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Old 09-16-2017, 04:00 PM   #61
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To each his own... if you go down there, we'll be concerned for you.


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He lives "down there"
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:03 PM   #62
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I have a lot of experience in many parts of Mexico and Central America from both coasts to San Miguel de Allende, Leon, etc. I'm reasonably conversational in Spanish.

We can all argue about the likelihood of experiencing specific violence at home or abroad. I'd say that realistically, if you're paying attention, you're still safe in most Mexican coastal towns...especially the touristy areas. Mexico City for sure. Same for St Louis or L.A....you stay out of the rough areas. (Duh.).

But most people would agree that post-El Chapa, things are less stable in Mexico and even Cabo is having problems with the cartels now. PV is - unfortunately - part of a turf war although that doesn't make it particularly dangerous for Americans. Getting caught in a firefight? Highly unlikely. Getting your boat broken into? More likely and far more likely on the Caribbean side. That's not necessarily drug related crime but it's a problem.

In terms of personal safety, the difference in the US vs Mexico (or China or Uruguay) is not so much about comparing violence statistics as it is about what happens if you do get into trouble.
For example, if you get robbed while visiting Detroit you can pretty easily get home, you will be treated fairly by the police, you can feel confident that you'll be ok.
If you're hurt, you will get treated and you are in your own country so there's minimal fear at that point.
In a foreign country its more problematic (read: scary). And the authorities are not always going to be supportive and helpful.
If you don't speak the language, all the more disconcerting.

I love Istanbul but I won't go because of terrorism threats. Same for much of Western Europe...why chance it? But Scotland? No problem. New Zealand? No worries.
That's generally true of Mexico....I've been twice recently (2016/17) and saw no violence, although the police presence was often palpable and it felt a little weird. Hummers with mounted weapons, body armor, etc. Believe me, much of Mexico NEEDS American tourism. They will do what they can to keep things safe. But the cartels are violent and unpredictable and anything could happen. They aren't targeting tourists, but even in St. Louis you don't have them to worry about.
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Old 09-16-2017, 04:24 PM   #63
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People often have difficulty in measuring actual risk. Decisions on whether to visit a country are based on perceived threat, which is very different from the real risk.

The threat of terrorism is a good example. Some tourists will avoid places where terrorism has occurred, but they completely ignore the far higher risk of traffic accidents. Very few people compare the road safety in countries they plan on visiting which accounts for 100 the number of deaths from terrorism.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:11 PM   #64
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Do you spend time in PV or do you just read the sensationalized newspapers? I go there very regularly. I am a hypervigilant person. Always aware of what's going on around me. Never had nor have seen an issue. I'm not saying nobody get assaulted in PV. Just saying generally it's very safe. If you want to look at stats then let's look at stats but don't generalize to the whole country because that is just garbage. I live in a generally calm college town but there are places here I just don't go to. Just like in Mexico.
Yes, I have spent time in PV and multiple other locations on both coasts of the mainland and both coasts of Baja.

Two years ago I was in Cabo and stayed in a nice house in a gated, "secured" community. During the night someone broke into the house and stole several items, including my wife's purse from the table at the foot of our bed while we slept. Could have happened somewhere else, but never has to me.
On the flight home I met a guy who visits friends in Cabo a couple times a year. He said how surprising my experience was and that he always feels safe. Before we were 10 minutes into the conversation, he had told me about experiences that he and/or his resident friends had that included shakedowns, robbery, and kidnap for ransom. Yet he always feels safe. And all this was before the increased drug activity that prompted the state department advisory.

One of my good friends was robbed at gunpoint sitting by a campfire near San Felipe. The police "investigation" involved driving my friend around in a police car the next day for 20 minutes to see if he recognized the robbers. No report, no recording what items were stolen (watches, cash, 2 jet skis on a trailer). They clearly had no interest in finding anyone or anything.

Lots of good people in Mex. Enjoy your travels. You won't be seeing me there again anytime soon.
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Old 09-16-2017, 07:46 PM   #65
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CaptTPT,

By PV I assume you mean Puerto Vallarta? It may be perfectly safe and fine to you. Most of us don't know the risk in that town.

The OP posted the State Departments warnings, and I'm one that doesn't believe they use sensationalism for their warnings, like the news does. The warning includes how terror is happening with abductions from hotels, cars for ransome, various crime areas with details, etc.

There may be some good places down there, but "generally" we can sweep with a large brush and say "it ain't safe". Sure, there's probably hideouts that might be safe, but I'd bet that most of us would not disregard the warnings and blast down there. There IS a reason for the warnings.

I could also argue to head the warnings for other countries.

And there's no comparison with just staying in the US. Most of us know the areas we go in the US and what to avoid. If you're intimately familiar with Mexico and where the guy might car jack you or abduct you from your hotel, you can probably survive fine.

It's part of risk management... not for me.

Mexico vs United States Crime Stats Compared

Here is one of many sites you can go to for comparison of the US and Mexico.
Total crimes in US 8 times that of Mexico
Violent crimes in US 6 times that of Mexico
Violent rape in US 6 times that of Mexico
Fear of violent crime 89% more in US than Mexico
Gun crimes in US 6 times that of Mexico
Now intentional homicides in Mexico are 3 times that of the US. These crimes are the gang on gang murders we hear about.

