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rockydog85251

Apr 29, 2011, 7:04 PM

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Central Highlands trip

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We have friends that are considering travelling around via bus and are thinking about including Celaya, Irapuato and/or Queretaro. Does anyone out there have any recommendations or cautions regarding these areas or this mode of travel?
He speaks Spanish quite well. Thanks for any help!
Willie



Anonimo

Apr 30, 2011, 1:24 AM

Post #2 of 51 (17560 views)

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Re: [rockydog85251] Central Highlands trip

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Sit back, relax and enjoy the onboard movies.

Our last visit from Querétaro to SMA then Celaya and Morelia was 4 years ago, but we traveled by car and it was relatively easy.

A couple of years ago, while waiting for a bus at the Irapuato station
I was taking photos and a security guard told me it was prohibited. So I asked forgiveness, pleading ignorance and stopped. No pasó nada.

There was no decent food at the Irapuato station, so I went out and bought some better tortas nearby. The food selection at Celaya seemed better.

That's my experience.

Last year we traveled twice from Pátzcuaro to SMA via Morelia, with a stop in Celaya. We got to Celaya early and the Primera Plus agent there in the station readily exchanged our tickets on Servicios Coordinados to the next departure.

Returning from SMA to Morelia, we had a "directo" that stopped in Celaya but we stayed on.

The routes are easy and the rides are pleasant.

saludos,
Anonimo


robt65

Apr 30, 2011, 4:24 AM

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Re: [Anonimo] Central Highlands trip

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Good Morning Anonimo,

If my memory serves me right (that's always a variable) over the years, I have seen that you have taken many bus trips. I would like your take in general on travel (long and short haul) through Mexico. You seem to have a pretty good handle on this subject. Would you consider writing an article or at least a long general post on Mexican bus travel? You know are there always taxi's available at bus stations? Are they always seedy like in most USA bus stations? Is food served on the luxury buses? Differences in the levels of luxury or not in bus travel. Restrooms clean. Cost versus car travel. Convenience taking the bus? I doubt that I am the only one who might consider such a mode of transportation in Mexico.

robt65


Anonimo

Apr 30, 2011, 5:24 AM

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Re: [robt65] Central Highlands trip

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Yikes! That's quite an assignment, Robert65. I don't pretend to know all their is about bus travel in all parts of Mexico. My most recent experiences are limited to El Bajío, Pátzcuaro to Mexico City; and within the last 3 years, Mexico City to Oaxaca and back.

Really, it's to broad a topic for me to tackle. I may update our most recent bus travel experiences (AutoVías from Pátzcuaro to Mexico City and ETN Mexico City to Morelia; then on Autovías to Pátzcuaro.)

Maybe a little later, either here or on my blog, "Surviving La Vida Buena" http://cocinamexicana.blogspot.com/.

And we can hope that "Larpman", now retired and living in SMA will continue his magnificent work on the Mexican bus system.
http://www.larpman.com/...es/buspages/bus.html

Anonimo


LuvDux


May 1, 2011, 11:46 AM

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Re: [robt65] Central Highlands trip

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I am intersted too. FLights are a lot cheaper into Mexico City then Morelia. I was thinking of floying into MCity then bus to Maravatio. I do not speak much espanol at all, no read it. So I am a bit daunted by the adventure. What are your thoughts? WHen I fly to MCity, how do I get on the right bus to Maravatio. And I want the nicest busline too.
lisa in orehgn


chicois8

May 1, 2011, 1:43 PM

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Re: [LuvDux] Central Highlands trip

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"lisa in orehgn" , my eyes are burning...good luck" floying into MCity"
Ocanahua, Jalisco
San Mateo, California


mexipat

May 1, 2011, 5:51 PM

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Re: [LuvDux] Central Highlands trip

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Check out http://differentworld.com/mexico/buses.htm for lots of bus info. Frommers and Lonely Planet will aim you to the right bus station in Mexico City. It's easy to get to the right station once you know which one it is. Get in the authorized taxi line at the airport and buy a ticket. The buses are great.


(This post was edited by Rolly on May 1, 2011, 5:56 PM)


raferguson


May 1, 2011, 8:50 PM

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Re: [rockydog85251] Central Highlands trip - buses

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The Mexican bus system is excellent, as others have said. I have not heard a lot about problems in that area. Travel in daylight hours is recommended for many reasons, including security, no matter what part of Mexico you are in.

