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gpk

Sep 25, 2005, 4:39 PM

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San Miguel crime spree?

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I just spent the weekend with friends who live in San Miguel. They said there had been a rash of serious crimes/attacks on foreigners, all involving robbery but also unusually violent. Supposedly a group in meeting or hoping to meet with the authorities about this. What can the residents of SMA tell us about all this?



Gringal

Sep 25, 2005, 5:06 PM

Post #2 of 31 (9467 views)

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Re: [gpk] San Miguel crime spree?

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There have been two incidents I'm aware of: both serious, involving violence to the homeowners. It is said that simple robberies have increased. An open letter to the mayor has been posted in the Atencion with many signatures, and according to the current issue, the mayor has met with a number of residents on this issue during the last week.


johnv

Sep 25, 2005, 7:17 PM

Post #3 of 31 (9442 views)

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Re: [gpk] San Miguel crime spree?

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Likewise, an equal surge in crime in Guanajuato Capital. I have been noticing more gang grafitti lately. I have heard that the GuatCap and cental Guanjuato are now being inundated with youth gangs returning from Los Angeles and similar places, where they learned their lessons well. This problem has been very big in Central America for quite a while. Guanajuato State has just been lucky so far. Yes, the times, they are a changing.


Cynthia7

Sep 25, 2005, 7:55 PM

Post #4 of 31 (9428 views)

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Re: [johnv] San Miguel crime spree?

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September is celebration month...many non locals visit and as I remember there is more crime during this month..Let's see if this keeps up.


Miguel Palomares


Sep 26, 2005, 6:00 AM

Post #5 of 31 (9390 views)

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Re: [gpk] San Miguel crime spree?

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We doan have no steenking cholos in Patzcuaro. It is a peaceable town.
From Tzurumutaro, Michoacan, "The Village of the Darned."
_______________________________________

The nuts and bolts of moving to Mexico:
http://michaeldickson.blogspot.com/
The dark side of living in Mexico:
http://mexicopeeks.blogspot.com/
Scintillating life in a Mexican pueblo:
http://tzurumutaro.blogspot.com/
http://tzurumutaro2.blogspot.com/


TigerTonio


Sep 26, 2005, 6:18 AM

Post #6 of 31 (9387 views)

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Re: [johnv] Guanajuato

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I will be in Guanajuato for three weeks this November and I'm keeping a watchful eye on these reports. Guanajuato, for me, will always be one of Mexico's most fascinating cities and it saddens me to hear about the thugs who are bringing their nastiness back 'home'. <sigh> But in my travels, whether they be in Mexico or Luxembourg -- I go with an attitude and expectation that crime is everywhere and caution should always be exercised, no matter the 'clean and pristeen' appearance.

On another note, the Chicago Tribune gave Guanajuato the 'thumbs up' with it's front page travel section article with some wonderful color photos in Sunday's edition. Here is the link to the online version of the article sans photos. http://www.chicagotribune.com/...rack=1&cset=true


gpk

Sep 26, 2005, 11:46 AM

Post #7 of 31 (9335 views)

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Re: [gpk] San Miguel crime spree?

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My friends from San Miguel--who are not at all given to hysterics--seemed quite concerned. They spoke of at least 4 incidents. I know the residents of San Miguel are protective of their paradise, but it would be helpful if someone on the ground there would keep the forum informed of any information about such events.


johnv

Sep 26, 2005, 7:26 PM

Post #8 of 31 (9273 views)

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Re: [gpk] San Miguel crime spree?

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The terror in SMA and GuatCap almost makes one consider heavily the paradisical Ajijic. Some freinds of mine have recently cleared out of the GuatCap for Ajijic, and just love it over there. It was made just for USA retirees who need safety, beauty, confidence , freinds, reasonable prices, and low crime. My experience with SMA is that at any given time it is as good as its going to get. Don't expect it to get better. It's been on a downward spiral for 40 years but especially since 1990. Now the GuatCap is infected too, or perhaps it never was or will be suited for the vast vast majority of extranjeros. Then, there's the unpublicized kidnappings in the SMA and GuatCap areas. Even though these involved rich Mexicans, it can happen at any time to extranjeros flaunting their wealth in a povert stricken town in a 3rd world country. Allways remember to never let people know how much money you have, anywhere, but especially here. I certain set of individuals started inundating SMA in the 90's, throwing around money indiscrimately and driving prices up astronomically, not giving ahoot about anything or anybody but themselves, thus spoiling this paradise, sour. Homes that cost 54000 in 87 are now 1,540,000 in 2005, and don't tell me "this would have happened anyway". It happened because of the above mentioned "set" of individuals. And now they all wonder why there are ATM machine scams, kidnappings, and now terrorized violent robberies. Ajijic here I come!!


