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Mexico is not #1

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57Chevy
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Post by CanuckBob Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:11 am

Now here is an interesting article from the CBC that points out how Mexico rates as the fifth most dangerous place for Canadian tourists (not 1st like many media reports would lead you to believe). Even Australia rates higher for Canadian tourist deaths.......

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/03/07/mexico-travel-violence-statistics.html
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Post by johninajijic Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:32 am

Great to hear!!!
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Post by Parker Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:57 am

I was surprised at Japan. My theory is they probably think Canadians are US and they really don’t care for us. (Joke)

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Post by brigitte Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:01 pm

Why Japan? Do you know the difference between China and Japan?(joke)

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Post by Parker Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:03 pm

brigitte wrote:Why Japan? Do you know the difference between China and Japan?(joke)

Do tell.

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Post by viajero Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:10 pm

Punch line please.

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Post by CheenaGringo Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:02 pm

In the interest of "peace and harmony", I won't bother to delve into my opinions on the accuracy or methodology used for this report.

But I am curious about a couple of things:
1) Just what does this report do for the full time residents anywhere in Mexico? Please take note that the report was about tourists.
2) Just what does this report do for snowbirds (part year residents who possibly could be counted in the tourist numbers?)?
3) Just what does this report do for tourists?

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Post by David Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:18 pm

The punch line is that only Switzerland is safer for Canadians than the USA!
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Post by susan Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:16 pm

i read (&saw several broadcasts), that mexico has FIVE times the murder rate as the US. but then, el salvador has TEN times the murder rate as the US. what the report said was that el sal is one of the most violent countries. mexico is nothing in comparison. as we know mexico has the mayan riviera which is very safe, los cabos & other places. san miguel has a good reputation. ajijic is not considered a "resort" or vacation place. its a suburb of guad for weekenders, & a retirement center for those up north.

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Post by 57Chevy Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:58 pm

OK, this is off-subject...sorry...but I just have to comment...Bob, your wife is really pretty. We finally get to see the Mrs.
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Post by 57Chevy Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:00 pm

Susan and others, where do you think are the safest areas in Mexico? Who has the facts on Chiapas?
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Post by susan Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:06 am

1- dawg lives in chiapas, view his posts on his profile, or PM him. 2- i mentioned the places i feel comfortable, see other post. also some cities near to mexico city, but they are changing i think. 3-CB had this photo posted before. impressed that his wife has dark hair, you dont see that around here unless the lady is mexican. she's pretty, & it looks like her real color.

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Post by hound dog Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:38 am

The CBC News article purporting to inform us as the the relative dangers Canadian tourists face from assaults and murders in a select group of countries is worse than useless for Canadians or tourists from other points of departure as a tool for decision making when those tourists are planning trips to any of the various countries selected for the list. Especially ludicrous is the outlandish figure for assaults againt Canadians visiting the Peoples Republic of China. These statistics overall are extremely misleading for many reasons and anyone who would take these figures seriously should probably avoid touring in all places on the globe and, perhaps should also avoid touring in Canada or, for that matter, even leaving home at all or crawling out from under the bed in the first place.

Actually, Dawg is only joining in this thread because 57Chevy asked who "...has the facts on Chiapas. and Susan responded that dawg and dawgette live in Chiapas where we do, indeed, own a home and have since 2006. Chiapas is a varied place characterized by rugged high mountains and valleys, hot, steamy plains, formidable jungles, an extensive and mostly primitive Pacific coastline and a long, porous, heavily forested border with Guatemala over which countless humans. drugs and contraband are constantly being smuggled and land use and human conflicts are common.

Dawg resides in San Cristóbal de Las Casas in the Chiapas Highlands at 7,000 feet but we have traveled over most of the state primarily by our own private automobile but also on buses and combis. Some of the places we travel are somewhat primitive and edgy and many roadtrips in that state are spectacularly beautiful but, at times, disconcertingly isolated and not always welcoming. Chiapas is not for everyone but for the curious, adventurous or lover of great physical beauty, the state is a treasure.

As for whether or not Chiapas is safe, as with all the countries on the CBC News list the answer is yes and no. I actually feel as safe or safer in much of Chiapas as in much of Jalisco but that doesn´t mean I go traipsing off into the Lacandon Jungle without local guides or sticking my nose into backwater fishing villages on the Pacific Coast where I am not welcome or hiking alone through indigenous governed lands in the mountains without permission from local elders. The fact is nobody really knows what goes on in the remote areas of Chiapas because violent incidents that occur there, which are, in my opinion, quite common, don´t make the news and are not usually statistically accounted for by any public media except, perhaps, over some local radio stations at times in a Maya tongue not comprehensible to most outsiders.

