Kidnappings in Mexico

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Grad, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. OldBMWMaster

    OldBMWMaster Banned

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    Yep. Nice article. I might start a thread about the carjackings in Oakland so people will stop traveling there.
    #21
  2. PunkinHead

    PunkinHead Moobless Adventurer Supporter

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    I've got a coworker who's wife is afraid to go anywhere - no travelling or camping. Must suck to be so afraid of life.
    #22
  3. GhostriderADV

    GhostriderADV Adventurer

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    Don't get me wrong, I've driven through some parts of Mexico and it's truly beautiful. But I've also gone to places in Mexico where I had to hide my Oakleys, my watch, and other nice items so the Federales don't stop me for "drunk driving" and throw me in jail until I can scrounge up something to give them. Most of these questionable places were near the US/MEX border.

    I would like to think that Mexico is a great place where all the people are nice, but you know what, there are plenty of really nice people in Iraq, too. Does that mean I'm gonna ride my bike there? Absolutely not. Further, the post saying that being stopped/kidnapped on a motorcycle is unlikely should read about Glen Heggstad. True, he was riding in Columbia, but what looks better to a poor desperate thief than a nice and shiny BMW riding along with some gringo with dollar bills falling out of his pocket? I'm just saying, there is an unknown element to traveling there. I would love to do a ride there, and I will after I do my Canada ride, but you have to admit that there is an element of unknown danger. I have traveled to places that most would consider taboo. I am not afraid of Mexico, but a rebel or crooked federale is a real threat.

    I'm not saying people shouldn't travel there, I think people should. But like someone else said, use your common sense, follow your instincts, don't flash your cash. Most people are nice and very helpful, but some are not.

    Good luck in your travels.
    #23
  4. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Any world traveller that crosses borders will know this fact: The next country is ALWAYS dangerous according to the one you are in. In Mexico they say all the bad people come from Guatemala. Shit, it's the same in my town of Claremont, some locals say don't go to Pomona, it's dangerous. That article was lame, it can be dangerous anywhere at 4am. Why would anyone take the 'free' road from TJ to Ensenada at 4am? It's like going to Nickerson Gardens in Los Angeles at 10pm PRIME TIME! Use some common sense gosh darn it! My stock answer to when my mother asks me "is it not dangerous where you are going" I always answer, " if it's not it will be as soon as I get there"
    james
    #24
  5. GhostriderADV

    GhostriderADV Adventurer

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    I heard Claremont is dangerous.
    #25
  6. Trondomatic

    Trondomatic To infinity and beyond...

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    A life lived in fear is a life half lived.
    Anon


    Thanks Lobby for the great pics. I can't wait to go to hell again.
    #26
  7. CITYXSLICKER

    CITYXSLICKER Adventurer

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    A life lived in fear is a life best left to death. Just got back from a trip in Baya doing MX riding on the Yami 230. Stay home, it will mean less traffic for me when I go again next year.
    #27
  8. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    IIRC (been awhile since I read the book) the FARC had already stopped a bus when Glen happened by. I've met and talked to Glen several times and he ignored his own gut feelings that day. Point is, most crime is committed by local criminals against their own local population. BWOE, there is a lot more black on black or latino on latino crime commited in the "economically disavdvantaged" parts of Los Angeles than there is in Beverly Hills. Just read the crime reports for any large city. Certain areas will have more activity than others.

    You could be a victim of a crime anywhere. Years ago my dad was carjacked in the middle of the afternoon in Hollywood.

    Don't be stupid but don't be afraid either. Go travel, enjoy life, see the world and show people in other countries that we're not all "ugly americans".
    #28
  9. GhostriderADV

    GhostriderADV Adventurer

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    I grew up in Los Angeles and have never had anything bad happen to me, but according to the crime statistics, I should be long dead.

    Well said MJS.
    #29
  10. Pelon

    Pelon Dia Por Dia

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    I live in San Diego and work on both sides of the border. I am in Tijuana 3 -4 times a week. It is a lot more dangerous than it was two years ago. That said, it is safer now than it was last month.

    Here, in a nutshell, is what is happening: The major narcotraficante cartel in Baja has been the Arrellano Felix Organization (AFO) for the past 20 years. Three years ago, they started to implode as the result of pressure from the U.S. government and the Mexican federal government. Their leadership has been captured and/or killed. (One of their rumoured chiefs was on the helicopter that crashed during the Baja mil). A power vacumn has developed. Chapo Guzman is moving in. There are fights over turf, and the U.S. government has clamped down on the border. As a result, there are not the same amount of drugs coming across.

    Because of the foregoing, many of the former AFO drug cells have resorted to kidnapping to make ends meet. They usually target wealthy businessmen, or foreigners who work in Tijuana (for instance, in the maquiladora industry). Recently, there have been some high profile robberies of tourists on the cuota (the toll road) with crooks posing as cops. There have also been some high profile kidnappings of U.S. persons, but almost all of them have involved business persons who were KNOWN to the kidnappers, and who had preset routines.

