Crime in Baja . . . discuss.

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Pelon, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. Pelon

    Pelon Dia Por Dia

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    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/mexico/tijuana/20071119-9999-1m19baja.html

    This guy is a surf instructor. He went down with his girlfriend and they camped overnight in a secluded spot in a motorhome. Two masked men showed up, forced their way in with guns, and sexually assaulted the woman. Ugly situation, and this guy was not a Baja noob.

    There have been several recent news stories about attacks in northern Baja. From what I have read, they usually involve surfers, and the targets of the crimes are usually money and cars.

    What steps do you take to protect yourselves from this sort of thing?

    When I go, 95% of the time I travel by bike. Someone would have to know how to ride it if they were going to take it from me by force, or have a large truck and a ramp. Not likely. My hard bags have a Mexican flag sticker on them. My hope is that this communicates to others that I have a familiarity with the region. My theory is that the crooks are far less likely to target those who know their way around.

    When I go by car, I take my beater ride. It is a '82 Toyota Land Cruiser wagon. It has faded paint, primer on the hood, and bondo in the rear rails. I also have a Mexican flag sticker on the bumper, and a campaign sticker for Jorge Hank, a local crook who ran for governor of Baja this year. Again, my thought is the campaign sticker, notwithstanding the California plates, makes me appear more "local."

    So, what do you guys do?

    BTW . . . this thread is NOT intended to discourage people from visiting Baja. I LOVE Mexico, but I also believe in playing it safe. For the record, violent crime in the U.S. is FAR more common, and there are certain spots in California that I will NOT visit. The only city in Mexico that I no longer will visit is Juarez.
    #1
  2. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

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    That surfer and his girl were at quatro casas a well known surf spot with, lets see at least 4 houses there and an american yacht club. Thats right a boat yard with maybe 15 boats on land serving as houses, some for rent for the night. Too bad the Mexican gov is afraid of it's citizens, the right to own guns would go a long way in stopping these random acts of violence. The criminals rip off anyone they think has money or goods.
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  3. Pelon

    Pelon Dia Por Dia

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    Wrong. That's where they were heading. They got lost and camped on a secluded hill.
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  4. beechum1

    beechum1 Dandole Gas al Burro

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  5. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

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    Pelon I just reread the San Diego union article and they were at casas, new car jacking near TJ check Baja Nomads.
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  6. 2 Wheels

    2 Wheels .

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    He got lost looking for Cuatro Casas. He parked for the night on a bluff overlooking the ocean. Doesn't sound like he was at Cuatro Casas.

    Either way, it seems it isn't safe to camp by yourself out in the middle of nowhere.
    #6
  7. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

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    San Diego Union 11/14/07 "Troubling sign in Baja" by Terry Rodgers and Ann Cearley.
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  8. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

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    Pelon you are mexican, cars lke that normaly don't have mexican plates because nobody boders paying taxes for them. jeje.

    For the guy who said guns would solve this, mmmm I don't know and yes mexican can have one, they are just dificult to legaly have, unlike in the US were you could almost buy one at a drive true (kinda like at your local McDonalds).

    Also it is funny how this stories only appear in the US press, and very little of the other stuff, you the good ones. But I know this has a very good agenda, to make people scare of Mexico and keep them in the US.

    I would never camp were does people camp because anything can happend, not only in Mexico, but any where in the world. I would not do this in the US out of the fear of being shot be somebody because it private property and the Wild wild west it's alive and well.

    I have not being in Juarez but I would not go either or to Mexico City just 'cause there is nothing for me there. Right now I will not go to Detroit or Oakland CA, why? thoes are the 1st and 4th most dangerous cities in the USA.

    But at the end I will like to say that we are all not out to kill you and one add does not speak for the all of us.

    Damaso
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  9. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Gordo tonto y contento.

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    I appreciate hearing from ADV'rs that live down there...

    However....

    This is not an isolated incident. There were several Mex./gringo shootings last year. One was a highway sniping that killed the wife of a hotel owner in LA Bay. Another was an attempted hijack of a truck and trailered fishing boat.

    It has happened at least 5-6 times over the last few months. One three truck caravan of gringo surfer FAMILIES were stopped by "paramilitaries" (read, phony uniforms)
    and left on the side of the road while the bad guys drove off with everything including wallets and watches. Another family coming north from watching the Baja Mil was left on foot an hours walk from the border THIS WEEKEND. The "Cops" took truck, trailer and buggy.

    It's getting worse, not better. A Customs Official was on the radio last night saying they see between 5 and 8 cases A DAY...

    EVERY DAY

    of americans who have cars either stolen or hijacked in Mex.

    The recent story of the surf school operator is getting plenty of play in SD. The gunfire and sexual assault have raised the level of aggression considerably.

