything about this, but its an interesting thesis nonetheless.

    So, is Mex 200 between Manz and Lazaro safe? I think its as safe as any lonely section of road can be in Mexico. But as you know, you can even get shot at on the 405 in SoCal, so safe is a relative term.

    I saw the SAG wagon for this group. Its a small common pickup, but the kicker is that it was towing a 3 rail trailer. So if it had a couple bikes on it, big time target for Mexican road bandits IMO especially around dark.
    #17
  18. SR

    SR Long timer

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    Wow that is some good stuff there right there. I've never really thought that much about the security situation in Mexico. Thanks for the advice Dr. Phil!
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  19. crashmaster

    crashmaster ow, my balls!

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    :lol3 :rofl
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  20. rtwpaul

    rtwpaul out riding...

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    In this situation YOU ARE WRONG...in a few days I'm taking a few days off and I will fill in all the details and gaps. Tell you what to look for and where, an exact location BTW this all happened in daylight

    And as for the other comment about a group of 22 riding together. Wrong again, we were in groups of 2 to 4 riders and hours apart
    #20