Crimes against tourists in PV are almost unheard of.

Murders in Chicago for 2016 were 751!!!
When we look at travel alerts by the state department the US is not included!! Can't recommend against travel here. Right??

So don't you think we should have a travel alert for the US if we look at the stats?

I'll take PV over Chicago any time.

Don't get me wrong here. All I'm pointing out is the statistics tell a different story than many are suggesting here.
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:24 PM   #66
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The population of Mexico is 127 million vs around 326 million here in the states. Not sure what percentage of reported crime ratio to actual crimes are for either country. My assumption is that more people here in the states will report crime than those in a country where .....from reports here in this thread...... indicate the police don't give a damn.
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Old 09-16-2017, 08:38 PM   #67
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Well, I'm not interested in Chicago or PV, you can have both. I avoid the ugly cities in the US, too. Chicago, LA, DCA, St. Louis and others... just don't need it. Grew up in Chicago and couldn't wait to get out of there.

And when comparing Mexico with the US, not sure whose cops are more corrupt, but I'll take my chances with the US, and, if I'm hurt I'll take US medical help (even though it sucks).
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Old 09-16-2017, 09:37 PM   #68
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Mexico vs United States Crime Stats Compared

...Don't get me wrong here. All I'm pointing out is the statistics tell a different story than many are suggesting here.
Take a look around that web site and let us know if those are stats that you consider reliable.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:04 PM   #69
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We all feel safer at home, regardless of where we live. It doesn't mean we are safer, we only feel that way. To some, feeling safe is more important than being safe.
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:04 AM   #70
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We all feel safer at home, regardless of where we live. It doesn't mean we are safer, we only feel that way. To some, feeling safe is more important than being safe.
How true that is.
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Old 09-17-2017, 07:52 AM   #71
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http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/busi...atanejo-crime/

For anyone not familiar with Mexico, Zihuatanejo is near Ixtapa on the Pacific side.
It's a place I've been to many times...an old original town on a bay. Great food, low key.

No point in arguing whether you'd spend time there or not. "To each his own."

Note the date of the article...45 days ago.
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:02 AM   #72
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The problem for Mexico is its northern neighbour. Americans buying drugs is the root cause of the tragic situation in much of Mexico.

Sure, America is trying to do something about that, and has been trying for years. And continuing to fail. There is no point in continuing with past policy, or building a wall.

Just legalise the stuff, and set up legit businesses in the USA to supply it, cheaply. Yes, you will lose a bunch of kids. But you were going to lose them anyway. Take the money out of the trade and then you have a chance to kill it. One problem is that the drug trade has generated such quantities of wealth for the gangs/cartels that they will still cause untold grief. But I believe it would give Mexico a chance. At the moment its still going downhill for them.

And yes, Australian and other Western Country kids are also being destroyed by drugs, we are also loosing the fight using 'traditional' law enforcement. Our society needs to face facts and debate the alternatives. Its time for actions for the greater good of the majority.

Sorry I cant help with specific advice for those travelling there. But hopefully there is good advice, and there are still safe places, and people do go. Supporting the vast majority of the Mexican population who are fairly helpless victims is very worthwhile.
Sad, but so true. American demand for drugs is destroying Central America, parts of South America and now Mexico.
Much of the illegal immigration is from Central America thru Mexico desperate to get out.
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Old 09-17-2017, 08:14 AM   #73
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The best information for boaters outside the USA is from Noonsite, Jimmy Cornell's free web site.

I check it out for any stops I'm considering. It was the deciding factor to not stop in Cartagena on the way to the Panama Canal.
Stupidly, I ignored it's advice about the bureaucracy of Golfito, Costa Rica

Here is the link for Mexico:
http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/Mexico

There are far more incidents against boaters in the Caribbean, than in Mexico, especially the Pacific side.
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Old 09-17-2017, 11:37 AM   #74
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Several responses to several posts:

"Americas demand for drugs is fueling the crime in Central/South America"

I'll buy that although the current crime problem in Mexico is more about "territories"...not the drugs themselves.
And yet, pot is being legalized by us - going beyond simply being decriminalized - in state after state. Heroin, cocaine...still coming in. Crystal meth isn't coming in from Mexico....we can do that all by ourselves. The Opioid problem - and abusing prescription drugs - is largely internal to the US. Fake Xanax ("Z Bar"), for example...is made right here in the good 'ol USA.

"Feeling safer vs actually Being safer":

So people are naive? At a basic level we should all have a reasonable expectation of safety unless we are intentionally putting ourselves in unsafe situations. The discussion about Mexico is about whether or not safety & crime should really be a higher concern these days. The State Dept isn't bound to only report worsening conditions abroad...it could also be issuing "all clear" or "improving" notices, but it's not, because that isn't the trend in Mexico right now. State Dept is about "being"...not "feeling".