Is Chiapas safe? Well, I feel safe there but then, on the other hand, the last time I was there, they found a disemboweled corpse in front of the church in the local barrio plaza near my home on the same route I often take at night to buy pizza from my favorite wood fired pizza joint adjacent to the plaza. Our housekeeper told us about it when she arrived to clean the house the next morning and that´s the only way we know about it. It never made the news.
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Post by hound dog Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:56 am

Regarding the above comments I wrote last night regarding safety in Chiapas and the dissemination of community news there or the lack thereof, a couple of points I missed communicating with readers.

As to the incident of the disemboweled body found in the barrio plaza near our home in San Cristóbal and reported to us by our housekeeper upon her arrival there to perform her normal duties; an incident that never made the local press or television coverage and probably never was noted in any statistical summary regarding Chiapas crime, the only way she knew of this event was that she happened upon the police washing blood from the plaza among a group of locals gathered about to observe and discuss the discovery of the mutilated corpse. This is how news is spread in Chiapas and these sorts of crimes no matter how grotesque, are rarely reported in the local or national news media so thinking that some foreign news source is able to gauge the crime rate in such places is absurd..

Regarding the safety of tourists or foreign residents not only in Chiapas but all over Southern Mexico; I would say that, generally speaking, foreigners living in or traveling about Southern Mexico are pretty safe unless they imprudently traverse into high risk areas such as festering ghettos and isolated back country roads with which they are unfamiliar or deep forests or deserted beaches or indigenous communities while callously and blatantly disrespecting local customs and laws.

I would define Southern Mexico both geographically and culturally as the area comprising the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, southern parts of Veracruz, Tabasco, Campeche, Yucatan and Quintana Roo. Perhaps Guerrero could be added to this mix. The reader should feel comfortable traveling about these states using common sense as a guide but always exhibiting a modest and unassuming demeanor.
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Post by Mainecoons Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:07 pm

I still say that if you subtract out the tourists who have become crime victims because of foolish behavior like buying/using dope, staying out way too late and going to clubs in bad areas, getting drunk and being on the street, driving late at night, that sort of thing, the rest are pretty safe in Mexico. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Post by 57Chevy Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:14 pm

Dawg, thanks so much for your informative post. I have a friend who asked me about Chiapas, because he is interested in travelling there to explore living there permanently. I don't know much about it, but told him I would put out a request on the forum. Thanks again. I have heard it is geographically beautiful.
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Post by 57Chevy Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:15 pm

Mainecoons, I'd agree with you. Buying drugs, walking around drunk in the street, being out late, and going into questionable neighborhoods, is high risk behavior.
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Post by johninajijic Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:21 pm

Mainecoons wrote:I still say that if you subtract out the tourists who have become crime victims because of foolish behavior like buying/using dope, staying out way too late and going to clubs in bad areas, getting drunk and being on the street, driving late at night, that sort of thing, the rest are pretty safe in Mexico. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I totally agree with Mainecoons because many people put themselves in unsafe positions.
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Post by 57Chevy Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:09 pm

ABsolutely....I have seen it over and over. But, that's not to say that all victims have put themselves at risk. Many people are victimized and have done nothing to put themselves at risk. I don't want to do any 'blame the victim' stuff. However it is important for people to take precautions, as has been thoroughly discussed in this forum. In Mexico and the U.S. and Canada as well.
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Post by hound dog Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:18 pm

57Chevy wrote:Mainecoons, I'd agree with you. Buying drugs, walking around drunk in the street, being out late, and going into questionable neighborhoods, is high risk behavior.


Dawg, of course, agrees with 57Chevy and Maincoons and simple common sense dictates the logic that becoming incapacitated on drugs and/or alcohol dramatically increases one´s chances of becoming a crime victim in the public arena no matter where on earth one may be either residing or visiting and the danger goes up significantly when, whether incapacitated by intoxicating substances or not, one foolishly enters questionnable areas whether urban or rural. That, more than any other factor is the reason I minimized the value of the CBC News survey on the relative dangers of a select group of countries. I didn´t see any country on that list that I would not visit with the caveat that I would seek to comprehend the dangers inherent in any chosen destination and try to act rationally in deciding where and when I would venture there. However, that´s because I´m an old man and thus, by nature, more cautious. When I was a young man and acting impulsively, I often became besotted with alcohol or weed and such and, just to name a few diverse places in which I remember the young Dawg foollishly inviting danger and being lucky to have survived; try Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Seattle, Madrid, Zanzibar Town, Oakland, Mobile, Kathmandu, Madras, