I leased property in San Felipe for many years.
Crossing the border by vehicle at Mexicali was always a roll of the dice.
Then there was a government checkpoint about 50 miles south of that.
It is well known that kidnapping & murder have been on the rise for several years.
That is why I stopped traveling across the border.
Having spent time in many countries around the world my opinion is that Mexico is one of the most dangerous places to visit. I feel much safer in places like India, China, or Algeria where human life still has value and the police are honest.
Unfortunately, too much of Mexico has become a dangerous place. I'd love to go to the interior to visit some of the historic places, but certainly not now. I'll just have to be happy reading about them.
There's no place like home!
It's been going on a lot longer than "several years". The last time I went to Mexico was 1975. It was bad then. I wouldn't have gone then but the company I worked for took three bus loads of employees down for a day of shopping and dining along with a $50 bill instead of having a company pick-nick. Even back then, you were advised to go in a group to primary cities and stick to main streets. You couldn't pay me enough to go there now--Unless I was allowed to carry a gun.
Ten years earlier, I was in the middle of a remote area of Mexico with a group exploring caves. The small village nearby looked like it hadn't changed in the past 500 years. When we left, we found that our cars had been broken into and personal items taken. Fortunately, they left the cars. It's always been a society of "take it while you can" down there. If you have it and someone wants it, they'll try to take it from you.
Several years ago a friend had relatives who were going to Mexico for a road trip. His insurance company advised them that if they
had a car accident or a fender bender close to the border to walk back across or get back as soon as possible. At the time it was assumed you were at fault and could be held for questioning. I would imagine it would be even more unsafe now.
Just last week my 62 year old Mexican neighbor told me his Mother passed away near Mexico city.
He contacted the Mexican consulate there and was told to go directly there and take care of his business and fly directly back.
He said he would never go back again.
I loved traveling in Mexico. I never felt in danger, and routinely met kind and friendly people. A jeep trip down old Federal Highway 1 through Baja California was a great adventure.
This was before the road was paved. It was like going back to Model T days.
It was mighty dusty in some places, but a grand trip.
In 1974 I lived in Cueravaca for a month, then drove southeast to the Pacific coast and back up to Acapulco.
That trip included a river crossing on this ferry. In the distance you can see the pylons where a new bridge was being built.
My adventures in Mexico included climbing ancient ruins, riding the Metro in Mexico City, swimming in clear springs, strolling through the national archaeological museum, dining in a restaurant that was a 400-year-old former church, going to Vicente Fernandez movies, playing pool in a little country cantina, sitting on the front of a locomotive as it climbed up Copper Canyon, and on and on.
Would I go back? It makes me sad to say no. Drug users in our country have financed the rise of a criminal class that slaughters Mexicans and visitors with impartial savagery and with impunity. I realize that some areas are relatively safe, but there are no signs warning you when you may be entering a region controlled by killers.
I figure they are probably in jail. Most likely didn't bother to buy proper insurance, got in a accident.
I'm sitting having coffee in Mexico right now
Love the Dodge D100? w/ the camper shell.
I feel the same way about Mexico now.
I talked w/a guy I met by the side of the road in remote SE Oregon who still goes down each year.
The road is paved now about 50 miles further south of San Felipe but you need a passport & visa to get past the first government checkpoint south of Mexicali.
I miss San Felipe ....
You probably know better than I but I figure those guys are in a shallow grave somewhere.
The article link states their cell phone has been allegedly stolen & used by others.
Their Chev van has been found burned out with two bodies inside.
Correction Constantine. A Chevy van was found burned out. No confirmation it is related
I've travelled down here for 13 years. I've had my adventures, but I feel more at risk in California. Yeah bad things can happen. I'm just basing my guesses on my personal observations of surfer/tourist behavior. You need different Mexican car insurance for the mainland than for Baja ( if they even bought Baja insurance. Our local Mexican gardiner got in a fender bender last week. No insurance of course. He spent a night in jail and his vehicle and phone were impounded. Local guy, so some friends bailed him out, and the loan shark provided the money for the repairs to the other persons car. These guys won't have these "resources" available.
OK I could be wrong and they got mixed up with drug dealers. It's possible but I'm not betting probable that they had much worth being killed for
My step daughters mother was killed a few years past near Cabo. She new the ropes as she lived and worked there more then ten years.
Her American husband was put in jail and beaten for a week trying to make him confess to the death until a neighbor pointed out to the police someone who was causing trouble where they lived who later confessed.
Les, I hope very much media reports are wrong and these guys are alive and well. I've based my comments on this statement :
"The families and partners are aware the van in which they were travelling has been located by Mexican authorities and that a tragic event has occurred," the families said in a statement released by DFAT [Australian Goverment]
That phone company Dodge looked like it had seen some pretty tough use. I wasn't able to get a picture of my beetle on the ferry because I was in it.
On closer examination it appeared the box/shell were one unit like a service body - very cool !h
Here is a listing of murder rates by country. It is rather interesting. Mexico is 21.5, USA 3.8.
I, too, work for a company that would routinely take employees to their manufacturing plant in Mexico and follow it up by a shopping trip to the town nearby.
This practice ceased shortly after I started working there 11 years ago.
I have never set foot in Mexico. When I was interviewed by the D.O.D. for a secret clearance for one of my previous jobs, I was asked by the interviewer "Have you ever traveled outside the United States"? I simply replied "No". She returned with "You mean you've never been to Tijuana"? I replied "No, there's nothing there I want to see". She came back with "Good answer".
"Mexican authorities have arrested three gang members and are searching for two more accused of robbing and killing two Australian surfers on a highway in Sinaloa.
The Chevy van in which Adam Coleman and Dean Lucas, both 33, were driving was last sighted by a highway toll booth camera at 2:23am on November 21.
Soon after it is alleged that 37-year-old Sergio Simon Benitez Gonzalez, who was acting as a spotter for a gang, called ahead to his accomplices to warn them a target was on its way.
The attorney-general of Sinaloa, Marco Antonio Higuera Gomez, said a Cherokee Jeep then drove up alongside the Australians with fake police lights flashing and with the four occupants wearing police uniforms.
Mr Coleman and Mr Dean were then pulled over at which point 38-year-old Luis Enrique Espinoza Bojorquez pointed a .223 rifle at the Australians, who realised they were being robbed.
When one of the gang attempted to get into the Chevy van, the Australians fought him off.
Mr Higuera said at that point they were allegedly then shot by the gang leader, 27-year-old Julio Cesar Gonzalez Muniz, with a .357 magnum before Espinoza Bojorquez then shot and killed them both.
Espinoza Bojorquez then is alleged to have taken the Australians' van off the highway, stolen their electronics, removed the number plates and burnt the vehicle with the bodies inside.
Mexican police are also searching for Jesus Uriel Camacho Labrado, 20, and Martin Rogelio Muniz Ponce, 27, who are also believed to have been involved in the carjacking."
I am just wondering why this thread needs to continually resight/resite the current news bulletins???
Sad to say, that if it weren't for all the international attention on this case, I doubt the authorities would have gone after the scumbags.
Even back in the mid-1960s when my family went to Mexico on a vacation, we were warned to be careful and avoid anything that might get the attention of the policia. I remember we stopped for lunch out in the middle of nowhere, and while we were in the trailer eating lunch, some stuff was stolen out of our car--we were still hitched to the car!
Still, I have many fond memories of that trip to Mazatlan, but would I go there nowadays? No Way, not even for a free model T!
Thanks for the update Constantine. I haven't heard any of this on our local Vancouver news. I've traveled to Mexico many times as a tourist but I never go into the risky areas. I'll go back but this saddens me greatly.