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dudleyk725

Mar 25, 2007, 1:11 AM

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Help I'm overwhelmed.......

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Help I’m getting overwhelmed…. I’m trying to move to Mexico and I just don’t know where to start. I have applied for my passport. When I get my passport then I will plan a trip to Cancun/Cozumel to try to find a place to live.
So my questions are 1) What to look out for in finding a place to live (rent). 2) I was going to drive my car down with a small trailer with my stuff. I have heard that this could be dangerous. 3) I have a cat and dog to move too.
I would really like some help with this.
Signed
‘Overwhelmed’

Dudley



Ron Pickering W3FJW


Mar 25, 2007, 1:47 AM

Post #2 of 33 (3753 views)

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Re: [dudleyk725] Help I'm overwhelmed.......

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Virtually all of the information you need to know will be on rollys website. Best to start there and then ask questions here on the forum. It would be nice to know your timeframe for your move.

Look at the living and moving to Mexico link.

http://www.rollybrook.com
Getting older and still not down here.

(This post was edited by Ron Pickering W3FJW on Mar 25, 2007, 1:51 AM)


dudleyk725

Mar 25, 2007, 2:12 AM

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My timeframe is the first of Sept. So about 6 months.
Dudley


cdubee

Mar 25, 2007, 8:58 AM

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Re: [dudleyk725] Help I'm overwhelmed.......

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I have been reading the threads for several months and the following seems to be the general consensus, or at least my distillation of it.
It is best to do the move in stages. 1. Find some way to have your cat, dog and possessions watched over while you spend some time in the area you have picked. 2. While there, talk to other ex-pats who live in the area and find out which neighborhoods are preferred, which aren't, and why. 3. Ask the people you meet for good sources for finding local rentals: (realtors, bulletin boards, etc.) and also walk through the neighborhoods looking for signs. 4. Rent your new home. 5.Then go back and deal with the move. 6. Consider selling most of your belongings and buying new ones in Mexico. Moving a lot of furniture, etc. is costly and difficult. 7. If possible leave the animals with a friend until you are settled.


dudleyk725

Mar 25, 2007, 10:20 AM

Post #5 of 33 (3669 views)

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Re: [cdubee] Help I'm overwhelmed.......

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Thanks for you advice. I will take all I can get right now. I plan on sell most of my stuff, I only plan to bring my computer, a couple of TV's and some of my kitchen stuff. I was planing to just pull an small trailer behind my car. I really don't know if is safe to drive to Mexico.
Dudley

(This post was edited by dudleyk725 on Mar 25, 2007, 10:21 AM)


Ed and Fran

Mar 25, 2007, 10:27 AM

Post #6 of 33 (3664 views)

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Re: [dudleyk725] Help I'm overwhelmed.......

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Yes, it's perfectly safe to drive down here. The only issue with the trailer is to be sure that you can secure it.

I'm surprised that you're planning on moving somwhere where you don't think it's safe to drive. Just seems odd.

Regards

Ed


cdubee

Mar 25, 2007, 10:30 AM

Post #7 of 33 (3664 views)

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Re: [dudleyk725] Help I'm overwhelmed.......

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Why don't you tell us your story? (Or, as much as you are comfortable telling.) The questions that occur to me, for example, are: Where do you live now? Why are you moving? Why did you choose Mexico? What are you looking for in Mexico? Why are you choosing the far southern part of Mexico? What experiences, if any, have you had in Mexico? Do you know anyone in Mexico? Do you speak Spanish?
I think if people knew a little more about you they might be able to give you more specific help.


dudleyk725

Mar 25, 2007, 11:01 AM

Post #8 of 33 (3652 views)

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Re: [cdubee] Help I'm overwhelmed.......

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OK here is my story….First to answer Ed’s question I have just heard that it’s not safe to drive down there, that’s why I was asking. Second I just recently was put on disability, so I now have a very limited income. I know (or I thank) that it is a lot cheaper to live in Mexico. I live in Dallas Texas now, I have been to Mexico once and fell In love with the place. I looking for a nice place to retire and have some no stress peace and quite. I’m very much a beach person, and my sister is a Diver, so I would like to have a place that she could come down to on the weekends and dive. I don’t know Spanish so I thank that I should try to be a little closer to a tourist town for right now. If this does not help you to know a little more about me, then E-Mail me at Dudleyk725@Mexconnect.com and ask more quiestions.
Dudley


Georgia


Mar 25, 2007, 11:56 AM

Post #9 of 33 (3634 views)

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Re: [dudleyk725] Help I'm overwhelmed.......

