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Old 06-02-2013, 04:59 AM   #15886
dwj - Donnie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeMike View Post
Mexico is safe for tourists, but I would be irresponsible if I were to say that Mexico is safe for its citizens. It's a whole other game these days. It comes and goes in waves of crime and violence and you learn to adjust and try to avoid it. It used to be that everyone in Mexico City knew someone or had a family member that was a victim of crime and/or violence, now it is becoming more and more, the entire country.


I agree with your statements! Few on this thread have your level of understanding into these matters. My concern continues to be that it is just a matter of time until tourist will be targeted as well! As you have suggested, the gangs are not getting weaker they are getting stronger. The stronger they get, the bolder they get. The "rich" tourist will not continue to go unmolested! Some argue that the gangs would not do this because of the financial impact it might have on Mexico, but if these folks were concerned about negative impact on Mexico, they would not be doing what they are doing in the first place! These people are parasites that feed on what ever they see as a successful target. Your writings, at least to me as someone that does not closely follow Mexican Politics, seem to suggest that the Cartels' fear of reprimand for their activities is less under the current administration.

I have recently read on Fox.com that there are areas in Mexico where the locals are taking matters into their own hands and ridding themselves of the Cartel Violence. Is there any chance of this becoming a viable effort to help get a handle on the problem or is it no more than a few isolated instances of rural folks protecting their small areas and not likely to grow into any thing large enough to change the over all landscape?
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:55 AM   #15887
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From Our Mexico History Department

How the internet is fast unravelling mysteries of the Mayan script
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:57 AM   #15888
Pedro Navaja
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Originally Posted by MikeMike View Post
Pedro, I am not sure if you live here permanently or whether you come and go a few times during the year...
Nope, I live in Texas. Yep, am down there often but not always on a bike. I used to do a lot of business down there. Contacts in business and government, etc. Am a native speaker, am a Latino, etc. I blend in.

Quote:
First, you are right, the Zetas are very good at getting involved locally, it is what they do. However, the trend is not towards it going away, in fact, it just keeps getting worse at the local level. The Zetas are not moving away from this...
If true then the heat has been taken off of them. My understanding has been that the government pressure lessens when things like cartel sponsored "secuestro express" lessen, cartel sponsored robbery, etc. That's the implicit deal. As for the transborder shipment of drugs, the government doesn't really care as that does not really hurt Mexico directly. In fact it brings in money. "Let the Gringos have their drugs and Rock 'n Roll."

By "retail" I don't mean the retailing of drugs to the local population, I mean going local on the population whereby they are viewed as prey by the cartels for crimes such as robbery, secuestro, etc. If that's on the increase and not on the wane in Zeta territory, and if it is promoted by the other cartels too, then it will not be long before there is another revolution. The people will only tolerate being prey for so long.

By "family structure" cartels I mean just that. These tend to be more like clans in nature (think hacendado running a hacienda), whereas Zetas have no cultural allegiance to a leader or to a localized culture. Speaking of, since you mentioned Michoacan, it probably represents the case when a family structured clan vs. a non-traditional clan go to war.

My experience is that expat residents don't always get the real picture even if they are living right in the mix of things. I picked this up while traveling with two passports. Enter one country as a Gringo (Canadian, Brit, other Anglophone) and you get one version of events, enter that same country as a citizen of country X (say Venezuela), and you get told a completely different story all together. Who you are alters the observation that is given to you, through no fault of your own, the observer. The very act of looking at an electron alters the state of the atom.
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:01 AM   #15889
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Originally Posted by rockymountainoyster View Post
... It is far too easy to blame "the gringo appetite for drugs" for the cartel problem...
The simplest answers is usually the correct one.

So if there were no demand for narcotics in the USA, would this problem have ever risen?

(We should probably discuss that in the basement)
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:48 AM   #15890
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I think all of us have thought of a CSM thread, here we go. LINK
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:36 AM   #15891
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And Now For Something Completely Different!




SR screwed with this post 06-02-2013 at 08:45 AM
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:42 AM   #15892
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro Navaja View Post
The simplest answers is usually the correct one.

So if there were no demand for narcotics in the USA, would this problem have ever risen?

(We should probably discuss that in the basement)
+1
U R right mate, that is the problem


Pedro Navaja maton de esquina quien a hierro mata a hierro termina
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:44 AM   #15893
tricepilot
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Originally Posted by SR View Post
I see no evidence that tourists will be effected by this problem. Right or wrong, Mexican society doesn't care that much when 20 year old narcos kill each other.
Preying on tourists would have a huge backlash by the stakeholders in tourism, which is a lot of people.
All the chapter length posts are fine, but for a sound bite that directly applies to moto riding in Mexico, this pretty much nails it
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:49 AM   #15894
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Originally Posted by Nanin View Post
+1
U R right mate, that is the problem
Hola Nanin, tried to look you up in Valencia a week ago Tuesday but you must have been running around the new science/art/aquatic complex
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:52 AM   #15895
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RMO and Donnie, yep, things are always bubbling away and often boil over.
Ever notice how there is a distinct lack of any serious anti-drug education in the schools here? Simply because it is bad for business. Same goes for education in general in the state run systems. Many are lacking, simply because an educated population is a threat to the PRI, always has been and always will be.

Pedro, the way I see things is the way any local sees things, I don't live like an ex-pat in the textbook or traditional sense. This is the longest I have ever lived in one place by a long time. Being married in for 20 years has a lot to do with it, not to mention the line of work I am in. I have the luxury of having contact with lots of people from varying stratas of society.

