Jun 11 2008

Going South

Category: Uncategorizedharmonicminer @ 8:34 pm

Things are going south down south of here.

The state department travel alert of about two months ago is chilling, especially in “summer vacation” time in Mexico.

Armed robberies and carjackings, apparently unconnected to the narcotics-related violence, have increased in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. Dozens of U.S. citizens were kidnapped and/or murdered in Tijuana in 2007. Public shootouts have occurred during daylight hours near shopping areas. [emphasis mine]

This is really encouraging. Although it may not be so different from Detroit, or Washington DC. Baghdad might actually be safer. Although perhaps I’m misjudging; maybe its just the excitement generated by those “after Cinco De Mayo” sales.

Criminals are armed with a wide array of sophisticated weapons. In some cases, assailants have worn full or partial police or military uniforms and have used vehicles that resemble police vehicles. [emphasis mine]

Support your local fake police. And, of course, the fake troops.

Obviously, those gun control laws in Mexico are really working well. (Scroll to the 12th paragraph at this link.)

Violent criminal activity fueled by a war between criminal organizations struggling for control of the lucrative narcotics trade continues along the U.S.-Mexico border. Attacks are aimed primarily at members of drug trafficking organizations, Mexican police forces, criminal justice officials, and journalists. However, foreign visitors and residents, including Americans, have been among the victims of homicides and kidnappings in the border region. [emphasis mine] In its effort to combat violence, the government of Mexico has deployed military troops in various parts of the country. U.S. citizens are urged to cooperate with official checkpoints when traveling on Mexican highways. [emphasis mine]

Let me see if I understand this. US citizens are routinely murdered or kidnapped. The bad guys sometimes wear official uniforms. But if someone in an official looking uniform tries to stop you at a “checkpoint” on the road, be sure to cooperate.

I suppose that makes sense, state department style.

Recent Mexican army and police force conflicts with heavily-armed narcotics cartels have escalated to levels equivalent to military small-unit combat and have included use of machine guns and fragmentation grenades. Confrontations have taken place in numerous towns and cities in northern Mexico, including Tijuana in the Mexican state of Baja California, and Chihuahua City and Ciudad Juarez in the state of Chihuahua. The situation in northern Mexico remains very fluid; the location and timing of future armed engagements there cannot be predicted. [emphasis mine]

You mean they don’t have a schedule? What in the world is wrong with these citizens? Don’t they understand they’re supposed to announce public demonstrations of popular will? I’m just stunned that they would be so inconsiderate.

U.S. citizens are urged to be especially alert to safety and security concerns when visiting the border region. [emphasis mine] While Mexican citizens overwhelmingly are the victims of these crimes, this uncertain security situation poses risks for U.S. citizens [emphasis mine] as well. Thousands of U.S. citizens cross the border safely each day, exercising common-sense precautions such as visiting only legitimate business and tourist areas of border towns during daylight hours. It is strongly recommended that travelers avoid areas where prostitution and drug dealing occur.

Uh, not to be disrespectful, but…. we’re talking about MEXICO here. Where, exactly, is it that prostitution and drug dealing don’t occur? I’m sure there are such places. I’m also sure that no tourist is going to know where these things don’t happen, short of never leaving the hotel (although I understand a Mexican concierge will get you nearly anything), even though there will be places where they obviously do, and which wise tourists will avoid.

Criminals have followed and harassed U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles, particularly in border areas including Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, and Tijuana. There is no evidence, however, that U.S. citizens are targeted because of their nationality. [emphasis mine]

Obviously, the people who wrote this howler think we’re so drowsy by now that we just aren’t paying attention. Exactly how many Swedes are driving US licensed automobiles into Mexico?

I have an idea. If you drive into Mexico, just don’t look American! Wear a turban. Wear a burka. Wear a skullcap. Wear a spiked Prussian helmet.

Whatever you do, wear armor.

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