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Gringal

Aug 13, 2013, 3:52 PM

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Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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Okay, so the previous thread went a bit amok. However, we all do have friends and family who are either a little or a whole lot afraid to visit us here in Mexico. Since my husband and I just spent a week in the States with a bunch of relatives who expressed their fears, here's some practical advice we used to turn at least a few of them around and willing to visit.
First: Don't deny that there are troubles. They'll think your head is stuck in the sand. Be real about what and why.

Second: Tell them that if they can arrange a flight that will arrive in daylight, you'll pick them up at the airport personally. That helps.

Third: Describe the food and prices at some of your favorite restaurants/other hangouts. Assure them you'll spoil them rotten.

This was effective. We have several guests expected now.
Much cheaper than flying there and sleeping in strange beds.
Any more suggestions out there?



citlali

Aug 13, 2013, 5:44 PM

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Re: [Gringal] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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I do not have to entice or bribe anyone from my family to come . They come every year and I have yet hear from any of them they were afraid of anything. I gues Americans are scary cats.


RickS


Aug 13, 2013, 9:16 PM

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Re: [citlali] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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I suspect not more than anyone else.... it's just that we are closer and, at least in the US, we get a ton of negative press. Also, I find that US citizens in general have 'always' been somewhat apprehensive if not fearful of Mexico... outside of the beach resorts anyway. IMO, part of it is ignorance of the culture and part of it has a racist slant.


Gringal

Aug 14, 2013, 8:02 AM

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Re: [RickS] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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My comment on the response from Citlali is that he is fortunate to have such a fearless family. But family and friend comparisons and a blanket opinion of Americans wasn't the issue.

I always treat my guests so well that they feel "spoiled", and they respond in kind. That's not a bribe, since they happen to be in a position to treat themselves as well as they wish to.

They are not fearful people by nature, but the NOB press has told them than terrible things may happen to them if they travel to Mexico. Thus, the thing they need is both reassurance and the experience of actually spending time here in this fine country.

More first person positive reports will help to counteract the bad press.


La Isla


Aug 14, 2013, 8:49 AM

Post #5 of 29 (4395 views)

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Re: [citlali] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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Not all Americans are scaredy cats. In the last few years since moving back to Mexico, I've had visits from several friends from the States, and none of them were afraid to come here. Of course, my friends are sophisticated travelers, so they know better than to believe the garbage printed about how dangerous Mexico is in the US press.


Gringal

Aug 14, 2013, 9:05 AM

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Re: [La Isla] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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Many of my friends and family have traveled, worked and lived all over the world. However, it is significant that the U.S. gov't has not chosen to issue travel warnings to Europe (in general), Australia or many other destinations: they seem to focus on Mexico. Yet, all sorts of problems have occurred abroad. Why do you suppose Mexico seems to be singled out for the special negative warnings?
I could speculate in detail.....but "follow the money" may suffice.


Chapala Payaso

Aug 14, 2013, 9:27 AM

Post #7 of 29 (4378 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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Gringal: Perhaps this will help. Fear is one of the basic six feelings. Feelings are determined by thoughts. The thought(s) in play in the case presented is that Mexico is a lot more dangerous than either the US or Canada. So in order to reduce the fear, the person's thoughts must be modified to a more realistic perspective.


Gringal

Aug 14, 2013, 9:34 AM

Post #8 of 29 (4374 views)

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Re: [Chapala Payaso] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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Exactly why I started this post. Obviously, those of us who have been living here for years either didn't have it or got past it, and experience was the greatest teacher.


NEOhio1


Aug 14, 2013, 10:35 AM

Post #9 of 29 (4362 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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We too just travelled north for weeks and spoke with family and friends about Mexico and visiting.

Surprisingly there is little resistance from those located in the midwest 'fly over country' but LOTS of questions and bad vibes from those in the southwest and west regions.

