Mar 30, 2009, 11:12 AM
Post #18 of 26
Not to belabor this point Movintomx but coincidentally there is a discussion of crime at Lakeside on Chapala.Com which you might find interesting. I am not in any way endorsing the opinions expressed there just letting you know about the discussion which is among some people I know and some I do not know.
I find this discussion interesting because we have lived in Mexico full time except for annual trips to my wife´s native France for over eight years now, the first six years full time at Lakeside and, for the past two years, about half the year at Lakeside and about half the year in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas. We have been in San Cristóbal since October of last year but plan to return to Lakeside for the beautiful summer there shortly. Since we haven´t been back to Lakeside since October, we are intrigued by the alarming reports of violent crime there but because we have lived there for so long we take these reports, mostly from foreign expat retirees living at Lakeside, with a grain of salt especially since we also reside in San Cristóbal which is a volatile place to say the least with constant tension among the city´s disparate factions of mestizos and various indigenous groups and believe me this tension is complex in nature and has not gone away since pre-colonial times.
Based on my experience living in Lakeside I would say your concerns about safety there are perhaps ill founded at present. At the same time, however, I would not take the concerns you have read written by certain members of the expat community lightly. I can tell you that, in my opinion, Lakeside is not the same place we moved to in 2001 and a lot of that has to do with the continued influx of foreigners perceived by the local community as wealthy, arrogant and as driving up the cost of living for locals for whom they have no concern or sympathy. I have seen this sort of thing happen on the Alabama Gulf Coast, on the west coast among Californians, Oregonians, Washingtonians and folks from places such as Arizona and Idaho and Utah. I have seen it happen in New Mexico and Colorado as Californians and Texans moved in and paid top dollar for property while forcing the working class to move to distant exurbs just to get by and find inexpensive housing. I have seen it happen just within the Los Angeles Basin and the Greater San Francisco Bay Area themselves as the wealthy force the poor into financial circumstances approaching penury and geographic discomfort as they must commute for hours to get to work and now find themselves living in marginal cities filled with empty foreclosed homes. I have seen it in France where the development of the TGV caused huge discrepancies in property values places in proximity of TGV rail lines and stations so that old towns and cities historically inhabited by common folks became bedroom communities for the rich and super rich. It has happened in spades on the Baja and Yucatan peninsulas where foreigners, mostly Americans, have bragged publicly about acquiring beach front properties in places like Tulum and Ensenada for what they considered chump change forcing the locals into federal housing or dismal swamps or the barest of hillside ghettos while inducing a backbreaking increase in their cost of living.
So, there is nothing unique about Lakeside today. It is a mirror image of what has happened elsewhere all over the world so if you are buying for the future - meaning a decade or more down the line, think about what may happen here as tensions perhaps rise and people become disenchanted.
That having been said, both Lakeside and (the not-comparable) Chiapas are fine places to live. So what you do is remember that the U.S. is a violent place with, I believe, more sadistic and senseless crime than most other American nations and just be sure to invest modestly here or anywhere else where you are a foreigner. I remember that my wife and I thought of buying a riverfront property in France in the 1970s when we could have picked it up for the equivalent of about $20,000USD; a property which is far more valuable today now that there is a TGV station just up the road and people can now commute in about an hour from Paris. She said something to the effect back then that one did not want to own property in France if one were not living at least part time in France because it was commonplace for squatters to take over unused property there and that French law was quite sympathetic towards sqautter´s rights over time if no protests were forthcoming from property owners on a timely basis.
Look, we´ve lived in very violent cities from Marseilles to Mobile to Oakland to San Francisco and worked in such U.S. hellholes as Manhattan in the 1970s. If all you are looking for is security, just you wait. You are on your way to achieving eternal peace. Come on down to Lakeside (or other far more interesting Mexican places I could name) and enjoy yourself. There are no pockets in a shroud.
Dawg's Far More Interesting Places Than Lakeside in a Nutshell (Where He´s Been, Anyway):
Many places in Oaxaca and Chiapas States
San Luis Pótosi
The Córdoba/Fortin/Orizaba Corridor in Veracruz State
Puerto Vallarta including the Nayarit Coast
Bacalar, Quintana Roo
Lerdo (thrown in for my unmet friend Rolly)
The Entire Gulf Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula from Celestun to Isla Holbox
Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo
I cannot go on but there are more. Please note that a common characteristic of the towns I mentioned above is that they are not in the sort of flux Lakeside is in for the most part. That includes San Cristóbal de Las Casas but that town, which we are very fond of, is not suited for all. In fact, we expect majot problems between the authorities and indigenous squatters to erupt at any time but we are still quite pleased we bought here but keep in mind that we have no need to sell at present so that is easy for us to say .
(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Mar 30, 2009, 11:58 AM)