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panama john

Jun 15, 2011, 9:27 AM

Post #26 of 40 (1756 views)

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Re: [jrpierce] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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Appart from the fact that the country is involved in a serious narco war, Mexico from all outward apperances seems to be doing quite well. The hiways are loaded with semi-new vehicles, the restaurants and fast food places are more often full then not. The Mexican Banks for the most part are in much better shape then those in the states. The level of debt, both personal and national, is low compared to that of the US. People, in large numbers, aren't defaulting and walking away from their homes, like in many states NOB. Mexico is largely a cash economy, with a multitud of small business. The people could probably survive a financial crisis better then those in the US, considering that they could endure living small and make a living from their small business. It's true that there is a lot of poverty in Mexico, but nothing compared to south of border. I have lived and spent time in many Latin American countries and Mexico runs like a well oiled machine compared to most and has one of the highest standards of living in the region. All in all Mexico is not that bad a place to live, one has to use good judgement on where to live and travel, but the people treat you quite well and the cost of living isn't to high yet.Unfortunately there are no paradises left, one has to take the good with the bad and go from there. Maybe some day people will be moving there American Dollars into Mexican Pesos for more financial security, especially if the Mex. Gov. moves to a form of silver standard for the peso, as they are now seriously talking about.


jrpierce


Jun 15, 2011, 9:45 AM

Post #27 of 40 (1742 views)

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Re: [panama john] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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John, I generally agree with your observations about Mexico. I am frustrated this message doesn't get out, especially in the US, where the media and some State and Federal agencies focus on narco violence to the exclusion of anything else.

The old saying in the newspaper business is, "If it bleeds, it leads." It is very hard to get a more balanced message out. Indeed, sometimes on expat message boards here in Mexico, it sometimes seems the same rule applies.

Jim


YucaLandia


Jun 15, 2011, 10:37 AM

Post #28 of 40 (1732 views)

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Re: [panama john] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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I also agree with panama john's observations. Merida may play some special roles in the economy and Drug Wars. For people who don't know Yucatan, Merida has been getting many emigrant refugees from up north, because the violence has barely touched us = Merida is a very safe and pleasant place to live. We had a small spill-over of bodies from Cancun 2 summers ago, when 12 Cancun-Narco-trafficantes were beheaded, and the bodies dumped in a quinta well outside of Merida, but other than that incident, we really have been spared from any Narco-violence. Local people claim two things: 1.) Merida/Yucatan has been declared a DMZ / safe-zone in the drug wars by a mutual consensus of the Narcos, as a place that the narco-familias can safely stash their families; and 2.) Merida is a center for laundering cash. Since there is a universal need by narcos for both safe havens for families and consistent reliable mechanisms for money laundering, there is a bit of logic behind the rumors.

Will our peace and quiet hold?
I sure hope so,
steve
-
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


chinagringo


Jun 16, 2011, 10:01 AM

Post #29 of 40 (1621 views)

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Re: [jrpierce] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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Jim:

Don't you think it is human nature to assume that every day will be positive and when that happens, there isn't much to say? It is only when things flip to the negative that people get vocal and express their displeasure. The press capitalizes on this by reporting the negatives to not only get people's attention but also get them talking about it.

With respect to the Drug Wars, here is a link to an interesting article published today by Stratfor:

http://www.stratfor.com/...dent-same-cartel-war
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



esperanza

Jun 16, 2011, 10:26 AM

Post #30 of 40 (1614 views)

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Re: [jrpierce] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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It hasn't been too long ago that no one but me was posting here about the cruel realities of violence in Mexico. In fact it hasn't been too long ago that everyone thought violence in Mexico was a myth perpetuated by just a few crazy people--and I include myself in that 'crazy' group, since I was castigated and excoriated for so long for posting the simple truth about the growing problem of narcoviolencia in Mexico.

Now everyone finally believes that there is serious trouble here in Mexico. Many people are posting about it and patting themselves on the back for knowing that it exists.