I attribute that difference in attitude to the news reports in areas densely populated with Latinos. Those news reports would naturally be aimed at the local population and if its significantly mexico-based then the news will be focused on them.

We just reminded everyone that troubles happen everywhere. They are no more likely to experience trouble here than where they live. That Guadalajara is just like any other city but the signage is in Spanish and that lakeside is just like going off to the villages rimming any large lake. Its busy with people living their daily lives, visitors and locals alike.


esperanza

Aug 14, 2013, 11:24 AM

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Re: [Gringal] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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If you (not you personally, Gringal, just any ol' 'you') have lived in Mexico since prior to 2006, you moved to a country where life appeared to be peaceful, where there was the occasional homicide in your town (even in Ajijic--I remember four foreigners being murdered by other foreigners during the first two years I lived there), and where it appeared that national politics had very little influence on your life. You traveled about without paranoia, ready for the occasional justified or not-so-justified traffic stop, posted here and in other places about mordida and whether to pay it or not, and not much other than the normal chaos of Mexico impinged on your daily life in Paradise. US State Department travel advisories about dangers in Mexico were rare to nonexistent.

For all the years of the PRI domination of Mexico's politics, the drug cárteles operated with the permission of the government: you get this piece of Mexico, you get that piece, you get this other piece, etc. The cárteles were closely controlled by the government, paid the government for their plazas, and all of their activities went, for the most part, undetected, particularly by the retired foreign community.

In 2006, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, the PAN candidate, was elected president. Unlike prior Mexican presidents, he chose to beard the lion in his den: he confronted the Mexican drug lords and insisted that he would put an end to drugs in Mexico. War on drugs! As we all know now, his tactics did not work. In fact, it is commonly said that, in effect, he 'kicked the anthill' and the criminals ran everywhere. Conflict increased, the death toll soared--and included the deaths of innocent bystanders--and in some parts of Mexico, real terror reigned. The cárteles multiplied, their activities totally out of control. Violence bred more violence, both along the northern border and in central states as well. The death toll continued to soar; late in Calderón's presidency, the government either ceased counting deaths or ceased reporting, and although "official" statistics would lead the public to believe that around 70,000 people lost their lives during the six-year PAN presidency, others believe that the death count is around 120,000. Other thousands of people are missing, with little government interest in locating either their bodies or the living.

Calderón left office in 2012, followed as president by the PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, who was inaugurated on December 1, 2012. Since his inauguration, the reports of violence have slowed to almost nothing--because Peña Nieto has put the clamps on reporting, not because the violence has lessened. Currently, Michoacán is said to be the most dangerous state in Mexico. Three cárteles--Los Caballeros Templarios, La Familia Michoacana, and La Nueva Generación de Jalisco--continue to contest control of the states of Jalisco and Michoacán. In Michoacán, the most violent areas are along the Jalisco's easternmost border with Michoacán's westernmost border and in Michoacán's southwestern lowlands, the Tierra Caliente. In addition, a high level of violence continues in the contested state of Guerrero.

North of Mexico's center, violence has escalated in the states of Zacatecas (particularly around the capital) and Querétaro.

In addition to violence, Mexico is rife with low-level kidnapping (i.e., criminals will kidnap anyone they can, not necessarily the rich or powerful; I personally know a taxi driver in Michoacán whose cousin was kidnapped and held for two months while the family scrounged up 70,000 pesos for his release), extortion (I personally know a past-middle-age, law-abiding woman in Michoacán who was severely beaten and extorted in her well-known place of business; she paid the criminals 80,000 pesos so they would not come back and make good on their threat to kill her and her husband), and other crimes orchestrated by the cárteles. El Universal reported several months ago that at least 70% of Mexico's cities and towns are controlled by the cárteles.

