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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It is "safe and normal" because we are not involved in the consumption or trade in drugs. We go about our lives and never see 'shoot outs' or 'decapitations'. They occur, genereally in the dark of night, in the drug cartel's hot spots and between rival cartels and/or authorities. Normal people simply read about it in the papers or on the TV news reports.
Sadly, the US media generalizes by referring to 'Mexico' in its over sensationalized news reports.


Frankly, and with due respect, the above is little more than a mantra, repeated by now more, even, than the Buddhist chants. The information I referred to in my original post was gleaned not from the US media, but from local, Mexican newspapers. May I suggest that, for example, the reported average of five families a day in Celaya who receive telephoned extortion demands (“We know exactly where your daughter and husband are right now, and if you want them to be home for supper, leave xxx pesos ……”) are not involved in the consumption or trade in drugs; that the kidnap victims – young women, for example, going about their lawful business, by the sound of it - bundled into vehicles in small cities in Guanajuato state are not in this trade, either; that visitors to Guanajuato’s Cervantino, and locals and others partaking in its festivities, are not all drug-trading criminals; that the Guanajuato state governors under threat are not leaders of a rival drug clan. “Don’t dare stand up to us; don’t get in our way”. There are opposed factions vying for control of the state.


HolyMole’s reading of the situation is broadly in accordance with mine. For example, Wealthy Mexicans have, for decades, taken precautions against kidnappers. Now, the threat of kidnap has spread to middle class Mexicans, not only in DF but in most other cities in Mexico. To ascribe all such serious crime in Mexico to "the drug trade" is, in my opinion, very wishful thinking. As I see it, the drugs business is just one source of income for criminal gangs, large or small, but any other, alternative source will do just fine. I am not specially interested in (what may be) the fact that gringos are not at the moment a particular target. I am interested and concerned by the apparent fact that Mexico is now a country where “ordinary, everyday” people, whatever the country name on the front of their passport, if they have one, cannot feel very safe as they go about their life. I do not live in Mexico, but spent some years there, some time ago. I live now where there is NO danger of violent confrontation; where my wife and I can go ANYWHERE, day or night, knowing that nothing bad will happen; where we can camp in any desert, on any beach or mountain, by the side of any highway, knowing that if any stranger stops by it will be to ask if there’s anything we need, and are we OK ‘come to our house to eat and have coffee”; where if we stop to change the tyre pressures or check the water, the first vehicle to come along will stop to ask if we have a problem, do we need help. So yes, we’re rather spoiled. The thing is that for many years we have harboured the desire, the wish, the dream of going back to Mexico. In the days I was there, I would wander in the DF at two in the morning, never looking over my shoulder (Yes, irrelevant: “those days are gone”; “that was then”.

I value the comments of RVGRINGO and all others, and perhaps it is that gringos (and other foreigners???) wear a protective halo and we are largely left alone. The “drug people in the dead of the night” mantra flies, however, against the facts as they appear to be.
 

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Please, Popotla, change your flag to indicate your present country of residence.
I don't disagree with you at all. However, "in general" we aren't involved.
 

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well personally, i think if you are on the outside looking it, it may seem like the most dangerous place. i get that all the time from people back home. but i read my local Portland news every morning, habit i guess, and i see some terrible things. people getting shot at all hours of the night, kids getting kidnapped, woman getting raped, terrible terrible auto accidents, people doign random acts of violence, or sometimes not random. these thigns happen EVERY DAY. but was i ever scared when i was in Portland? was i ever too scared to go outside at night? or take my dogs to the trails? or go camping? no. i never was. maybe someone on the outside just reading the news would be. am i scared to go outside here in Puebla? no. If i want tacos at 11pm i will go down the street and get some. if we want to go to an outing at a park we will. when we lived in michoacan we didn't even have doors on the house we lived at, i never felt the danger. Yes, bad things happen in Mexico. but bad things happen everywhere. I've seen 2 people get shot in Portland, i've seen one person get stabbed in Guatemala, I haven't seen anything here yet but maybe one day i will. Danger is everywhere, you just need to have commen sense and try to live happy because if you just sit around being scared that something is going to happen to you.... that's just not the way to live.
 

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De donde eres?

Please, Popotla, change your flag to indicate your present country of residence.
I don't disagree with you at all. However, "in general" we aren't involved.
I agree that Popotla should have clarified his present country of residence. Although there was nothing in his original posting about the spread of crime and violence to smaller cities like Guanajuato and Celaya that I haven't read elsewhere, my comments were made under the impression he was writing from Mexico. Now, it sounds like he has been living elsewhere for years.
I value the comments, observations and opinions of expats currently residing full or part-time in Mexico, and can understand their obvious frustration having to continually explain that they have faced none of the problems that are worrying so many wannabee expats.
 