The Queretero bus station, the last time I was there, was really two bus stations, a first class station, and a second class station, about 200 feet apart. For short distances (2 hours or less), most of the second class bus lines are fine, but look at the buses, you can tell which lines are OK and which are using old junky buses. The article below may be helpful.

http://www.mexconnect.com/...n-mexico-2006-update

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


Anonimo

May 2, 2011, 2:23 AM

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Re: [Anonimo] Central Highlands trip

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I'm going to put my short guide to buses Mexico City to Morelia/Pátzcuaro in the Travel Forum.
http://tinyurl.com/5txln66



Saludos,
Anonimo

(This post was edited by Anonimo on May 2, 2011, 2:44 AM)


robt65

May 2, 2011, 8:59 PM

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Hi Anonimo,
I know that is "quite an assignment" (smiling) that's why I asked you to do it! I have read many times on here the different trips you have taken by bus and you always have a lot of good solid information that most of us (for sure me) can learn from. Seeing different things through your eyes is great. I think that many others on here would agree with me that you are very descriptive and I really do trust your judgement. I know that you don't know all about all bust lines and trips in MExico, but I think you know a heck of a lot more than I do for sure and probably others also. for what ever you decide to contribute including senior discount fares etc., I will be very grateful. I look forward to hearing and learning from what you have to say.

robt65


Anonimo

May 3, 2011, 4:41 AM

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Re: [robt65] Central Highlands trip

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Robert65; I'll add a couple of things to my bus post on the Travel Forum.



Saludos,
Anonimo


LuvDux


May 3, 2011, 6:08 AM

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Re: [mexipat] Central Highlands trip

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This mexconnect forum has been very informative as I preapre for my trip in June. I will be going to Maravatio or Morelia, either one. Looking for a small furnished apartment to stay up to a three weeks. Will be returning 3-4 times a year. Someone mentioned that flights in Toluca are reasonable. I find this correct. I would like to hear eveyone's opinions. FLy into MexCity or TOluca? Bus availibility at both MexCity and Toluca to both Morelia and Maravatio? Can I find a small apartment in Maravatio or Morelia? Safety is my main concern and finding other english speaking people to help me get around. I have a friend who lives in rural Maravatio I will be visiting, but will not be staying there as not to burden the family. Oh, is it true, don't drink the water?
Lisa in Oregon


chinagringo


May 3, 2011, 6:25 AM

Post #13 of 51 (17227 views)

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Re: [LuvDux] Central Highlands trip

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The drinking the water topic is dealt with at the very end of the following video:

http://www.youtube.com/...&feature=related
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Reefhound


May 3, 2011, 7:33 AM

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Re: [LuvDux] Central Highlands trip

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Luvdux, it has been alluded and maybe it's just posting shorthand, but nobody refers to Mexico city as "MCity" or "MexCity". We know what you mean but if you throw those terms around once you arrive down there, you are going to sound odd. If you want something short and sweet, how about D.F.?


Anonimo

May 3, 2011, 8:02 AM

Post #15 of 51 (17197 views)

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Re: [LuvDux] Central Highlands trip

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The Caminantes bus Line connects Mexico City's Terminal Poniente with Toluca's bus station. I think that at least during the daytime, there are departures every 15 minutes.

The question about Mexico City to Morelia I've answered on the Traveling Mexico Forum.

I suggest that you get a guidebook to Mexico, especially useful are the Lonely Planet Guides. They have made specific chapters downloadable as well as entire guidebooks. Those are inexpensive. In them you'll find answers to many of these basic questions, such as about drinking water.



Saludos,
Anonimo

(This post was edited by Anonimo on May 3, 2011, 8:03 AM)


Papirex


May 3, 2011, 8:36 AM

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Re: [Reefhound] Central Highlands trip

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A little clarification. It is not common to refer to México City as “The D. F.” here, every Mexican refers to Mexico City as simply Mexico, everyone understands that it means Mexico City. Not all of Mexico City is in The D. F., quite a lot of Mexico City is in Mexico State.


It always seems a little strange to me to need to type “City” after Mexico in a letter or post, but I realize that many newcomers that have never lived in, or near the capitol, or that don't have a Mexican family, or many educated Mexican friends, are confused by how to denote the capitol, Mexico.


If you refer to it as “The D. F.”, you will be understood, but using that term marks you as an outsider.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


esperanza

May 3, 2011, 8:37 AM

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In Reply To
This mexconnect forum has been very informative as I preapre for my trip in June. I will be going to Maravatio or Morelia, either one. Looking for a small furnished apartment to stay up to a three weeks. Will be returning 3-4 times a year. Someone mentioned that flights in Toluca are reasonable. I find this correct. I would like to hear eveyone's opinions. FLy into MexCity or TOluca? Bus availibility at both MexCity and Toluca to both Morelia and Maravatio? Can I find a small apartment in Maravatio or Morelia? Safety is my main concern and finding other english speaking people to help me get around. I have a friend who lives in rural Maravatio I will be visiting, but will not be staying there as not to burden the family. Oh, is it true, don't drink the water?
Lisa in Oregon

Maravatío is way, way off the radar for finding an English-speaking community. It is also not--shall we say--a particularly interesting town. I suspect that you would really enjoy a stay in Morelia with visits to your friends in Maravatío. You'll find some English-speaking people in Morelia, and of course Morelia is a gloriously beautiful, highly cultured small city with lots and lots to offer. Just my opinion...

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Reefhound


May 3, 2011, 9:32 AM

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Re: [Papirex] Central Highlands trip

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Thanks for the clarification. I was going to mention just "Mejico" but thought that might be a little too confusing at this point. That is what you'll see on the road signs. Although my Mexican family members DO often call it D.F. (Maybe they are doing it for my benefit?)


Papirex


May 3, 2011, 9:51 AM

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Re: [LuvDux] Central Highlands trip

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Drinking untreated water from a tap is sometimes safe, but it is always risky. Municipal water supplies generally receive zero purification treatment. Some homes, not many, do have water purification systems in them. Some ads for homes claim they will have potable water. They really mean that they have running water, not necessarily safe to drink, if there is no water purification system installed and maintained in the home.


If you don't have a domestic water treatment system in your home, most people buy 19 or 20 liter (approximately 5 US gallons) plastic bottles (garafons) of supposedly purified water for use in their homes, they weigh approximately 40 pounds (18 kilos) each. As an extra safeguard, I also treat them with silver colloids to assure the purification of our water. There are several brands available in most supermarkets, Sam's and Costco here. I use the Microdyne brand in 500 ML bottles, one 500 ML bottle lasts us about 6 or 8 months. One cap full per garafon does the trick, it is tasteless. We also keep a pitcher of purified water in every bathroom to use when brushing our teeth.


Many restaurants will place bottles of purified water on every table. Open and use it, and it will be on your bill, you must usually pay for it if you use it, so take it with you if you open it.


As a visitor, you will probably be safer to always buy bottled water to drink here. If you take any trips, bring a bottle of water with you.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


robt65

May 16, 2011, 6:19 AM

Post #20 of 51 (16744 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Central Highlands trip

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Hi Esperanza,

I am curious as to why you feel Morelia is a "gloriously beautiful, highly cultured small city" ?

robt65


esperanza

May 16, 2011, 7:07 AM

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Re: [robt65] Central Highlands trip

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Robert, in spite of its population (about one million in the metropolitan area), the physical city is tiny. Compared to the sprawl of metropolitan Guadalajara and the vastness of Mexico City--just the physical areas of those two cities, not the populations--Morelia is indeed tiny.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Guanajuato Gringa

Jul 6, 2011, 11:04 AM

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Re: [rockydog85251] Central Highlands trip

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By bus should be quite safe. Pick a good line, buy your ticket over the Internet. The bus carries a manifest and photographs all passengers. You pass through security similar to getting on an airplane. They really take security quite seriously.
Keep in mind where you are when you get off said bus. That is a whole different ball game. The US State Department recommends NO TRAVEL BY LAND in Michoacan. Perhaps it is up for debate as to whether that should include bus travel.
I live in Guanajuato, I have been here for 3 years. My step father is a Mexican. I know what I am talking about. Most Mexican people would not travel to Michoacan for any reason, ever.
It is also worth mentioning that Celaya is quite a dangerous place as well. Last summer they had what amounted to a war between the cops and the narcos. Complete with bombings and beheadings. Careful...
So, keep that in mind. I hope you have a nice trip.


Guanajuato Gringa

Jul 6, 2011, 3:00 PM

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Re: [esperanza] Central Highlands trip

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Don't drink the water was true 30 years ago. I nearly died from dysentery in Quinatana Roo as a child. But those days are over. I have lived in a little tiny town in Guanajuato for 3 years. I drink the water, bathe in it and feed it to my animals. Every day. I have never been sick, not once.
Continuing to spread that nonsense about dangerous water in Mexico helps no one but the bottled water mafia. Many many people suspect that those garafons are filled with nothing different than the municipal tap water that is piped into any home.
Worry more about how dangerous Michoacan is for Americans. Read the State Department website. According to them the water is the least of your problems.
I would not go there. Not for all the tea in China. There are a lot of trolls on sites like this that will come down hard on a post like mine. That is very easy for someone living in Oklahoma City to do. Talk to the people who really live here. Or better yet, ask a Mexican.
Michoacan is best avoided, period...


chinagringo


Jul 6, 2011, 3:42 PM

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Re: [Guanajuato Gringa] Central Highlands trip

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I am curious enough to ask: how much experience have you had in Michoacan? Or are you just reacting to hearsay and believing everything that you hear?
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Guanajuato Gringa

Jul 6, 2011, 4:24 PM

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Re: [chinagringo] Central Highlands trip

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I do not know why I feel compelled to tell you this because responding to you only encourages you. Until last October my business was buying American blue jeans by the ton for sale up here. The clothing market I bought in was in Celaya. I saw the blown up cop shops. The signs, the directing of traffic around the city and not allowing you to exit unless and until the army searched your vehicle.
So to answer your question, no. I am not reacting to hearsay. I have seen it with my own eyes and I do not categorize news from reliable sources as hearsay. Do you?


chinagringo


Jul 6, 2011, 4:40 PM

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Excuse me but I never made comment about lawyers or anything close.

I happen to feel that I am relatively well informed of the current events in Michoacan and also the cautious sort. That said, I am currently in the planning stages of making another trip to Michoacan and would not be doing so if I didn't feel fairly comfortable with their current state of affairs.

The same could be said of the State of Guanajuato and my same due diligence currently indicates that it is realistic to pay a visit immediately following our visit to Michoacan. Then again, the trip is a little over a month away and situations may change.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Guanajuato Gringa

Jul 6, 2011, 5:02 PM

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Re: [chinagringo] Central Highlands trip

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My bad, I had you confused with someone who left a rude answer to my question in another thread. That said, you were rude here. I do not understand what you naysayers, who do not live here, get out of attacking anyone who says anything regarding how dangerous the country really is. Especially to unsuspecting Americans who expect the cops to help and the ambulance to come when they call.
That said, if you feel you are informed enough to risk a trip to Michoacan, then go for it. This country is a dangerous place. Denying what goes on here and trying to cover it up or write it off as alarmist hearsay is very misguided. I can not imagine why you would sugar coat the truth about this country. Especially when so many unsuspecting Americans get murdered here because they were uninformed and drove into an area/situation they would have been better advised to stay away from.
You know more about Mexico and Michoacan than the State Department, more than people who live here? I hope you have a good time in Michoacan...
Based on your research? Your research that you did on the Net? How on earth would you know if it is hearsay?
Cuidate


esperanza

Jul 6, 2011, 5:09 PM

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OK, GG, take me on. I lived in Michoacán, specifically in Morelia, from 2007 until 2011. Because of MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE of danger--and you can easily do a search on this website to see what all I have posted during that time period--I moved from Morelia to the DF in February 2011.

I frequently go back and forth to Michoacán. Your characterization of that state is harsh and unfounded, although certainly there has been enough trouble there to warrant my leaving.

You don't live there any more than chinagringo does. You're not any more absolutely right than he is, and IMHO his posts are misguided a good deal of the time.

Furthermore, as a newcomer to this web board, you need to bring it down a thousand and pay a bit more attention to what other people are saying before you jump on any of us with both feet.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









RickS


Jul 6, 2011, 7:37 PM

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"Especially when so many unsuspecting Americans get murdered here because they were uninformed and drove into an area/situation they would have been better advised to stay away from."

I am a frequent visitor to Mexico and like to travel around. With this in mind, I am (these days) always looking for verifiable information that some or any of the current violence is actually directed towards or somehow includes a particular group. The group I am most interested in non-Mexican visitors or expats.

With rare exception I have not seen any data that suggests that there are non-Mexicans who have been targeted or otherwise involved in the current violence. One such rare case was the older Christian couple who lived in the state of Tamaulipas and the wife was killed as she and her husband tried to burst through a roadblock and then outrun some (Zetas?).

So it is therefore with interest that I read that you are saying 'so many unsuspecting Americans get murdered'.....
Could or would you expound on this and maybe put some specifics behind your statement?


Guanajuato Gringa

Jul 6, 2011, 7:55 PM

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Re: [RickS] Central Highlands trip

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Just Google "Americans murdered in Mexico" and you will get an eyeful. This is a dangerous country and if you think it is not you are deluding yourself. And you do a disservice to other readers who might not take admonitions like this seriously.
Google it. Read the State Department warnings. Red letter warnings. It is very serious. These are dangerous times due to the floundering economy. Desperate people do desperate things.
Read about the American man kidnapped in San Miguel. I was personally extorted over a car accident that never happened and the extortionist was actively assisted by the Ministerio Publico. In some cities, besides the obvious places like Juarez, Americans get caught in the crossfire. 2 US immigration workers were recently murdered on highway 57 south of San Luis Potosi.
Also I advise people to not labor under the delusion that all Mexicans like Americans. It has been my experience that how they really feel is nothing more than thinly veiled contempt. I won't go into the minutia of why it is I feel that way other than to say I have lived here for 3 years.
I do not understand what the motive for squaring off with people who post important information about what to expect in Mexico. Good or bad. The truth is the truth.
Mexico is best considered a generally dangerous place. Perhaps not to the extent that no one should come to Mexico. That is ridiculous. BUT, when traveling to the interior, especially by road, watch your ass. And don't go to Michoacan. You are asking for trouble. It is THAT bad.


RickS


Jul 6, 2011, 9:23 PM

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As you suggested I Google'd Americans Murdred in Mexico.

1)Fox News - Two Americans killed at Mexico Border Crossing; April, 2011. The victims were identified as 25-year-old Sergio Salcido Luna and 28-year-old Kevin Joel Romero. Dual citizenship. Luna was a mixed martial arts fighter and friends say he was training for a fight in June. "He was a cage fighter who went by the name Sergio 'Suave' Salcido. He's a really tough fighter, old school type fighter, old school brawler, hard nose, real tough guy"... Mexican police say a small amount of drugs were found on one victim. "While shootings like this are rare, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents who spoke with Fox News on the condition of anonymity doubt this was a random shooting or a case of mistaken identity.

2) CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico Nov. 2010— A U.S. university student, Eder Diaz and his companion Manuel Acosta from Chihuahua were shot to death at 2:30 a.m., becoming the fifth American slain in this violent border city in six days, Mexican and U.S. authorities said Wednesday. Both, were students in El Paso. Also Luis Carlos Araiza, 15, a student at Bowie High School in El Paso, and Joanna Herrera, 27, were fatally shot while traveling in a BMW sport utility vehicle near the Zaragoza international bridge Saturday. Mexican officials said they had criminal records but would not elaborate. Edgar Lopez, 35, was shot and killed Saturday on the patio of a residence in Ciudad Juarez, while on Friday, Lorena Izaguirre, 24, was killed at a tortilla shop. Ciudad Juarez has become one of the world's deadliest cities amid a turf war between the Sinaloa and Juarez drug cartels. More than 2,000 people have been killed this year in the city. The largest previous single-city death toll for Americans was on May 9, 2009, when three U.S. citizens were slain in Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, California.

3) Officials: 92 Americans killed by homicide in Mexico in last year. Nov. 2010 On the same day Tiffany Young-Hartley claims to have watched her husband die after being shot by Mexican attackers on a border lake, another man was shot on a bus near Matamoros. According to the U.S. Department of State, 92 Americans have been reported as victims of homicide in Mexico from June 2009 to June 2010. (Only thing is that the Dept. of State hasn't posted the reasons for these deaths and some are known to be the results of a drug deal gone bad).

Yes, there were a lot of 'hits' when this is Google'd. Most are repeats of the same story, go back several years and most every story I come up with is related to some border town (yes, Juarez is/was a killing zone) and all seem to be associated with a person or persons of Mexican descent. Some appear they could be that someone was maybe in the wrong place at the wrong time and others look suspiciously like they could be drug related.

But anyway, I'll go back to my original thought. You made a pretty definitive remark about unsuspecting Americans being murdered at will, and are seemingly pretty sure that Michoacan is another killing field. My travels there have not borne that out. I have no fight with you but I want to try and discern whether you have information that is valuable to me (and other Americans looking to travel in Mexico) or whether, like those who might want to paint a rosy picture, your information is of any real value when examined under a bright light. So far, I am leaning towards not relying on your information as being valuable for me. Your being 'extorted over a car accident that never happened' is admittedly an unfortunate situation but hardly is in the same league with murder.

P.S. You wondered what 'the motive for squaring off with people who post important information about what to expect in Mexico' was all about. You said the 'truth is truth'. Well, as much as you have a right to post your feelings and call them 'truths', others have a right to ask and question the validity of your truth.


(This post was edited by RickS on Jul 6, 2011, 9:27 PM)


La Isla


Jul 6, 2011, 9:45 PM

Post #32 of 51 (8426 views)

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Quote
Also I advise people to not labor under the delusion that all Mexicans like Americans. It has been my experience that how they really feel is nothing more than thinly veiled contempt. I won't go into the minutia of why it is I feel that way other than to say I have lived here for 3 years.


I've never lived in a country, including Mexico, where I assumed that the locals would like (or dislike me) because I'm an American. I have found that many of the people that I've met here, mostly in Mexico City where I now live, have taken a shine to me because of my sparkling personality, good command of Spanish and genuine joy at finding myself living here :). Those who haven´t, well, that's their loss, isn´t it? Though I can´t claim to win the heart of all the Mexicans I've met, I have never felt the thinly-disguised contempt you mention. Maybe chilangos are more accepting of Americans than are the people who live in your town. By the way, I've lived here for 4 years.


jrpierce


Jul 6, 2011, 9:51 PM

Post #33 of 51 (8425 views)

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Gringa, my wife and I have lived in Morelia, Michoacán full time for more than three years. Because I'm involved with expat organizations here, I'm acquainted with a goodly percentage of the expats here in Morelia as well as many in Pátzcuaro. I know of no expats here in Morelia nor any in Pátzcuaro who have been killed by narcos. We along with many of our friends encourage our families to visit here and reassure them that it is safe.

You state that no Mexicans go to Michoacán. That is frankly absurd, since Morelia is a popular vacation area for Mexicans. Indeed, a recent government report says that more than 90% of tourists here are Mexican.

The US State Department official report says that 111 American citizens were killed in ALL of Mexico during 2010, of 8 MILLION visits by Americans to Mexico, and with an estimated 1 MILLION US citizens living full time in Mexico. That makes the chances for an American citizen to be killed in Mexico extremely low.

Beside your own opinion, perhaps you could provide some documentation for your allegations about the horrible danger for US citizens in Michoacán, because I'm certainly unaware of it. If you Google "Americans murdered in Mexico," you find the same stories about the same incidents repeated over and over--that isn't proof of anything.

Jim


chinagringo


Jul 7, 2011, 7:58 AM

Post #34 of 51 (8387 views)

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It appears to me that you are painting ALL of Michoacan with a very broad brush. It would be like saying don't visit the Hamptons because of all the crime in New York City or don't visit Aspen, CO because there is too much crime in some area of Denver. You mention one small town where your cop boyfriend formerly lived and mentioning Celaya is interesting since it is in the State of Guanajuato.

