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chinagringo


Jul 18, 2009, 6:41 AM

Post #26 of 36 (8514 views)

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Re: [mmawer] Safety in Michoacan

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Obviously we are non-residents ("clueless tourists without a f***ing clue") of the Michoacan area! As explained on the "Recommendations topic"; this trip that was planned prior to this latest string of incidents, was to be a bit of business, a great deal of education and some fun. Naturally, the initial news reports got our attention and we have been following the various comments being made on this forum and others with a great deal of interest. Since we have the luxury of having about 30 days before our planned visit, we plan to follow the ongoing events and utilize any and all information prior to making a final decision.

Our prior evaluation that we were currently satisfied with the "risk factor" of driving between the NM border and central Mexico may also be affected by these latest actions. It is my understanding that most or all of these "Special Police" are being pulled from the Juarez area. Based upon prior incidents of a reduction in forces in Juarez, one could reasonably expect that problems will increase in the city. As a matter of fact, I just read this morning that five people were shot to death in a bar in the "tourist zone". As stated before, we don't go through Juarez and it has appeared to us that the military seems to be in control along the highway to Chihuahua.

It is our obligation to our wellbeing to read, study and evaluate all of the information that we can gather on this topic. For that reason, I certainly don't take offense to any of the categorizations nor do I place much credence in those posts that seem to be attempting to cover up the severity in the interest of protecting the reputation of a given area. As former homeowners in the Lake Chapala area, we certainly have seen enough of the "head-in-the-sand" routine from those that hide in their "gringo ghetto" and live the great life. As a matter of fact, one of their local forums (chapala.com) seems to have the same lack of honesty being described by one of the posters here with respect to SMA. The news is what it is and censoring its content to mislead people is just plain wrong!

I will say that we were both pleased to hear that as expected, President Calderon has moved quickly to make positive moves to remedy the situation. La Familia may come to regret the day (last Saturday) when they chose to retaliate in such a manner! With power comes arrogance until one meets up with a "Bigger Dog"!

As travelers, our options to avoid a "field of fire" are somewhat reduced when compared with a local. Let us start with the simple matter of choosing which highway to drive down. A local may just be privy to info/rumor about possible adverse conditions along a certain road and thus could avoid it. Should a local pick-up on info that an event might happen, then they have the option of staying within the confines of their hacienda and being self sufficient. A traveler must pick a hotel that they would deem safe based upon somewhat limited info and then they must still consider their options for obtaining nourishment. If their choice of hotel doesn't have a restaurant on the premises, then a restaurant must be chosen that hopefully isn't a personal favorite of one of the local Narcos! As also shown by the event in Apatzingan (I believe), one might want to avoid hotels where the "Special Police" are staying.

I would like to thank everyone for their comments and ongoing provision of just what is going on!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



(This post was edited by chinagringo on Jul 18, 2009, 7:45 AM)


Oscar2

Jul 19, 2009, 11:23 AM

Post #27 of 36 (8438 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] Safety in Michoacan

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Once upon a time, there was an avid poster who’s exuberance and wordsmith capabilities ran a gamut from sweet and sour and from brilliant too down-right crass. Nonetheless, some hated him and some loved him. Somewhere in between I used to get a kick out of him raucously, with driven intent, discouraging expats from ever wanting or needing to travel or stay in a onetime small Mexican hamlet he had bought and adopted as his home some years hence.

He’d cast reports and post on forums telling how absolutely hideous life was for him and the environs therein were totally just as bad and unacceptable as ever. He lamented on the grave mistake he had made and always spoke of the greener pastures he wished he had moved to, rather than the cesspool of a bed he now laid in. After awhile, his tirades, his vacillating and more, created doubt of sorts and yes, his questionable display of displeasure was now appearing as cheekiness. Some suspected and ultimately discovered it was his way of keeping gringos out of his hamlet because there numbers and dinero made everything in “his” peaceful little hideaway to popular, congested, and more important the prices of everything around “his little town” were now just getting ridiculous.

Eventually something happened, his constant complaining became hysterical, and his wordsmith capabilities developed a fan base, groupies, and more. His popularity fanned across the land and the more he complained, bitched, and screamed, his hysterics created bend-over laughter and then something strange happened. More gringos wanted to see and eventually live in the now infamous complainer’s cesspool.

