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Old 02-24-2009   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by absoluteAL View Post
Chicago
if you are suggesting that Chicago is more dangerous than PDC, you win points for stating the obvious.

my concern is not whether one place is more dangerous than the other. my actual concern is that we can speak openly and honestly which will, in my view, make people with any fears comfortable about visiting PDC - a spot we all have a great affection for.
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Old 02-24-2009   #32 (permalink)
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"One is lack of distinction as to geographic areas or recognition of distances and so on."

We've experienced this when there's a tornado or some other bad weather in the midwest, not even in our state. My inlaws will call from NJ to make sure we are ok.
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Old 02-24-2009   #33 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by lks1165 View Post
My husband said he saw on the news, that the US issued a travel advisory last night on traveling to Mexico. Has anyone else seen this, is it something I should worry about, I am traveling 4/25.

Thanks
You migfht find this article interesting?
BBC NEWS | Americas | Q&A: Mexico's drug-fuelled violence
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Old 02-24-2009   #34 (permalink)
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of course...

I was just curious if the many armed authorities on 5th at any given time had any interest in this at all.

Not looking for a utopia but I do have a selfish interest in driving this sort of trade from Playa as this dog carries a host of undesirable fleas.
Not to make assumptions, but it's possible that the "armed authorities" are either part of the problem or are in danger-see Heather's sad thread here:
http://www.playa.info/playa-del-carm...led-playa.html

And then there is what's going on in Cancun, which Joana started a thread about recently.

I should say here that, in my opinion, the average tourist WHO IS NOT BUYING DRUGS is in no danger from the increased drug activity in the area. Just like the dealing that goes on in the neighborhood across the street from my University in Philadelphia. I have worked in the area for over 20 years and haven't been affected by it, other than that I know it goes on. Some of our students have been because they're bringing it on themselves.

It is probably a good idea to discuss drugs in Playa because I met some American college students in Playa in Nov. who were buying pot. On 5th, most probably.

Talk about lucky not to be languishing in a Mexican jail, these guys could hardly cross the street safely! They told us that they then had a really scary encounter with "supposed police-maybe army?" who accused them of buying drugs and wanted a bribe not to arrest them, even though by that time the evidence was up in smoke(although they did reek even hours later).

Since I work with college students and see the trouble they can get into in their own neighborhoods, it occurs to me that some people may need a reminder exactly how unsafe it is to buy drugs in a foreign country. I have heard stories about ex-pats and tourists in Playa getting arrested and going through hell trying to get out.

And of course,when tourist buy drugs, it also contributes to the "flea problem" that you refer to above. But maybe not much, according to cnn:

Drug trafficking in Mexico is a $20 billion- to $50 billion-a-year industry, as much as the nation earns from tourism or remittances from Mexicans living in the United States, said Robert Pastor, a former National Security adviser to President Jimmy Carter and now a professor of international relations at American University in Washington. He has been studying Latin America for more than four decades.
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Old 02-24-2009   #35 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JEZ View Post
You migfht find this article interesting?
BBC NEWS | Americas | Q&A: Mexico's drug-fuelled violence
Hi Jez!

Interesting article...according to it the US is recognizing the problem "US. Congress has authorised the spending of $1.6bn (Ģ1.1bn) dollars to confront the threat of drug trafficking and organised crime from Mexico and Central America. So far, $197m (Ģ138m) has been released for military and law enforcement training and equipment in Mexico."


I also saw on CNN that Mexico's former drug czar was arrested for accepting bribes from drug traffickers- to the tune of 450,000. US dollars a month.
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Old 02-24-2009   #36 (permalink)
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I ran across some interesting comments from that guy and others regarding the situation in a CNN article a few days ago. It is interesting to note, perhaps, the focus from the American side on corruption of Mexican officials and security for visitors, but the lack of focus from the American side on America's complicit behavior in helping drive the drug trade and the resulting violence...

Quote:
"One has to be careful and not overdo it," he said. "Mexico is a long way from being a failed state. Mexico has real institutions. It paves roads and collects the garbage. It holds regular elections."

Enrique Bravo, an analyst with the Eurasia consulting group, points out that the violence so far is mostly affecting just drug gangs and is primarily localized along the U.S. border and Mexico's western coast.

The violence along the border is particularly worrisome, analysts say.

"The spillover into the United States is bound to expand and bound to affect U.S. institutions," Birns said.

Pastor and Hakim note that the United States helps fuel the violence, not only by providing a ready market for illegal drugs, but also by supplying the vast majority of weapons used by drug gangs.

Pastor says there are at least 6,600 U.S. gun shops within 100 miles of the Mexican border and more than 90 percent of weapons in Mexico come from the United States
...
They go on to note, interestingly:

Quote:
Such dire problems call for a new way of looking at the situation, some say.

Pastor calls the problem in Mexico "even worse than Chicago during the Prohibition era" and said a solution similar to what ended that violence is needed now.

"What worked in the U.S. was not Eliot Ness," he said, referring to the federal agent famous for fighting gangsters in 1920s and '30s. "It was the repeal of Prohibition."

That viewpoint has picked up some high-level support in Latin America.

Last week, the former presidents of Mexico, Colombia and Brazil called for the decriminalization of marijuana for personal use and a change in strategy on the war on drugs at a meeting in Brazil of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy.

