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Old 04-22-2011, 09:53 AM   #3151
pilot815
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I will probably be avoiding Mexico for a while. Just seems too hot right now. I really do miss it though. My dad is riding through this morning on his way here. Ill see how it goes for him and post anything i find out.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:12 AM   #3152
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I will probably be avoiding Mexico for a while. Just seems too hot right now. I really do miss it though. My dad is riding through this morning on his way here. Ill see how it goes for him and post anything i find out.

Pilot, my friend, I appreciate you saying that. I thought that I was sticking my neck out painting a less-than-rosy picture. But your comments about giving it a break and your Dad coming through are telling - Mexico is great when things are a bit calmer and even today while things are hinky travel isn't exactly an automatic death sentence if you know what you are doing. A little planning goes a long way.

(As an aside, I just took delivery of a load of magazines from Monterrey. Even though the truck driver was joking a bit, he said that he ran the auto pista from Reynosa to Monterrey pretty regularly and doesn't see any trouble these days).

I am irritated over our recent troubles, because I had honestly thought that the offensive by the Gulf Cartel would run the Zetas off. Or at least keep them confined to some of the border towns.

We'll see. I just don't see this lasting for an extended period of time.

And if they do continue to fight it out my associates and myself will soon be offering business investments that qualify folks for E1, E2, and EB-5 visas. If life gives you lemons, the smart man makes lemonade.

One way or the other this monster will get conquered.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:23 AM   #3153
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I might add that despite the silly bleating of the sheep telling gringos not to vacation in Mexico (few of the vacation spots are impacted, especially if you fly in) that Mexican tourism was up something like 20% last year. One has to wonder if the Canadians and Euros are that much smarter or that much braver than some of their gringo counterparts, or perhaps if they are simply better informed and less susceptible to nonsense like these posts at some "self defense" forum.
I wonder if the report of Mexican tourism being up 20% is BS from officials...from reading various trip reports here, Creel, Batopilas, Baja and most places that are off the beaten path say they're seeing very little tourism...I will be riding the Mexican 1000 in about 2 weeks, so I'll find out how Baja is affected...
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:35 AM   #3154
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The tone of these articles seems a bit like sensationalism to me. That's not to say they're wholly innaccurate or that there are no security issues for travelers in Mexico. But after riding for 3 1/2 weeks in Northern, Western and Central Mexico, 2 1/2 weeks solo, I encountered no personal risk issues although I did see evidence of the drug violence being reported in Mazatlan. I returned home April 12th.

Have been planning several rides through Reynosa to explore the Sierra Gorda region. Currently rethinking crossing through there even though no reports of crime or violence to date involve foreigners on motorcycles. Eager to hear a report from pilot815's dad's travels.

From the conversations I had with US expats in Mexico it is clear that regional and local crime puts certain "pressures" upon residents in Mexico that travelers are not reporting and at least 2 Advrider expats are returning, or considering returning, to the US due to this.

For me the issue is two-fold: avoiding current hot spots like the small towns around Reynosa (or the Hippocampo in Maz), and watching for evidence that US travelers are being targeted. Having checked off these two issues I went ahead with my recent trip and will continue to ride Mexico.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:44 AM   #3155
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I wonder if the report of Mexican tourism being up 20% is BS from officials...from reading various trip reports here, Creel, Batopilas, Baja and most places that are off the beaten path say they're seeing very little tourism...I will be riding the Mexican 1000 in about 2 weeks, so I'll find out how Baja is affected...

I have heard that the Yucatan and Cabo are still going pretty well, and that some other resorts like Ixtapa are the new and trendy places to be.

But yeah ... the possibility of fudged stats has occurred to me too. I am not sure how you measure increased tourism, if it's by warm bodies or revenues, but I suspect that either way is subject to some manipulation.

It is what it is.
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Old 04-22-2011, 10:44 AM   #3156
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Originally Posted by SKINNY View Post
I wonder if the report of Mexican tourism being up 20% is BS from officials...from reading various trip reports here, Creel, Batopilas, Baja and most places that are off the beaten path say they're seeing very little tourism...I will be riding the Mexican 1000 in about 2 weeks, so I'll find out how Baja is affected...
Was in Creel, Urique and Bato a few weeks ago. Tourism is way down from what I saw and what others said. Our little group had a great time and all are planning to return, BTW.

Tourism is reported to be growing in the more traditional resort areas from what I'm reading.
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:50 PM   #3157
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I wonder if the report of Mexican tourism being up 20% is BS from officials...
This is not a broad brush figure for the country as a whole. The answer: it depends upon where you look.

Tourism is up in traditional gringo/Canadian/European etc. hot spots such as beach resorts.

Off the beaten path it is true that cartel activity, both actual and perceived, has driven the metric in the other direction.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:15 PM   #3158
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Ok so he arrived around noon, and this is what he experienced. Nothing happened to him, but he did see some stuff. Passing through Cadereyta by the toll booth they had a couple cars pulled over, people on the ground and lots of cops, maybe just a tad under 100 fed and state. A bit down the road he saw a couple of trucks passing through headed towards the bust painted in state police colors, except they were the wrong colors for Nuevo Leon state police, but had Nuevo Leon state police written on the side. After that coming this way he didnt see anything. He was waved through all military checkpoints except the one crossing the bridge. They did a complete tear down of luggage to see what he was carrying.

We had a good lunch discussion about whats going on. His view is that a government is designed and exists to provide protection and security to its citizens. Mexico basically has no government according to this and is in bad shape. His views are opposite of PJ in how long this will last. He really doesnt see an end. Apart from his job he does church work in a town recently featured in borderland beat. Its not pretty there. An estimated 80-90% of the youth are working for the cartel. The town is infested and they are paying off the people to live with their presence. Its not a place you want to be outside after dark. He has had people follow him but hes sure that they know why hes there and because of that they dont bother him.