jennifer rose

Sep 26, 2005, 8:27 PM

Post #9 of 31 (9261 views)

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Re: [johnv] San Miguel crime spree?

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Let's not forget that Ajijic is not immune to violent crime. There have been murders and armed robberies there, too.

Even in my humble part of Morelia, the past six months have been marked by two burglaries of houses across the street from me at high noon. And this town has known violent crime, and crimes against foreigners, too.


caldwelld


Sep 27, 2005, 9:25 AM

Post #10 of 31 (9214 views)

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Re: [gpk] San Miguel crime spree?

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Glad I no longer lurk on this forum for reliable information. Particulary in the last few months the level of grey matter being applied to posts appears to have been the victim of a crime spree (read robbery).
dondon


Brian

Sep 27, 2005, 9:38 AM

Post #11 of 31 (9213 views)

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Re: [caldwelld] San Miguel crime spree?

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Bob Kelly has written an excellent article in the Guadalajara Reporter about the current SMA crime situation . For those who subscribe to the online edition, the article can be found here:

http://www.guadalajarareporter.com/fullstory.cfm?section=sanmiguel&id=114

saludos
Brian


gpk

Sep 27, 2005, 9:55 AM

Post #12 of 31 (9205 views)

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Re: [Brian] San Miguel crime spree?

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How about a brief summary?


Gringal

Sep 27, 2005, 1:48 PM

Post #13 of 31 (9158 views)

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Re: [johnv] San Miguel crime spree?

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"I certain set of individuals started inundating SMA in the 90's, throwing around money indiscrimately and driving prices up astronomically, not giving ahoot about anything or anybody but themselves, thus spoiling this paradise, sour. Homes that cost 54000 in 87 are now 1,540,000 in 2005, and don't tell me "this would have happened anyway".
________________________________________________________________
Geez, you just described the formerly lovely little town I moved from on the Monterey Bay in California.

It is important to note that in most U.S. towns and cities in the U.S., you are ill-advised to walk in the downtown area after dark. We still feel comfortable going down to the Jardin in the evening in SMA. We do know that there are at least 7,000 expats of various national origins here, but there are 80,000 Mexicans to thin out the mix. If someone is looking for an even more gringoized place than this, I guess the Chapala/Ajijic area is the place for them, but what I've heard on these forums, you're not immune to crime there, either. There or here, the richer your surroundings, the better you look as a target. It'd be a real waste of time to rob poor people, no?


gpk

Sep 27, 2005, 2:53 PM

Post #14 of 31 (9142 views)

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Re: [Gringal] San Miguel crime spree?

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My original point was not about crime, as such. Yes, there is and always has been crime everywhere. I have lived without fear in Washington, DC and New York City. My concern is that the gringos in San Miguel seem to have been targeted recently, and, more disturbingly, there has been a marked increase in the level of violence involved.


Gringal

Sep 27, 2005, 8:40 PM

Post #15 of 31 (9110 views)

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Re: [gpk] San Miguel crime spree?

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I hear what you're saying, and it does concern me. I don't know if it's gringos being targeted because of being gringos or because of their perceived wealth. I don't even know for certain that it is gringos exclusively being targeted. Solid information has not been forthcoming from the authorities. There seems to be much layering of police responsibilities, so it's not easy to discover what's really going on.


caldwelld


Sep 28, 2005, 6:26 AM

Post #16 of 31 (9083 views)

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Re: [gpk] San Miguel crime spree?

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Exactly! And to then call it a "crime spree" on the basis of such little information is simply dishonest. I have heard anecdotal accounts of a couple of incidents and there was one (repeat one) documented incident recently involving an older gringo couple. (There may have been a couple of others I am not aware of.) There are police reports available which seem to indicate no substantial increase in either robberies or violent crime over earlier periods. By the way, the real money in SMA is mostly Mexican not gringo.
dondon


wmhwilson


Sep 29, 2005, 7:03 PM

Post #17 of 31 (8956 views)

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Re: [gpk] San Miguel crime spree?

