FYI- BAJA NORTE VIOLENCE.

hankgs

Adventurer
Not to Hijack this thread or steer the conversation elsewhere but can anyone point me to reputable websites or blogs (or even within this forum) that can provide real world, on the ground info, about safety in the Baja? More specifically, purchasing a retirement home and not necessarily overlanding. We are looking at San Jose and La Paz.
Fly into Loreto, (out of LAX on Alaska Airlines) and stay at the La Mision Hotel- Then take a taxi to Nopolo, 20 mins South of Loreto and have your mind blown... It's an expat haven and the Marina is one of the finest I've ever seen...
 

Deleted Member 183

Well-known member
Fly into Loreto, (out of LAX on Alaska Airlines) and stay at the La Mision Hotel- Then take a taxi to Nopolo, 20 mins South of Loreto and have your mind blown... It's an expat haven and the Marina is one of the finest I've ever seen...

YEAH! And posts like this are going to get you "SOOOO many friends when you return down there again!!!!

Typical "greenhorn" behavior! "ZIP IT PUP"!
 
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highwest

Well-known member
Not to Hijack this thread or steer the conversation elsewhere but can anyone point me to reputable websites or blogs (or even within this forum) that can provide real world, on the ground info, about safety in the Baja? More specifically, purchasing a retirement home and not necessarily overlanding. We are looking at San Jose and La Paz.
BajaNomad forums may be a good resource.
 

Deleted Member 183

Well-known member
He's just trying to help 🤣
That is the funniest stuff I've heard in months!

It is tough for most of us Gringo's to understand how "Baja" works! The first thing that those who desire to get "the lay of the land", is to have to grasp of what main land Mexico's term for the Baja peninsula is... "LA FRONTERA"! The "wild west"!

Back in the 90's I had a few decades of Baja travel before I was introduced by a good Mexican friend of mine to a close friend of his one evening at a nightclub in a beach town about 40k below the border. My buddy's buddy, was a very personable guy and we got along GREAT! As the evening went along, he waved over cute little teen latinas to keep each of us guys company and had his sidekick to draw out thick lines of really good coke for all of us to enjoy! I was STUNNED that this was happening in raging bar in a Baja beach town... and whispered in my buddies ear "Who is the guy?"

He laughed hard and told "my new friend" what I had asked... Then the guy started cracking up and pulled out his badge! He was the "BIG DOG" cop for the area between Playas de Tijuana and Ensenada!

He appreciated my feeble attempt at Spanish and gave the best "life lesson" about dealing/ getting along in La Frontera...

"no es lo que sabes, sino a quién conoces"!
 
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GHI

Adventurer
Family of 4 here currently traveling through Central America in a rental. Stopped at a tourist attraction the other day to watch some crocodiles under a bridge. It took exactly 12 minutes from parking until the attempt break in of my vehicle.

The 40 yr old male who offered to watch our vehicle was on his walkie talkie almost immediately after we walked off. I know we’re targets and am very aware of my surroundings so I waited and observed just out of sight.

I kid you not a G-wagen pulled up to block the view from the roadway while the walkie talkie guy pulled out his burglar kit. I yelled out “hey” while running toward them. Thankfully they left in a hurry.

Replacing my Redoxx backpack might have stung a little bit, but losing my glasses and contacts were not an option. I didn’t hesitate. Just reacted as I’m sure these 3 fellas did. I’m certainly second guessing my international travels.
 

gator70

Active member
I never stated it was safer. I stated it is easier to defend yourself in the U.S., mainly because you can legally carry a firearm. More of course goes into self defense, but it certainly helps.

No reason to get overly emotional about this, I only stated a fact.
Would you be safe with a firearm against multiple meth infused men with firearms who had already killed Mexican nationals?

I doubt a firearm protects you, unless you are trained military.
 

Wyo37

Member
Would you be safe with a firearm against multiple meth infused men with firearms who had already killed Mexican nationals?

I doubt a firearm protects you, unless you are trained military.
I would at least have a chance to fight back. Especially if there were multiple assailant.

I am not saying carrying a firearm is the end all for self defense. Situational awareness and good decision making matter more. But training with and carrying a firearm is a part of personal safety.

Even the possibility of having a gun could be a deterrent. Do you think those suspects in Mexico didn't feel confident knowing their victims were surely unarmed? Of course they knew the victims probably didn't have a firearm.
 

gator70

Active member
I would at least have a chance to fight back. Especially if there were multiple assailant.

