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Peter


Oct 15, 2010, 10:41 PM

Post #26 of 48 (12743 views)

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Re: [Guanajuato Gringa] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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Why am I still here? How much time do you have....


It sounds like you want to leave Mexico. But you can't? Are you financially tied to your parents or a husband here? It seems your experiences to be sufficiently extreme to not want to stay, yet you do. You were robbed twice at work you say. What do you do for work? The types of jobs Americans work here seem to not put you so much in harm's way. Are you a citizen of Mexico? Or do you possess something other than a Rentista's visa?

Situation and people as you describe do exist here but seem them exception rather than the rule. Why is your situation so different from the majority that live here? And no, I do not live in GTO, Jalisco, or in any type of gringo enclave.

Perhaps, as you suggest, your pueblo with its new factories have attracted so many fortune-seeking "outsiders" you would be better off to find a different city to settle in. Life can be a stroll on the beach here but it sounds as if you are out in the water over your head.


oringo

Oct 16, 2010, 2:02 AM

Post #27 of 48 (12730 views)

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Re: [Peter] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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Heated debate is going on AOL about safety of Mexico right now. It is hard to determine which side I should believe by reading them all. The most dreadful threat I had while I stayed in Mexico was when I was warned by a stanger not to take photos of modern minimalist style of residence on wealthy area in Guadalajuara. He was a Mexican who spoke fluent English.
Other than that I had a great time in day and night. My friend whose wife is a Mexican was surprised to see my head was intact with my body when he saw me. He has never been to Mexico but he thinks he knows more than anybodyelse cause he has Mexican wife. He told me the story of his mexican brother-in-law kidnapped while ago. He called me again today to remind me of Mexico's safety. Listening to all these kidnapping stories I have some reservation about the real truth. Something does not click.

Been through extreme poverty, war, third world culture, as I mentioned in another thread, and living long enough I hardly accept Guanajuato Gringa's view in general. There exists subtle difference in crime rate, corruption, etc. betwixt rich and poor region but our human nature is all same no matter where you are. It is understandable one's personal experience overwhelms his/her mind but it should not make her generalize overall view. My wife had been robbed at gun point when she was alone with my only one year old child but she does not think America is the most dangerous place to live in the world.
And as a matter of facts people are closer to each other the poorer they are. Because that is how they survive. Lacking institutionalized charity does not necessary mean they do not help each other.

Is Mexico a safe place? I do not know. I have no intention of defending or criticizing Mexico. But I do object all the condescending remark of the people of Mexico for the reason of its social disparity from others. They are just unfortunate not inferior. Hope someday they will prosper.

But wish this publicity make it slow down, the mass influx of gringos to stop housing price skyrocketing until I leave.


Guanajuato Gringa

Oct 16, 2010, 9:58 AM

Post #28 of 48 (12691 views)

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Re: [oringo] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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This is the last time I will defend myself or anything I have written. I never said Mexican people are inferior, ever. They are unfortunate and that is unfortunate. But poverty doesn't bring much good anywhere, ever.
My reasons for staying are my own and all I will say is that there really is more good than bad. That said, the bad can come as a rude and violent shock if you are not expecting it. You can't expect it if you don't even know it happens.
If you doubt the kidnapping stories you are doing yourself a diservice. It is a fact, a dangerous fact. Kidnapping is becoming the new national sport because it is lucrative. And the fact that the criminals rarely if ever seem to be caught sends a very bad message.
I am a nobody and I have been touched by kidnapping TWICE. The grandson of a dear family friend and the grandfather of another. Local jobs, both. Everyone knows who did it and no one has been punished.
The home invasion was in the home of close family friends and included them of course and my parents. My stepdad being a Mexican born and raised in this town, as well as are the homeowners. No one flaunts wealth but even if they did/do that shouldn't set you up to be brutalized in your own home. Same story as the kidnappings. Everyone knows who did it and no one has ever been punished.
I was robbed at gunpoint in my own cochera and again at work. The second time not with a gun, he punched me in the mouth to accomplish his goal.
Do I think it is "us"? I would be a fool if I didn't. We are different and that attracts attention. Many, many people here believe that all gringos have a lot of money. And perhaps by their standards we do. It can be a dangerous conception as evidenced by the numerous times my family, myself and close friends have been touched by financially motivated violence. In Mexico, never in the States.
I am not trying to send people running for the border. Merely relating exactly what has happened here and pointing out that if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone and if you think it can't then you better think again.
Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. That is good common sense advice anywhere on earth, including Mexico.....