Now if you had used Apatzingan, Lazaro Cardenas or one of the other accepted "hot spots" as examples of places to avoid, there might be some credibility to your warnings!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



jerezano

Jul 7, 2011, 7:59 AM

Post #35 of 51 (8387 views)

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Hello all,

In an earlier post Guanajuato Gringa says:>>>Also I advise people to not labor under the delusion that all Mexicans like Americans. It has been my experience that how they really feel is nothing more than thinly veiled contempt.<<<<

What a cynical and incorrect observation. Perhaps this really applies to her and her only. My own reaction after 22 years here in a small town in Zacatecas which at one time had a population of about 40 gringos but is now down to less than 10 is exactly the opposite. The Mexican people here with only one exception in those 22 years seem to welcome me. I have never been shown any "veiled contempt" but on the contrary amused tolerance of my many mistakes, both in language and in customs. Corrections have always been polite and gracious.

I have been told the same by my gringo friends. I have been told the same by gringos married into Mexican families.

By the way the one exception I have encountered was from an inebriated teacher and the "veiled contempt" was not veiled at all. It was real, and well expressed but was immediately put down with sharp corrections, not by me, but by a group of Mexicans whom the inebriated teacher had just joined.

To me, the Mexican people, in general have been warm, welcoming, charming, and no matter whether rich or poor always hospitable.

Guanajuato Gringa, you have my sympathy and my only question is "Why live in a place where you do not feel welcome?

Hasta luego, jerezano


jrpierce


Jul 7, 2011, 8:11 AM

Post #36 of 51 (8378 views)

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Nicely said, and I couldn't agree more. Speaking of the kindness of Mexicans, a friend of mine who has been here for 10 years says, "I'm a better person for having lived in Mexico."

Jim


Guanajuato Gringa

Jul 7, 2011, 8:13 AM

Post #37 of 51 (8377 views)

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I feel quite welcome and have many friends. I have heard too many pinche gringo comments to count. That the Americans built a society but forgot to include a culture. That we stole their land. That America is only good for making money. On and on and on.
Mexican people are warm hearted for the most part. Perhaps what I should have said is that Mexicans, like most of the rest of the world these days, are not big fans of the gringo anymore.
I am old enough to remember a time when the entire world thought Americans and anything American were the coolest. Those days are over. The Americans have worn out their welcome all over the world. Not just in Mexico.
My mother was born and raised in Germany. My step-father is a Mexican. My biological father was a pilot and he took us all over the world. I remember the glory days of America, and they are over...
Just a clarification, not a retraction....


Guanajuato Gringa

Jul 7, 2011, 8:41 AM

Post #38 of 51 (8366 views)

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I am not speaking solely to murder rates. Cite crime, in general. Crime against Americans or anyone else. You failed to mention or at least acknowledge the State Department warning regarding travel by road in that state.

I am 44 years old. An adult. When my step-father heard that I had traveled to Michoacan, by road of course, he had a fit. Cop boyfriend or no cop boyfriend. He damn near forbid me to ever do it again.

Read about Americans arrested in Michoacan. Americans languishing in jails all over the country. Often not even knowing why they are there because charging laws are not followed.

I personally was robbed at gunpoint about 2 years ago. My parents and Padrinos were the victims of a viscous home invasion robbery. The grandson of my Padrino was kidnapped for ransom and held for a month. My little brothers girlfriends grandfather was also kidnapped for ransom and held for 9 months.

All of those incidents were within the past 3 years. 2 kidnappings, a strong arm robbery and a home invasion. All came very close to home. And I am nobody. We are not important people and not necessarily rich. And regardless of how much money anyone has we do not flaunt it and even if we did we should not be the victims of violent crime. Not in the States, in Mexico or on Mars. But it is worth pointing out that until we came here, none of us had ever been crime victims.

I think my main objective is to alert prospective travelers or ex-pats to the idea that you are NOT in Kansas anymore. America ends at the border. A garden variety American would expect an ambulance to come when they call it. It may not here. Expects the police to help, not harm. Not all Mexican cops are dirty, but a good percentage of them are.

There are dangers that should be publicized. An American, out of his element, unable to speak the language and unfamiliar with the rules is likely ill-equipped to deal with problems like that and you know it.

Seriously, stop seizing on dramatic citations such as the murder rate. Talk about crime in general, the likelihood of inefficient or non-functioning government services. And mention that kidnap for ransom, including the hot new virtual kidnapping, is becoming the national sport. It is so bad that during the last elections many people were crying for the death penalty to be resurrected in this country. Just for the kidnappers.

Right now, in my cute little town, the cops are holding 5 people and 2 Federales for kidnapping and a laundry list of other charges. That Federales were involved is very very sad and a severe blow to the government who claims to be cleaning up the police forces. I wish it were not the case, but it is.

