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Driving to Baja. How safe is it right now?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussion' started by Teocalli, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Feb 25, 2009 at 5:44 AM
    #1
    Teocalli

    Teocalli [OP] Member

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    A few friends and I are driving to Muleje in April. I've been reading up on some of the recent events since last November. The violence seems to be at an unimaginable level and I'm wondering how safe it is driving to southern Baja. I'd like to give Baja the benefit of the doubt but the news and paranoia is driving me crazy. US military no longer advices or permits personnel to travel to Baja Norte. Three trucks, five chicks, and a few dudes. Is it safe?
     
  2. Feb 25, 2009 at 6:00 AM
    #2
    SuperD

    SuperD Mall Cruiser Pilot

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    The government is warning people about going to Mexico for Spring break. Personally, I would go nowhere near the border right now.
     
  3. Feb 25, 2009 at 6:05 AM
    #3
    bajamoon

    bajamoon Well-Known Member

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    it is pretty rough at the moment, i am going down in june and hopefully it calms down. good luck if you go.
     
  4. Feb 25, 2009 at 6:09 AM
    #4
    Wolfpack

    Wolfpack Well-Known Member

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    +1 there is no way I'd be going across the border. Cops and military are getting killed every day and they are armed, you can't be.
     
  5. Feb 25, 2009 at 9:52 AM
    #5
    Teocalli

    Teocalli [OP] Member

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    Thanks for the replies! Keep em comin'
     
  6. Feb 25, 2009 at 9:53 AM
    #6
    El Duderino 480

    El Duderino 480 "The Dude"

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  7. Feb 25, 2009 at 9:55 AM
    #7
    surfsupl

    surfsupl Well-Known Member

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    I would not go. I read every day in the LA Times of 3-4 murders a day down their.(Mexico) The drug situation is out of control. I know when they run the baja race,they have to watch out for all kind of traps.
     
  8. Feb 25, 2009 at 10:17 AM
    #8
    EquinsuOcha

    EquinsuOcha Bourbon

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    PM eordonez. He'll give you the first-hand scoop.
     
  9. Feb 25, 2009 at 10:20 AM
    #9
    sonjay

    sonjay Well-Known Member

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    I would think that the drug cartels are only after the police/military. I haven't heard of any civilians being killed... You probably hear more being a lot closer to the border. My grandparents have been in Mexico all winter with no problems, they haven't even mentioned anything about it. I think if you allow the fear to ruin your life...they win big time. On another note, Mexico is looking at legalizing drugs to stop this rein of terror the cartels have over their country!!
     
  10. Feb 25, 2009 at 10:23 AM
    #10
    El Duderino 480

    El Duderino 480 "The Dude"

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    ii dont wanna die...:pout:
     
  11. Feb 25, 2009 at 10:30 AM
    #11
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously though myself Moderator

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    I was there to spectate the 1000 race in November. Traveling down there is hairy at best.

    Paramilitary police are everywhere and you WILL have a large fully automatic weapon pointed at you at some point as you travel down the toll road. The US border guards warned us to be off the road and/or back in the US before the sun went down. "They'll behead you or just drop you in a tub of acid."

    I'm only looking into races in the US now. It's not worth the risk south of the border.
     
  12. Feb 25, 2009 at 10:47 AM
    #12
    wawireguy

    wawireguy Well-Known Member

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    Why would you want to goto a 3rd world country that is moderately dangerous? Use some common sense.
     
  13. Feb 25, 2009 at 10:48 AM
    #13
    mjp2

    mjp2 Living vicariously though myself Moderator

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    What part of Mexico? Take a leisurely walk through Tijuana and then tell me it's all hype and fear mongering.

    As for who wins, I get to keep my head and continue having adventures so I'd say I'm doing pretty damn well. There's plenty of life left to live without getting in the middle of a drug war.

    Edit: And this is from someone who's gone to Newark, NJ for fun...and who's dating a girl who lived there. :p
     
  14. Feb 25, 2009 at 10:49 AM
    #14
    El Duderino 480

    El Duderino 480 "The Dude"

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    iraq is pretty fun..:cheers:

     
  15. Feb 25, 2009 at 11:30 AM
    #15
    Packman73

    Packman73 ^^^^ 3%er ^^^^

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    And probably safer than Mexico right now.
     