Brian

Oct 26, 2010, 11:29 AM

Post #29 of 48 (12498 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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What you don't know, you don't know. Maybe the issue isn't having one's head in the sand but something else.

http://www.oem.com.mx/...o/notas/n1828476.htm

I know that I am sounding like a broken record but there is currently an open season on businesspeople in the entire state of Guanajuato including San Miguel de Allende. The statistics are mounting alarmingly. Both this man and the woman killed in her Guadiana home were murdered execution style by organized criminals. They were not crimes of passion but deliberately carried out. People have written to me and asked, some clearly upset, "What do you expect us to do with this information? Leave town?" My answer is that it just for informational purposes and nothing more. The media and the municipal administration do not adequately serve the communications needs of the town's foreign community. They are treated like mushrooms. I.E. Kept in the dark and fed with BS.


(This post was edited by Rolly on Oct 26, 2010, 11:54 AM)


chinagringo


Oct 26, 2010, 12:34 PM

Post #30 of 48 (12474 views)

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Re: [Brian] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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Brian:

You raise an interesting issue. Most locals seem to feel that they know everything they need to know and tend to get somewhat defensive towards those who do raise topics that they do not want to hear about. Out of this group, some/many (take note I am not saying all) live sedimentary lives hunkered down in their comfort zone and could care less what happens elsewhere. After all, they are not involved in drugs and are thus isolated from any chance of something happening to them.

On the other hand, there are the more adventurous locals who do choose to travel, those that are looking into a move to Mexico and those who choose to travel Mexico for the experience and knowledge to be gained. In my estimation, these groups have the motivation and need for knowledge on which to base their movements. It may be concluded by some that these groups are less knowledgeable about the ways of Mexico. Here is the reality, these same groups have a thirst for adventure primarily because they desire an increase in knowledge. That thirst for knowledge is rarely increased by ignorance but rather through the intake/digestion of information and experiences. To that group, any and all valid information is part of the knowledge base upon which they formulate their movements and plans.

Given the overall maturity of MexConnect, one is less likely to see really bad advice given without someone voicing an opposing opinion. However, if one reads the many other Mexico related forums, hardly a day goes by when I don't see inherently false advice being given.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



ken_in_dfw

Oct 26, 2010, 5:51 PM

Post #31 of 48 (12424 views)

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Re: [Brian] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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From your hyperlinked article in El Sol del Bajío:


Quote
"El hallazgo se dio en uno de los caminos de la comunidad Cardenales que se ubica sobre la carretera a Los Rodríguez."

My translation:


Quote
"The discovery was found on one of the local roads of the Cardenelas community, which is located on the highway to Los Rodriguez."

Los Rodriguez has been one of the few particularly cartel-plagued communities in the San Miguel municipality. As the headline suggests, it sounds like the usual settling of accounts in a bad neighborhood.

And FWIW, I agree that expats serve themselves poorly when they take the "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" routine. As with everything, one incident must be seen in the context in which it occurred, not taken as a trend prima facie.


Brian

Oct 26, 2010, 6:46 PM

Post #32 of 48 (12411 views)

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Re: [ken_in_dfw] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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"And FWIW, I agree that expats serve themselves poorly when they take the "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" routine. As with everything, one incident must be seen in the context in which it occurred, not taken as a trend prima facie. "

The victim has been identified as a 54 year old accountant who had been kidnapped two weeks previously. He had been engaged in the practice of renting vacation properties in San Miguel. His tortured body was dumped in Rodriguez. The other execution-style murder victim was also a middle-aged businesswoman. These events were not the result of one cartel fighting against another if that was your implication. These two incidents are indeed part of an ongoing trend in the Bajio involving business owners specifically.


Bennie García

Oct 26, 2010, 8:30 PM

Post #33 of 48 (12378 views)

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Re: [Brian] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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Can you give a motive for either crime or are you just speculating as to them being innocent of any connections to criminals or their activity?

For example was the male kidnapped for ransom or a victim of a levantón ?

Edit: I just read the article and it states the crime appears to be an ajuste de cuentas so it does appear to be a levantón and not a random act of violence against an honest businessman.


(This post was edited by Bennie García on Oct 26, 2010, 8:34 PM)


Rolly


Oct 26, 2010, 9:59 PM

Post #34 of 48 (12352 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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What is a levantón? It's not in my dictionary.

Rolly Pirate


La Isla


Oct 26, 2010, 10:45 PM

Post #35 of 48 (12342 views)

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Re: [Rolly] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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Apparently levantón is a colloquial Mexican term for secuestro. Here's the link to an online dictionary I just discovered with more information about this word: http://www.doubletongued.org/index.php/dictionary/levanton/ .