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Well, it's no more dangerous to drive here than in Dallas. Actually, on reflection, I think it's a little safer here driving .... especially on the toll roads. No congestion. No traffic. Good roads. Green Angels who come to your aid (gratis, except for parts) if you break down, etc. etc.

If your income is limited, I think you might find the Cancun area expensive. I don't live there, and there is a forum that covers that area, but that is my impression. I know a number of people who find Melaque on the Pacific coast to be affordable, and a good place to get by for those who don't speak Spanish.


sfmacaws


Mar 25, 2007, 12:37 PM

Post #10 of 33 (3625 views)

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It is very expensive to live over on the Caribbean coast. I have a condo in Akumal and spend winters there and I find the prices to be similar to those in Los Angeles or New York. There are some things that are cheaper but there are also others that cost more, like electricity. If you are thinking of living on the island of Cozumel, you will need even more money. The city of Cancun can be cheaper as it is a regular Mexican city but it is not on the ocean and it is still more expensive than other cities in Mexico. I really don't think that you can live over here much cheaper than in Dallas, it could cost more.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




cdubee

Mar 25, 2007, 1:37 PM

Post #11 of 33 (3607 views)

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The Pacific Ocean isn't as clear as the Carribean, but Puerto Escondido is close to Oaxaca and has some diving and a dive shop. I think your money would go much further in the Oaxaca area than on the Carribean Coast. It is, however, a very long drive from the US border. Have you considered La Paz on the Baja penninsula? The Gulf of California has very interesting diving. Not so much for coral or reef fish as giant palagic fish, hammer-head sharks and whales. The advantage of living in La Paz is that you can return to San Diego relatively quickly.


Bubba

Mar 25, 2007, 2:23 PM

Post #12 of 33 (3594 views)

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Re: [dudleyk725] Help I'm overwhelmed.......

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I have just heard that it’s not safe to drive down there, that’s why I was asking.

Well, Dudley:

The main toll roads through Mexico to the Cancun area should not present a problem but:

Whether it is safe to drive down here or not with or without a loaded trailer is according to where you drive. Normal driving on major toll roads and most well-improved and heavily traveled secondary roads is probably a safe proposition but there are definitely some roads you should be cautious about traversing alone or even with others. For instance, if you are looking for Caribbean waters and decide to drive from Villahermosa to Chetumal in Southern Quintana Roo on Highway 186, you will be on a very dangerous road indeed in terms of criminal activity. Many isolated roads in many parts of Mexico can be dangerous to the local - much less foreign traveler, especially if that traveler is alone. Many newcomers naively travel Mexican back roads or major highways through isolated territories without realizing the dangers. This includes a portion of a large area along the Pacific Coast from Michoacan to Oaxaca State.

We´ve lived here six years and just a couple of months ago were planning to drive a back road from Villahermosa to San Cristóbal da Las Casas right through separate flatland and mountainous regions largely under the influences of narcos and, later on, Zapatistas. We found out, before we made this mistake, that even local buses convoy through part of this territory with police escorts.

You may not hear of the violence that occurs in some areas. For instance, just a couple of days ago a federal police official was slaughtered, shot 30 times, by criminals shooting indiscriminately with AK-47s in Palenque (Chiapas) at mid-day right in front of a shopping area and this was hardly reported except locally. This was about the same time the army took over the main Villahermosa police station claiming the local police were corrupted by narcos. The last thing Mexican authorities want to talk about any more than necessary, after the Oaxaca debacle of last year, is more violence in tourist areas such as Palenque.

No need to dwell on this. You should have no problem driving down here but need to be aware of your surroundings. Once you decide on an itinerary, post that on Mexico Connect´s forums for members´ input. Members familiar with those routes should be helpful in alerting you to any problems and, if necessary, posing alternative routes.


(This post was edited by Bubba on Mar 25, 2007, 3:21 PM)


Bubba

Mar 25, 2007, 5:42 PM

Post #13 of 33 (3549 views)

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Re: [cdubee] Help I'm overwhelmed.......

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The advantage of living in La Paz is that you can return to San Diego relatively quickly.

cdubee:

That´s cute and a good example of why we all have to enjoy the give and take here with good humor.