  16. Feb 25, 2009 at 12:10 PM
    #16
    Notty

    Notty Well-Known Member

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    Here is a security alert we got at work the other day. Since we are DoD and work so close to the border, this is a big issue here right now!! It's a long read, but good info in it!



    This information is current as of today, Mon Feb 23 08:04:29 2009.
    Mexico
    February 20, 2009
    This Travel Alert updates security information for U.S. citizens traveling and living in Mexico. It supersedes the Travel Alert for Mexico dated October 15, 2008, and expires on August 20, 2009.

    While millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico each year (including thousands who cross the land border every day for study, tourism or business), violence in the country has increased recently. It is imperative that travelers understand the risks of travel to Mexico, how best to avoid dangerous situations, and whom to contact if one becomes a crime victim.
    Common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas during daylight hours, and avoiding areas where prostitution and drug dealing might occur, can help ensure that travel to Mexico is safe and enjoyable.

    Crime and Violence Throughout Mexico

    The greatest increase in violence has occurred near the U.S. border.
    However, U.S. citizens traveling throughout Mexico should exercise caution in unfamiliar areas and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Mexican and foreign bystanders have been injured or killed in violent attacks in cities across the country, demonstrating the heightened risk of violence in public places. In recent years, dozens of U.S. citizens have been kidnapped across Mexico. Many of these cases remain unresolved. U.S. citizens who believe they are being targeted for kidnapping or other crimes should notify Mexican officials and the nearest American consulate or the Embassy as soon as possible, and should consider returning to the United States.

    U.S. citizens should make every attempt to travel on main roads during daylight hours, particularly the toll ("cuota") roads, which generally are more secure. Occasionally, the U.S. Embassy and consulates advise their employees as well as private U.S. citizens to avoid certain areas, abstain from driving on certain roads because of dangerous conditions or criminal activity, or recommend driving during daylight hours only. When warranted, U.S. government employees are restricted from traveling to or within parts of Mexico without prior approval from their supervisors. When this happens, the Embassy or the affected consulate will alert the local U.S. citizen Warden network and post the information on their respective websites, indicating the nature of the concern and the expected time period for which the restriction will remain in place. U.S. citizen visitors are encouraged to stay in the well-known tourist areas of the cities. Travelers should leave their itinerary with a friend or family member not traveling with them, avoid traveling alone, and should check with their cellular provider prior to departure to confirm that their cell phone is capable of roaming on GSM or 3G international networks. Do not display expensive-looking jewelry, large amounts of money, or other valuable items.

    Violence Along the U.S. - Mexico Border

    Mexican drug cartels are engaged in an increasingly violent conflict - both among themselves and with Mexican security services - for control of narcotics trafficking routes along the U.S.-Mexico border. In order to combat violence, the government of Mexico has deployed troops in various parts of the country. U.S. citizens should cooperate fully with official checkpoints when traveling on Mexican highways.

    Some recent Mexican army and police confrontations with drug cartels have resembled small-unit combat, with cartels employing automatic weapons and grenades. Large firefights have taken place in many towns and cities across Mexico but most recently in northern Mexico, including Tijuana, Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez. During some of these incidents, U.S. citizens have been trapped and temporarily prevented from leaving the area. The U.S.
    Mission in Mexico currently restricts non-essential travel to the state of Durango and all parts of the state of Coahuila south of Mexican Highways 25 and 22 and the Alamos River for U.S. government employees assigned to Mexico. This restriction was implemented in light of the recent increase in assaults, murders, and kidnappings in those two states. The situation in northern Mexico remains fluid; the location and timing of future armed engagements cannot be predicted.

    A number of areas along the border are experiencing rapid growth in the rates of many types of crime. Robberies, homicides, petty thefts, and carjackings have all increased over the last year across Mexico generally, with notable spikes in Tijuana and northern Baja California. Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana and Nogales are among the cities which have recently experienced public shootouts during daylight hours in shopping centers and other public venues. Criminals have followed and harassed U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles in border areas including Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, and Tijuana.