IMHO, you can't have it both ways. Either you can be in denial or you can post about what's happening. As another poster said, if it's all good news, it's not news. Or as the weatherman in San Diego used to say, "It's just another boringly beautiful day in Paradise."

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Brian

Jun 16, 2011, 10:58 AM

Post #31 of 40 (1607 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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In Reply To
It hasn't been too long ago that no one but me was posting here about the cruel realities of violence in Mexico.


I resemble that remark :-). Actually, I am sorry that you felt so alone. As a fellow ex-tijuanense, I always thought our experience should have been given more credence on this message board but until the violence and government corruption became more obvious in the interior of the Republic, we were just voices crying out in the wilderness so to speak.


richmx2


Jun 16, 2011, 11:03 AM

Post #32 of 40 (1602 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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A much better analysis of the situation is provided by Roberto Newell Garcia of the Woodrow Wilson Institute. I question some of his economic assumptions (specifically, his enthusiasm for Calderon Administration proposals for changes in labor law and PEMEX regulation) but, much better documented than Nevear's piece, and I would trust Woodrow Wilson scholars over Stratfor, who make their living from fear-mongering.

Restoring Mexico's International Reputation (pdf file, 40 pp.)


http://mexfiles.net
http://editorialmazatlan.com


esperanza

Jun 16, 2011, 11:11 AM

Post #33 of 40 (1595 views)

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Re: [Brian] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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Sorry, Brian you do indeed resemble that remark and I definitely meant to include you in the exclusive group of crazy people. Thank you for standing up, even when so many others were trying to shove us down and shut us up.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









chinagringo


Jun 16, 2011, 12:58 PM

Post #34 of 40 (1574 views)

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Re: [richmx2] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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Thank you for the provided link! Unbiased knowledge isn't to be digested from one article from one source but it is the responsibility of the educated mind to read everything available to formulate the big picture.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



jrpierce


Jun 16, 2011, 4:33 PM

Post #35 of 40 (1539 views)

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Re: [richmx2] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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Richmx2, many thanks for posting the superb paper from Garcia of the Wilson institute. It is right on point and seems excellently written and researched.

Neil and others, this Wilson paper makes the point far more eloquently than I can. There is clearly a media bias in the US when it comes to news about Mexico. They choose to cover the violence disproportionately compared to other aspects of Mexico. The article documents that.

Of course the media should report on the violence in Mexico. But how many articles do we see where they report on a new incidence of violence in Mexico, and then follow it up with several other grisly stories--even from months earlier? How many times have you ever seen a report of violence followed by an attempt to balance the news such as: "Despite this violence, the toll on visitors and tourists from the US has been low. According to the US State Department, only 110 US Citizens were killed in Mexico last year, out of 8 million visitors and 1 million permanent residents. Sources report that most of those killed were along the Northern border, and in a number of cases were people suspected of involvement in the narco trade. A recent study at the University of San Diego estimated that even Mexicans have about the same odds of being killed by the cartels as Americans do of being killed in an automobile accident."

The Wilson report makes the point that this media bias can only be corrected over time with a concerted effort to get news out that presents a more balanced view of Mexico.

In similar fashion, I have objected to some posts on expat boards in Mexico. Yes, the boards can and should discuss the violence. However, in many instances I believe those posting are guilty of the same lack of balanced reporting. I think some expats jump to the conclusion that because narcos are killing narcos, that means the rest of us expats are in mortal danger. As the Wilson report and the data prove, in all but a tiny percent of cases, this simply isn't the case.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am in Mexico because I like it here and I like Mexicans. I know from personal experience that postings on these boards have scared people away from visiting here and encouraged some to leave. I think that further contributes to negative word of mouth about this wonderful country. So whether it is board posts or news reports, I hope Mexico can get a more balanced message before the world.