You may never see an act of narcoviolencia--except, wait--you who live at Lake Chapala have already experienced it. In May of 2012 nearly 20 local men were tortured and killed. Two bodies were discovered at the lake this last week. How much has happened in the intervening 15 months? You already know about police involvement with the cárteles and other corruption, too. To whom can you report crime? Your house is burglarized? Here come the cops--and they haul away the DVD player that the burglars missed: 'Señora, it might show fingerprints'. Will you ever see it again?

You might ask yourselves: why is the price of avocados so high--right now, the price is about 60 pesos the kilo. Why do the limones look different this year? Why have prices risen so drastically? The answer to all of those questions: narco-negocio. Extortion to the avocado growers and packers--not to mention the destruction of huge packing facilities when the owners refuse to pay up. This year, the narcos have refused to allow the limoneros (the guys who harvest limones) to cut the fruit and send it to market. Several young men were ambushed and killed on their way back to the limón orchards after reporting harassment. Limones, a staple here, are being imported to Mexico from Brazil! These tactics raise the bill for all of us.

I hear many foreigners say that the US press has some kind of 'follow the money' situation with Mexico that causes the US press to make negative reports about what happens in this country. It's interesting to me that what I and most other people see as reporting facts about what's happening here is viewed as 'negative' reporting. We do not live in a slightly exotic paradise. We live in a country with huge, violent problems, MOST of which are not reported in the USA press. Only the big things are reported in the States. If all the narcoviolencia were reported in the USA, it's unlikely that *anyone* there would continue to come to Mexico.

So deal with the questions of family and friends as best you can. There is reason to think twice about visiting Mexico.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Aug 14, 2013, 2:35 PM)


yucatandreamer


Aug 14, 2013, 12:02 PM

Post #11 of 29 (4348 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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Thank you! Like! I love living in Mexico but it seems foolhardy to ignore or minimize the real problems that are here.


esperanza

Aug 14, 2013, 12:25 PM

Post #12 of 29 (4336 views)

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Re: [yucatandreamer] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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You are most welcome.

And lest people think I have some kind of hate on for Mexico: I love this country, MY country, with a fervent passion. It both angers and saddens me to see what we--just for this moment, please God--have become.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









playaboy

Aug 14, 2013, 12:34 PM

Post #13 of 29 (4330 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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I would like to add that here in Mexico the criminals attack the police and military with automatic weapons and grenades. Or are they all to be considered criminals too.


You almost never here of anybody attacking law enforcement in the States. When they do, the authorities come down extremely hard, swiftly and with overwhelming numbers.

I have been spending quite of bit of time in the RGV lately. Most of the Mexicans here won't consider crossing the border to visit relatives. They think I am loco to make the drives I do.


bronco

Aug 14, 2013, 12:46 PM

Post #14 of 29 (4330 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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thankyou! its about time we heard from the politically INcorrect. we know about the sheeple. grandma is cool, yeahyeahyeah we know that, lovebeads & all. please everyone, read the artical in "new yorker" july 2nd, 2012. it is a summary of what happened in mex, guad, surrounding areas. i believe there is a link here on this forum. then again, kill the messenger? the press is actually pro mexico, as most things are NOT reported. (my friends think mexico is an elegant place, fine living, fine dining, 5 star, & very close to miami. the rest takes place in border towns, they saw the movie "traffic"). FYI, lakeside is not a resort, nor a cultural heritage site. it is a place for seniors to live cheap, a party place for people from guad. sometimes a mexican town, but that is disappearing. it is safe depending upon where you go & when you go there. now.......that's a no brainer.

