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Linda in Morelia

Sep 16, 2008, 6:36 PM

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Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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As I write this, I hear the sound of helicopters overhead from my house 2 blocks from the main plaza in Morelia. It’s been a frequent sound all day today, a not surprising sound after explosions last night at El Grito celebration in the main plaza, resulting in a reported 8 deaths and about 100 wounded. As Jennifer Rose opined in her blog (http://staringatstrangers.typepad.com/...the-night-morel.html), Morelia lost its innocence last night. We spent several hours at El Grito celebration last night, but didn’t have the stamina to stay up late enough for the 11 pm traditional ceremony with the Governor’s talk and bell ringing. The earlier hours were wonderful – a truly family event, wonderful music, happy people dancing in the streets.

Note to Moderators: I am posting this on the Living, Working, Retiring forum instead of El Bajio forum because I feel the issue of living with violence in Mexico applies to many other areas in Mexico – both areas already a target of violence, like Lerdo, and areas that may become targets of violence in the future.

5 days ago, my husband and I signed a contract to purchase a house in Morelia. We love this city. After two years of exploring Mexico, trying out San Miguel de Allende, Ajijic and Guadalajara (for 1 to 3 months in each location), we fell in love with Morelia. We fell in love with the architecture, the size (large enough to have a fair sampling of restaurants, theaters and other cultural events, and small enough to not get lost), the challenge of having to learn Spanish (not many English-speaking expats here), and the friendliness of the people – it all felt great to us. Now I wonder about our future – will Morelia become a constant target of violence? Will we be afraid to walk the streets at night (this city is so gorgeous at night, it takes your breath away)? Will the sound of police helicopters be our constant companion?

Strangely enough, I don’t worry about being killed in an act of violence. At age 60, I can say that I’ve lived a great life. If I get killed by a narco bullet or cancer or some other unanticipated cause, I won’t feel cheated. Many have not had the blessings I’ve had in my life. I am not afraid of death. If I were 40 or had children to raise, I might feel differently. Still, I feel the odds of getting killed in Morelia are far less than when I lived in Hollywood, California for 10 years or when I lived in San Francisco for 8 years.

But it would just break my heart if the violence increased in Morelia to the point where living here was no longer the pleasure it is today. The sound of helicopters remind me of the 10 years I lived in Hollywood when we constantly heard police helicopters overhead. We never walked our neighborhood at night. I’m not up for another 10 years of that.

Today, I am cautiously optimistic. I hope and pray that the violence last night will not be a frequent occurrence in our adopted city. I’ve always been a risk taker, and if buying a house in a city that may have an uncertain future ends up being a poor financial risk, well, so be it.
Viva la México!



jennifer rose

Sep 16, 2008, 6:55 PM

Post #2 of 30 (6949 views)

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Re: [Jim and Linda] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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That's the right attitude, Jim and Linda. We're going to get through this. And we're going to all emerge stronger and more determined than before.

I've heard from a few tourists that they've planned to cancel visits they'd planned to make to Morelia next month. I told them to not to change their plans. If they do, the narcoterrorists win. It's still safer here by a long shot (whew, bad one!) than it is in the U.S. We just need to become a little more Israeli than we have in the past. If anything, during the coming months, Morelia will likely be among the safest places in Mexico.

What happened last night was deplorable.

We will take back and preserve our city! (Don't ask me how, but we're going to win this war.)


tashby


Sep 16, 2008, 9:28 PM

Post #3 of 30 (6914 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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I'm still trying to sort this out in my head. We were on the lucky side of the Cathedral when it happened...

I have a lot of thoughts, but don't feel articulate, just sick for the people who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's awful.

Full sympathies to anyone who is connected to/suffering from this.


(This post was edited by tashby on Sep 16, 2008, 9:32 PM)


ncferret

Sep 18, 2008, 6:09 AM

Post #4 of 30 (6799 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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"It's still safer here by a long shot (whew, bad one!) than it is in the U.S."

Jennifer, I'm not wanting to start an argument, but on what do you base the above statement? One widely published statistic, the murder rate in Mexico, is significantly higher than in the US, so is this just a feeling?