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We just left SMA after three weeks and saw the open letter to the mayor about "crime" in SMA. Being a retired journalist -- a New York bureau chief for a magazine, Sunday editor for a small daily; and city editor and reporter for a large suburban daily -- I was curious as to what constitutes a crime spree.
I am familiar with crime reporting and also testified on numerous occasions about crime stats in relation to the annual FBI crime stats and the ratio of police officers to population.
My first thought was of many crimes were reported in the paper. What did the government NOT report and what were starts for the previous years. And what are the stats as compared to another Mexican city of 125,000 and a US city of the same size.
In a town of rising real estate and well-heeled Gringos, some crime occurs with any population norm. Merde happens as they say.
I never felt unsafe. I worried about scorpions and was relieved that during an art class a scorpion at our home was killed...the owner dispatched it in an instant.
I gave a lot to beggars -- was oftener blessed by the old women and I am sure I could have been mugged -- even at 6 feet, 225 lbs and an active firefighter -- I am not invincible.
From what I heard there were a few burglaries at high profile homes involving cash. Burglaries are seldom "violent." Street robberies.
I was taken aback at the many street festivals and celebrations and we saw that the police were toting automatics
In retrospect,t when we returned to Philadelphia...there were 2 murders on TV, a rape, many accidents and a score of stories about sex crimes. All in a day !!!
Nada in SMA. Plus we only saw one thing on TV in SMA... Mexico America versus Guadalajara.
About the only time I felt uncomfortable was when I dropped my pants and Chelo gave me a shot.

We have nothing to fear but fear itself!!!



Bill and Jackie Wilson
Wallingford,PA


gpk

Sep 30, 2005, 6:30 AM

Post #18 of 31 (8919 views)

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Re: [wmhwilson] San Miguel crime spree?

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At least two burglaries of gringo homes were violent--according to my friends from SMA. One victim was strangled (fortunately he pretended to pass out and they released him) and the other involved serious stabbing with a knife. It is the violence that is "news"--at least to me.


johnv

Sep 30, 2005, 7:15 AM

Post #19 of 31 (8908 views)

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Re: [wmhwilson] San Miguel crime spree?

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A majority of crimes go unreported in México,due to fear of the police, especially by Mexicans, but also by extranjeros, thus giving a false "reading" on statistics. One must always keep in mind that in México, the cops are not always the good guys. They are the one's with guns, in a society pretty much without guns. Many of the kidnappings in Mexico are supposedly carried out by the police. (I am not inferring that the recent terrorization of San Miguel had anything to do with the police) One must also keep in mind that in a town such as San Miguel, which revolves so much around free floating US dollars, that true reporting of actual crime, may be hidden, in order to keep the money flowing.


wmhwilson


Sep 30, 2005, 9:33 AM

Post #20 of 31 (8883 views)

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Re: [johnv] San Miguel crime spree?

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I'd like to see police stats anyway. And all I have heard from the forum and when I was in SMA was "that I heard about this crime...."
Robbery where there is a violence would concern me...especially home invasion type things you hear Philly TV call these robberies. Burgalay is usually by stealth with no one home.
I agree about the police in the extend that I saw many times in jardin that the cops had automatic rifles. Not common in downtown Philadlephia but then it has a large police force --almost a small army.

The free flow of American dollars and the cash could be part of the problem. What I heard (again rumor) was that someone had a large amount of cash( dollars) in their home. That's foolish in SMA and anywhere in US or maybe the world unless you have something to hide.
I was also astounded that many Mexican tour folks accepted payment in US dollars. SMA is in the center of a large country and Pesos I thought were used. This habit also breeds crime.
Do the Mexican dailies report all the crime?
I saw a suicide reported in one daily with a photo...somewhat unusual.It would be interesting to speak with a crime reporter about SMA.....
Bill and Jackie Wilson
Wallingford,PA


Chumley

Oct 2, 2005, 5:38 AM

Post #21 of 31 (8791 views)

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Re: [wmhwilson] San Miguel crime spree?

