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Mexico Travel

 
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Anthony

Since 07 Oct 2008
295 Posts
Salem
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PostMon Aug 28, 17 7:31 am    Mexico Travel Reply with quote

Here is the latest for travel info. I have been through three of the drug cartel checkpoints in the past. Two on the road between Los Planes and La Paz(same day) and one in the way to the Cabo Airport. Luckily not last year. The locals were very scared in the vehicle I was in. As I was told after the checkpoint that they were not looking for tourists. It looks like that has changed. Like anything, use common sense when traveling.


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skideeppow

Since 26 Aug 2011
339 Posts

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PostMon Aug 28, 17 10:57 am     Reply with quote

So these check points, were run by the Federals? Or by the drug cartels.

And are you saying that they are now targeting tourist? Because i have heard the exact opposite.

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ErraticAKn

Since 08 Jul 2011
504 Posts

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PostMon Aug 28, 17 11:16 am     Reply with quote

Some of the check points are roving and some are stationary.

http://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/9-killed-yesterday-in-drug-gang-shootings/?utm_source=fb&utm_campaign=nine-killed-bcs

On the 25th there was some action in Baja that has added to the concern. I talk with almost daily with Mexican Baja locals that travel between La Paz, Cabo and Ventana several times a week - travel is good, nothing out of the ordinary. Same check points and locations except the one near the Todos Santos on HW19 - it hasn't been manned as regular as it has in the past.

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Anthony

Since 07 Oct 2008
295 Posts
Salem
Obsessed

CGKA Member


PostMon Aug 28, 17 1:23 pm     Reply with quote

skideeppow wrote:
So these check points, were run by the Federals? Or by the drug cartels.

And are you saying that they are now targeting tourist? Because i have heard the exact opposite.


The three check points that I went through were not Federals, Police or Military. That leaves it open to interpretation. Accorded to the person on the local bus, they were drug cartel. They had shiny new machine guns(non Mexican Military) something the locals do not have. Dress as police, yes, kind of, masks some. or least they tried to look that way. Civilian car is the give way. As far as targeting tourist, read the advisory.

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niknas

Since 18 Sep 2006
126 Posts
North of OR, South of WA
Stoked



PostMon Aug 28, 17 4:04 pm     Reply with quote

Anthony wrote:
skideeppow wrote:
So these check points, were run by the Federals? Or by the drug cartels.

And are you saying that they are now targeting tourist? Because i have heard the exact opposite.


The three check points that I went through were not Federals, Police or Military. That leaves it open to interpretation. Accorded to the person on the local bus, they were drug cartel. They had shiny new machine guns(non Mexican Military) something the locals do not have. Dress as police, yes, kind of, masks some. or least they tried to look that way. Civilian car is the give way. As far as targeting tourist, read the advisory.


I would venture the check points were Federales (Federal Preventive Police). The Federal police are the front line in fighting the Mexican Cartels. They almost always wear mask and are issued the latest in armament. Shinny guns, cars, trucks etc. The "Federales" wear masks to remain anonymous as not to identified by cartel members out of fear of retribution. The cartels are battling it out between different cartel factions. The general population is not being targeted nor are us Gringos. Yes I would not want to be caught in a gun battle between gang members, or police. The Federals do have roving checkpoints as do the Mexican military. The Federales always wave us though with out question. They do look very intimidating and serious. They have to be.

DON'T drive at night, don't wander around the barrios of San Jose or La Paz. I been traveling Baja for 16 years straight, and off and on for 6 years before that. I feel safe there. A few of you old Baja travelers may remember the fear generated in 2005-7. Now the fear is being generated again. If you are not comfortable traveling to Baja, Don't. It's getting too crowded there anyway.

Cheers,
Nik


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ErraticAKn

Since 08 Jul 2011
504 Posts

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PostMon Aug 28, 17 4:11 pm     Reply with quote

Last year I rode down on a motorcycle and had a GoPro rolling on the helmet. Each check point they asked me to shut it off - more like a demand.

Even when they all had masks.

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wylieflyote

Since 30 Jun 2006
1118 Posts
Puget Sound & Wa. Coast
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PostMon Aug 28, 17 6:16 pm     Reply with quote

Not sure if this has been mentioned, but: By far the worst mordida traffic cop bullshit I've ever experienced in 6 years of long months in Mexico is Ciudad Constitution. It's about 2 hours north of La Paz. Your main route to La Ventana. All the traffic signals have black plastic bags covering them at every intersection. Reason being they want to stop you for nothing. I was hit 4 years ago bad, with a trip to the station and a fine.
Now? I drive no faster than 15 mph through the entire stretch. Stop completely at every marked and unmarked intersection. I get Mexicans pissed off passing me, but so what. The Mordida is only looking for US plates.

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Kip Wylie

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AC

Since 04 Jul 2012
42 Posts

 

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PostWed Aug 30, 17 12:10 pm    Ciudad Constitucion Reply with quote

I agree with Wylie about CC reputationally, and I am sure he had a bad experience there, but we've never had a problem through CC, and we drive between East Cape and San Juanico several times a year (passing through CC both ways). Maybe 18 passages over last three years. In general, our experiences with la mordita (bribe requests from local police) in BCS imply a decline in frequency. Camera phones and connectivity make it harder for rogue cops to hit gringos, and the guys at the top administratively are discouraging any activity that keeps tourists away. Happy trails!

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Nak

Since 19 May 2005
3500 Posts
Camas
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PostWed Aug 30, 17 4:46 pm     Reply with quote

Maybe it's just me, but I'll take many, many $20 cop bribes over one drug cartel road block. Hell, it's too bad you can't just pay $50 here to avoid a ticket. Much better than it being on your insurance. Anyways, The occasional bribe to a cop looking to feed his family bothers me not in the least. What will ruin Baja is if this drug cartel shit continues to get worse. Remember, using cocaine is just contributing to the destruction of many people's lives in other countries. It is NOT a victimless crime. If we in the US would just say no to cocaine, countless lives would be saved and/or improved. Yeah, not going to happen. Mad Sad
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wylieflyote

Since 30 Jun 2006
1118 Posts
Puget Sound & Wa. Coast
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PostThu Aug 31, 17 7:34 am     Reply with quote

Nak wrote:
Maybe it's just me, but I'll take many, many $20 cop bribes over one drug cartel road block. Mad Sad


Good point.... sometimes
While driving around La Paz this past January, I had my little 12lb dog in my lap. A trafico pulled me over for a "ticket". Almost immediately we ventured into a very long & pleasant conversation about retirement, the drive, kiteboarding, Mexico, etc, etc. All this time his pen was poised just above the ticket pad.... waiting to write the ticket. I caught on finally, and slid an $200p note under his thumb. We both smiled and said "Que le Vaya Bien, Amigo!"

In contrast, The Ciudad Constitution cop was stone cold mean, almost aggressive. And the game got ugly when I took out my iPhone and photo'd his badge # and face. We both were in a bad mood. This was also 4 years ago, whereas today the rules have likely changed now that everyone has a dash-cam & cell phone.

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Kip Wylie

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