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_mur_percap-crime-murders-per-capita



Linda in Morelia

Sep 18, 2008, 8:31 PM

Post #5 of 30 (6704 views)

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Re: [ncferret] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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I wanted to respond to your post questioning whether it is safer in Mexico than in the US. Like you, I don't want to start an argument. Not since my graduate school days (long ago) have I done any serious investigation of crime statistics, but it is a tricky subject. The link you cite shows the murder rate as far higher in Mexico than in the US. However, the hard part about crime data is that it is usually disproportionally impacted by certain "hotspot areas," as well as certain types of crime. I spent about 20 minutes looking for data on crime by city in Mexico and came up empty. But, for illustration, here are stats from a a web site whose bona fides I have no idea about (http://www.benbest.com/lifeext/murder.html). Anyway, they compared murder rates by city in the US and Europe. They reported the following:

CITYMURDERS
PER 100,000
(1) Washington, D.C., USA 69.3 (2) Philadelphia, USA27.4 (3) Dallas, USA 24.8 (4) Los Angeles, USA 22.8 (5) Chicago, USA 20.5 (6) Phoenix, USA 19.1 (7) Moscow, Russia 18.1 (8) Houston, USA18.0 (9) New York City, USA 16.8 (10) Helsinki, Finland 12.5 (11) Lisbon, Portugal 9.7 (12) San Diego, USA 8.0 (13) Amsterdam, Netherlands 7.7 (14) Belfast, N.Ireland, UK 4.4 (15) Geneva, Switzerland 4.2 (16) Copenhagen, Denmark 4.0 (17) Berlin, Germany 3.8 (18) Paris, France 3.3 (19) Stockholm, Sweden 3.0 (20) Prague, Czechoslovakia 2.9

As you can see from this data, US cities are among the most violent of developed cities in the world, even though the overall US crime rate is relatively low. There isn't a lot of violent crime in Topeka, Kanasas or Missoula, Montana. The US State Department and the CIA sites warn US citizens about crime in Mexico City and border cities, but express much less concern about crime in other parts of Mexico. In the "hotspot" areas of Mexico, a huge percentage of violent crime is drug gang related and involves drug gang members and the policia killing one another. I would assert that a place like Morelia is usually quite safe. I am certainly more comfortable wandering around here at night than I have been in Manhattan, Hollywood California, Chicago or San Francisco (all of which I lived in).

A somewhat unrelated observation is that this recent violence in Morelia may be illustrative of the good job being done by Calderon. If his government's efforts weren't hurting the drug gangs, I doubt they would have stooped to throwing grenades into a public gathering and hurting women and children at a cherished Mexican event. This unprecedented act, which will help to turn the populace against the drug lords, seems to suggest that Calderon is hurting the gangs. Like the Prohibition era in the US, when the bootleggers were really being hurt by the Feds, they started taking actions that ultimately contributed to their demise.

On yet another related topic that has received little comment, these drug gangs exist almost entirely to serve US consumers of their products. Yet the richest nation on earth has turned down requests for assistance by Mexico, apparently in hopes that a poor nation will solve their problems on the cheap. These are complicated issues--don't get me started!

But I digress. Absent better data, I agree with Jennifer Rose--we are safer here in Morelia than in much of the USA.

Jim


ncferret

Sep 19, 2008, 6:05 AM

Post #6 of 30 (6670 views)

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Re: [Jim and Linda] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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Since you left out the statistics for cities in Mexico, how can these statistics be related to the statement made by Jennifer. Mexico is safer than the US? Mexico city is considered one of the most violent and unsafe cities in the world by Human Rights Watch.

I agree that if you live in a rural area in Mexico, you are unlikely to see much crime, but the same can be said of the US. Which is safer, I have no statistics which would give me any sort of a clue.

From my personal experience, I can tell you that I live in a Mexican city of around 400,000 which has had over 70 murders so far this year. There is no city of similar size in the US with such a high murder rate. Further, after living 4 years here in Mazatlan and watching the crime experienced by dozens of expats (robbery, murder, assaults, car jacking, etc), versus the total lack of such crimes in similar size towns when I lived in Colorado and North Carolina, that I find this absolutely the most unsafe place I have ever lived.

Again, I'd like to see a fact or two which supports the statement that we are safer in Mexico than the US.


bournemouth

Sep 19, 2008, 7:00 AM

Post #7 of 30 (6661 views)

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Re: [ncferret] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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With no statistics to back my observation up, I would venture to say that you are not necessarily safer in rural Mexico. Many of the horrific incidents we read and hear about occur in rural Mexico. Let's just say we might be safer in some rural areas.


Rosalinemg

Sep 19, 2008, 12:58 PM

Post #8 of 30 (6621 views)

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Re: [ncferret] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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ncferret I'm afraid I have to agree with you about Mazatlan. It is becoming an unsafe city. I have experienced first hand, after being robbed in my neighborhood park, that it is not as safe as it used to be.