Warning people of potential dangers anywhere on earth is warranted. To sugar coat the truth is irresponsible. Perhaps if more people talked about what really goes on down here we could work toward making things better. Denying and writing someone off as an alarmist with a bad attitude helps no one. Neither does citing only self serving crime records meant to negate my observations. Plus, if you live here, you know that the deserts south of the border are replete with hapless dead Americans that no one is looking for. And you know that statistic reporting in this country is woefully inaccurate. Accurate publication of true crime statistics would be tourism suicide by a government already struggling to keep the Americans coming to their resort towns. You know it, I know it. So why on earth is talking about reality a bad thing.

You have interpreted my thoughts incorrectly. My comments are not an indictment of Mexico or Mexicans, rather, they are a realistic warning of one simple rule to remember when visiting this country. You are NOT in Kansas anymore...


jrpierce


Jul 7, 2011, 9:13 AM

Post #39 of 51 (8358 views)

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Where to begin?

1) I regard the State Department warning about Michoacán as silly--certainly overbroad--and have expressed that opinion to US Embassy staff. Privately, some have told me they agree. Lots of things go into those warnings, and the decision about where warnings will be issued is apparently made in the US--not by local consular officials.

2) Please tell me about Americans arrested in Michoacán. I know of none, except for a person picked up by the Mexican police cooperating with the US police where there was an arrest warrant for the person. The expat community in this area would go crazy on several local message boards if expats were arrested--it hasn't happened.

3) I regret the crime you have experienced where you live. Perhaps you should consider moving to Morelia. A few expats here have experienced pick pocketing, one I know was held up by drunk kids at knife-point, several have had home break-ins. In short, the same sort of stuff you'd find many places in the world. In the US it often occurs to get money for drugs--here, it often occurs to get money to survive. Unfortunate, but a bit more understandable.

4) You say that sugar coating the truth is irresponsible. It is also irresponsible to exaggerate problems. When Americans in Mexico speak about how dangerous it is, they severely hurt tourism in Mexico. That hurts Mexico's economy, and it hurts ordinary Mexicans trying to make a living. Sure, let's talk about dangers that are real, but let's not make things up and let's not obsess about it. There's a lot to discuss about Mexico besides that.

5) You say "if you live here, you know that the deserts south of the border are replete with hapless dead Americans that no one is looking for." What are you talking about? Have you got a scintilla of proof supporting that statement? I do live here, and I don't know that. I know Mexicans involved in many aspects of life here and they don't know that.

In the future, how about limiting such discussions to things proven to be true?

Jim


Guanajuato Gringa

Jul 7, 2011, 9:25 AM

Post #40 of 51 (8352 views)

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This is getting boring and you are wearing me out.
I never cited numbers of Americans arrested specifically in Michoacan. Rather I referred to the entire country. There are an estimated 10K Americans in jail in this country on any given day. Most all of them yet to be indicted. There are charities that make it their sole purpose to account for and keep track of these people because the Mexican judicial system is a chaotic disaster.
My step-father is a 70 year old Mexican man. He knows what he is talking about and if he thinks Michoacan is dangerous, I am inclined to believe him. Not to mention everything freely available to read on the Net. Go to YouTube and search for videos about traveling by land in many parts of this country, and specifically in Michoacan.
Your take on the State Department warnings is arrogant.
I am the one who first mentioned the obvious peril of tourism suicide. Please do not repackage my comments and throw them back at me.
Google statistics on how many people are dead in the desert. Read about the mass grave uncovered just last week. The one with Americans in it.
I am glad you enjoy your life in Morelia. I don't begrudge anyone a good time. I hope you are never victimized. That said, the fact that none of us were ever crime victims in the States is worth pointing out.
Stealing, sticking a gun in someones face, pick-pocketing, for whatever reason is NOT OK.
I do not have to submit to a vetting of my thoughts by you. I would never overtly and rudely challenge your observations. Never....


Guanajuato Gringa

Jul 7, 2011, 9:43 AM

Post #41 of 51 (8350 views)

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In Reply To
Nicely said, and I couldn't agree more. Speaking of the kindness of Mexicans, a friend of mine who has been here for 10 years says, "I'm a better person for having lived in Mexico."

Jim
I think anyone would be a better person for having lived here. If only for the purpose of educating people about how good they have it in the States.
A clearer picture that life in America, Western Europe, Australia, Canada or Japan is not how most of the rest of the world lives.
Absolutely...
You are mistaking my observations of crime and perils in this country for not liking the people or the country. That is simply not the case.
Knock it off, please. It is insulting and rude.
I work endlessly and tirelessly to improve the circumstance of the people in my town. I am NOT Mother Theresa, I am not changing the world. But, I do believe that people here benefit from my preaching and practicing of birth control, family planning and disease control. Everyone in town knows that la gringa always has a pocket full of condoms. Free for the asking. And they me for them. So, I must be doing something right. Perhaps my work is finally paying off.
Little by little, step by step. It is my tireless mission. And I treat people who can not pay, provide free IUD's and condoms for the asking. I also neuter cats.
I work every day to help people, in spite of all of the crime I have been subjected to. So, please do not insinuate that I am a rude alarmist that doesn't like Mexicans. It is insulting. Nothing could be further from the truth...
These are observations of real life, not merely my opinion.
I care about my neighbors and I try to help anyone I am able. And I do it with a good dose of being realistic about the dangers in this country.