Recently my parents divorced and my dad was left with very little of their savings. He was considering living in Mexico for fear that he wouldnt be able to afford to return to the states. Recently he has given up hopes of living there and is planning somehow to return to the states when he retires. He is sick of living in the unrest and rumors of these guys running around causing havoc. Im glad that im not returning to work there this summer due to the unrest.

Last week my wife and I visited her sister in Houston. Her ex-husband was planning on taking the kids to Mexico for a summer vacation. We informed her of the cartel battles going on and insisted she not allow that. I love Mexico, and its one of my favorite places to go but right now its just not the time. I understand statistics are in our favor as tourists but you just have to be that one that doesnt make it back and at that point statistics dont matter any more because you are one. For me there are too many random attacks and innocent people getting killed to risk traveling. I spent 2 years in Honduras, 1 of those in the capital. I had a friend get shot with a 12 ga shotgun in cetro. Luckily he survived. I felt safer there than i would in most of Mexico right now. Its sad to watch borderland beat because they are talking about most of the areas i know and love.

In short Mexico could be considered a war zone. My dads journey was approx. 450 miles. In those 450 miles he passed through 4 military checkpoints. For every 112 miles you are stopped by armed forces. Its not good. Im with PJ though in that i wouldnt hesitate in heading on over to progresso for lunch or some quick shopping, but i wouldnt go more than a couple blocks off the main strip.


EDIT: I will also mention that the reason he brought the bike is because its the only safe option he has now. Bus is too dangerous from what many reports are saying in the San Fernando region, and his newer model pickup is too much of a target. Its sad that you have to choose so carefully how you travel due to risks such as those present in Mexico.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:45 PM   #3159
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Well-informed and very rational position on traveling Mexico in these times.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:39 PM   #3160
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Here's the way it is, and if you live here you will know what I mean.
All the border towns have been a "different" Mexico with crime rates and cartel activity far and away above most other places. This is historically the way it has been and it will always be that way. 3 decades ago the narco satanicos were making soup out of unlucky locals and a college student from Brownsville, anybody else remember that?
As for troop presence I can take you on a far more than 500km ride and you won't see one military checkpoint. That sure doesn't qualify as a "war zone" in my book.
It depends on where you are going and how you are getting there. I am not denying there are problems, severe problems with cartel crimes, in parts of Mexico. However, there are parts of Mexico that are still untouched by this wave of crime. These have always been the places worth visiting.
Sure you can see cops detaining people in Matamoros, you can also see the same thing in Miami, Detroit, LA, Chicago, etc...
People get freaked out about a military checkpoint and being waved through courteously by the bored soldiers or maybe being asked a question or two about your bike by the same bored soldiers, and yet they will gleefully stand in line to be grilled and patted down and profiled by untrained and unprofessional goons at airport security in US airports. That is one that I can't figure out.
There is a major psychosis of the part of US networks that salivate at the thought of reporting more drug violence in Mexico and ignoring the gun running and the major market of the US that is driving the problem in Mexico. I have yet to figure out why this is. It is as if the networks and news agencies can't get enough of Mexican crime to report.
I still have yet to hear of one ADV bike traveler having any sort of issue.
Not one.
Yes, the psychosis has also affected events in Mexico, there have been cancellations of various types of events from dog shows to enduros because of perceived threats of cartel activity. The rumor mills work overtime with friend of a friend type stories that do no one any good and contain no useful information for anyone. And nothing transpires.
What it comes down to is common sense, keeping a low profile, and nothing different than just planning ahead. I know a lot of people that would avoid some urban American neighborhoods, and Canadian neighborhoods for that matter, at certain hours of the day. Same applies to the border towns.
But don't believe me, come and see for yourself. You will see exactly what I and a few others on here talk about.
Tomorrow I am taking a ride that will cover 400kms of secondary roads that will have little vehicle traffic. My biggest worry will be fighting off some sort of airborne virus from the Pemex washrooms, a flat, a stray farm animal, and the cook not showing up at my favorite eatery, and all in that order.
Come to Mexico, use your common sense, experience the great places to ride and then go back to the US and start spreading the rumors about that.
It's the least you can do!

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Old 04-22-2011, 04:44 PM   #3161
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...and the cook not showing up at my favorite eatery, and all in that order.
Silvestre says he will be there
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:47 PM   #3162
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Yes, the psychosis has also affected events in Mexico, there have been cancellations of various types of events from dog shows to enduros because of perceived threats of cartel activity. The rumor mills work overtime with friend of a friend type stories that do no one any good and contain no useful information for anyone.
All i can say is that i have two cases of Friends, and not friend of a friend that disappear. Its hit a little closer home to me than you apparently.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:51 PM   #3163
Frank Sosa
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I rode mexico at the end of 08 into 09. Spent more than a month riding around until I finally made it to Guatemala. Zero problems but I didn't stick around too long in the border areas.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:59 PM   #3164
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Silvestre says he will be there
I am still waiting to hear the story about the electric man or whatever it is when someone comes to Oaxaca.

As for people disappearing, that can happen anywhere. If they were kidnapped they would have been ransomed, if they were in the wrong place at the wrong time than that is a tragedy. A tragedy like the two Brit tourists who just got offed the other day in Florida and a 16 year old kid is being held. Those guys were someone's friends. That story wasn't reported in the Mexican media. However, if the two tourists had been in Cancun it would have been front page news in the USA.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:04 PM   #3165
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I have some friends who run a b&b in the yucatan area. They say the news has really really hurt their business. They are struggling and they say it's safe where they are. I ran into a guy who spent some time recently at his favorite southern baja town that's off the beaten path and he says it was dead and people are really paying the price for the lack of tourism.
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