    I have not visited the site but apparently the State Dept. has a "Do not travel" advisory issued for parts of Mexico.
    #9
  10. Loud Al

    Loud Al .

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    This is what the US Dept of State has to say, its from the government so you know it must be true

    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html#security

    Chiapas: The Department of State recommends U.S. citizens traveling to the southern state of Chiapas remain cautious at all times. Armed rebels and armed civilian groups are present in some areas of the state, and there is often no effective law enforcement or police protection. Violent criminal gang activity along the state’s southern border – mostly aimed at illegal migrants – continues to be a concern. U.S. citizens traveling to Chiapas are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for further security information prior to traveling to the region.


    CRIME: Crime in Mexico continues at high levels, and it is often violent, especially in Mexico City, Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey, Acapulco, and the state of Sinaloa. Other metropolitan areas have lower, but still serious, levels of crime. Low apprehension and conviction rates of criminals contribute to the high crime rate. U.S. citizen victims of crime in Mexico are encouraged to report the incident to the nearest police headquarters and to the nearest U.S. consular office.

    In many countries around the world, counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. Transactions involving such products may be illegal under local law. In addition, bringing them back to the United States may result in forfeitures and/or fines. More information on this serious problem is available at http://www.cybercrime.gov/18usc2320.htm.
    #10
  11. Pelon

    Pelon Dia Por Dia

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    Here is another from today's paper. These guys were apparently pitting for McMillan. McMillan is a well known race syndicate . . . they usually field two or three entries. The company is in San Diego, and well known on both sides of the border.

    http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/mexico/20071122-9999-1m22baja.html

    The key is, I suppose, to not make yourself into an attractive target. Drive an older car if you can. Do not pull over for an unmarked car on the cuota, or on the via rapida that takes you from the cuota to Tijuana. Do not, if possible travel late at night or in the very early morning. The common threads seem to be isolation (relative), night time, and apparent money.

    Pues, ya voy a Los Angeles para pasar el dia de gracias con mis pinche suegros.

    Adios!

    Pelon
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  12. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

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  13. 2 Wheels

    2 Wheels .

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    FROM: race-dezert.com > the deZert people 3.0 community > Desert Racing - General Discussion Thank you to all from the Hall
    Family
    http://www.race-dezert.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36297

    FIRSTHAND ACCOUNT OF THE HALL FAMILY KIDNAPPING FROM RACE-DEZERT FORUM:
    #13
  14. 2 Wheels

    2 Wheels .

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    Race Dezert - General Discussion - Racing in Baja Yes or No? - Mcmillin Story
    http://www.race-dezert.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36312

    <!-- / message --><!-- sig -->
    #14
  15. 2 Wheels

    2 Wheels .

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    race-dezert.com > the deZert people 3.0 community > Desert Racing - General Discussion What teams were effected?
    http://www.race-dezert.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36344&page=2

    Scroll down to the bottom of page 2
    Kudos to these guys for not stopping for the fake cops.
    #15
  16. 805gregg

    805gregg Long timer

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    I've been going to Baja since about 1964, surfed and camped untold times. My wife and I spent 3 weeks and lots of pesos in baja last summer. We had planned to trailer our power boat down next summer and explore the Sea of Cortez by water. We've now changed our minds and will stay stateside. I've personally never had any problems in Baja in all the years I've been going there, but who wants that question in the back of their mind will I be the one targeted this time. I will boycott Baja until the coruption stops, maybe losing my $ 2,000 - 3,000 dollars will send a small message.
    #16
  17. beechum1

    beechum1 Dandole Gas al Burro

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    there are a few other threads on this same topic.

    trouble in baja http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=284943&highlight=trouble+baja and Traffic stops in baja http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=285795

    here is my reply to "traffic stops in baja"

    depends on the cop. this goes to another conversation i'm having in the "trouble in baja" thread. and that is, if you run into a "predator" cop, and you look like a "prey," you'll get hosed.

    i've been pulled over 6 times only in BCN. and only once did i have to pay anything. I'll give you the reader's digest version just to get my point across.

    #1 first time was before i spoke spanish very well. got pulled over in my blazer with expired sticker on the plate, but that was because it hadn't arrived yet, and the reg was current. cop said, where's the sticker, i said, i don't have it yet, but everything's ok because look, the reg is current. he said, yeah but the sticker, and this continued a few rounds until i said, ok hold on, i'll go look for a sticker to make you happy and started to walk away, he said, do you think i'm playing, i said yeah. he said, i better follow him to the station, i said, is there someone there that speaks english, he said yes, i said let's go. in the end, him and his other car drove away and i didn't pay a cent.