Since, according to your profile, you, as we, are (or were) from Santa Rosa, California and yet, we would have put it a different way.

The advantage of Chiapas, and one reason we are moving there is that you cannot get to San Diego relatively quickly and, more importantly, Californians cannot get to Chiapas relatively quickly nor, thank God, do most of them want to do so.

We really don´t know what Dudley is after except for his mentioning that diving in the sea would be nice and, of course, for most the Caribbean is the best choice for that. It seems to me that anyone coming down here is best served by flying or busing down to selected areas and checking them out before setting off with all their earthly belongings in search of paradise. If coastal areas are a priority, then one can also check out the Gulf and isolated Pacific areas in the south before making a final decision. That would mean the diving would be less desirable or perhaps not even an attractive option but most of us have had to make some trade offs in where we settle.

For instance, what I really want is my home located on Jonna´s Akumal beach with its crystal waters with the climate and gardens of Lake Chapala and the beautiful desert of Baja Sur surrounded by vineyards, olive trees, a variety of citrus fruits and all of this close to spectacular Chiapas and Yucatan Mayan ruins and sophisticated Mexico City but too far for them to commute to my paradise and ruin it. If any of you know a place that meets all those criteria, let me know, in the meantime I have to settle for the Lake Chapala and Chiapas parts. Darn!


(This post was edited by Bubba on Mar 25, 2007, 5:44 PM)


Bloviator

Mar 26, 2007, 5:45 AM

Post #14 of 33 (3487 views)

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And 70 virgins - and no damn snakes recommending the quality of the apples.


(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on Mar 26, 2007, 7:48 AM)


dudleyk725

Mar 26, 2007, 9:11 AM

Post #15 of 33 (3453 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Help I'm overwhelmed.......

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Thank-You, Thank-You, Thank-You, I have been getting a lot of great advice, I have put a little more thought into the Pacific side. This whole website is just full of great information. I been looking around at the Puerto Vallarta area. It looks like I might be able to find a cheap place to rent. It also seems close to people that speak english till I get a better grasp for spanish. I thank I was more worried about having a place for my sister to come diving too then what I really wanted. I really just want a nice place live for a little peace and quiet and a beach that me and my dog can play on. I really don’t need much I’m single and I just want to have a good time. If for what ever reason the first place is not right for me then I can load up my stuff and move. This whole move should NOT be this hard. It should be a fun and exciting time for me. So that’s what I’m going to from here on out is HAVE FUN…

Dudley


Bloviator

Mar 26, 2007, 9:50 AM

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If you want hot and humid and are committed to beach cities, Manzanillo is - I think - better for diving and much less of a monster tourist trap than PV. It is also, probably a lot less expensive to live. Rent is only one aspect of living here. Food, etc. are all more expensive in PV than in most other places on the West Coast.


scubabride

Mar 26, 2007, 9:41 PM

Post #17 of 33 (3371 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Help I'm overwhelmed.......

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Ok Guys, I know I am the newbee here but I want to put in my 2cents. Yes Cozumel CAN be more expensive...but it can be done. I am moving there this fall and I have been traveling there for 10 years. Even wrote a guidebook...see www.guide2cozumel.com I have many, many friends, both Expats and Mexicans/Mayans. It depends what you NEED vs what you Want when living there. I have friends living on fairly small pensions there. There are lots of very reasonable and cheap apartments to rent, and it is still possible to find good deals on local real estate, NOT big Gringo vacation homes that many use to rent out to tourists.

Learn to shop like a local and not a tourist. Learn how and when you may need to use the AC, better yet learn to get by with ceiling and floor fans and great sea breezes. Use the same clinics, dentists, stores, restraunt etc that the locals use, and stay away from the tourist traps.

I will be on a fixed income and it ain,t great, but my budget even allows me savings for 3-4 trips back a year if I feel the need.

I do agree that since the inquirer does not really know the area, he needs to make an extended trip to make sure it is what he wants and what is available.

Patricia
OK thats all for this thread...gotta start a new one now on driving directions.


sfmacaws


Mar 26, 2007, 10:06 PM

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Of course, you are right Patricia. But this OP doesn't speak any spanish and has limited experience in Mexico. If you head to Cozumel thinking it will be a cheap place to retire you can have a very hard landing. Same for any part of the Rivera Maya, living as a gringo here can be very expensive.