    The situation in Ciudad Juarez is of special concern. Mexican authorities report that more than 1,800 people have been killed in the city since January 2008. Additionally, this city of 1.6 million people experienced more than 17,000 car thefts and 1,650 carjackings in 2008. U.S. citizens should pay close attention to their surroundings while traveling in Ciudad Juarez, avoid isolated locations during late night and early morning hours, and remain alert to news reports. A recent series of muggings near the U.S.
    Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez targeted applicants for U.S. visas. Visa and other service seekers visiting the Consulate are encouraged to make arrangements to pay for those services using a non-cash method.

    U.S. citizens are urged to be alert to safety and security concerns when visiting the border region. Criminals are armed with a wide array of sophisticated weapons. In some cases, assailants have worn full or partial police or military uniforms and have used vehicles that resemble police vehicles. While most crime victims are Mexican citizens, the uncertain security situation poses serious risks for U.S. citizens as well. U.S.
    citizen victims of crime in Mexico are urged to contact the consular section of the nearest U.S. consulate or Embassy for advice and assistance. Contact information is provided at the end of this message.

    Demonstrations and Large Public Gatherings

    Demonstrations occur frequently throughout Mexico and usually are peaceful.
    However, even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate to violence unexpectedly. Violent demonstrations have resulted in deaths, including that of an American citizen in Oaxaca in 2006. In 2008, a Mexican Independence Day celebration was the target of a violent attack. During demonstrations or law enforcement operations, U.S. citizens are advised to remain in their homes or hotels, avoid large crowds, and avoid the downtown and surrounding areas. Since the timing and routes of scheduled marches and demonstrations are always subject to change, U.S. citizens should monitor local media sources for new developments and exercise extreme caution while within the vicinity of protests. The Mexican Constitution prohibits political activities by foreigners, and such actions may result in detention and/or deportation.
    U.S. citizens are therefore advised to avoid participating in demonstrations or other activities that might be deemed political by Mexican authorities.
    As is always the case in any large gathering, U.S. citizens should remain alert to their surroundings.
    Further Information

    For more detailed information on staying safe in Mexico, please see the Mexico Country Specific Information at:
    http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html. Information on security and travel to popular tourist destinations is also provided in the
    publication: "Spring Break in Mexico- Know Before You Go!!" at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/spring_break_mexico/spring_break_me
    xico_2812.html For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's internet web site at http://travel.state.gov <http://travel.state.gov/> where the current Worldwide Caution </travel/cis_pa_tw/pa/pa_1161.html> , Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and canada, or, for callers from Mexico, a regular toll line at 001-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). American citizens traveling or residing overseas are encouraged to register with the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the State Department's travel registration website at https://travelregistration.state.gov/.

    For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens in Mexico, please contact the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The U.S. Embassy is located in Mexico City at Paseo de la Reforma 305, Colonia Cuauhtemoc, telephone from the United States: 011-52-55-5080-2000; telephone within Mexico City: 5080-2000; telephone long distance within Mexico 01-55-5080-2000. You may also contact the Embassy by e-mail at: ccs@usembassy.net.mx. The Embassy's internet address is http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/.

    Consulates:

    Ciudad Juarez: Paseo de la Victoria 3650, tel. (52)(656) 227-3000.
    http://ciudadjuarez.usconsulate.gov <http://ciudadjuarez.usconsulate.gov/>
    Guadalajara: Progreso 175, telephone (52)(333) 268-2100.
    http://guadalajara.usconsulate.gov/.
    Hermosillo: Avenida Monterrey 141, telephone (52)(662) 289-3500.
    http://hermosillo.usconsulate.gov <http://hermosillo.usconsulate.gov/> .
    Matamoros: Avenida Primera 2002, telephone (52)(868) 812-4402.
    http://matamoros.usconsulate.gov <http://matamoros.usconsulate.gov/> .
    Merida: Calle 60 no. 338 k, telephone (52)(999) 942-5700.
    http://merida.usconsulate.gov <http://merida.usconsulate.gov/> .
    Monterrey: Avenida Constitucion 411 Poniente, telephone (52)(818) 047-3100.
    http://monterrey.usconsulate.gov <http://monterrey.usconsulate.gov/> .
    Nogales: Calle San Jose, Nogales, Sonora, telephone (52)(631) 311-8150.
    http://nogales.usconsulate.gov <http://nogales.usconsulate.gov/> .
    Nuevo Laredo: Calle Allende 3330, col. Jardin, telephone (52)(867) 714-0512.
    http://nuevolaredo.usconsulate.gov/.
    Tijuana: Tapachula 96, telephone (52)(664) 622-7400.
    http://tijuana.usconsulate.gov/service.html.