Many of the "ex-pats" on the forums here in Mazatlan have the attitude that "It's all narco related and if I am not involved it doesn't bother me." Well all I can say to these ostriches is "If you live here of course it should bother you." These people being murdered, kidnapped, robbed, and blown up are your neighbors, your friends, and in some cases your family, how could that not bother you? Sure many of the killings are narco related, but many of them are not. It is easy to blame one group for what is happening, much easier than to admit that violence is a world-wide problem. IMHO brought on by the violence portrayed and glamorized by the media.

As for those people who constantly point out that the violence in such and such a city elsewhere on the planet is worse, all I can say to them is "I don't live in L.A., Chicago, Timbuctu, etc. I live here in Mexico." What is happening here is relevant to me. I will live and die here by choice and so do not care about the crime elsewhere. I care about my new country, my new friends, and my new family, and when they feel unsafe so do I. What impacts them also impacts me.


BajaGringo


Sep 19, 2008, 6:15 PM

Post #9 of 30 (6582 views)

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Re: [Rosalinemg] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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To say it is safer / more dangerous in Mexico you really need to understand the crime statistics. We have spent the last several years living near one of the "most dangerous" areas of Mexico if you go only by pure numbers of crime statistics. Tijuana here in the northern Baja peninsula has been very hard hit by the narco related violence in terms of murder per capita. If you take a closer look at the numbers in terms of "who" are victims of those crime numbers you will discover that the overwhelming majority have some tie to the narco violence, are police/law enforcement/military or are very wealthy. If you look at the percentage of foreigners/tourists those who fall victim to violent crime and compare those numbers with foreigners/tourists who are victims of violent crime in major cities outside of Mexico the numbers take on a very different feel. I have been a victim of crime many times in my life and they all occurred in the USA. Could it happen to me in Mexico? Of course but I have learned to keep the crime statistics in perspective and not live fearing for my life. We are moving to a more remote, secure area but that is more due to the fact I prefer to live where there is less traffic / noise.

Even if I believed that my life was in greater danger here than NOB, I am also one who believes in destiny. When my day comes, it will come no matter where I choose to live on this planet.

But what do I know...


Our House Building Project in Mexico...
Lomas de San Martin
Loving Life on the Baja Peninsula


raferguson


Sep 19, 2008, 9:47 PM

Post #10 of 30 (6546 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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Like most of us here, I am both concerned and saddened by recent events.

A few comments on the statistics:

On both sides of the border, a large part of the killings are related to drugs and gangs. So if you want to "adjust' the statistics to remove drug and gang violence, you would need to do it on both sides of the border.

One fact that is well established, but usually not mentioned due to political correctness, is that the black homicide rate in the US is about 6 times the white homicide rate. Young black men have very high homicide rates. The white homicide rate in the USA is around 4 per 100,000, so higher than Europe, but below that of any Latin American country.

The average statistics are not generally broken down far enough to allow a good estimate of your own odds. Your city of residence, your race, your neighborhood, etc., all affect the crime rate.

I think that the available statistics are pretty clear that Mexico has a higher homicide rate than the USA, overall. But I believe that someone living in rural Mexico is safer than someone living in Washington DC. If you are coming from a big city in the USA to a smaller town in Mexico, you may in fact be safer after the move. But I don't think that Mexico City is safer than New York city.

One other topic is the degree to which violence or the threat of violence is used in the perpetration of crime. A few years ago, the COPARMEX (the Mexican equivalent of the US Chamber of commerece), said that Mexico is number 3 out of 58 nations (5 out of 140 nations) in terms of robbery with violence or holdups. If that is true, then Mexico is less safe than almost any other country that you could name.

As the police in the USA sometimes say, anybody who would kill an armed police officer is even more likely to kill unarmed civilians. In some ways, the killing of police chiefs in Mexico is perhaps the most disturbing trend of all, because it implies that no one is safe. In the USA, police officers are rarely killed, because criminals know that the US police will not rest until the murderers are behind bars or dead.

Regardless of the statistics, the residents of Mexico believe that Mexico is a dangerous place, as evidenced by huge anti-crime marches and other public expressions. The economic impact of crime is also believed to be substantial, both in reducing economic growth, and as perhaps 10% of company costs.