    #2. pulled over on my 600RR for no turn signals, just got back from the track and I didn't feel like it. this time HE spoke enough engrish to have a convo. he said, where's the blinkers, i said they're in my garage, I said ok what's next, he said follow me to the station I said, what's going to happen there, he said they may take the bike away and all this drama, i said, ok, np, i don't have any money let's go. he said, well... in that case, i'll let you go with a warning.

    #3. Pulled over in my van for running a red light (this time even on purpose) he says, you ran a red light, i says, i know. he says the fine is.... this many dollars, however much it was, 35$ or something that he made up as randomly as i just did. i said, i don't have any money, showed him the empty wallet, long story short, he let me go with a "warning."

    #4. (with a friend this time) we get pulled over after a night @ adalitas. not doing anything but he had tinted windows. friend tried the "they came that way from the factory" bit, but their was a noticable cutout for an old cell phone antenna. long story short, cop says, have you ever "paid" for anything down here, friend says, I don't pay for anything. cop says, you dont' pay for anything. "NOPE, i don't pay anything." OK have a good night.

    #5. Pulled over riding in the back of a cargo van without seats, i was on a bucket, same friend from above is driving. cop says to me, you don't have seat belts back there, i said.... no you're right, but i have these tie down straps, if you want me to, i'll figure something out real quick..... hahahah. he says, if we were in the US would you talk to a US cop like that, and i said, depends if he had a sense of humor. Long story short, warning again.

    #6. Pulled over becuase of a short in my brake light, no taillight at all @ night. Cop says, you'll need to pay some onze pesos for each day that something and other whatever i didn't understand him all i heard was 11 pesos, so i go to hand him a dollar and say "ok here you go, we're good now right?" he looks at me like :huh he says... no no no, and explains the thing again, and i say ok what's that mean, he says 50-75$ I say ok i don't have it what next.


    He says, ok you want us to help you out. I said, it depends on how you're going to 'help me out'. he says, how about you give me 20$ and we'll let you go. I said, i have a better idea. if you want to help me out, give me a screwdriver and a few minutes and i'll get the tailight working again and everyone will be happy. hahaha..... he said, no no no, listen good..... long story short, i went to pull 200 pesos, gave it to him said have a good dinner with my money and we parted ways.

    most cops down here that i've run into are just wanting a 20$. if you treat it like a game, like it really is, then you'll have fun and maybe at the end you get a free show, or you end up paying the 20$ cover charge.... either way, they're a joke down here.

    BUT, it all depends on who you get, so figure out if they're into having a sense of humor first, then start playing with them.
    #17
  18. beechum1

    beechum1 Dandole Gas al Burro

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    omg, someone somewhere got car jacked, you should take the bus, omg, someone somewhere got heldup at a quickie mart, don't buy gas at a gas station, omg, someone somewhere has a cold, break out the plastic bubble. Frigg.

    I suppose it's a matter of risk vs reward and a matter of opinion, so i'll say that up front. You do what you want, but these friggin A holes are spineless idiots who are simple minded predators..... they're a step above lions and tigers and bear oh my. if you can't out wit a simple minded predator... then yes, stay on your couch. I'm using you as the target for this statement gregg, but by no means are you solely my audience. I'm not sure how many times i'll say this.

    THEY LOOK FOR SOFT TARGETS. DON'T BE A SOFT TARGET.

    I couldn't find any good sites to link to for antiterrorism/anti surveillance techniques. But soft target can mean different scenarios in different situations.

    A Hard Target is one that is aware, is paying attention in his mirrors, is watching who is following, paying attention to the faces that he sees more than once. watching the border guard make a phone call..... Project confidence. While driving in baja, the simplest way to project confidence is be an aggressive, yes aggressive driver. This will identify you was a person that NOT A SOFT TARGET. someone who knows where they're going, someone who is comfortable driving there. If you're walking around, don't stop to smell the roses the first time you're walking around down here. That's for the following trips. Do not, look like a tourist. A tourist will appear as: looking from side to side to see all the sites, walking or driving slowly. Huge friggin toy hauler. There's so many possibilities and the solutions are simple. stay on the couch and don't get to do what you want to do in life because some simple minded predator is scaring you and you're wetting your pants, or do something about it, educate yourself, and take the trips to baja that you've always wanted to take because you know how to behave.

    SIPDE not only works while riding, but also for antiterrorism. especially the "S" part, that means you're paying attention, and when you're paying attention, you're less likely to have to worry about the rest.
    #18
  19. 2 Wheels

    2 Wheels .

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    The decision where to go on a vacation or days off is a personal decision. People will weigh their options and make a choice. Some people will ridicule that choice, but I respect it whatever it is.
    #19
  20. beechum1

    beechum1 Dandole Gas al Burro

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    I did state that it was a matter of opinion. there are things to do however to change that opinion and not let a bunch of thugs rule my life....
    #20