What is the moral of the story, I really don’t know but based on what happened, the more you bitch, whine and carry-on about anything, eyes and ears will turn to you and as someone before once said, “be careful for what you wish for……. ;-)

(This post was edited by Oscar2 on Jul 19, 2009, 11:28 AM)


esperanza

Jul 19, 2009, 12:18 PM

Post #28 of 36 (8431 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Safety in Michoacan

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To compare and cast light on the current 'troubles' in Mexico:

-----US troops dead in Iraq since war started, March 2003: 4,327

-----Mexican deaths in drug wars since FCH* took office, December 2006: 11,000+

*Presidente Felipe Calderón Hinojosa

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









chinagringo


Jul 19, 2009, 1:46 PM

Post #29 of 36 (8414 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Safety in Michoacan

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Oscar2:

Your point is well documented. I would guess that many of the long time members can only guess to whom you are referring!

Esperanza:

No disputing the numbers you gave BUT! Greater comparison would come from comparing U.S troops killed versus Mexican Military & Police killed and then the civilian deaths in each country. There is no question that this amounts to a type of "Civil War" within Mexico and hopefully a positive resolve will come in the end.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



tashby


Jul 26, 2009, 11:02 AM

Post #30 of 36 (8306 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Safety in Michoacan

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We just drove from the Lake Chapala area and spent three nights in Patzcuaro after stopping in Morelia to have lunch with friends (hey!). I'm certainly not qualified to talk about "Safety in Michoacan", but I can offer my perspective from a visitor's point of view.

Overall, it looked and felt pretty much the same.

Yes, on the drive into Patzcuaro we noticed the Federal Police Station that was shot to shit two weeks ago. It's hard to miss with that gigantic sign on the roof. There seemed to be a few more security vehicles than usual circling the plazas at night, but not to such a degree that it in any way felt occupied. One day I noticed a military helicopter fly over head. That's about it.

Truthfully, I expected to be inconvenienced a lot more by increased security, but it didin't happen.

In fact, the most uncomfortable thing we experienced was getting lost in the ditch (construction project) on the Morelia periferico on the drive back. I didn't think I'd ever get us onto the road leading to the cuota even though I knew exactly where it was and we were only a slingshot away.

Admittedly, this is only our tiny snapshot over three days visiting a very limited area.


texan

Jul 31, 2009, 7:52 PM

Post #31 of 36 (8237 views)

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Re: [mmawer] Safety in Michoacan

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I recently drove from San Miguel de Allende to Morelia and Patzcuaro. There was not even a military check point stop. We did see some military presence in Morelia but always felt completely safe. The media almost scared us from making the trip. What a shame if we had missed the opportunity to see one of Mexico's most beautiful states!


jennifer rose

Aug 19, 2009, 8:12 PM

Post #32 of 36 (8116 views)

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Safety in Michoacan

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http://www.heraldtribune.com/...masked-a-sordid-past


chinagringo


Aug 26, 2009, 2:26 PM

Post #33 of 36 (8016 views)

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Re: [mmawer] Safety in Michoacan

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We just spent 5 days traveling through Michoacan starting August 19th and ending this past Monday. All of our travels were on the back roads and none on the cuotas. We saw a Federale checkpoint between Uruapan and Patzcuaro on the 19th and then on Monday, we saw a Federale checkpoint between Patzcuaro and Moreila (waved through) and another on the north side of Moreila on the Salmanca highway, where we were pulled over. There were some "hardnose looking Federales" with masks but our particular officer was quite nice! Cursory inspection and we were on our way.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



stuff-maker

Aug 29, 2009, 11:18 AM

Post #34 of 36 (7958 views)

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Re: [tashby] Safety in Michoacan

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Hi there! New to this forum. Just curious about your "... Federal Police Station that was shot to shit two weeks ago." We are beginning to explore the idea of moving to the Patzcuaro area and-- though I am far from being an extremist--- I was stopped by that portion of your post. Could you expand on that? PM me if you feel the rest of the board all ready knows or does not care to know.


tashby


Aug 29, 2009, 2:50 PM

Post #35 of 36 (7936 views)

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Re: [stuff-maker] Safety in Michoacan

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Hello and welcome to MexConnect.

Sorry, I can't really elaborate on it other than to say the Federal Police Station in Pátzcuaro was the target of gunfire in early July. It happened over the course of a weekend that received a lot of media coverage due to violence in other areas as well.


Anonimo

Aug 29, 2009, 2:53 PM

Post #36 of 36 (7934 views)

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Re: [stuff-maker] Safety in Michoacan

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While the Pátzcuaro Federal Police Station was riddled with bullets in a co-ordinated early morning (Saturday) attack, life around there is back to more or less normal. We feel reasonably secure, living in the Pátzcuaro area, although I try to keep my eyes open for unusual activity while visiting the city. I also avoid lingering near potential targets, such as government buildings and police stations.

Others' safety comfort level may vary.

We are in the U.S. now, and looking forward to returning home next week to Michoacán.



Saludos,
Anonimo
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