Jim


Bennie García

Jun 16, 2011, 6:10 PM

Post #36 of 40 (1528 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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I don't know why people feel they need a thank you for posting about narco violence when it is a constant theme on all the news outlets throughout the country.


chinagringo


Jun 16, 2011, 6:33 PM

Post #37 of 40 (1519 views)

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Re: [Bennie García] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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Quoting Bennie: "I don't know why people feel they need a thank you for posting about narco violence when it is a constant theme on all the news outlets throughout the country."

Granted there is plenty of access to Mexican media reports on the "narco violence" however, there are two categories of members on this forum - those that live SOB and are exposed daily and those who live NOB who typically only have access to NOB press reports that are often inaccurate and sensationalized. We are all not so privileged as yourself to have the experience and direct knowledge of living in Mexico for such an extended period!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



jrpierce


Jun 16, 2011, 9:28 PM

Post #38 of 40 (1488 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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Neil, there are also folks living SOB (a lot, actually) who don't speak enough Spanish to understand the Mexican press so rely on the sensationalized news from the US on television or the internet. Since many of our cities in Mexico don't have local media in English, they can have a hard time keeping up with local news and often rely on the expat boards for much of their local information.

Jim


chinagringo


Jun 17, 2011, 9:09 AM

Post #39 of 40 (1454 views)

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Re: [jrpierce] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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Jim:

Point taken and you can definitely add me to the list of not being fluent in Spanish! What has seemed to work for me is that I have bookmarked many of the Mexican media websites in areas that I happen to be particularly interested in. Granted these sites are in Spanish but I have my Firefox setup to translate to English when I go to a Spanish site. Having used this technique for quite some time, I have come to recognize some of the common translation problems and make adjustment for them. I often switch back and forth between the English translation and the original. Believe or not, I am starting to make some progress in understanding what I am reading in Spanish. Far from being fluent but baby steps will work for me.

Taking one small example of where some negative press has forced me to rethink some of our travel plans - the situation in Cheran. Ideally, I would have chosen to go through San Jose de Gracia, Cocucho, Cheran, and San Francisco Pichataro when driving from Guadalajara to Patzcuaro. From reading the Mexican press, I now understand that there may be a settlement which may result in some stability returning to Cheran but only time will tell. Since we have two months before we make the trip, I will watch the situation to determine if we want to go that route.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



jrpierce


Jun 17, 2011, 9:47 AM

Post #40 of 40 (1442 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Letter From Mexico: Amid the Drug Wars, a Stunning Economic Boom

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Hi Neil.... In case I implied that I am fluent in Spanish, let me hasten to correct that. I do something similar, using Google translate to scan the papers, and then drilling in on the articles that interest me. Then, I try to read the article in Spanish. It is certainly good practice and I also learn from it. My wife and I have lived here for three years, have attended hours of classes, do lots of independent practice, speak Spanish every day with locals, and our Spanish keeps improving. That said, I still need lots of help. Our US friends here who have also worked hard at understanding Spanish and have been here longer, say it seems to take 5 - 7 years to start to feel comfortable. Of course, as the instructors at the language schools often tell you, no one who is not a native speaker will ever be truly fluent in Spanish, but some come very close. I'm certainly not even close yet.

((An aside: I use Firefox most of the time. Could you share in a PM how you have yours set up to translate things in Spanish? I use Google translate which is a two-step process.))

As for news about Cheran, and it informing you as to your travel plans: I don't regard that as "negative press." That is just the facts, and I think the facts should usually be communicated if it might affect people's plans. Despite the low odds of Americans getting killed in Mexico, smart travelers avoid trouble spots. Most of the people I know who were mugged in NYC when I lived there were out wandering the streets in the early morning hours, frequently inebriated. "Negative press" is when the situation in Cheran is reported, and then followed up with warnings about how awful and dangerous Michoacán and Mexico are. People from the US have sent messages saying, "You are so brave to be in Mexico." I usually respond that if sitting in my courtyard sipping a cerveza is brave, count me in!

Jim
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