I used to be willing to argue with people who thought that Mexico is safer than the USA, but my enthusiasm for such arguments have dropped in recent years. In fact, it is very unlikely that I will post on this subject again anytime soon.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


robrt8

Sep 19, 2008, 10:18 PM

Post #11 of 30 (6542 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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This subject is distasteful. Are we going to respond to every act of violence with this conversation?


jennifer rose

Sep 19, 2008, 10:24 PM

Post #12 of 30 (6538 views)

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Re: [robrt8] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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This is beginning to sound like a broken record.

Can we please focus the discussion upon *living* with violence in Mexico? The topic isn't *living with violence in some place other than Mexico.*


BajaGringo


Sep 20, 2008, 6:28 AM

Post #13 of 30 (6511 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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I have no problem with that - I just say that if we do discuss living with violence in Mexico that we keep it in perspective and with real facts - not just emotional diatribes.


Our House Building Project in Mexico...
Lomas de San Martin
Loving Life on the Baja Peninsula


leegleze


Sep 20, 2008, 9:10 AM

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Re: [BajaGringo] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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Just last month there was a shoot-out among a bunch of drug dealers and police in the zocalo of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, a little town on the north side of Banderas Bay near Puerto Vallarta. Apparently, two dealers were killed and one police officer was injured. I have lived in the area for nigh-on eight years, and this is the first big crime news I ever encountered. Of course, it frightened the folks (both Mexicano and gringo) in the area, and some have made a huge deal about it, but that's probably because it's so unusual for this sleepy little region. It was obvious that the incident was a targeted shooting ... certainly not a random occurrence.

Of course, there is more crime in PV than in the outskirts, and we hear of police demanding merdida on a frequent basis, but let's remember that it was only once Vicente Fox was elected that we saw some real progress in the government's attempt to curb corruption. That wasn't that long ago, folks, so give it time. I've seen many instances where successful attempts have been made to foster confidence among the public and tourists in the area. And I'd venture to say that law enforcement in the Bandera Bay area has made huge strides in the past eight years, considering the mess they were in when I arrived.

I think, too, that we have to narrow down our comments. Talking about crime statistics in all of Mexico seems to be painting the picture with too broad a brush, don't you think?
~ Roxana in Bucerias ~


Oscar2

Sep 20, 2008, 9:59 AM

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Re: [robrt8] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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The climate in Mexico and Morelia is one of mourning, regret, heavy sorrow, and pain. As much as we abhor it, by acknowledging these assassins, it perpetuates exactly what terrorist want us to do by design, it is exactly the MO terrorist feed on. They use murder and sensationalism as a divisive tool the media plays into and thrives on keeping it in your face to prolong and instill the fear necessary to gain control of us.

Tragically, the hit and run terrorist mechanism on a few, summons the attention and massive armies necessary to extinguish the few who continually make millions feel threatened. It’s a catch 22 and they play on it big time.

Is there a remedy, an answer, a safeguard against this ongoing potential risk of this lunatic human dysfunction? Or is this something which will eventually spawn intricate, very complicated human tagging of each individual on this planet that will form long lines of humans at any gathering to be scanned for safety…… Like the burgeoning forward ongoing effort of something similar to the Home Land Security Act in the US and effort to tag every human in airports and, and, and ……

We are scaring ourselves into a distant corralled future like something out of Orwell’s 1984 or Huxley’s, The New Earth, sci fi sagas of what our future holds, born out of human frailties and dysfunctions. Albeit, this may sound out of place and far fetched but when my dear Mexico, my personal refuge into a lesser-complicated life starts losing its innocence, it makes one stand at attention to read the writing on the wall.

Not to be flippant, but what comes to mind is a TV commercial once seen. Where a human steps up to the bank counter and embossed on his forehead was an ID Card and when the human’s stepped up for his turn at the counter, they grabbed his head and pushed it down to scan his head for personal information before services were rendered. Maybe some of you seen it as well…….. Yes this I found funny but also it seemed a bit unrealistically scary, I wonder why…..

I maybe Old School, or whatever, but my love for a less complicated life, a refuge of my design set in a Mexico which I’ve always enjoyed for years, still exists, perhaps its going to have to be in smaller less popular villages, so I better get down there fast before the future catches up with us…..


BajaGringo


Sep 20, 2008, 12:22 PM

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Re: [Oscar2] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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Very well said Oscar. We share a similar philosophy although it looks like I beat you down here!