Peter


Oct 27, 2010, 12:27 AM

Post #36 of 48 (12333 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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Here is the reality, these same groups have a thirst for adventure primarily because they desire an increase in knowledge. That thirst for knowledge is rarely increased by ignorance but rather through the intake/digestion of information and experiences. To that group, any and all valid information is part of the knowledge base upon which they formulate their movements and plans.


Some news items that people post and link have an immediate urgency pertinent to people presently travelling through or carrying out other activities in Mexico. I appreciate hearing about current hot-spots, highways or localities where there are presently incidents occurring to people travelling through and getting caught in some sort of car-jacking or robberies. Many other times it is just more reports about Mexico being Mexico and much of that gets a bit tedious.

Perhaps what I am seeking in these pages is a little discussion of the event from the OP, a little "romance" to go along with the humping, discussion about how this impacts the poster, what he or his neighbors are doing or saying about these incidents, how these occurrences are hitting the poster close to home or effecting his travel. Does the poster have any insights or perspective of his own as to why these event happen or how they personally are taking precautions? I am interested in things of this sort rather than the feeling I get from some whose purpose for posting seems aimed more for "in your face" or "neener-neener" sort of hit-and-run postings.

OK, I live here in Mexico. I know we have crime. I know we have certain types of crime. I read the news to hear about such goings on and can appreciate links to particularly poignant incidents. I appreciate even more to hear about the poster's particular thoughts on the matter. Just hearing about more kidnappings or robberies with no particular connection to the ex-pat community or something close to home gets tedious. Maybe I DO want to bury my head in the sand when someone is just telling me Mexico has crime. Hearing "wolf, wolf!" and "the sky is falling" leaves me with an empty feeling. Next subject, please.


Brian

Oct 27, 2010, 5:09 AM

Post #37 of 48 (12319 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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The article was the first report which has since been updated with the victim's identity. The signs of torture initially suggested a levanton. I am not suggesting that the victim was guilty or innocent of anything. What I find notable is like so many of the recently found bodies, this man was a businessman. That is the common denominator and suggests extortion as the underlying motive. I have heard that the new boss of La Familia in the area is a young guy who is trying to make a reputation as someone especially to be feared. One theory is that these recent homicides of comerciantes is to make an example of those who resist giving in to the demands of a portion of income to the cartel.


Brian

Oct 27, 2010, 5:31 AM

Post #38 of 48 (12315 views)

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Re: [Rolly] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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In Reply To
What is a levantón? It's not in my dictionary.


Rolly

It is a street expression I first learned in the 90s in Tijuana. Like sequestro, it also translates to kidnapping in English but it is distinguishable by the motive for the crime. A classic sequestro involves a victim who is held hostage for some purpose such as ransom or other exchange. A levanton, in the majority of cases, is done with the motive of killing the person who has been seized. It came into common parlance when members of the feuding Sinaloa and CAF cartels would capture each other, torture until valuable information was given, and then kill the victim. Typically, the body would be left, wrapped in a blanket, and dumped alongside a road or in a lote baldio. An offshoot form of the levanton is what English speakers call "express kidnapping". This is the temporary depriving of the victim's liberty which lasts only as long, for instance, as it takes to drain their ATM daily allotment after which they are released.


Brian

Oct 27, 2010, 5:47 AM

Post #39 of 48 (12309 views)

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Re: [Peter] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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Peter

You should be grateful that these events "have no particular connection to the ex-pat community". If you are looking for posts about the feelings of the members of MexConnect, you can always look in the archives which, in some cases, represent a veritable volume of work going back nearly ten years. How times have changed in Mexico. Unfortunately, as we all know, not all change has been good and the nature of the posts has reflected that fact. Hopefully, in my lifetime, things will improve in Mexico and I, and others like me, can again write about all the really great experiences traveling about the wonderful country. Until then, whether we are willing to admit it or not, Mexicans and foreigners alike are hunkered down until the troubles have passed.


(This post was edited by Brian on Oct 27, 2010, 5:48 AM)


Bennie García

Oct 27, 2010, 5:56 AM

Post #40 of 48 (12303 views)

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Re: [Brian] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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In Reply To
The article was the first report which has since been updated with the victim's identity. The signs of torture initially suggested a levanton. I am not suggesting that the victim was guilty or innocent of anything. What I find notable is like so many of the recently found bodies, this man was a businessman. That is the common denominator and suggests extortion as the underlying motive. I have heard that the new boss of La Familia in the area is a young guy who is trying to make a reputation as someone especially to be feared. One theory is that these recent homicides of comerciantes is to make an example of those who resist giving in to the demands of a portion of income to the cartel.