    Right now, the "danger zone" is from Tijuana to Ensenada. It is VERY doubtful that a cyclist would be targeted. (Usually they are just looking to steal your ride! Hard to fit four guys on a bike . . . even a 1200 GSA) However, to minimize your risk, the following recommendations are made:

    1. Do not travel the cuota at night (this one is obvious . . . and, I might add, somewhat commonsensical . . . you shouldn't drive at night in Mexico anyways!)

    2. Watch your surroundings; avoid secluded areas; if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't;

    3. Do not advertise that you are gabacho. I know . . . hard to follow, but try and be low key;

    4. Try not to get drunk in the wrong part of town;

    5. If the cops light you up, pull over, but only in a very well lit area where other people are around. If you have to, turn on your blinkers to signal that you are aware that you are being stopped, but looking for a place to stop.

    6. Enjoy. Baja is the greatest place on Earth.
    #30
  11. Roadslayer

    Roadslayer Adventurer

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    GhostRider Wunnabee wrote; ''Don't get me wrong, I've driven through some parts of Mexico and it's truly beautiful. But I've also gone to places in Mexico where I had to hide my Oakleys, my watch, and other nice items so the Federales don't stop me for "drunk driving" and throw me in jail until I can scrounge up something to give them. Most of these questionable places were near the US/MEX border.


    attn. GhostRider Wunnabee. Ya' know? You might be happier not riding in Mexico. It seems your preconceived notions may never let you fully enjoy this place. Just a thought.


    'Cheers' Roadslayer

    Also I see you're from L.A. and in Seattle. How do you live with all those winos,perverts and horse fuckers?
    #31
  12. Uncle Pollo

    Uncle Pollo Bad Hombre

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    I make a living out of traveling with tourists in Mexico, in particular tourists on motorcycles.

    In the last 12 months, I am yet to be harrassed by the Federal de Caminos.

    Local cops get the "take me to your commander" treatment and they cease and desist in the odd case they bother me.

    I drive with american plates, ride a motorcycle with american plates, and all my tourists are with american plates.

    You are more vulnerable for harrasment if you are Central American than North American or Canadian.

    And don't dick around in TJ; just pass through, will ya?

    I
    #32
  13. Uncle Pollo

    Uncle Pollo Bad Hombre

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    Amended
    #33
  14. Uncle Pollo

    Uncle Pollo Bad Hombre

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    The same with Philadelphia ... and not only drove, walked , moto'd at night but also rode my bicycle multiple times around there and the park.
    #34
  15. Texspeleo

    Texspeleo Opportunivore

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    Have a great trip Ross. Having spent my childhood in far south Texas and possessing a nearly debilitating wanderlust, I've been bumming around Mexico my entire life, and like most other places, there are right and wrong places to be. The border towns and very large cities (lately TJ, Nuevo Laredo, and Mexico City) are some major centers for crime, primarily drug trade, but you can spend quality time riding around in bad neighborhoods here with much less effort. There is not much point in an AdvRider being in any of these places anyway. Driving in Mexico City is certainly an adventure, and I would highly recommend finding somewhere else to ride your bike. Once you're past the border, Mexico is one of the most beautiful places I've seen. The value system there is generally much more honest and generous than much of the culture here in the US. My time there has been spent mostly in the states of Oaxaca, Nuevo Leon, Chihuahua, San Luis Potosi, Chiapas, Veracruz, Quintana Roo, and Yucatan looking for caves and diving, and the people have without fail been tremendously generous with their land, homes, food, information, etc. If one can be repectful of the culture and generally avoid being a ethnocentric jackass, one can have a really pleasant time there.

    Cheers----Chris
    #35
  16. Big Single

    Big Single Tejas

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    A person could very easily travel from top to bottom / side to side while avoiding big cities. It wouldn't be any fun, but you could do it. I dare say you'd be safer in rural Mexico than in the average big US city. In Mexico, chances are some crack monster isn't going to yank open your door at a stop light and shoot you in the head so that he can use your car to pull a few robberies for crack money. (Something that happens in the US quite a bit.)
    #36
  17. Big Single

    Big Single Tejas

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    There's nothing like riding through a bad hood in the middle of night to motivate you to ride a little harder. :evil
    #37
  18. El Solo Lobo

    El Solo Lobo Adventurer

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    Bad things can happen anywhere but you can't live in fear. Yes, even in America, there are people out there that will hurt you (and they're not all in the ghetto).

    I agree with the lists posted above but I would add the somewhat subjective point that you should never act like a victim. A big part of that is not being absolutely paranoid all the time because that will cause you to be more fearful ... and the bad guys smell fear.

    Bottom line, in any situation:

    (1) be respectful;
    (2) act like you've been there before;
    (3) be smart (see list of tips in previous posts);
    (4) be in control of your emotions;
    (5) be nice until it's time not to be nice.

    Key is #2. It's amazing what you can get away with ... and accomplish ... when you just act casual as if you have every right to be in a place or doing something. Try it sometime.
    #38
  19. GhostriderADV

    GhostriderADV Adventurer

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    Whatever dude. Cheers to you, too.
    #39
  20. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    So that's how you make your money, no wonder kidnappings are up... :lol3


    Gustavo
    #40