I always say that Mexico isn't for everyone. You have need to have most or all of the following character traits:

bohemian
self sufficient
thick skinned
easy going
adaptable
open minded
adventurous
non-complainer
strong desire to learn, appreciate and participate in the local language and culture

In my 30+ years living in Latin America I have seen how expats from NOB who can be identified by these traits (I probably missed some others that could be included) are the ones who truly do well down here. I was helping some friends of a friend a few months back who wanted to come down and take a look around. They were considering Mexico for retirement so the first thing I did was take them for a drive around town and made some small talk in the car to get to know them. They had questions about assimilation so I put it to them this way - if you are the type who back home gets upset at things like:

1. Your neighbor who doesn't take his trash cans back in after the garbage truck goes by
2. Your neighbor who like to play music at 11:30 at night
3. Your neighbor who mows his lawn only once a month
4. Your neighbor who likes to work on his car in front of his house
5. Your neighbor who likes to have family get togethers every weekend and their family is bigger than many mid-western towns
6. The grocery store frequently does not have 2 of the 5 items you went there to buy
7. Electricity going out 5 minutes before your favorite TV show is to begin
8. Water pressure going out the evening your family arrives to spend the weekend
9. The mechanic tells you he will have your car ready at 5:00 PM and you thought that meant today
10. The plumber hooked up your new sink with the hot and cold reversed

Then I ask them if they are the types to write letters to the editor of the local newspaper for everything that bugs them about things going on in their neighborhood back home.

If I get a yes answer to more than 2 of them or especially to the letter to the editor question, I will tell them that Mexico may not be a good choice for them for anything more than vacations. That is what I told the couple my friends asked me to help out. They actually got a bit upset with me but I felt like I was doing them a favor.

It is okay to recognize, understand and point out the less than positive aspects of life here in Mexico, but when it reaches the point of becoming an obsession then perhaps you need to just recognize that life on this part of the planet is not your cup of tea. No harm intended or directed at anyone in particular here. Just an observation and as always, YMMV...


Our House Building Project in Mexico...
Lomas de San Martin
Loving Life on the Baja Peninsula


Oscar2

Sep 22, 2008, 1:15 PM

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Re: [BajaGringo] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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I caught the tale end of a news piece yesterday evening mentioning and bringing forth a terrorist specialist from some aspect of Home Town Security in the US and he had some interesting things to say which indirectly affects Mexico and much more.

Coincidently, and very much in accordance to my previous post about terrorism, he chimes in and ratcheted up the ongoing, by commenting on Al-Kida terroristic techniques. He goes on to say that the scare-tactics – horror-machine which keeps terror alive (the media) “we are expecting terrorist (Al-Kida) in the not to distant future to throw out for media consumption that they are now prepared with atomic warfare capabilities and you guessed it, psychological terrorism will continue doing its dance replete with reinvention for its audience.

He culminated by looking straight into the camera lens and with a serious look that could turn someone into stone said, terrorist will do anything to scare you into yielding to their demands, including but not limited to lying about having atomic capabilities. Take it with a grain of salt because they do not. My dear Mexico lets please save ourselves from this, if at all possible and not play into the media machine madness.

Which reminds me of someone who once said/asked, do you know what truth is? His answer: “Truth is, whatever someone can make you believe!”


BajaGringo


Sep 22, 2008, 2:16 PM

Post #18 of 30 (6301 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Reflections on Living with Violence in Mexico

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I always like to say that perception is reality until someone shows you a different perception to displace it...


Our House Building Project in Mexico...
Lomas de San Martin
Loving Life on the Baja Peninsula


alex .

Sep 26, 2008, 11:22 AM

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Re: [BajaGringo] alternate reality

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I suppose one can play the statistics game: Imagine you are in a big room ( a concert hall maybe) with 500 other people. What is the liklihood that SOMEBODY in the room has the same birthday as you? That is a very different probability then you randomly picking somebody from the room and that PARTICULAR SOMEBODY has the same birthday as you. Thats the game you play when you say "I, personally, have not been a victim of a violent crime over upty ump years." It doesn't mean that nobody else has'nt.

The other logical error (I'd say tactical error) is the assumtion that the drug gangs operate in a world disconnected from our world. The worlds do indeed overlap.

Combine these two ideas and you get the alternate reality: everything is fine, until it happens to ME, then its not so fine. Recall that I have been on the fora over ten years now; you would have been hard pressed to find a more devout Mexico afficionado than me. I used to contribute articles on occassion, documenting the joys of learning the culture. Not so much anymore.

