FYI- BAJA NORTE VIOLENCE.

DirtWhiskey

Western Dirt Rat
We've spent a bunch of time recently in Oaxaca because of our connection to the Mezcal industry, and it's nothing short of magical on multiple levels. Not overland thus far. Spent a bunch of time in PV and Jalisco and have a deep desire to get into the areas of Mexico's unbelievable backcountry. Copper Canyon et al.

Nonsense above aside, was planning on taking the wife on our first Baja trip to visit a friend who just settled down there. We won't be going. I value our lives too much. Huge bummer because we love Mexico and we love bringing our cash down there and helping the local economy. We won't stop going to Mexico just removed Baja off the list. Another huge bummer because it's actually practical to get there for overlanding style travel.

I'll just leave this HERE. Harrowing stuff. Unsolvable by us plebes. The problems have roots that are unchangeable forever. More and more of Mexico is sliding into chaos. Enjoy the places you can right now because it's only going to get worse. This is going to sound like hyperbole but civil war is possible and it's really bad for all of us. We're all joined at the hip with our tragic Mexican family.

I find the joking horseplay nature of a lot of these conversation to be childish and stupid. Dead serious subject with loss of life. Please for the love of God, stop joking around about this stuff. It's burning my eyes and I hope the mods (if there are any mods any more here) put a stop to it.
 

gator70

Active member
I suppose boondocking in Baha would be much safer in groups of three vehicles. Theses criminals look for weaker targets. Three vehicles in groups represent unknown resistance to theses small criminals. They would chose a weaker simpler target. I don't believe this criminal activity is organized by bigger groups, at least in rural Baha. As the gain for larger organized criminal cartel's is not there.

For those like me that still want to boondock in Baha, we should get together in groups of three vehicles, traveling at the same time and same route. Not that difficult to do.

Any suggestions?
 
I suppose boondocking in Baha would be much safer in groups of three vehicles. Theses criminals look for weaker targets. Three vehicles in groups represent unknown resistance to theses small criminals. They would chose a weaker simpler target. I don't believe this criminal activity is organized by bigger groups, at least in rural Baha. As the gain for larger organized criminal cartel's is not there.

For those like me that still want to boondock in Baha, we should get together in groups of three vehicles, traveling at the same time and same route. Not that difficult to do.

Any suggestions?
Check out FB groups Baja Overland and talkbaja road conditions, they often are people looking to travel together I spend a bunch of time in Baja, mostly solo and alone. I still will.
 

rruff

Explorer
When someone points a gun at you, assuming all they want is your stuff is poor thinking.
So far in the 9? times it's happened they didn't want anything at all... they were just being "careful". Or if they were thinking to rob me, they changed their minds. I've noticed when people are trying to act scary, and I'm friendly and unafraid it seems to confuse them.

I bet there is a 99% chance that they would want to rob me or less... mostly less. I'm not going to run around and threaten people with a loaded gun just so I can maybe get the drop on that 1%.

It's a probability game. I make what I think are reasonable preparations and then don't worry about it. Being unarmed works for me.
 

DirtWhiskey

Western Dirt Rat
me? i say the first world cuts off Mexico all together and let them wither and die. Not one single person from that corrupt country should be let into the USA.

their safety/security/prosperity is their responsibility and they should suffer.

but thats just me.
I won't bite for obvious reasons but I'll nibble. Mexico is the 2nd biggest purchaser of American goods. Our economy collapses in five ways immediately without Mexico and the entire left half of our country was at some point Mexico.

Mexicans are by and large some of most most wonderful and giving people on the planet. I'll die on that mountain. It's been a mess for time and eternity and it's NOT their fault they were born into a hopelessly corrupt system created 400 years ago.
 

WanderingBison

Active member
I won't bite for obvious reasons but I'll nibble. Mexico is the 2nd biggest purchaser of American goods. Our economy collapses in five ways immediately without Mexico and the entire left half of our country was at some point Mexico.

Mexicans are by and large some of most most wonderful and giving people on the planet. I'll die on that mountain. It's been a mess for time and eternity and it's NOT their fault they were born into a hopelessly corrupt system created 400 years ago.