Pure speculation on your part and much of it appears to be based on your acceptance of rumors that support your opinions. If you want to continue to "educate" the people with their heads buried in the sand then try to be a little more responsible. Spreading rumors does nothing to clarify a situation. They serve absolutely no purpose. You possess no "facts" unavailable to others capable of reading the same news sources.

I find it silly that our 2 biggest crime reporters both reside NOB and rely on internet sources for the info they post. Then they say they are posting the info for the benefit of the uninformed. Like the sources they cite aren't available to all.


Brian

Oct 27, 2010, 7:37 AM

Post #41 of 48 (12282 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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If that is what you think, then why did you ask for my opinion? Just disregard what you disagree with rather than encourage people to write more. My response was sincere. Your question was not.


Peter


Oct 27, 2010, 8:51 AM

Post #42 of 48 (12263 views)

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Re: [Brian] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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If you are looking for posts about the feelings of the members of MexConnect, you can always look in the archives which, in some cases, represent a veritable volume of work going back nearly ten years.


I am not soliciting touchy-feely comments that go back a decade or more. Rather, I am expecting something from the OPs about how their posts are relevant to themselves, travellers, tourists, or the ex-pat community in Mexico.

News services are all around and easy to access. One might expect a particulary poignant event to be brought forward and may expect no further comment if the item's relevance were evident and timely. Other items may be expected to be brought forward for consideration and comment if these are things that may impact our lives and experience, which I would hope the OP would then initiate with their own commentary on the matter.

I can open a newspaper and find police blotters, accident reports, and political updates. Unless someone is posting a link to a newsworthy event that likely has a direct impact on a large portion of this readership, I would hope whoever posts here would have some commentary to provide with those less relevant links other than to merely point out that Mexico has crime. It does. That's a given.


La Isla


Oct 27, 2010, 9:52 AM

Post #43 of 48 (12243 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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In Reply To

In Reply To
I find it silly that our 2 biggest crime reporters both reside NOB and rely on internet sources for the info they post. Then they say they are posting the info for the benefit of the uninformed. Like the sources they cite aren't available to all.


I don´t find it silly, but I do find it curious that the 2 posters who feel it is their duty to let the rest of us know how horrible things are in Mexico do not live here at this time. It´s as though they've fallen victim to the picture that the media paints of Mexico, that the sky is indeed falling and that Chicken Little was right after all!


chinagringo


Oct 27, 2010, 10:12 AM

Post #44 of 48 (12234 views)

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Re: [Peter] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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Peter:

We are in the habit of making 3000+ mile drives through MX and will use our last planned but unfulfilled route as an example. Because of incidents along the 1000+ miles from Albuquerque through Santa Teresa/Villa Ahumada/Chihuahua/Jimenez/Torreon/Zacatecas/Aguascalientes to Guadalajara, we had made the decision to fly into Guadalajara. From Guadalajara, we planned to rental car it from Lake Chapala into Michoacan to Patzcuaro, Morelia and other towns. Then on to Taxco before proceeding up through Queretaro, SMA, Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato, Leon before heading back to Guadalajara. While I tend to do a great deal of research on just what the opportunities are along our chosen route, I also want to know just where the "hotspots" are along the route to fully evaluate just what our plans should be. I am less interested in a single isolated incident but do pay more attention to patterns in a given area or locale. Since you live fairly close by, I will use Zitacuaro as an example. It was on our initial list of possible drive through spots. I think it was Rolly, who posted a link to an in depth report on the La Familia Cartel, which covered this city and got me thinking about the wisdom of our thinking. Shortly after reading that article, there was a major ambush in the city and I felt that it was time to scratch it off our list and revise our planned route.

Speaking for myself, I don't need or want the embellishments like those typically provided (ie. running death toll for all of Mexico) by the NOB media. When the Mexican media does manage to report, their reports tend to be more of the "cut to the chase" variety and often not watered down. As Joe Friday used to say: "Just the facts......."
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



Peter


Oct 27, 2010, 11:10 AM

Post #45 of 48 (12218 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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Speaking for myself, I don't need or want the embellishments like those typically provided (ie. running death toll for all of Mexico) by the NOB media. When the Mexican media does manage to report, their reports tend to be more of the "cut to the chase" variety and often not watered down. As Joe Friday used to say: "Just the facts......."

I start each weekday with my TV set to come on automatically at 6am on a channel with the national news of Mexico. This not only helps my Spanish but keeps me somewhat informed about what is going on around me and tips me off to newsworthy events I may wish to explore more in-depth.

Of the many news sources available Mexconnect is not the first place I turn to for "just the facts," odd as that may seem. When the TV news reports a kidnapping of a businessman in the next state over I don't question the relevancy of that report. Here when such an item is reported and someone claims that businessman was an associate of his neighbor's brother-in-law's cousin's best friend then I start to take that personally and feel it is indeed happening too close to home.

My personal "druthers" would be to keep the poultry-fest in Mexican Kitchen section so when the topic of ostriches and chicken-littles pops up and piques my curiosity to what manner it is being served it is quite possible I would offer my own recipe or serving suggestion.


(This post was edited by Peter on Oct 27, 2010, 11:35 AM)


Bennie García

Oct 27, 2010, 11:17 AM

Post #46 of 48 (12215 views)

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Re: [Brian] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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In Reply To
If that is what you think, then why did you ask for my opinion? Just disregard what you disagree with rather than encourage people to write more. My response was sincere. Your question was not.


I didn't ask for your opinion. I asked for facts and you answered with an opinion. That, amigo, is useless information no matter what your motives.


Brian

Oct 28, 2010, 5:51 AM

Post #47 of 48 (12129 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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What is the Mexican equivalent of Chicken Little? These folks don't seem to know that their country is not really in crisis. They should read more postings such as those here on MexConnect to understand that, at least for many gringos, matters of la inseguridad are greatly exaggerated. I would imagine that their website could benefit by comments from some of the Americans who post here for a truer picture than they portray. It's too bad that they feel that they need to be anonymous. How silly they are. Like MexConnect, people can reinvent themselves by simply changing their usernames. They can gain instant credibility, for instance, by claiming they have lived in Mexico for 40 years. Anyway, it would be refreshing to see some of the posters here also contributing on InfoNarco, BorderReporter, BorderlandBeat and now Estemos Unidos Mexicanos. And remember "Bennie Garcia" you can use any nickname you like but your prose style gives you away every time. These Mexican Chicken Littles need to be set straight:

http://estemosunidosmexicanos.wordpress.com/

Brian (you can call me Ray, or you can call me Robrt8). Get it?


Bennie García

Oct 28, 2010, 7:26 AM

Post #48 of 48 (12098 views)

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Re: [Brian] You can't see the red flags if your head is in the sand

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In Reply To
What is the Mexican equivalent of Chicken Little? These folks don't seem to know that their country is not really in crisis. They should read more postings such as those here on MexConnect to understand that, at least for many gringos, matters of la inseguridad are greatly exaggerated. I would imagine that their website could benefit by comments from some of the Americans who post here for a truer picture than they portray. It's too bad that they feel that they need to be anonymous. How silly they are. Like MexConnect, people can reinvent themselves by simply changing their usernames. They can gain instant credibility, for instance, by claiming they have lived in Mexico for 40 years. Anyway, it would be refreshing to see some of the posters here also contributing on InfoNarco, BorderReporter, BorderlandBeat and now Estemos Unidos Mexicanos. And remember "Bennie Garcia" you can use any nickname you like but your prose style gives you away every time. These Mexican Chicken Littles need to be set straight:

http://estemosunidosmexicanos.wordpress.com/

Brian (you can call me Ray, or you can call me Robrt8). Get it?


What are you rambling about? Do you truly believe that people here aren't aware of the terrible situation the country is in? That they need a couple of gringos that don't even live here to tell them what is happening? That the massacres in tghe past few days Juarez, Tijuana or Tepic aren't covered in the news? Or other too many to count similar incidents? What are you a frustrated National Inquirer wannabe reporter?

Relate all of the horror stories you need to get you off, oh wise man. But why don't you try sticking to factual incidents instead of alarmist assumptions or shit you read on blogs. Your premise that there now is a campaign to indiscriminately murder business people is bullshit.

Just because people don't choose to dwell on your gory little stories about the violence in this country doesn't mean they have their heads in the sand. I have a 22 yr old son still in college and a day doesn't go by that I talk to him about how careful he needs to be or to avoid being present where nasty things might happen. It is a constant worry. So don't tell me I am ignoring or denying today's unpleasant reality.

So go ahead and throw those ad hominem attacks my way. I could really give a shit what you believe.
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