Dont do it homie. I'm a gringo but im quiet ,you know, the way i dress and arrive. Dont dress to impress and DONT BE ACTIN SCARY wey!! Lot of people tryin to come up and jumpin on the mafia bandwagon. No sey? eeeeii
I agree Susan, I lived in Chicago too for 36 years and just moved to Mx a couple years ago. I actually feel safer here then there. Everything is good as long as you don't act stupid, you know acting like a big shot, flashing cash or just being a typical obnoxious American.
I own an american car (jeep) with us tags that i want to drive home to the states from playa del carmen. go up the water, thru tampico, and cross in matamoros. some friends say its not worth the risk, that the car PLUS the tags spell trouble. I'm trying to get some opinions on this issue....have any?
well i live in Monterrey part time , went walkin around the barrio today,got some hate looks ,mebbe cause my novia is really fine, pero for the most part it is ok, but never forget THIS IS NOT YOUR COUNTRY, AND YOU WILL ALWAYS BE TREATED DIFFERENT BY THE PEOPLE AND THE POLICIA, sometimes good , sometimes bad, BUT ALWAYS DIFFERENT,it all depends on where you are ,one street over can make a big difference, best bet , ALWAYS KEEP A LOW PRO, and i agree don't be actin scary like too scared and never act tough,there aint no tough guys in Mexico, just the guys who will kill you and the ones who wont, don't ever be nosey, don't get involved in no kinda bullshit ,you are way out of your league here,if you gotta deal with any kinda shit, be brave, it might really help get you out, cowering will not help you ,standing up is admired , especially if you are fucked anyway, stay away from groups of policia y militares,THEY ARE TARGETS, and the bad guys here will open fire on them, believe it or not most Mexicans i have met like Americans, and are curious about the USA,if they call you gringo,or awero, don't be offended it is not an insult, stay in a good temper, Mexicans are playful and mischeveous ,be the same way and you will bond pretty fast, most of the danger right now is gang related, but it affects everbody as they will kill and steal without hesitation,they will victimize a Mexican as soon as an American, basically don't be a stupid show off and you should be ok, also don't be a stingy ass either, tip when appropiate, like taxis, meseros, taco guys etc. , but not so much as to insult, i am a 5 or 10 peso tipper, it is really appreciated and needed by the people here , it is part of the culture, Mexico is a great country ,and Mexicans are great people, even if they do exasperate you sometimes, just remember while laughing,TIM, this is Mexico
they have a point, but you are gonna do it anyway...drive during the early part of the day...tail a bus...use the toll road...start with a full tank of gas ...make sure your tires and everything else are ok...try to get another person to ride along with you or caravan...have an operating cell phone...tell someone when you plan to leave and arrive ...don't speed...make sure you have MEXICAN CAR INSURANCE...have some pesos ready to fork over just in case...if the worst happens...surrender the car quickly...and cross your fingers for luck
Gansters look at you and will decide if your worth the effort. If the wrong people look at you they might see dollar signs. Ive heard horrific stories about people (americans) having their little ones snatched up, cut open, stuffed with drugs, and proped up between 2 grown men to look like they were awake or just sleeping in order to get across the border with drugs. They have no reguard for your life or the life of your family as long as their pockets stay fat they could care less if they shoot you infront of your children and wife, or shoot them infront of you. I spent every summer in mexico sense I was in the whomb up untill I was 20 years old. And Im telling you to stay in the US untill they get a handle on the violence and the kiddnappings and the human traficing. I would especially recomend for females to not travel to mexico, what happens to them would make you wish that they had just killed you. if you do go keep a low profile a very low profile, tip, dont flash money or they will think that you come from wealth and they WILL kidnap you for ransome, which usually always turns out bad for you weather they pay or not your probably still going to be killed. I would only go out during the day and if you do go out at night dont hang out outside of the clubs/bars go right inside and when you leave go straight to where ever it is your calling home for the night. Always beaware of your surrondings and people that maybe fallowing you. In most cases they will fallow you for a little while before they snatch you up. also you cant trust the police. I dont even know how manytimes Ive had to pay police to leave me the hell alone.
good advice..let me add to it...TRY NOT TO KEEP A SET PATTERN...DON'T GO TO THE SAME OXXO FOr COFFEE EVERY MORNING....try to be random as possible...don't take the taxi guy up on his offer to pick up up later...don't advertise your travel plans ...good luck ...be safe
I second that advice, don't ever give out your travel plans to any hotel staff, tour operators or anyone approaching you to sell a service to you.
It's better to be paranoid than dead. Kidnapping is a lucrative business in some Mexican cities.
There is some serious b+llsh+t in this thread, especially about American's having their kids cut open and stuffed with drugs. Provide the documentation for that, please! That would be all over the news IF it happened and it didn't. What you've "heard" is a story or you made it up.
You may have spent every summer in Mexico, but my family LIVES IN SINALOA and has for three generations. Culiacan has always been a sh+thole even before the Narcos. Speaking only of Sinaloa, there are places you do not go, Mexican or Gringo, unless you have to, and then you only do so in the daytime. But, the vast majority of the state contains very good people. The border is a different game right now to some degree, so what goes on there is subject to less predictability.
The person to listen to in this thread is BajaCheryl. I feel safer in Mazatlan than I do in LA, where I live. I have been all over Baja with only one problem, and that was in TJ with a Federale at a checkpoint (a simple misunderstanding).
Is Mexico, in general, dangerous for Americans? It depends on where you go and what you do. Look at Cancun, Mazatlan, Cabo, and other tourist destinations, and you are, in general, very safe. Acapulco right now is hotter than other tourist cities, Mexico City has its problems, and border cities are hot in general.
The thing you always want to remember is that life, in general, in particular areas in Mexico is very cheap. Those areas should be avoided as a matter of common sense, just like you would in the US or any country. If you don't feel comfortable, don't go. Really, no one has to.
LitoBrito gave some good advice about your overall public presence. My wife leaves all over jewelry except her simple wedding band at home when we go. We take multiple cars instead of one big car. We don't go to certain places at night. When we shop, we pay in Pesos. We treat people right. Don't be an ugly American. But remember, the majority of Mexicans are very good people stuck in a bad situation. It is the average Mexican who gets hurt when tourism dies...and that further increases the influence of the cartels and crime as the sources of money.
Finally, do yourself a favor and get involved with various forums on the Net that are for Americans and other Ex-Pats living in Mexico. From the inside you can see the kind of life they have and what really goes on for them in Mexico. Are they afraid? Rarely. Not someone talking from the States like me who spends a good deal of time in Mexico, but people who actually live there. You will find a different picture of Mexico, a wonderful one in most cases based on the love and compassion of the Mexican people, who go out of their way to make a Gringo feel at home. Although you will never be one of them, you are appreciated.
I travel a lot. I take the same precautions in TJ, Budapest, and New York. I take a lot of precautions, it annoys my friends and family. However, I have never had a major incident and my family feels safe traveling with me. It just becomes second nature. I would not drive my personal car through an extensive part of Mexico right now but I have in the past and will in the future.
I was on TJ last week. It was fine. I would not go on days right after a big bust. For example, the day after the recent enormous Marijunia bust in TJ went down , the security was so extensive it took a really long time to cross the border.
Its safe if your not stupid.Are you going as a tourist and where are you trying to go.I went to Mexico yesterday then about a week before that.I went to chill wit tha homies,bunch of homies and their bunch of relatives living close to each other.Im white 29 yr old.anything can happen at any time.It goes both ways.whatever your instinct tells you.