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I'm sure that some are reading sensational headlines. For example: A 60 year old woman was murdered at an east coast resort city. It seems she had taken up with a young man and was trying to act 1/4 her age on the beach; as was observed by many. Her jewelry, money and life are gone.
On the opposite coast, in another resort city, two Canadian men were gunned down; actually, one was executed, gangland style, and the other was killed when he came out shooting. Now, they were known in Canada as drug dealers, rented a Hummer in Mexico, along with other vehicles, and were armed in a country where that is illegal! They were 'taken out' very professionally, with no disturbance to others.
Yes, this sort of thing makes the press, worldwide, yet we still feel safer than in places where random killings of strangers occurs for a pair of sneakers or as the price of admission to a gang.
It is true, it is frustrating to explain to those who have never been here; or maybe few other places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Now I think I get the picture. There is lots of bad, bad stuff going on but if one is not affected directly, personally, well, it's not exactly OK but one lives with it and gets on with one's life and hopes that things won't get any worse. In Mexico City a good few years ago, when I lived there, there was said to be a very high rate of murder and other violent crime but gringos seemed not to be touched by it (I wasn't, and never felt unsafe anywhere, day or night, though "taxi kidnapping" and robbery at cashpoints were unheard of - I don't remember there being ATMs.) I myself, btw, would go back to Mexico in a flash, but I have a wife to think of, and wonder if I'd ever be able to leave her alone without my being worried.

Sorry about any confusion over location. I'm in Oman; just tried to change that info but can't seem to do it.
 

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Outside and 'imagining' what it is like in Mexico would be more to the point. It seems that most of the 'concern' comes from those who aren't here in Mexico as expats. Such questioning from those who haven't been here recently, if ever, is quite valid but it does get a bit tiresome for those of us who continue to thoroughly enjoy living and traveling in Mexico. Our biggest concern, and it isn't all that big, is some 'trafico' with a need for lunch money. Soon, you learn how to deal with them, too.
 

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Now, the threat of kidnap has spread to middle class Mexicans, not only in DF but in most other cities in Mexico. To ascribe all such serious crime in Mexico to "the drug trade" is, in my opinion, very wishful thinking.
Jesús Blancornelas, the publisher of Zeta and a lifelong investigator of the drug cartels, concluded that kidnappings are, in fact, being carried out by the thugs that were formerly employed by the drug cartels and who now work freelance. Blancornelas wrote several books on the subject, which would be worth reading before making any more sweeping generalizations.

I am indebted to you, Mr Popotla, for letting me know (from the sultanate of Oman?) just how dangerous my life is here in Tijuana. I had no idea just how mistaken my day-to-day experiences have been!
 

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Well. I have been in and remain in the "I feel safe in Mexico" camp. Last Tuesday, I went with a friend to the municipio of our area, La Huerta, to serve as translator for his police report. I had to show ID and sign the report as Traduzcador. He and his wife went to Puerto Vallarta where they have a sailboat that they used to live on for 12 years. While they were gone, everything they owned was stolen from what they thought was a secure "granja." When the policia came to take pictures and ask questions to augment the report, they told my friends that a gringa down the road about 20 km had just been shot in the leg by robbers who robbed her and her husband at gunpoint and loaded up their (the victims) two cars with their household possessions and left. She was apparently hit by a ricochet while in her house at 11 am when they tryed to blow the lock off the door. She was operated on in Manzanillo yesterday and will be OK physically. Who knows about the other traumas? We live in a village and feel very safe. They lived sufficiently isolated that the ladrones had no concern about the noise of firing a pistol to gain entry to their house. Our friends who were hit also live in isolation. Both of these households were established over four years ago and in both cases nothing had happened before the last 10 days. La policia told my friends that there was a "mafia" involved and that they were working on it. El policia who said that to them was wearing a thick gold necklace and several other articles of "bling de oro" on his wrists. So much for underpayment of law enforcers. It does appear that the bad guys are diversifying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I am indebted to you, Mr Popotla, for letting me know (from the sultanate of Oman?) just how dangerous my life is here in Tijuana. I had no idea just how mistaken my day-to-day experiences have been!

However, Mr. arturo, if you check back more carefully on this thread, you'll find that the "Now the threat of kidnap..............." comment, which you appear to ascribe to me, was in fact a comment by HolyMole, for which reason I had put it in italics and mentioned his/her name. If, as you claim, the thugs who used to work for the drug cartels are now working freelance, then HolyMole was right to have said that To ascribe all such serious crime in Mexico to "the drug trade" is, in my opinion, very wishful thinking.

As for telling you about how dangerous your life in Tijuana is, it must be a different Popotla who's telling you this ; I wasn't doing that:
(1) I didn't mention Tijuana, but focused on reported serious crime in Guanajuato state, asking whether life in that area, or such an area, was in fact proceeding as smoothly as the generally upbeat tone of certain posters to this forum would suggest. At some point I mentioned that even if the vast majority of the victims ere Mexican, that didn't make me feel any better about the matter. (2) The fact that I am not at present living in Mexico does not, I think, preclude me from asking about the situation there or offering my opinion/expressing my feelings about the country, where I lived for many years. Nor does it preclude me from asking about / commenting on events and circumstances in country x, y or z, a country other than the one in which I am living.

I hope you continue to feel safe in Tijuana, and that the kind of experience suffered by two foreign households further south, as reported on this thread since your on post, wtill not affect you.

In no sense is my questioning a troll: I suggest that the powerful finger of the censor, which shouldn't want to stifle open discussion, be withheld.
 
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