Alex


(This post was edited by alex . on Sep 26, 2008, 11:23 AM)


BajaGringo


Sep 26, 2008, 2:09 PM

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Re: [alex .] alternate reality

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Alex:

I am not saying that one living as a foreigner in Mexico does not risk becoming a victim to violence any more than I would suggest that a Mexican national would be isolated from falling victim to violent crime in the USA. What I am saying though is that there is value in knowing and understanding the numbers. Many love to throw the numbers around and viewed purely from a statistical standpoint based on general population one can easily get an out of whack sense of proportion. I would be happy to debate the validity of that point with you if you like.

Understanding the numbers and making sure that you don't fall into one of the "high risk" categories will greatly tilt the odds in your favor in that regard IMHO. That is not a "statistics game"- it is factual reality. Life has no guarantees and I learned that hard cold fact a little over four years ago when my 14 year old daughter, who was an athlete and showed no signs of any health problems whatsoever died from a massive heart attack. That event was caused by a hidden heart defect never picked up by her doctors in previous checkups. When such events happen, be they from natural causes, accidents or violent crime; they are always tragic events. It is important that we be able to take a calm and logical look at the real numbers to accurately understand their true meaning relative to us and our lives, based on our own circumstances and reality. What happened a little over four years ago was tragic and affected me personally in a very deep and painful way. Yet I would not suggest that everyone who has a fourteen year old daughter needs to run to the emergency room and have their child checked out by a cardiologist. It is not the reality of the numbers to suggest such a thing.

The true numbers relating to homicide in Mexico are largely targeted events - not random. When you break down the numbers of those who are targeted you will better understand what your risk factors are. That is just common sense - you don't need to be a statistician to understand that. As a foreigner living in Mexico, your chances of becoming a victim of homicide is relatively low assuming you don't belong to one of the high risk categories the statistics show to be clearly evident. If you live next door to someone who is in one of those high risk categories your chances will increase. If you make the lifestyle choice to keep some buffer distance in between, your chances are even lower. It is just common sense.

I have over 30 years in Latin America and I have lived through drug wars, military coups, wars on terrorism as well as a brief war with England (Argentina/Malvinas). There is little that I haven't seen. I have just learned to use some common sense and keep it all in perspective.

Just in case, remember to keep your head down...

;-)


Our House Building Project in Mexico...
Lomas de San Martin
Loving Life on the Baja Peninsula


alex .

Sep 26, 2008, 2:33 PM

Post #21 of 30 (6162 views)

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Re: [BajaGringo] alternate reality

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I am sorry for your loss 8<(
Alex


BajaGringo


Sep 26, 2008, 2:37 PM

Post #22 of 30 (6159 views)

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Re: [alex .] alternate reality

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Thanks. It never gets easier nor do you ever forget. You just learn to live around it. My last photo with her - just days prior...




Our House Building Project in Mexico...
Lomas de San Martin
Loving Life on the Baja Peninsula


esperanza

Sep 26, 2008, 3:54 PM

Post #23 of 30 (6140 views)

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Re: [BajaGringo] alternate reality

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In Reply To
Thanks. It never gets easier nor do you ever forget. You just learn to live around it. My last photo with her - just days prior...


What a lovely young woman, BG. My heart breaks for you.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Linda in Morelia

Sep 26, 2008, 4:14 PM

Post #24 of 30 (6136 views)

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Re: [BajaGringo] alternate reality

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Baja Gringo,

I can't imagine how one goes on living after such a loss. It's beyond me. I hope you have found some consolation in your life since that loss.

Which reminds me of something I was thinking about today...that the only thing any of us has in this life is the present moment. Which reminded me of something else -- so many of my friends in the USA ask me "Why Mexico?" After being here for 6 months, I'm still more or less at a loss for words. But in the last few days as I have shopped at the local mercado and chatted with taxi drivers, I have a sense of one thing that draws me to Mexico. It is my feeling that a greater percentage of Mexicanos have a richer experience of joy and humor and just loving life in every day living than other North Americans. And that feeling, for me, is contagious. When I go to the mercado and struggle with my Spanish and the Mexicanos laugh with me, smile at me, and generally make me feel that they like me, well, it's a great feeling. I can't remember when I've experienced that in the good ole USA.

So, Baja Gringo's story of his daughter reminds me of how fleeting life is, and the Mexicanos remind me of how much joy you can experience in each moment.

Linda


BajaGringo


Sep 27, 2008, 12:51 PM

Post #25 of 30 (6070 views)

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Re: [Jim and Linda] alternate reality

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Well said Linda. That has become more and more my outlook each day the older I get. Life seems a lot more pleasant that way. As I like to say, if you can't change the facts or circumstances, just change your perspective...


Our House Building Project in Mexico...
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