It takes time to change cultures and get used to living differently, it's not likely someone from the US arriving anywhere in Mexico with no language and no cultural knowledge will know to live any way but how they have lived in the US. That's what is very expensive.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




jerezano

Mar 26, 2007, 10:26 PM

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Re: [scubabride] Help I'm overwhelmed.......

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Hello Dudley,

I hate to throw cold water on your dreams but you haven't said where your sister lives.

If she wants to come down on weekends you have a problem. Almost all beach areas in Mexico unless in Baja California or on the California Gulf such as Guaymas are so far south that your sister would have to fly. No drive down on Friday and return on Sunday night. Forgetaboudit.

And those flights will be expensive. Too expensive in my opinion to even think of a week-end unless maybe once or twice a year and I'd make it at least a week.

Mazatlán has been suggested. A good suggestion for you and your dogs and for a reasonable cost of living. I can't think of any other location in northern Mexico where you would be able to get a beach location more reasonably, but even there is a two day drive from the border. Perhaps more.

The nearest Mexican beach to the border is on the Gulf of Mexico at Matamoros south of Brownsville, Texas. Twenty years ago it was completely undeveloped. I have heard over the years of plans to start a copy Padre Island, but that would be expensive. No other good beaches until you get south of Tampico, but the Gulf weather is subject to nasty Northers in the winter all the way to Veracruz. Tuxpan on the Gulf where Ed and Fran live has an excellent beach and a reasonable cost of living. But that is two days away by car as well And I guess the nearest airport would be Veracruz.

Yes, living here in Mexico can be inexpensive, and if your disability covers the FM3 requirement of about $1000 a month you can live quite well with careful planning. That planning involves picking an inexpensive location--forget Puerto Vallarta, forget Acapulco, and probably in your case a reasonably short time like no more than two or three days to the frontier.

Good luck, and don't give up the ship, but plan a little.

Adiós. jerezano.


hopalog


Mar 26, 2007, 10:53 PM

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There is one very nice beach one drive down from Texas; La Pesca on MX180. It might be a long day, but leaving Brownsville early would get you there. There is a hotel and RV spot on the beach. Another long day gets you to the Emerald Coast which, while it has no snorkeling and probably no diving, has lovely beaches and a VERY low COL.

I'm shocked at your MX186 story, Bubba; that is the main thoroughfare for snowbirds coming to PaaMul. We recently spent 3-5 nights along that road, staying at a balneario in Villahermosa and a restaurant for a few days along MX186 to visit Calakmul.

I would second Mazatlan and third the negation of the Carribean. Simple agua purificada here will run 20-25 pesos/garrafon and you know that simply going to the planta in any other non-gringofied town will run you 7 or 8 pesos. The prices in the fruiterias, the clinicas, the supermercados, the restaurantes; they are all so much higher than anywhere we've been anywhere else in Mexico (and we've been around quite a bit).

If you're looking for a quiet place, along the sea and not to far from the US, check into Huatabampito (near Navajoa), Teacapan (just south of Mazatlan) or maybe Guayamas.

Hell's Half Acre

Flickrlicious


dudleyk725

Mar 27, 2007, 3:59 PM

Post #21 of 33 (3292 views)

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Thank-you everybody for the information. I have started a list of every one's recommendation on places to live. After the big garage sale this weekend, I will be able to focus more on a place to live. I will really be able to sink my teeth into my search.

I will try to maybe clear up a couple of things. I plan to taking a couple of trips down to Mexico to check out some places. I will be travailing at least once with a translator. My sister that makes about 6 BILLS a year can afford to fly down for the weekends (wherever I live). My sister has lived in the past in Saudi Arabia for 10 years and would go to Thailand to dive for weeks at a time.

I have also heard that if you are flexible with you travel dates and times, you can call the airlines and book a last minute flight cheap. I only plan to drive to Mexico once. That will be when I find a place that I want to live, and it time for me to leave Texas.

I really do not thank that it will take long for me to adjust. I have been in the service industry for about 30 years. I have dealt with all walks of life. I do not want anyone in any way to thank that I know it all. I really do need help from Ya’ll.

Dudley


Bubba

Mar 27, 2007, 9:33 PM

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Re: [hopalog] Help I'm overwhelmed.......

