Nov 3, 2009, 8:18 AM
Post #1 of 23
To tell which way the wind is blowing:
We retired to Mexico in early 2001 moving to the popular retirement community loosely called Lakeside on Lake Chapalaīs north shore and then in 2006 we bought a second home in Highland Chiapas and since then we have split living at Lakeside and in Chiapas each year and to say that these are contrasting communities would be the understatement of the decade but thatīs OK since, in retirement, one can use a bit of contrast in oneīs life but thatīs not what Iīm writing about. Jalisco is one of Mexicoīs wealthier states and Chiapas is hands down the poorest state in the nation and has a very high crime rate. Oddly enough, however, we feel more secure in our home in Chiapas than we do in Jalisco and that has to do with the stalwart commitment neighbors have with one another in our neighborhood down there to watch for each otherīs residences to try to prevent residential invasions and burglaries as well as occasional street assaults. In Chiapas all of our neighbors are Mexican and mostly indigenous folks and they long ago gave up on the local police so have years of understanding that they are on their own. They even recently ran off the prostitutes and their sleezy johns even though those whores worked that corner for years by paying off the cops and utilizing a two bit no-tell hotel on the street. In contrast, until recenly on our street at Lakeside which is a mixed Mexican/foreign community, neighbors pretty much went their own ways and crime was relatively rare. However, with the recent spike in crime, especally residential burglaries, the attitude at Lakeside is rapidly changing and our neighbors at Lakeside are becoming far more vigilant and have begun to show a commitment to each other to try and prevent neighborhood theft. Street assaults are still pretty rare at Lakeside but who knows what is awaiting us down the pike.
Some writing on these forums tend to pooh pooh the notion that there has been a substantial increase in criminal activities at Lakeside although nobody we know in Chiapas makes light of criminal activities in both urban and rural environments.
So, hereīs my point. In our nearly nine years down here we had no home alarm systems and felt safe leaving each house empty while resident at the other but all that has changed in the last three months and now we have installed highly sophisticated, constantly monitored, movement and intrusion sensitive alarm systems with auxiliary floodlights in each house that bring the alarm company and cops running in short order whether we are there or not and, in Chiapas at least, neighbors ready to administer justice to thieves who, once confronted by irate neighbors ready to serve up intantanteous Chiapas-style punishmnent to miscreants, loudly pray for the arrival of the police.
Now, get this. since we installed the Lakeside alarm system about two months ago we have experienced two home invasions while in bed ; one at 3:00AM and one a week later at 4:00AM. In the first instance, the movement detector sounded as the thief was approaching our front door and in the second an alarmed kitchen door was opened setting off the system. In both cases we turned on garden lights but the thugs escaped over our eight foot stone walls before we or the police were able to apprehend them. In both invasions, the alarm company responded immediately and were there with the cops in tow within minutes. These burglars are obviously young and athletic as it is not easy to scale that wall surrounding our property and that loud, insistent alarm must have scared the crap out of those buntbrains. We are now irritated that these punks are so adept at escaping at Lakeside because of the configuration of the neighborhood so now we are going to install cameras strategically about both properties as we have learned from the cops that photographs are critically important if we wish to prosecute thieves. We want to nail those bastards.
Have things changed at Lakeside? You bet. Keep in mind that we live in a modest home surrounded by substantial stone walls from eight to 12 feet high and all windows and skylights are fully barred. We live in a village environment at Lakeside in one of the poorest neighborhoods in our town. In the past, these burglaries and burglary attempts took place mainly in those high falutin hillside fraccionamientos with inadequate security but the criminals, in these hard times, have shown that they can be downwardly mobile and thatīs the noticeable change. AS an aside, if you think this crime wave is aimed at foreign retirees think again. Our housekeeper who has not a pot to pee in was burglarized recently during mid-day when the family went shopping. Get over your feelings of exclusivity.
Now, thatīs not all. I also had my wallet lifted from the right hand front pocket of my blue jeans by a pickpocket in the Ajijic WalMart parking lot a few weeks ago and boy was I surprised that my wallet could be lifted from what is generally called "the safe" so slickly that I didnīt even know it was gone until it was too late. But, Iīm just throwing that in to lament publicly my own stupidity at being so careless in a big box store parking lot. Pickpockets have long worked big box store parking lots in greater Guadalajara so thst incident at WalMart is not indicative of the increased criminal activity I am discussing here since that has been going on since big box store parking lots were invented.
Donīt tell the Dawg the times have not changed. Now we not only have top-of-the-line constantly monitored home alarm systems - something we would not have dreamed of installing a year ago - but we now plan to hire house sitters for homes that used to sit vacant for months. Just for the record, things are also going downhill as far as criminal activity is concerned, in France and the U.S. since the financial debacle that just landed on us all. Not only that; if one is not involved with stuff such as drug smuggling, one is far less likely to be slain during the commission of a crime against oneself here in Mexico than in the U.S. Donīt think you can move there to protect your butt.
By the way; we have very little of value to protect except our declining asses and the alarm systems cost far more than anything any burglar could steal from us so keep in mind we are talking butt protection here. What a shame to have to live like that but at least we are not freezing our tails off in France watching out for gypsy kids climbing the walls.
OOPS! Did I just say "gypsy" kids? How politically incorrect can I be. I meant "the children of the people of the voyage".* Whew!
* Official correct French ethnic designation. There are also no longer any "Arabs" in France but "People of the
maghreb". Get it straight or keep out. The French are not known for their tolerance mealy mouthed Yankee Dawg.
(This post was edited by Hound Dog on Nov 3, 2009, 8:50 AM)