"The problem is that current policies are based on prejudices and fears and not on results," former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria said at a news conference, in which the 17-member commission's recommendations were presented.
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Old 02-24-2009   #37 (permalink)
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You are probably correct with this statement! With the kids, this seems like a easier place to navigate and keep an watchful eye on things. Most of the off-5th Ave. areas I usually navigate by myself or with other adults and myself. The most freaked out I have even been in PDC was the night we took another couple to Carnival in the city square. (Which is tonight, btw.) There was a rap/regge (Reggeton I have come to learn.) band playing and the crowd had become a huge seithing mass. My espanol is not good in that type of situation and I was affraid that I wouldn't understand any of the crowds reaction/commands if something happend. The other couple was just flat out scared. We had taken refuge in the comfort of the Bomberos area off to the side of the crowd. We agreed that this celebration was best left to the locals and/or people that were better educated in the language and customs of the area. We left for the comfort of a more a touristy location for a few drinks, (we ended up at the bar with the swings on 5th.)
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Originally Posted by Susie Q Roo View Post
That story makes me sad. It's just LIFE there...it shouldn't be scary!
I have to agree with Susie. This is exactly the sort of thing we seek out when we travel. I remember the first time I was in Mazatlan about 20 years ago with my brother and cousins and we came across a local festival. We had the best time of our whole trip that night. (And I knew far less Spanish than the measly amount I know now ...)
The same was true when Brian and I found a local nighttime festival going on in Old San Juan one year.
Like anywhere else that you travel you just need to keep your wits about you.
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Old 02-24-2009   #38 (permalink)
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Just be smart. Of course home seems safer because you know the areas to avoid.
The only problem we ever had travelling was in a crowded tram in the middle of the afternoon in Amsterdam. We got seperated in the crowd and someone tried to pick my wifes purse. Because of intelligent preplanning all they got was her tram pass and some feminine hygine products
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Old 02-24-2009   #39 (permalink)
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Just be smart. Of course home seems safer because you know the areas to avoid.
The only problem we ever had travelling was in a crowded tram in the middle of the afternoon in Amsterdam. We got seperated in the crowd and someone tried to pick my wifes purse. Because of intelligent preplanning all they got was her tram pass and some feminine hygine products
Well, I certainly hope Mme Dogma went all dogmatic on their ***es!

Very same thing almost happened to Delmy on the metro in Rome, but Delmy was too alert and spun around and I came around her and they jumped off the train again just before it pulled out, leaving things about to fall out of her backpack/baby bag.

They were kids, literally -- couldn't have been older than 10, any one of 'em!

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Old 02-24-2009   #40 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by rob mackay View Post
overall i dont think playa is much different than most small citys in the usa or canada, there is problems in most of them, look at medicino california for example, there is alot of drugs there?
I was in Mendocino (I assume that's where you mean) a few weeks ago and yes you may occassionally see someone smoking a joint. But I've never had anyone offer to sell me anything.

Well, they may offer you a hit if you look friendly
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Old 02-24-2009   #41 (permalink)
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Well, I certainly hope Mme Dogma went all dogmatic on their ***es!
Very same thing almost happened to Delmy on the metro in Rome, but Delmy was too alert and spun around and I came around her and they jumped off the train again just before it pulled out, leaving things about to fall out of her backpack/baby bag.

They were kids, literally -- couldn't have been older than 10, any one of 'em!

Steve
She never had the chance, but the perp was tackled on the street after jumping off the tram. I'm not sure if it was by undercover Policia, or by the rest of his gang members who were POed that all he got was sanitary napkins
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Old 02-24-2009   #42 (permalink)
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(please pardon me if my grammar is not great)...hope I donīt get lost in translation...and explain myself corectly.
my two cents:

I am Mexican, and live 1 hour south of Tijuana in Ensenada, Baja California.
So you can say Iīve been near the action.
Last year the drug-related homicides in Tijuana went thru the roof, the coroner did not have enough space to put all the "NARCOs" (drug-trafficer) that were killed, Everyday you watched the news one or more Homicides have been commited between rival cartels, they were fighting some type of drug war over who gets to rule.
My Family and I did stop going to Tijuana, and even San Diego, CA (YOu have to go thru tijuana to visit San Diego)..We love San DIEGO!!
It seems the violence has gone down quite a bit since the year started, and it is NOT targeted to tourists. As another person said....Mexico is a Big country and the "UNSAFE" part was in the North thatīs correct, certainly itīs scary for anybody mexican or not, but as all of us well know, the news always highlights the really BAD stuff, and make us believe itīs far worse.
The sad thing is Ensenada where we live has been totally affected by this...Our income is 90% Tourisim related..(personally we are suffering the worst crisis since the one in the 90īs). My dad is offering his 33 year old restaurant for sale.
Ensenada is one of the safest places to live..I love it here, born and raised.
we have beaches, mountains, Wine country..close to the border etc. PLEASE VISIT US!!

Hope I donīt offend anybody ok: thereīs high demmand for DRUGS in the USA (A LOT OF MONEY), if there wasnīt The drug-cartels would not be fighting over who gets that territory. Donīt get me wrong I am totally against drugs, and if we want all this to stop it has to start at home with our kids and with ourselves.
The demmand for drugs is THERE....and will continue like this if we donīt educate our kids, and the goverment invested more money on anti drug

So to sum things up...Please continue visiting Beautiful Mexico...thereīs nothing to be afraid of....really amigos...We who have the pleasure of living here will welcome you with open arms!
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Old 02-24-2009   #43 (permalink)
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Well said aineetiny! We can't wait to visit Mexico again.

And your grammar is just fine.
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Old 02-24-2009   #44 (permalink)
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Well said aineetiny! We can't wait to visit Mexico again.

And your grammar is just fine.


Thanks gdone!...I have so much more to say...but sometimes I donīt know how to translate correctly...and fear I will not be understood.

TO Be Continued.....
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Old 02-24-2009   #45 (permalink)
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