    Consular Agencies:

    Acapulco: Hotel Continental Emporio, Costera Miguel Aleman 121 - local 14, telephone (52)(744) 484-0300 or (52)(744) 469-0556.
    Cabo San Lucas: Blvd. Marina local c-4, Plaza Nautica, col. Centro, telephone (52)(624) 143-3566.
    Cancún: Plaza Caracol two, second level, no. 320-323, Boulevard Kukulcan, km. 8.5, Zona Hotelera, telephone (52)(998) 883-0272.
    Ciudad Acuña: Ocampo # 305, col. Centro, telephone (52)(877) 772-8661
    Cozumel: Plaza Villa Mar en el Centro, Plaza Principal, (Parque Juárez between Melgar and 5th ave.) 2nd floor, locales #8 and 9, telephone
    (52)(987) 872-4574.
    Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo: Hotel Fontan, Blvd. Ixtapa, telephone (52)(755) 553-2100.
    Mazatlán: Hotel Playa Mazatlán, Playa Gaviotas #202, Zona Dorada, telephone
    (52)(669) 916-5889.
    Oaxaca: Macedonio Alcalá no. 407, interior 20, telephone (52)(951) 514-3054
    (52)(951) 516-2853.
    Piedras Negras: Abasolo #211, Zona Centro, Piedras Negras, Coah., Tel. (878) 782-5586.
    Playa del Carmen: "The Palapa," Calle 1 Sur, between Avenida 15 and Avenida 20, telephone (52)(984) 873-0303.
    Puerto Vallarta: Paradise Plaza, Paseo de los Cocoteros #1, Local #4, Interior #17, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, telephone (52)(322) 222-0069.
    Reynosa: Calle Monterrey #390, Esq. Sinaloa, Colonia Rodríguez, telephone:
    (52)(899) 923 - 9331 San Luis Potosí: Edificio "Las Terrazas", Avenida Venustiano Carranza 2076-41, Col. Polanco, telephone: (52)(444) 811-7802/7803.
    San Miguel de Allende: Dr. Hernandez Macias #72, telephone (52)(415)
    152-2357 or (52)(415) 152-0068.
     
  17. Feb 25, 2009 at 12:13 PM
    #17
    Notty

    Notty Well-Known Member

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    True story!!! Some areas of the border here in AZ are probably more heavily fortified than parts of Iraq are! There have been several instances of violence spilling over into AZ and the situation could get ugly real quick!
     
  18. Feb 25, 2009 at 12:38 PM
    #18
    bajamoon

    bajamoon Well-Known Member

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    i have driven to baja about 15 times and have had no problem, you get the military checkpoints on the way back but they are nothing to be worried about, all citizens of mexico have to go into the military when they turn 18. once you pass ensenada it is all desert and very small towns that love tourist. i have never driven in mexico just baja, i have no worries about baja in the day. you are on the toll road to ensenada with 2 military checkpoints on the toll. this will not stop my motorcycle trip in june and i have no worries.
     
  19. Feb 25, 2009 at 12:44 PM
    #19
    eordonez

    eordonez Living vicariously through mjp2

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    That made me laugh.....


     
  20. Feb 25, 2009 at 12:44 PM
    #20
    Alaskaflyer

    Alaskaflyer My other ride Hovers

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    I wouldn't risk it right now, and as far as taking the ladies with you, you would be responsible for their safety as well as yours. I grew up in San Diego and we drove down several times and only had one incident with the police. This was back in the 80's, I just think it would be too big a risk to take in light of everything that's going on down there right now.
     
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