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I'm shocked at your MX186 story, Bubba; that is the main thoroughfare for snowbirds coming to PaaMul. We recently spent 3-5 nights along that road, staying at a balneario in Villahermosa and a restaurant for a few days along MX186 to visit Calakmul

Hopalog:

I was not trying to frighten anyone but the comment I made about Highway 186 came from an edition of the Miami Herald, Mexico Edition (affiliated with Mexico City´s El Universal) in news stories dated between March 16 & 18 of this year having primarily to do with events at the Tabasco Secretary of Public Safety (SSPT) in Villahermosa and revolving around two events. First, the tossing of a severed head from a passing car onto the main entrance to SSPT headquarters as a "narco" warning message and the subsequent takeover of SSPT headquarters by the army and federal police who disarmed the cops and arrested some local officials citing widespread corruption and involvement with the narcotics trade. Unfortunately I did not retain those newspapers but the news reports I read were emphasizing recent trends in Tabasco towards increased violence as movements of narcotics have shifted from other parts of Mexico to Highway 186 where drug shipments increasingly move from Quintan Roo to Veracruz state via Villahermosa. One sentence caught my eye and that was that Highway 186 toward Chetumal had become so dangerous with drug gang activity that locals who drove that highway were afraid to stop for fear of being attacked by said drug gangs.

Ordinarily, I might not have noticed this but just a few weeks before we had planned to drive near that area to get from Villahermosa to San Cristóbal de Las Casas over some back roads. We didn´t make it to those back roads that day and consider ourselves lucky as locals in Chiapas later told us driving through the area between Tabasco and Chiapas we had originally planned to drive would have been foolhardy as it was far too dangerous for various reasons.

Much of the problem relates to recent events in the drug wars and shipment movements so historically this may not have been a problem. If one needs to get from Villahermosa to Lake Bacalar or Chetumal then I think one should go ahead and drive that route. I would do so with caution, however, starting early and getting off the highway well before dark or emulate the locals and drive like hell.


sfmacaws


Mar 27, 2007, 11:01 PM

Post #23 of 33 (3216 views)

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I don't know how much to believe of all that. We drive that road twice a year, stop for days at a time along it, talk to the same people every year who live in small towns on it. I've never been warned and I think I would have been told if something effecting tourists or strangers had happened.

I don't doubt that there are drug traffickers and human traffickers along that road, I've seen the clues and been told it is true by SAT (I think that's the right initials) agents along there. It is the border don't forget, there is a lot of movement across that southern border and a lot of agencies and federal police in the area. I just am doubtful that it has much effect on strangers or tourists. They are developing much of that area for big tourist expansion. Currently they bus people to many of the ruins along there from the new cruise ship port in Majajual.

The beheadings and police takeover by the feds in Tabasco is true and big news here but that really has nothing to do with outsiders. Don't forget that Tabasco is Pemex country and nothing that threatens the cash cow will be tolerated by Mexico.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




hopalog


Mar 28, 2007, 7:19 AM

Post #24 of 33 (3198 views)

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Bubba, I don't doubt your story, I simply am confused. When we drove that route this year we noticed that cars and semi doble remolques would stop at certain pullovers for a snack or something and then head out again. This would happen with small "clown car" type cars, pickup trucks and the enormous semis. It could be that the fear and danger might be much closer to Villahermosa, but we saw NO-ONE forgoing a stop in Escareaga nor the Palenque area nor Xpuhil nor the Calakmul area.

I read about the police takeover in the state of Tabasco, but wonder along the same lines as Jonna. Most of MX186 is in the state of Campeche though and one thing that we have noticed this year that is different here in the Yucatan is that the hightened military presence that was so obvious in Veracruz and Tamulipas (sp?) is not visible here in Quintana Roo nor in Campeche state. So I'm not sure what that means. Maybe Calderon thinks increased military visibility might frighten the tourists. We definitely saw a HUGE increase in visibility all along the East Coast this year (compared to the past two years).

I'm not sure if we'll go back via MX186 or pop over to Merida, on our return, Bubba, but I'll definitely keep your warning in mind.

Hell's Half Acre

Flickrlicious


Ed and Fran

Mar 28, 2007, 7:44 AM

Post #25 of 33 (3187 views)

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We definitely saw a HUGE increase in visibility all along the East Coast this year (compared to the past two years).


Our guess on this is that it is part of Calderon's increased efforts to reduce drug trafficing. Double the number of military checkpoints between here and the northern border as compared to normal. But, as I commented earlier, very polite and professional.

Regards

E&F
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