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playaboy

Feb 24, 2016, 9:27 AM

Post #1 of 12 (9206 views)

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"Empty your pockets" and pat down searches

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I have hundreds of thousands of miles under my belt driving in Mexico. I have been stopped at retens everywhere. I have never been physically searched.

The police filtros in Playa del Carmen have been randomly pulling over cars for years. They usually check ID, car registrations, and occasionally search the vehicle. Recently they have been having people empty their pockets, then we are physically searched.

Is this happening anywhere else around the country? Was there a changed of law or regulations?



cbviajero

Feb 24, 2016, 10:06 AM

Post #2 of 12 (9199 views)

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Re: [playaboy] "Empty your pockets" and pat down searches

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I've been pulled over at many retenes but never patted down and they never asked for ID or car papers.
My favorite was when the army guy opened my cooler and saw the bottles of pulque,I told him the pulque was my suegras who was watching the search,he laughed and waived us on.
Personally I've always found the military guys at the retenes to be polite and professional.


(This post was edited by cbviajero on Feb 24, 2016, 10:08 AM)


citlali

Feb 27, 2016, 1:32 PM

Post #3 of 12 (9090 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] "Empty your pockets" and pat down searches

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A friend of mine was stopped at one of the retens before getting to Tuxtla 3 weeks ago, intimidated by the police searched and as they found money in his papers andthey took it..telling him it was as a payment for not taken him to the headquarters as he appeared nervous and they were sure he had drugs in his van.
As our friend saidwhen you have 6 cops taking your pants down at gun point I do not know many people who would not be nervous..
Our friend is an upper middle class Tapatio and he was really shaken by the experience because they were 6 policemen pointing his guns at him.

I offered to call the Drirector of Tourism and report it as I know him and he told me to forget it..

We have never been harrassed at that reten but I guess it depends how much money the cops think they can get or when they need money.


RickS


Feb 27, 2016, 2:24 PM

Post #4 of 12 (9080 views)

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Re: [citlali] "Empty your pockets" and pat down searches

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That's too bad. I suspect that your friend, the upper middle class gentleman, looked that part and the cops knew they could take him for a ride. Again, too bad that happens.

Me, I always dress 'shabbily' when I'm making trips in/out and hope for the best. So far I've been lucky.


cbviajero

Feb 27, 2016, 3:14 PM

Post #5 of 12 (9076 views)

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Re: [citlali] "Empty your pockets" and pat down searches

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I guess that it's the luck of the draw.
I've been pulled over by transitos,policias muncipales,estatales,federales and at military retenes and have never had a problem.
Once on vacation in Michoacan my truck was searched by the military,they found my vacation money in the center console and didn't take a dime of it.
Outside of Nuevo Leon an army guy searched my truck and found a box full of books some in Spanish,he said I must like to read and that he he did too,I gave him my copy of (An Old Gringo in Mexico),by Carlos Fuentes,that made his day I think.
Having the right attitude can help a lot.


(This post was edited by cbviajero on Feb 27, 2016, 3:49 PM)


citlali

Feb 27, 2016, 4:04 PM

Post #6 of 12 (9068 views)

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Re: [RickS] "Empty your pockets" and pat down searches

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He had an empty van as he was going down to Chiapas to buy for his business so the cops knew something was up, he looked like he should have been in a fancy car not a van so they were suspicious and were looking for drugs they said.
I can see leaving Chiapas with drugs but going into Chiapas with drugs? Bringing sand to the beach?
I think they felt he was well off so they harassed him,. made him nervous. looked for money and found some..
They are very good at smelling money.
They were state police,

WE do that road several times a year and get stop many time on that section but have never been search either..


(This post was edited by citlali on Feb 27, 2016, 4:10 PM)


roberth

Feb 28, 2016, 12:27 PM

Post #7 of 12 (9026 views)

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Re: [playaboy] "Empty your pockets" and pat down searches

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Never had this experience myself, thank goodness. I do most of my long distance driving along 57 between SMA and Monterrey. A dozen round trips or so. Only ever been pulled over once when one of the guys at a checkpoint wanted to check the validity of my TIP. I showed him the letter from Aduana stating that my TIP had been updated to match my RT, which worked just fine. Hopefully that luck holds up as we begin doing more road trips in other parts of Mexico.


viktoremski


Feb 29, 2016, 11:01 AM

Post #8 of 12 (8982 views)

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Re: [playaboy] "Empty your pockets" and pat down searches

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I don't drive, but on a related note, I have been stopped, and searched (which a few times included intimidation, extortion and even robbery). I live in Tijuana where there is a lot of organized and non-organized crime, and police (especially the municipal one) is notorious for its illegal activities. I must admit that all of my encounters with mexican law inforcement happened years ago, last time in 2006. So I guess there is improvement. I will only explain in detail one funny situation: I was walking in a red light district. A policeman noticed me from the other side of the street. He ran accross, stopped and searched me. Disappointed, since I had very little money left, and nothing illegal on me, he tried to intimidate me questioning a condom he found in my pocket. "What do you need that for!?" There were dozens of prostitutes not far away from us, while he was telling me that prostitution is illegal in Mexico, and that I was probably intending to pay for sex. Fortunately, I was able to keep my cool, and he decided to let me go. There were also a few other, less funny situations, and a coupple of times I actually lost some money.
I will be moving out of Tijuana in about a year, so I hope not to experience any more police harassment...


cbviajero

Feb 29, 2016, 11:16 AM

Post #9 of 12 (8979 views)

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Re: [viktoremski] "Empty your pockets" and pat down searches

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In Reply To
I I will only explain in detail one funny situation: I was walking in a red light district. A policeman noticed me from the other side of the street. He ran accross, stopped and searched me. Disappointed, since I had very little money left, and nothing illegal on me, he tried to intimidate me questioning a condom he found in my pocket. "What do you need that for!?" There were dozens of prostitutes not far away from us, while he was telling me that prostitution is illegal in Mexico, and that I was probably intending to pay for sex. Fortunately, I was able to keep my cool, and he decided to let me go. There were also a few other, less funny situations, and a coupple of times I actually lost some money.
I will be moving out of Tijuana in about a year, so I hope not to experience any more police harassment...

Haha, a gringo walking around a red light distric in TJ with a condom in his pocket and the cop thought you might be soliciting prostitutes?
That is funny!


(This post was edited by cbviajero on Feb 29, 2016, 5:02 PM)


citlali

Mar 1, 2016, 6:00 AM

Post #10 of 12 (8932 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] "Empty your pockets" and pat down searches

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no kidding"
I have a couple of young friends who were walking late at night and seach for drugs. They told me you have to really watch the cops because some of them will plant some drugs and then blackmail the families..Since I do not walk around late at night it has never happened to me , I also do not fir the profile..and who knows if that is true..


NorthAmericanTraveler

Apr 6, 2016, 6:19 PM

Post #11 of 12 (8643 views)

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Re: [cbviajero] "Empty your pockets" and pat down searches

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In Reply To
I guess that it's the luck of the draw.
I've been pulled over by transitos,policias muncipales,estatales,federales and at military retenes and have never had a problem.
Once on vacation in Michoacan my truck was searched by the military,they found my vacation money in the center console and didn't take a dime of it.
Outside of Nuevo Leon an army guy searched my truck and found a box full of books some in Spanish,he said I must like to read and that he he did too,I gave him my copy of (An Old Gringo in Mexico),by Carlos Fuentes,that made his day I think.
Having the right attitude can help a lot.


I was pulled over west of Ojinaga on my way to the Peguis Canyon by the Federal Policia. They (2 officers in a truck) wanted to see my permits (FMM and TIP). I explained that I was just driving to the canyon and no farther in my terrible Spanish. Note that the canyon is at the end of the free zone and that no permits are needed to drive there. They thought that I was going to be driving farther into Mexico and they were going to have me turn around if I was. The only thing we exchanged at the end was a couple of handshakes.

Also when I entered Ojinaga my car was red lighted at customs and I was searched. Once again the customs officer was very respectful.

I always treat law enforcement with a lot of respect. I'm typically pretty calm since I honestly don't have anything to hide. Whenever they want to search my vehicle I just tell them to go ahead. I'm also a light packer and keep my car really clean so the inspections never last long. I usually pack a suitcase, blankets, a pillow, and my legal documents and that's it. (Yes I proudly sleep in the car on my road trips.)


chinagringo


Apr 6, 2016, 8:30 PM

Post #12 of 12 (8636 views)

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Re: [NorthAmericanTraveler] "Empty your pockets" and pat down searches

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I gave up sleeping in my car once I left my teenage years but obviously, your mileage does vary! To my way of thinking that habit may be questionable whether NOB or anywhere else in the world?

Now, if one owns a motor home in the $500K class and up - WallyWorlds across the US would probably welcome you with open arms with free parking in their parking lots (except where prohibited by local ordanance). Just think, if you pick the right one, you can count on a McDonald's breakfast and then go spend the money you saved on cheap junk from China with a 100' out the door warranty if you are lucky! Even better, should you so choose you can write two different reviews for TripAdvisor and earn worthless points and badges.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM

 
 
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