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Old 05-19-2011, 08:11 PM   #3406
Reposado1800
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateJohn View Post
Man, looks like I stirred up a hornet's nest!

First of all, I love it around McAllen and Reynosa. I haven't been out riding that much lately mostly because of finances and us starting a business, so my priorities are elsewhere. But ...

Not too many months ago you couldn't get into trouble around here, and what little trouble that occurred was very, very isolated.

Now we've got a three-way fight going on for control between the authorities, what was the Gulf Cartel (now it's supposedly a combination of several cartels that have allied), and the Zetas.

Historically the Gulf Cartel has stood for peace and prosperity, as long as you don't mess with them when they are dealing dope. Historically the Gulf Cartel doesn't do kidnappings, extortions, and so forth.

As is famously known the Zetas were originally US-trained elite military that deserted and were the muscle for the Gulf Cartel until they decided they didn't need the Gulf Cartel.

Around here you can trace almost all the violence and kidnappings to the Zetas.

The other side of the coin is that the military isn't playing favorites. If they spot members of either cartel the shooting begins. I don't think it's any secret that the military by and large has orders to shoot to kill cartel members.

There are at least 7 major Mexican cartels spread throughout the country and they all have different philosophies and loose associations; to some extent you practically need a score card to keep up with what's going on because alliances shift periodically.

Much of the really graphic violence that goes on is aimed at settling scores between the various cartels. That has no bearing on tourists and motorcyclists unless you happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Like unwittingly talking to a cartel member when they get shot (which happens). Or being in a nightclub when the entire place gets hit (happened at least once in Tampico).

The odds of getting caught in a shoot out are pretty low. Two years ago it was a big, big deal when there was one shootout between the military and about 4 Gulf Cartel members in Reynosa. Today it happens more often but honestly there is more gun violence in most US cities than there is in Mexico.

Roadblocks? Around here the Zetas pretty effectively controlled all the traffic going into and out of Reynosa for a few months. What were they doing? Charging tolls on commercial trucks (an associate told me that it was $400 for every truck that went through the Pharr crossing) and looking for migrants (another toll) and opposition cartel members.

But that has generally been over with for some time.

This nonsense in San Fernando is worrisome however. Just with the sheer numbers the Zetas seem to have branched out beyond extorting South American migrants. That, and killing the American missionaries over their pickup truck doesn't exactly encourage anyone from going into that area, and that's a pity for many reasons.

Pilot has some great points, but I will clarify one thing that we discussed. I can see the fighting throughout Mexico between the cartels going on for a long time. I don't see the fighting in Tamaulipas continuing however. For one thing the Zetas are no longer the kind of power that could set up road blocks; they are being forced to hit and run, and to sneak around after dark. For another thing, Monterrey, Reynosa, and Matamoros are so important to the nation's economy that I see the Mexican government taking extreme measures to keep the highways open (case in point - even when there was all the fighting in Laredo a few years ago you could still very safely drive or ride through town; messing with the autopista between Reynosa and Monterrey caused the military to come out in force; my suspicions are that with everyone afraid to drive on Rt. 101 the Marines will level San Fernando if they have to in order to regain control )

Bottom line:

- I have been telling everyone that, at the moment, Matamoros and Reynosa aren't the best places to enter Mexico right now, but if you do it's not exactly a death sentence either. We have had several folks come through and ride right down Rt. 101 - against my advice - and except for a big military presence things were kosher

- By and large Reynosa and Matamoros are safe during the day. Most folks get off the streets in the Centro of Reynosa as the sun goes down

- I'd stay off of Rt. 2 along the border between Reynosa and Laredo. The Zetas used to control several of those little towns, and if you are going to run into a bad guys road block it's going to be somewhere in that area around Falcon Lake. The word, incidentally, is that the young Zetas were forced into a tent city around the ruins of Ancient Guerrero (that's precisely where the guy on the jet ski supposedly got killed) and now are relocating to Laredo.

- Rt. 101 is safe in the sense that the military has a huge presence and you don't actually go through San Fernando on that route, you go around the edge. It's never smart to ride Mexican roads after dark and I would certainly advise that if you are riding between Reynosa, Matamoros, or Victoria that you get through that area during the middle of the day. (There is a big Pemex where Rt. 87 intersects with Rt. 101 - I'd go there and just ride with any large group that seems to form that is going your way).

- I think that I would stay off of Rt. 180 through Soto La Marina right now. I know that we have had some guys ride over there and camp overnight at La Pesca without any trouble but there have been off and on road blocks there, buses being stopped (I have to wonder if this is where some of the San Fernando bodies actually came from), and some retaliation beheadings of bad guys that were accused of being bus hijackers. That is a relatively narrow, isolated road over there.

- By and large there haven't been any tales of trouble along the toll road between Reynosa and Monterrey for some time. This is in spite of the Zetas supposedly holding some of the small towns along the way as you go into Monterrey.

- Likewise there haven't been any tales of trouble on the main truck route between Laredo and Monterrey.

- Monterrey seems to be pretty peaceful, although people are nervous because for a long time they had zero troubles there and now they have some. But from what friends are telling me just use common sense and you shouldn't have any trouble in Monterrey. Ditto with Saltillo.

Anyway, once you get south of Monterrey and Victoria you are pretty well clear of the "extended border trouble areas."

And you would have to be pretty durned unlucky to get caught up in something as a tourist if you follow the above exceptions.
This is a pretty spot on assessment PJ. Right now there have been some huge gun battles in Nuevo Laredo that are not being reported. They seem to be happening at least once a week and go on for hours.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:21 PM   #3407
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Originally Posted by Clayjars View Post
This is a pretty spot on assessment PJ. Right now there have been some huge gun battles in Nuevo Laredo that are not being reported. They seem to be happening at least once a week and go on for hours.

that's interesting ... it's possible that I'll be moving the RV to Laredo to start a new book so I want to know what's going on over there.
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Old 05-20-2011, 04:48 PM   #3408
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Hola Hanzo! You have a PM.
Hey JD. Thanx for the info. The route won't show in this forum. I must have the wrong buttons clicked.

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Old 05-20-2011, 06:58 PM   #3409
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I see you're coming through Veracruz, let me know when you are in the neighborhood. If by some miracle my rims arrive from Spandau before July I'd be happy to spend a few kilometers with you on the road if you like.
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:59 PM   #3410
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It would be a pleasure. I am going to the Mayan Riviera on the 22nd of June for a week. Then heading across to Los Mochis for the ferry to Baja and up to Oregon. I should have 50 States on 2 wheels when I'm done.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:09 PM   #3411
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^ If you have a scuba cert card do not mis Dos Ojos near Tulum.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:19 PM   #3412
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Originally Posted by Bato View Post
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Con Su sal y Su limon
Hey, I know that place! You must be in Acuna.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:24 PM   #3413
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Originally Posted by Hanzo View Post
It would be a pleasure. I am going to the Mayan Riviera on the 22nd of June for a week. Then heading across to Los Mochis for the ferry to Baja and up to Oregon. I should have 50 States on 2 wheels when I'm done.
BTW, Pharr, Tx. seems be the preferred crossing for
your route these days.
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:42 PM   #3414
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Originally Posted by tricepilot View Post
^ If you have a scuba cert card do not mis Dos Ojos near Tulum.
I am a certified diver. I will pencil it in the plan book. I also have read your RR of Oaxaca & have penciled that in. I have a freshly sharpened pencil. Keep the suggestions coming...
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:50 PM   #3415
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Originally Posted by SchizzMan View Post
BTW, Pharr, Tx. seems be the preferred crossing for
your route these days.
Thanx JD. Three weeks in Mexico must have been super. Was there a mishap while you were there?
I will start the TVIP process this week.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:08 PM   #3416
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also check out a dr650.
i had a klr and the dr build quality is much better.
you can add a 5 or 8 gallon tank, windhield and aftermarket seat.
dr is dead reliable, air/oil cooled & has screw/nut valve adjusters.
the cooling method has been copied by ducati and no one ever overheats.
much better imo for out there mexico riding. many RTW riders choose the dr because of the legendary reliability. here's mine. i now have a pelican case bolted to the rear rack. mine is going with me when we move to mexico in 3 weeks.

here's just one of the suppliers:
http://www.procycle.us/bikepages/dr650.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by PirateJohn View Post
That is very, very sad.

On other subjects, I was at the local Kawasaki/Yamaha dealer looking at bikes. I hate to admit it, but a KLR is growing on me for semi-offroad Mexican stuff. There is a 50/50 chance that I'm going to get called to work the flooded areas around the Mississippi for FEMA and if that happens I should be able to buy one without too much trouble.

Which brings me to the point. How is Kawasaki and Yamaha parts availability in Mexico? The new Yamaha Tenere has my attention. I presume that the KLR would be pretty easy to service, at least around this part of Mexico.

Incidentally, someone is running a Craigslist announcement here in the Valley saying that we are getting a Triumph dealer here soon. I presume that getting a Triumph serviced in Mexico would be next to impossible ... about like a BMW or a Ducati.

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Old 05-20-2011, 11:17 PM   #3417
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Originally Posted by SchizzMan View Post
BTW, Pharr, Tx. seems be the preferred crossing for
your route these days.

We need to discuss this ...
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:59 AM   #3418
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We need to discuss this ...
Sorry, PJ. Didn't mean to crowd your cloud.

What's the latest on this? Bato and some others are crossing at Pharr in one week for Tampico. I can't go due to a graduation ceremony. Should they take the Anzalduas bridge instead?
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SchizzMan screwed with this post 05-21-2011 at 07:35 AM
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:24 AM   #3419
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Thanx JD. Three weeks in Mexico must have been super. Was there a mishap while you were there?
I will start the TVIP process this week.
The hardest part of the trip was pointing the bike home. Harder than the......uhm......."mishap". I like that word.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...postcount=4165

If reading up on the TVIP leaves you with questions feel free to PM me. It's much simpler than the online forms read.

Saw your map with routing. Wow!
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:24 AM   #3420
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Reynosa.....

If heading south, you will do well with the Pharr bridge

If heading west, the Anzalduas bridge

If you don't care about traffic, pick any bridge

However this being May 21st, Rapture Day, most of you won't be here to read this anyway
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