Jun 14, 2012, 6:29 PM
Post #7 of 11
The issue of personally carrying a knife or transporting knives in our luggage is such a very very "Mexican" issue.
Re: [FreemanMcgowan] Laws and attitudes on knives (pocket and up to 7 inches)
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If we listen to 100 expat bits of advice or personal experiences, we will mostly hear tales of that they had no problems. A very few will describe situations where things went very very badly, in unexpected ways for unexpected reasons. Some Mexican Gob. agents/police will be friendly and helpful, some others will make things temporarily difficult or difficult in some minor way, and a few other authorities will make things very difficult.
Expats would like some neat, clean, tidy, well-defined rules like: Blades shorter than 4" are permitted, but reality here just does not work out that way.
The reality is that if the Gob. authority decides that your knife is for utility uses**, then it is OK to carry as long as you are not menacing people. The rules prohibiting knives in Mexico have specific exemptions for utility blades.
**e.g. Machetes are fine, because they are generally used as utility blades, so, it is OK to carry them if it looks like you are going to hack some bushes or selva - especially if it is oxidized and looks well-used. Carry a shiny new machete, dress and look like some tender-foot city-boy who has never cleared a lot or plot of land, and they may grab you.
**Kitchen knives and butcher knives and cleavers are OK in our luggage - because they look like they are utilitarian.
**Coa's are OK to carry in public, because, again, they are utilitarian. Carry a brightly polished, well-sharpened coa across the Zocalo in Mexico City and take it into the Cathedral or Museum, and they will likely stop you, unless you look like a poor campesino...
**Military knives / combat knives carried in public places like an upscale shopping mall, might sometime require a whole bunch of explainin' , especially if you were accused-of or suspected-of with some other crime ...
Will this advice and these observations cover all situations and all people and all knives - heck no...
I personally carry a pocket knife here at times, but I have enough other tools and stuff to show that I'm a working guy - country-boy. I have carried a WW2 Japanese bayonet and a large high-polish German butcher knife around in my tool bucket - and the police here never give me second glance, because they are clearly utility blades, as a part of my toolkit. I also know enough Spanish tool-talk and work-terminology to make it clear that I'm a construction guy, speak some Maya, and casually converse with the authority to find out if they went to school with one of my local relatives.
For example, the Maya guys I work with have baptised me "Maya Rubio" , because I really enjoy working side-by-side with 'em.
So, I think it all comes down to if you know how to handle yourself with Mexican authorities... and if you will ever be in situations where you might have trouble explaining yourself ... or if you run into some police officer or militar who's not having their best day. (?)
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(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Jun 14, 2012, 6:35 PM)