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Now that everyone has had an opportunity to once again trash San Miguel, this time using crime as the hammer instead of lack of Spanish speaking Gringos, let's put the issue into perspective. This news from the United States:
The slayings of five Mexican immigrants and wounding of six others during a string of mobile home robberies early Friday has terrified Hispanics who come to this rural south Georgia community to work in the fields of cotton and peanut farms.
I won't mention the name of the town in Georgia because I think the vast majority of people who live there would condemn what has happened, and believe it is a stain on their humanity. So, shall we all just move on and get along?


wmhwilson


Oct 2, 2005, 5:58 AM

Post #22 of 31 (8787 views)

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Re: [Chumley] San Miguel crime spree?

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Bravo....and I just looked a the top of the thread and the editor in me said "spree?" Just what constitutes a spree? But in the end it's all personal -- if you and I get burglared (sp?) then it's bad but the folks across town are hit with burglaries then it's sad.
As a point of reference I live near in Wallingford, PA near Chester, a crime ridden small suburban city; and Swarthmore, the college town; and the Philadelphia airport and the city of Philadlephia. In the six years of have lived since moving back to my home town my car was egged o mischief night,
On the while I suspect Day of the Dead is a lot safe in terms on personal property.
And bottom line is that if some folks got robbed with a lot of cash in their homes -- I am sorry for their loss but in the words of a local police chief frind '' "What are they doing with that much cash in a home?"
I never felt unsafe in SMA. Worried about the scorpions and in a quandry as to how to deal with all the beggars.
Bill and Jackie Wilson
Wallingford,PA


gpk

Oct 2, 2005, 12:52 PM

Post #23 of 31 (8740 views)

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Re: [wmhwilson] San Miguel crime spree?

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My point is really about the violence involved--not the number of incidents. However, if there had been four or so burglaries in my former town of Doylestown, PA. involving stragulation and stabbing, I am sure the press would have called it a spree--or worse. Also, there is no point in comparing US statistics with Mexican ones--this is totally irrelevant. The message is that maybe there is a new problem arising in San Miguel--and maybe elsewhere in Mexico. I think the whole violence problem may be that Mexicans are bringing back more "bad habits" from the US--like gangs and graffiti. Forewarned is forearmed.


wmhwilson


Oct 2, 2005, 3:24 PM

Post #24 of 31 (8727 views)

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Re: [gpk] San Miguel crime spree?

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Small world -- was an editor at the Courier Times and was involved in journalism and local government for many years.

In Delaware County -- where I grew up and now live there is an influx of Meso Americans. The Philadelphia Inquirer ran a story about "Latin gangs." I talked with one of my cop pals who mentioned some of the initiation rituals. Very brutal and violent.

Not sure where the gang culture started.
Is there a big gang presence in Mexico City?

Home invasion robberies (not burglaries) are prevalent in Philadelphia. Recently, a new thing -- and often co notates drugs and drug money.
Finally, crime stats are stats in any land. It's density and the number of cops per 1,000 citizens and the type of crimes factored in. Air pollution is the same number in NYC and DF.

This story in real life (and not the web) has no legs. There are no facts rumors and really does a community a disservice.

A few burglaries is hardly a "spree" but a few here in sleepy Wallingford caused one of the town fathers to give a short speech at the recent meeting. I video the meetings for local community channel.

I am not sure how many made the daily newspaper either or if the cops reported them. They were, however, listed in the monthly police report that is read
Bill and Jackie Wilson
Wallingford,PA

(This post was edited by wmhwilson on Oct 2, 2005, 4:08 PM)


gpk

Oct 2, 2005, 3:50 PM

Post #25 of 31 (8719 views)

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Re: [wmhwilson] San Miguel crime spree?

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I certainly agree that I feel safer in Mexico than I did in the US. However, "crime stats are stats in any land" is NOT a true statement. Stats here in Mexico--on virtually any topic--are even more "liquid" than in the US. For example, a much smaller percentage of crimes are reported here than NOB--apparently because many people do not trust the authorities or because they assume nothing will be done anyway or because they fear retribution from the perpetrators. Also, there is limited "transparency" in many agencies, so it is impossible to verify any information.

Anyway, I am still concerned about what happened in San Miguel. There would not have been a letter in Atencion if others weren't concerned also.
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