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Old 02-10-2015, 01:45 PM   #1
prstone50 OP
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Mexico and numerous State Dept Warnings

Well, I am in the final planning stages of a 2 week trip from New Mexico down towards Mexico City then over to Mazatlan area. I go to the State Dept website just to double check and it seems like the whole Damn country is under a gravel advisory , including Copper Canyon area. Anyone live down there or been down there the past few weeks have any news? I thought mostly the narco guys just left us riders alone ! Any constructive comments ?
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:48 PM   #2
jimmex
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There are certain areas to avoid: rural Michoacan, rural Guererro, Tamaulipas has been sketchy. Copper Canyon and notably Batopilas and Guachochi have heated up recently. One resident of Veracruz has reported that there are areas you don't want to travel off-road there as well. Anytime you travel off-road in the Western Sierra you'll run into armed groups who will stop you and ask you where you're going, what you're up to, etc. This can be unnerving but is seldom a real danger.
The most dangerous thing about riding down there is road hazards and other motorists doing maneuvers you would never see in the U.S. You have to be on your game all the time while riding, at times being somewhat aggressive to get around slower traffic, at times very defensive when conditions dictate.
Wearing the best protective gear all the time is crucial as is having Medjetassist or similar medical extraction in place in case the worst happens.
Once you get down there and get in the groove of touring, its becomes a very relaxing and enjoyable place to ride. Saludos.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jimmex View Post
There are certain areas to avoid: rural Michoacan, rural Guererro, Tamaulipas has been sketchy. Copper Canyon and notably Batopilas and Guachochi have heated up recently. One resident of Veracruz has reported that there are areas you don't want to travel off-road there as well. Anytime you travel off-road in the Western Sierra you'll run into armed groups who will stop you and ask you where you're going, what you're up to, etc. This can be unnerving but is seldom a real danger.
The most dangerous thing about riding down there is road hazards and other motorists doing maneuvers you would never see in the U.S. You have to be on your game all the time while riding, at times being somewhat aggressive to get around slower traffic, at times very defensive when conditions dictate.
Wearing the best protective gear all the time is crucial as is having Medjetassist or similar medical extraction in place in case the worst happens.
Once you get down there and get in the groove of touring, its becomes a very relaxing and enjoyable place to ride. Saludos.
+1 Jimmex and the rest of the "is Mexico safe" crew know their stuff! http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...6927&page=1808 Road hazards like slick toll booth stops was one that caught me off guard, but I could not agree more with - "Once you get down there and get in the groove of touring, it becomes a very relaxing and enjoyable place to ride." Buen Viaje
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:19 AM   #4
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read our 'ride report'...'tuckers to tdf'.....had a little brush in Mexico City but other than that all was fine. basically just don't stop unless you are sure it's a cop in proper uniform...and then just don't speak Spanish and don't hand over any documents. Baltimore is way more dangerous than anywhere in Mexico....
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:05 AM   #5
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The problem with State Dept warnings is that they are usually sent out after the fact. The problem with ride reports is that in general the info is also time stamped history. Things are fluid here, so the trouble areas float around.

If you read the State Dept warnings for the last 5 years or so, you will find that the intense areas are always the same states. Those areas have always been that way, so consider a detour.

If you must, it is generally safe to ride in a troubled area provided that you stay on the autopista. When you stop for gas don't linger and get chatty. Mind your own business and move on, daylight is burning.

If you find a motorist on the autopista and have a burning desire to be a good Samaritan, don't. Better to pull off down the road and call the Green Angels with the driver's km location.

Keep in mind that the troubled areas are small in comparison to the size of Mexico and that most of the news media in the North is biased towards the negative. I think you will find like most, that there is far more good to be discovered in your travels than the other. Que te vaya bien.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:21 AM   #6
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I want to say a big Gracias for the several posts to the positive! We have a great group of people here. Mexico here I come!
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Old 02-11-2015, 12:02 PM   #7
going south
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I agree with all that is said above^^^^^
The only thing I will add is whether walking about town, riding, driving...
and crossing a one way street, ALWAYS look both ways.... some of these blocks are pretty long and it just makes more sense to go the wrong way instead of the LONG way/right way.....Lol...

when you get to Mazatlan, send me a PM first beer on me...
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Old 02-11-2015, 06:30 PM   #8
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That's a funny post because when we changed mayors a couple of years ago, the new mayor wanted to change the direction of some of the one way streets.

The problem was that the prior mayor had stolen most of the money in the treasury. The new mayor only had enough money to paint revised one way arrows on the building walls at the street corners. The one way arrows that had been painted on the streets remained in the opposite direction so no one really knew which way to go for about a year. Eventually the arrows on the pavement wore off so problem solved.
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Old 02-15-2015, 08:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kiko View Post
That's a funny post because when we changed mayors a couple of years ago, the new mayor wanted to change the direction of some of the one way streets.

The problem was that the prior mayor had stolen most of the money in the treasury. The new mayor only had enough money to paint revised one way arrows on the building walls at the street corners. The one way arrows that had been painted on the streets remained in the opposite direction so no one really knew which way to go for about a year. Eventually the arrows on the pavement wore off so problem solved.
That's the Mexico I know and love.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:30 AM   #10
TUCKERS
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NO Mexico is not safe. Neither is St. Louis, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Chicago, DC, in actual fact all of USA is as dangerous or even more so than Mexico. You will be safer in Mexico (it's a big country-where?) than you will be in many major US cities. Just employ the same safety methods you would in the above mentioned US cities.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:00 AM   #11
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NO Mexico is not safe. Neither is St. Louis, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Chicago, DC, in actual fact all of USA is as dangerous or even more so than Mexico. You will be safer in Mexico (it's a big country-where?) than you will be in many major US cities. Just employ the same safety methods you would in the above mentioned US cities.
My highlight in the above quote.

In actual fact, all of the USA is not as dangerous as Mexico. The homicide rate in Mexico is 3 times that of the USA.

More importantly to the motorcycle tourist, Mexico has about 3/4 of the traffic deaths of the US, with 1/3 of the population and 1/10 of the vehicles. A road accident is by far the biggest danger to a motorcycle rider, nothing else is even close. Of course, that is something the rider has at least some control over.

Of course there are individual places and activities in the US that are more dangerous than those in Mexico, but these blanket statements that Mexico is as safe or safer than the USA really do a disservice to people like the OP, who are trying to make an informed decision.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:46 AM   #12
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TUCKERS and AndyT both make good points.

In my experience, if you play by a few basic, well-known rules and avoid the
known hot spots Mexico is, in some ways, safer than the US. Mostly regarding random violent
crime which is difficult to safeguard against. The violent crime in Mexico seems to
me to be much more purposeful than random as in the US. And road rage which
seems rare in Mexico.

Is the murder rate higher in Mexico? Yes, but it's also very concentrated in the major
hot spots and involves criminal activities that can be avoided. Much like gun
crime stats in the US being skewed by urban gang activity, if you're not a player
you're not so much at risk.

News reports and State Department Travel Advisories do not tell the whole story.
What they do tell can create an image totally at odds with the typical travel experience.
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmex View Post
There are certain areas to avoid: rural Michoacan, rural Guererro.

Saludos.
The answer is right there, the rest of the Country is pure pleasure.
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:20 AM   #14
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Just got back from 2 weeks in Mexico, from Mcallen to Minitatlan. Had 0 issues. Double down on the Michicoan/Gurrerro warnings. Just saying.
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Old 02-20-2015, 09:23 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the comments guys! Advrider has made the planning of this trip much easier ! Now to speed up time mid March can't get here fast enough .
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