(This post was edited by bronco on Aug 14, 2013, 1:13 PM)


Gringal

Aug 14, 2013, 1:43 PM

Post #15 of 29 (4316 views)

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Re: [bronco] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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Would Bronco please explain why she or he moved here in the first place and what is keeping him or her here? After all the negativity, my curiosity is truly piqued. Speaking personally, I'd be long gone if I felt that way.


sam.I.am

Aug 14, 2013, 3:04 PM

Post #16 of 29 (4303 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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If you (not you personally, Gringal, just any ol' 'you') have lived in Mexico since prior to 2006, you moved to a country where life appeared to be peaceful, where there was the occasional homicide in your town (even in Ajijic--I remember four foreigners being murdered by other foreigners during the first two years I lived there), and where it appeared that national politics had very little influence on your life. You traveled about without paranoia, ready for the occasional justified or not-so-justified traffic stop, posted here and in other places about mordida and whether to pay it or not, and not much other than the normal chaos of Mexico impinged on your daily life in Paradise. US State Department travel advisories about dangers in Mexico were rare to nonexistent.

For all the years of the PRI domination of Mexico's politics, the drug cárteles operated with the permission of the government: you get this piece of Mexico, you get that piece, you get this other piece, etc. The cárteles were closely controlled by the government, paid the government for their plazas, and all of their activities went, for the most part, undetected, particularly by the retired foreign community.

In 2006, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, the PAN candidate, was elected president. Unlike prior Mexican presidents, he chose to beard the lion in his den: he confronted the Mexican drug lords and insisted that he would put an end to drugs in Mexico. War on drugs! As we all know now, his tactics did not work. In fact, it is commonly said that, in effect, he 'kicked the anthill' and the criminals ran everywhere. Conflict increased, the death toll soared--and included the deaths of innocent bystanders--and in some parts of Mexico, real terror reigned. The cárteles multiplied, their activities totally out of control. Violence bred more violence, both along the northern border and in central states as well. The death toll continued to soar; late in Calderón's presidency, the government either ceased counting deaths or ceased reporting, and although "official" statistics would lead the public to believe that around 70,000 people lost their lives during the six-year PAN presidency, others believe that the death count is around 120,000. Other thousands of people are missing, with little government interest in locating either their bodies or the living.

Calderón left office in 2012, followed as president by the PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto, who was inaugurated on December 1, 2012. Since his inauguration, the reports of violence have slowed to almost nothing--because Peña Nieto has put the clamps on reporting, not because the violence has lessened. Currently, Michoacán is said to be the most dangerous state in Mexico. Three cárteles--Los Caballeros Templarios, La Familia Michoacana, and La Nueva Generación de Jalisco--continue to contest control of the states of Jalisco and Michoacán. In Michoacán, the most violent areas are along the Jalisco's easternmost border with Michoacán's westernmost border and in Michoacán's southwestern lowlands, the Tierra Caliente. In addition, a high level of violence continues in the contested state of Guerrero.

North of Mexico's center, violence has escalated in the states of Zacatecas (particularly around the capital) and Querétaro.

In addition to violence, Mexico is rife with low-level kidnapping (i.e., criminals will kidnap anyone they can, not necessarily the rich or powerful; I personally know a taxi driver in Michoacán whose cousin was kidnapped and held for two months while the family scrounged up 70,000 pesos for his release), extortion (I personally know a past-middle-age, law-abiding woman in Michoacán who was severely beaten and extorted in her well-known place of business; she paid the criminals 80,000 pesos so they would not come back and make good on their threat to kill her and her husband), and other crimes orchestrated by the cárteles. El Universal reported several months ago that at least 70% of Mexico's cities and towns are controlled by the cárteles.

You may never see an act of narcoviolencia--except, wait--you who live at Lake Chapala have already experienced it. In May of 2012 nearly 20 local men were tortured and killed. Two bodies were discovered at the lake this last week. How much has happened in the intervening 15 months? You already know about police involvement with the cárteles and other corruption, too. To whom can you report crime? Your house is burglarized? Here come the cops--and they haul away the DVD player that the burglars missed: 'Señora, it might show fingerprints'. Will you ever see it again?

You might ask yourselves: why is the price of avocados so high--right now, the price is about 60 pesos the kilo. Why do the limones look different this year? Why have prices risen so drastically? The answer to all of those questions: narco-negocio. Extortion to the avocado growers and packers--not to mention the destruction of huge packing facilities when the owners refuse to pay up. This year, the narcos have refused to allow the limoneros (the guys who harvest limones) to cut the fruit and send it to market. Several young men were ambushed and killed on their way back to the limón orchards after reporting harassment. Limones, a staple here, are being imported to Mexico from Brazil! These tactics raise the bill for all of us.

I hear many foreigners say that the US press has some kind of 'follow the money' situation with Mexico that causes the US press to make negative reports about what happens in this country. It's interesting to me that what I and most other people see as reporting facts about what's happening here is viewed as 'negative' reporting. We do not live in a slightly exotic paradise. We live in a country with huge, violent problems, MOST of which are not reported in the USA press. Only the big things are reported in the States. If all the narcoviolencia were reported in the USA, it's unlikely that *anyone* there would continue to come to Mexico.

So deal with the questions of family and friends as best you can. There is reason to think twice about visiting Mexico.

In all, your post is pure propaganda. Some is true but most of the post is not even close to being proven. I guess you were a Lopez Obrador fan, to say the least. Cald
eron staked his whole term on the war on drugs, paid for by the US government. AND he ended up fleeing the country and never likly to return
I would love to see ANY proof of PRI giving away areas of Mexico to the Cartels. Show me any type of proof.
What a disgraceful post for a long term resident of Mexico. Too bad at your age you still don't understand politics and Mexico.


cbviajero

Aug 14, 2013, 3:50 PM

Post #17 of 29 (4290 views)

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Re: [sam.I.am] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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In Reply To
I would love to see ANY proof of PRI giving away areas of Mexico to the Cartels. Show me any type of proof.
What a disgraceful post for a long term resident of Mexico. Too bad at your age you still don't understand politics and Mexico.

Sam,of course the PRI has never given away areas of Mexico to the cartels,they've always charged for them.You are the one who appears to be clueless regarding Mexico and it's politics.


(This post was edited by cbviajero on Aug 14, 2013, 3:55 PM)


esperanza

Aug 14, 2013, 4:05 PM

Post #18 of 29 (4279 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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Thank you and amen, cbviajero.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









Gringal

Aug 14, 2013, 4:17 PM

Post #19 of 29 (4272 views)

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Re: [sam.I.am] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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sam.i.am:
I moved here in 2004. At that time, rumors had long abounded that it was a dangerous place. One relative believed that there were frequent uprisings where the natives cut the gringo's throats with machetes.
As it turns out, it is a dangerous place if you're in the wrong business or aren't willing to pay extortion. The rest was rumor.

I won't comment on the veracity of Esperanza's post since she's been here far longer than I have and is in a position to be better informed than I.

I have heard that currently, the media has been ordered to be quiet about the "troubles". This policy is not unknown in other countries or we wouldn't be having "whistleblower outrage" going on anywhere.

Our personal choices are to raise an outcry and suffer the consequences or shut up and deal with it the best we can.
The consequences of raising Cain can be dire........so I choose to be aware of what's going on, deal with it on a practical level, and if in the future I found that the "stuff" going on was too thick for my taste........the road runs north as well as south. I'm not "stuck" anywhere.

Meanwhile, I see the good outweighing the bad and plan to stay.

I would very much like to see the government (whichever party) running the country instead of the criminal element, but I also have seen the tragic results of the direct confrontation Calderon's administration tried. Like all drug wars, it was doomed. Unless the consumers cease to buy the drugs, the sellers will prosper and crime will pay better than most of the jobs available.


tashby


Aug 14, 2013, 5:31 PM

Post #20 of 29 (4258 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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The "we'll personally pick you up at the airport and escort you home" is probably the most convincing thing you can say to potential guests who are worried about their safety. Needlessly or not.

Other than that, this thread has already spiraled into a debate about whether or not Mexico (in general) is "safe enough to visit during these troubled times" and that's a discussion I refuse to participate in any more. It's a waste of time. Sort of like political debates in the U.S.


(This post was edited by tashby on Aug 14, 2013, 5:35 PM)


bronco

Aug 14, 2013, 10:08 PM

Post #21 of 29 (4227 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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[reply]Would Bronco please explain why she or he moved here in the first place and what is keeping him or her here? After all the negativity, my curiosity is truly piqued. Speaking personally, I'd be long gone if I felt that way.[/reply] gringal, you have asked the same question on 3 forums for several years. over &over & over. knock it off. i do not choose to share every detail w/a screen "entity". to put it bluntly: it is none of your business. personal conversations are discouraged from this forum. the topic is not about me, its about mexico. your personal life & mine have nothing to do w/the reality of mexico. what happened did happen. what happens now does happen. all the talk about low priced restauarants, or traffic in california doesnt erase that reality. there are some VERY dangerous areas in mexico. last year this was one of them.

(This post was edited by bronco on Aug 14, 2013, 10:20 PM)


sam.I.am

Aug 15, 2013, 7:38 AM

Post #22 of 29 (4191 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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In Reply To

In Reply To
I would love to see ANY proof of PRI giving away areas of Mexico to the Cartels. Show me any type of proof.
What a disgraceful post for a long term resident of Mexico. Too bad at your age you still don't understand politics and Mexico.

Sam,of course the PRI has never given away areas of Mexico to the cartels,they've always charged for them.You are the one who appears to be clueless regarding Mexico and it's politics.

I have lived in Mexico for over a decade, full time. I follow along with news and information better than most on this forum since I can read and understand Spanish.
This is pure propaganda, If you have any proof otherwise, please post it.
The fact is Calderon sold out to the US, took a pay off and fled the country. The day Nieto was sworn in as President he was gone and never to return. His family was gone weeks before, setting up the home in the USA.
History does and will always show Calderon sold out the country, sent the military in to fight a war that the US paid for in most everything but deaths and a ruined economy.


Gringal

Aug 15, 2013, 8:45 AM

Post #23 of 29 (4177 views)

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Re: [bronco] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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Your post without using quotes is confusing to the reader since there is no separation between my words and yours.

The details of your personal life (or that of any poster on here) is none of anyone's business, and none of my remarks are about you, personally. You could be male, female, rich or poor, educated or with a literacy problem.

Your remarks about Mexico and it's foreign residents (on every forum), suggesting they are all "sheeple" or partying seniors who have to live on the cheap are fair game. I may comment on a blanket insult anyone makes about people or places. This is a forum about opinions, not about individuals. Challenging opinions is one part of the process.

We have no disagreement on the fact that there is crime in Mexico. There is crime everywhere. I have lived in the big U.S. cities where whole areas are to be avoided.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Aug 15, 2013, 8:59 AM)


Sculptari

Aug 15, 2013, 11:23 AM

Post #24 of 29 (4135 views)

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Re: [sam.I.am] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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This was posted on the McClatchy Mexican blog, the story has also been picked up by ABC. Quite an eyeopening tale, as told by a local doctor. "we won't let these people return' is the name of the post

http://blogs.mcclatchydc.com/mexico/

http://abcnews.go.com/...co/story?id=19787780
no longer active on Mexconnect


GringoCArlos

Aug 15, 2013, 11:50 AM

Post #25 of 29 (4128 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Practical Ways to Deal with Scared Family; friends

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In Reply To

North of Mexico's center, violence has escalated in the states of Zacatecas (particularly around the capital) and Querétaro.


I have no problem with anything in your post, except your statement that Querétaro has increasing violence. Tain't so, McGruff. What's your source? Perhaps you meant Guanajuato has increasing problems?

Here's one of my sources to refute your statement. Go to the bottom graph that shows Incidencias por Delito:
http://join.org.mx/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/9-Seguridad.pdf


(This post was edited by GringoCArlos on Aug 15, 2013, 12:18 PM)
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