La Isla


Jul 7, 2011, 10:01 AM

Post #42 of 51 (8339 views)

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Quote
That said, the fact that none of us were ever crime victims in the States is worth pointing out.


How can you make a statement like that, GG? For example, while living in Philadelphia in the 1980s, I was mugged three times, nothing too serious though after one incident, I ended up in the emergency room of a hospital with a black eye and broken tooth and filed a police report on the two young men who had assaulted me.


jrpierce


Jul 7, 2011, 10:18 AM

Post #43 of 51 (8336 views)

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<<Sjgh>> I give up. I'm outa this thread.


La Isla


Jul 7, 2011, 10:22 AM

Post #44 of 51 (8332 views)

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In Reply To
I feel quite welcome and have many friends. I have heard too many pinche gringo comments to count. That the Americans built a society but forgot to include a culture. That we stole their land. That America is only good for making money. On and on and on.
Mexican people are warm hearted for the most part. Perhaps what I should have said is that Mexicans, like most of the rest of the world these days, are not big fans of the gringo anymore.
I am old enough to remember a time when the entire world thought Americans and anything American were the coolest. Those days are over. The Americans have worn out their welcome all over the world. Not just in Mexico.
My mother was born and raised in Germany. My step-father is a Mexican. My biological father was a pilot and he took us all over the world. I remember the glory days of America, and they are over...
Just a clarification, not a retraction....


It's great that you feel welcome in Mexico and have many friends here. But you must admit that when you make a comment that Mexicans look at Americans with "thinly-veiled contempt", that gives the impression that you are not entirely pleased to be living in Mexico. Maybe I've been lucky but I've never had the "pinche gringo" comment made directly to me, though I´m sure that if I were a young American guy hanging out in a bar, perhaps with my Mexican girlfriend at my side, comments like that might be made to me by a young Mexican stud. The comments you mention that go along with "pinche gringo" are partly true (review the history of the so-called Mexican American War) and partly ignorant stereotypes usually expressed by ignorant people. I guess I'm fortunate not to have friends and acquaintances like that.

I am pleased that your statement "the entire world thought Americans and anything American were the coolest" is no longer true. Uninformed adulation of any nationality has never sat well with me. However, just because Mexicans no longer put us on a pedestal, doesn't have to mean that they want to spit on us either.

My comments have been written in a spirit of lively discussion, not as an attempt to deny the validity of your observations and experiences. I'm just posing a counter-argument to your comments.


Guanajuato Gringa

Jul 7, 2011, 10:50 AM

Post #45 of 51 (8326 views)

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In Reply To

Quote
That said, the fact that none of us were ever crime victims in the States is worth pointing out.


How can you make a statement like that, GG? For example, while living in Philadelphia in the 1980s, I was mugged three times, nothing too serious though after one incident, I ended up in the emergency room of a hospital with a black eye and broken tooth and filed a police report on the two young men who had assaulted me.

How can I say that? Because it is true. How's that?



Guanajuato Gringa

Jul 7, 2011, 10:57 AM

Post #46 of 51 (8324 views)

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In Reply To
<<Sjgh>> I give up. I'm outa this thread.
Really? Good...
Uppity know it all trolls bent on a fight defeat the purpose of sites like this. They also make it so that people are afraid to speak up or ask a question because they don't want to deal with the seemingly requisite lambasting...
Because there is always someone lurking, just waiting to challenge a thought or critique a question. To "assert" themselves as it were. Concealed by the anonymity of the Net...



La Isla


Jul 7, 2011, 11:09 AM

Post #47 of 51 (8317 views)

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In Reply To

In Reply To

Quote
That said, the fact that none of us were ever crime victims in the States is worth pointing out.


How can you make a statement like that, GG? For example, while living in Philadelphia in the 1980s, I was mugged three times, nothing too serious though after one incident, I ended up in the emergency room of a hospital with a black eye and broken tooth and filed a police report on the two young men who had assaulted me.

How can I say that? Because it is true. How's that?



I´m confused. You write that none of us were ever the victim of a crime in the US. I write of my own experiences as the victim of three crimes in the States, and you ignore what I wrote. Or perhaps you don´t know what country Philadelphia is located in.


bournemouth

Jul 7, 2011, 11:53 AM

Post #48 of 51 (8305 views)

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I think the only troll in this thread is the OP.


ken_in_dfw

Jul 7, 2011, 11:55 AM

Post #49 of 51 (8303 views)

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Beat me to it, bournemouth. Talk about being "bent on a fight." Sheesh.


La Isla


Jul 7, 2011, 12:08 PM

Post #50 of 51 (8299 views)

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And me. Obviously the OP has not had any encounters with real internet trolls:)!


Rolly


Jul 7, 2011, 12:15 PM

Post #51 of 51 (2346 views)

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Looks like the time has come to move on to other things.
This horse is pretty well beaten to death.

Rolly Pirate
 
 
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