The family idea of the cartels has largely fallen by the way side, they are extended criminal enterprises and ruthless. No glamor, no sentimentality, it is as ruthless a business as you will ever see. Alliances are out of convenience and necessity. Seeing how they recruit gives you a better picture of this. It is slave labor at gunpoint and then indentured servitude and if the recruit can survive that and build a few alliances, they will move up. All the while they have to avoid becoming the victim of another cartel or being made a scapegoat or sacrificed in a larger scenario.

Yes, the regional vigilantism is a real deal. There are people who are fed up. Like RMO points out, there won't be any involvement by those connected with the PRI like the Hayek example. They will talk a good story and sooth themselves by making a donation to an orphanage or such, but anything meaningful will never happen. As for not targeting tourists, that is somewhat true, however events in Acapulco and a few other places show this to be changing slightly. The simple presence and threat of the cartels in the area is enough to totally devastate tourism in some areas, not to mention small businesses. You will see more and more degradation of the local economies as people migrate to safe areas.

I can remember very well the devaluation of 1995 and the impact it had. The schools here filled up with children from families living in Mexico City DF, they abandoned DF and came to Veracruz as it was a relatively close and safe environment. Fast forward to 2005-2006 and the slide started here, and by 2010 families were beginning to move back to DF simply because it had become much safer there than here! Go figure.

When the first big public shootout happened here, I clearly remember talking with a group of my wife's cousins and remarking on how we no longer just have to educate our children how to cross the street, what to do in a fire, what to do in an earthquake, what to do in a hurricane, but now it is what to do in a shootout. That was a tipping point. In fact, it centered on one particular event here, an illegal horse race that ended bad and everyone here could see how bad things had become like flipping on a light in a roach infested kitchen at midnight. That was the wake up call but things had already reached the point of no return.

If you live here, you feel the effects of some truly evil people and politicians. The curse is that they live very long lives. Take a look at Echeverria to see what I mean.

Yes, people here have revolted before and likely always will, but the trick is seeing what constitutes a true revolt and what is a revolt that is simply manipulated by politics like the ongoing situation in Oaxaca with the teachers. Also, groups like Anonymous have had an impact, but they too have become threatened. If the bad guys can reach them, they can reach anywhere. You know things are changing when you can give people a narco tour of your city.

That is the dark side.

The bright side is that...it is Mexico, a tough and resilient nation that knows how to have a good time, with people willing to help each other for the most part, an industrious nation when left alone by the politicians and the bad guys. A nation that is so varied and rich in traditions and customs, cuisine and landscapes, it is breathtaking. It simply must be seen and enjoyed by everyone from everywhere.

The enigma is whether Mexico has become bi-polar or is it simply the eternal forces of good vs. evil at work?

Sorry for the chapter length post.
But unfortunately, the narco problem has already had effects on tourism. Take a look at Acapulco. SR is right about nobody giving a damn when one narco kills another...unless they were fighting over the ransom paid for the release of one of the family members.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:08 AM   #15896
tricepilot
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Originally Posted by MikeMike View Post
As for not targeting tourists, that is somewhat true, however events in Acapulco and a few other places show this to be changing slightly.
Not enough to dissuade the typical moto adventure traveler, at least the ones who participate here, who "ride to understand the vibe" and most importantly do so recently, regularly, and often independently in Mexico.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:23 AM   #15897
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Not enough to dissuade the typical moto adventure traveler, at least the ones who participate here, who "ride to understand the vibe" and most importantly do so recently, regularly, and often independently in Mexico.
You are absolutely right on that point. No question, but the larger picture is troublesome due to the ineptitude and corruption of the politicians that is getting worse, almost like they can tell a change is going to come. The one thing that keeps Mexico from becoming a full on narco-democracy is the apolitical stance of the military. This is the distant early warning line, when it shifts the wrong way it will get interesting.

In other news, I have a Brit friend who is currently riding his KLR through Iraq. His next book is going to be interesting. While he was here we discussed his plans, I remarked it could be dangerous. He looked me in the eye and reminded me that the whole world had been trying to convince him not to travel in Mexico.
I conceded the point out of sheer irony. And poured another two fingers in his glass.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:41 AM   #15898
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I'm replying to the CSM sidebars on the CSM thread.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:44 AM   #15899
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I rode down the Espinazo to Mazatlan and back yesterday. It was a lot of curves for one day. I can never get over just how much fun that road is to ride! The curves are so perfect and perfectly linked together. The vstrom eats it up.

There was light traffic and the road is in perfect shape. There is a lot of burning going on in the Sierra right now and the air was kind of hazy.

For anyone who hasn't done it, this stretch of road, without stopping is almost 2 solid hours of tight curves.

I left DGO early and had a late breakfast in Mazatlan at the Shrimp Bucket. There is a market (Las Changeras) setup in Old Town Mazatlan where they sell beautiful fresh shrimp, scallops and other seafood, cheap! I picked up a few kilos, threw it in my saddle boxes with some ice and headed back up. If anyone does this, remember the ice last longer if you put it on the side opposite the muffler. I learned this the hard way the first time I tried this trick. . Of course you could throw in some vegetables and spices, put it all on the muffler side and have sopa de mariscos ready to eat by the end of the day.

Sorry, I didn't get very good photos. My camera ran out of batteries mid day and I had to switch to cell phone.


Shrimp omelet and liquado verde.

Las Changaras

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Old 06-02-2013, 09:54 AM   #15900
dwj - Donnie
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Pedro, the way I see things is the way any local sees things,

I thought you was a Mexican! You sort of look like one and your Spanish is really really good!
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