Saturday, December 15, 2007


Here is an update to the MEXICO blog I posted yesterday. These are a few of the responses we received on the RV Net Forum we belong to................

FROM "JONNA".....I'm sorry that happened to you and I think you did the right things. Asking for ID and not paying just because some guy wants you to is the right way to go. You can't leave your judgment behind when you cross the border and you do have to stand up for yourself at times. Is your experience common? I don't think so. Is it more likely to happen the closer you are to the border? Yes, definitely yes. This is why I am always more on my guard within 100 miles of the border, on both sides. I can imagine this happening on the US side as well. The entire border area is full of tricksters and scam artists. It is true that it is more likely for this particular scenario to happen in Mexico but I personally don't feel safe in any border town and I wouldn't open my window or stop for someone not in full uniform on either side. Even with the uniform, I'd probably only crack the window and never let them get an arm inside. I think a lot of the fear and apprehension about traveling in Mexico comes from border experiences and stories about them. It's probably the reason that there is such a huge difference in how those of us who spend a lot of time in Mexico see the country and those on this forum that have only bad things to say see it. If your experience is only at the border, you will have an entirely different view of Mexico. Shoot, if I were Mexican and my experience was only in US cities at the border I would see the whole country as dangerous and dirty too. My advice to people new to Mexico is to start early and get across the border and keep going. Get half a day below the border before you start exploring or spend the night or go shopping. You will feel much more confident and you will start your trip off with a good feeling.
FROM "DOWN THE ROAD"...........The same guy or his grandfather (lol) tried to shake us down in the early 60's when my buddies and I crossed the boarder into Baja on surfing trips.. it's called the "mordida" or "the bite".I can assure you that this guy was not legit... but it was not uncommon then for the local policia to do the same.Don't give up. Some of my best all time memories were my times in Mexico.
FROM "gtla9111..........You certainly did the right thing. The word militia could be misleading to other readers as it has many meanings. If he had no uniform, he may have been a ministerial which are an important part of our security here in Mexico. However, it is obvious he was abusing his power. Sad, but there are a few rotten apples. If I understand correctly, he told you to "go, go, go". That is a sure indication that he was trying to stick you and he knew he was wrong. You shouldn't be fearful. You also don't say if you were in your rig and you were heading down for vacationing. If so, please go back and don't let fool hardy people like that guy stop you from having a great time. To him it was obvious that you were newbees and he saw an opportunity.Jonna has given you some sound advise and so will so many others. If there is anything I can do to help, please feel free to let me know.(this is another reason why we need to form a network providing quick help via celphone to others traveling in Mexico, just pulling out a celphone and a phone list showing that you were calling the police, consulate, etc. may have been helpful or at least a forum member who spoke Spanish. We really need to band together if we are going to stop the harrassment along the border and in Baja).

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