One may even say that’s as a result of a colonial system … something many from the “developed countries” to their north have a tendency to forget and even continue to this day … how ironic it is that WE know better and make very harsh judgements, likely without being as critical about some of our own actions or stance.


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I won't bite for obvious reasons but I'll nibble. Mexico is the 2nd biggest purchaser of American goods. Our economy collapses in five ways immediately without Mexico and the entire left half of our country was at some point Mexico.

Mexicans are by and large some of most most wonderful and giving people on the planet. I'll die on that mountain. It's been a mess for time and eternity and it's NOT their fault they were born into a hopelessly corrupt system created 400 years ago.
Well said…
 

lucilius

Active member
It's not perfect local's scoop but a good and easy place to start the travel plan.
If I start to feel the need to travel armed&armored in a foreign country during a fun family vacation, I look for a different country. There is no easy solution to maintaining peace & rule of law anywhere and clearly the powers that be in all these sorts of places have determined that zones of lawlessness are perfectly tolerable, or overwhelming, or both....I'm not going to fix it, mitigate it or help the situation by adding an armed or unarmed vacationer presence.
 

Dendy Jarrett

Expedition Portal Admin
Staff member
Issuing a public warning to the community: When you signed up for Expedition Portal, you agreed to keep political commentary and hate speech out of the conversation. Additionally attacks against your fellow human is not within the spirit of Expedition Portal. Please take that spirit somewhere else but it will not stand on Expedition Portal. Thank you.
 

greg.potter

Adventurer
In 2018 I participated in a two week trip to the Copper Canyon entering Mexico at Douglas AZ and returning through Lukeville AZ. We had had a number of interactions with both Cartel groups and wanna-be Cartel punks. Here is my take on the situation in mainland Mexico at that point in time - I am led to believe that things have deteriorated significantly since then. And yes I realize this was not Baja, and my limited travel in the Baja has been much less problematic.
  • Mexican people on the whole are wonderful. We had some wonderful interactions with warm outgoing people with pride in their family, their home, their towns & cities, their national parks (spectacular) and their country.
  • The Mexican Cartels are having a devastating impact on the people and businesses within Mexico. The Copper Canyon area, the Grand Canyon of Mexico and a significant tourist destination, was about 15% occupied during the prime time to visit it.
  • The Mexican Cartels are running a business - if you are not viewed as any kind of a kidnapping or business extortion target and are not "getting in their way" they are going to leave you alone.
  • The Cartel monitor their transportation routes relentlessly. When you drive into a town that is on a transportation route as you drive down the main street you will see cellphones calls being placed one after the other as you drive down the road.
  • The Cartel might walk into your remote camp and check you out to make sure you are not a threat! This happened to us.
  • You may be "escorted" through towns by Cartel vehicles (newish blacked out windowed black SUV's with big whip antennas). This happened to us.
  • You may encounter trail cameras and vehicle detection sensors on more remote transportation routes. This happened to us.
  • You may encounter Cartel vehicle check-stops on more remote transportation routes. This happened to us.
  • The Cartel transport vehicles are easy to spot - they are the new, well kept trucks with good tires on them.
  • You may witness drug transactions involving transport trucks full of drugs occurring. We believe we witnessed this occurring.
  • You may witness the extortion of protection money from businesses occurring. We believe we witnessed this occurring.
  • The wanna-be Cartel punks are very, very scary. They are trying to be somebody and are completely unpredictable. This situation is a direct result of the Cartels - many misguided or underprivileged youth see the Cartels as their only opportunity to get ahead. They wanna be somebody so the Cartel notices them.
  • Travelling in a group has an advantage - both the Cartel and wanna-be Cartel punks are much less likely to start something with a group of travelers than solo travelers.
The number of interactions that we had I believe was largely a function of being generally naive about the situation in Mexico and having no intelligence on local conditions at a community or drug transportation corridors level. It probably didn't help that El Chapo had been locked up a short time earlier and there was a Cartel power struggle going on.🙃

Personally I would only considering a trip like this again if I had a credible source of Cartel information at a community or drug transportation corridors level. So far I am not aware of any such source existing. Maybe this is a business opportunity - "Cartels-Are-Us" an information brokerage for Cartel and wanna-be Cartel Punk activity in Mexico!!😁

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