"Driving is also dangerous"

True. But this isn't a very good example.
Obviously driving cars results in a lot of injuries, but driving
is a normal activity and we all understand the risks. I don't expect that driving in Spain will suddenly become far more dangerous than 3 years ago.

The question at hand is about "abnormal" safety conditions in Mexico. Have the risks changed?
Should TF'rs revise their expectation of safety when traveling there?

"Noonsite":
It's a good source of info but I worry that in fluid situations it's a lagging indicator.
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Old 09-17-2017, 12:09 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by CDreamer View Post
Several responses to several posts:

"Americas demand for drugs is fueling the crime in Central/South America"

I'll buy that although the current crime problem in Mexico is more about "territories"...not the drugs themselves.
And yet, pot is being legalized by us - going beyond simply being decriminalized - in state after state. Heroin, cocaine...still coming in. Crystal meth isn't coming in from Mexico....we can do that all by ourselves. The Opioid problem - and abusing prescription drugs - is largely internal to the US. Fake Xanax ("Z Bar"), for example...is made right here in the good 'ol USA.

"Feeling safer vs actually Being safer":

So people are naive? At a basic level we should all have a reasonable expectation of safety unless we are intentionally putting ourselves in unsafe situations. The discussion about Mexico is about whether or not safety & crime should really be a higher concern these days. The State Dept isn't bound to only report worsening conditions abroad...it could also be issuing "all clear" or "improving" notices, but it's not, because that isn't the trend in Mexico right now. State Dept is about "being"...not "feeling".

"Driving is also dangerous"

True. But this isn't a very good example.
Obviously driving cars results in a lot of injuries, but driving
is a normal activity and we all understand the risks. I don't expect that driving in Spain will suddenly become far more dangerous than 3 years ago.

The question at hand is about "abnormal" safety conditions in Mexico. Have the risks changed?
Should TF'rs revise their expectation of safety when traveling there?

"Noonsite":
It's a good source of info but I worry that in fluid situations it's a lagging indicator.
CDreamer,

This post makes a LOT of sense. Good one.
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Old 09-17-2017, 01:36 PM   #76
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"Noonsite":
It's a good source of info but I worry that in fluid situations it's a lagging indicator.
I think it's a good resource, including the piracy section that talks about all sorts of crime against boaters. You can see patterns there and frequency or infrequency. Also, learn some good common sense avoidance. You read boat was anchored in quiet place alone and took dinghy into town. Boat was robbed. Lucky it wasn't stolen. Well, you think perhaps I shouldn't anchor and should stay at a marina there. One thing very true about the Caribbean and the Americas is that anchoring is riskier than marinas.

I add noonsite knowledge into the state department advisories. But read carefully. Exercise caution doesn't mean do not go for most people. It may for some. However, when you read this:

Defer non-essential travel to the Morelos, Villa, and Zapata districts, where the travel of U.S. government personnel is restricted.


That's restricted and while not technically for tourists, if it's restricted for US Government personnel that's good enough to convince me.

We hit Acapulco when they simply advised caution and not traveling outside the city at night. Well, now this is how it reads and I wouldn't go there.

Guerrero (includes Acapulco, Ixtapa, Taxco, and Zihuatanejo): Personal travel to the entire state of Guerrero, including Acapulco, is prohibited for U.S. government personnel. Self-defense groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Armed members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and, although not considered hostile to foreigners or tourists, are suspicious of outsiders and should be considered volatile and unpredictable.


So, I wouldn't go. If I had an emergency and needed a stop, I'd go to the marina and no further.

Cancun, the advisory simply states that homicides are up. It says nothing about not traveling there, just that the local officials have reported that. I'm sure that can be said for thousands of cities in the world. Still it's good to be aware of and a reason to stay in the tourist area. We had two employees who spent Hurricane Irma in Cancun.

When I put it all together, I don't conclude not to travel to Mexico. I do conclude certain parts to not go to and others to be careful and not travel at night.

Everyone has to make their own choices. I try to make mine based on the best information available. Then I consider my own and my wife's and our guest's level of tolerance of risk.
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Old 09-17-2017, 07:48 PM   #77
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Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to take a hard look at ourselves!!
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Old 09-17-2017, 11:45 PM   #78
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Hard to consider this a reliable source when they caption their leading photo incorrectly.
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Old 09-18-2017, 12:05 PM   #79
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Even with all that's in this thread it's part of it. The process of deciding is:

1. Gather all the information you can from reliable sources.
2. Toss it out for discussion and other's experiences, but recognize that everyone expressing an opinion and advising you has their own personal prejudices and I'm not using that word necessarily in a bad way, but using it as something that might be based on little information or what they've heard or something they've experienced that may not have objectivity to it.

The views expressed here are subjective. Don't ever forget that.

If you ask a question, it's far better to get many and varied opinions than if you just got one answer.
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Old 09-18-2017, 01:19 PM   #80
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I'm assuming that photo is Ixtapa, just down the road...but who knows.
Still, I'm not sure what purpose a Mexican publication would serve to report higher crime rates if it wasn't true. Unless they're trying to get people to go to a different resort...after all it IS a competitive world!
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