I am not saying carrying a firearm is the end all for self defense. Situational awareness and good decision making matter more. But training with and carrying a firearm is a part of personal safety.

Even the possibility of having a gun could be a deterrent. Do you think those suspects in Mexico didn't feel confident knowing their victims were surely unarmed? Of course they knew the victims probably didn't have a firearm.
I think the armed suspects had encounters more than once with someone who had a firearm and they were very skilled at killing. Peers in Mexico in those circles carry firearms.
 
I would at least have a chance to fight back. Especially if there were multiple assailant.

I am not saying carrying a firearm is the end all for self defense. Situational awareness and good decision making matter more. But training with and carrying a firearm is a part of personal safety.

Even the possibility of having a gun could be a deterrent. Do you think those suspects in Mexico didn't feel confident knowing their victims were surely unarmed? Of course they knew the victims probably didn't have a firearm.
There wear 3 guys, all in there 30's all fit, there were 2 guys and a girl trying to get the tires/truck? My guess is the three surfers though they had a good chance of winning. Pure speculation on my part.
 
For surfers/ campers/ Baja explorers "in the know"...

Anywhere along the coast between the border and El Rosario de Arriba has been considered "no mans land" for remote camping since the late 80's! Almost every Baja "horror story" has happened in that stretch!

If you have to remote camp in that region:

Be out of view of any heavily traveled double track!

Keep to yourself. DO NOT party with locals ( mostly fishermen and low wage farm hands from the local huge co-op farms).

Travel with a scary big dog!

Make sure at least one in the group stays sober at night, and if locals pull into your camp... Pull out your Wrist Rocket and load 3/8" ball bearing!

Most of the murders have happened when the campers were in view at night by "meth heads" that want your cash or something of value to trade for their next bindle. The best way to handle situations like this is make things go "sideways" for your intruders, before they make it go sideways for you!

The Federal Police in most cases are just curious. They have gotten quite professional in the last 20 years or so and want you to feel safe and welcome in Mexico. If you want to "get on their good side" at the check points, hand out pairs of well made socks (trumps old Playboy's now that they have the internet).
This is mostly right on. I was by myself solo on the beach, kayak fishing last year. I posted up by a a old hotel (Now closed, but had stayed there in the past) place for a couple of nights. I did it as the lizard voice was saying it was bad and I should run.
I still go to San Quintin there are plenty of places to stay for free that are 80% + safe. I love the area and have people that I know there, even if i don't stay with them we stay in touch.

Stuff I don't do anymore when I am solo in Baja:

No camp fires.I want to become invisible QUICK.

If I see autos or boats at night, I am not there. light out, head down.

When a local shows up at camp uninvited I start listening to that lizard voice, I have left a couple of camps at sunset to be away after dark.

I no longer believe in Baja Karma. If you know than you know.

Stuff i still do:

Remote camp in Baja, I have doing it for 50 years.

I am giving to my charities with my time and money. (Maybe a little karma?)

Get to know the locals, go to the baseball, football, games they are very cool, You will make dear friends even you don't speak much Spanish.

I'll collect toys, (McDonalds happy meals from friends) Cheap balls, Paper and pens and art stuff and school supplies for kids.

Fishing stuff the locals. Yard sale rods and reels, no crap. Hooks, line, lures.

Meet people with a open hand and a smile.

I have a deep love of Baja and it's people. I will look at it with caution, but I will not let other peoples fears determine how I live my life. I'll let fate decide the rest.
 

gator70

Active member
In the high desert east of Bakersfield California is a very rural land and few land owners. The Mexican cartel moved in, forcefully bought out the land owners, with ultimatums. They built many grow farms. The California Sheriff refuses to go to this area because they get machine gun fire upon them. It is so bad, the Californian officials are considering the national guard to clean this up. My point here is crime is not a Baha exclusive. And any citizen with a handgun is easily outnumbered. Many of the cartel groups are very close to "paramilitary" trained. (or experienced)

I often thought how could I defend myself in a situation. I found simple smoke bombs, and a $300 rechargeable flamethrower, fairly small and easy to handle that shot out 35 feet of intense flame. Now, I may be foolish, but one single handgun will do little to protect me.
 
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Mickey Bitsko

Adventurer
Appears to me you have toy self defense against high powered weapons, a losing battle.
Might be safer in baja.
Humorous not funny, sheriff dept refusing to uphold laws..priceless.
 

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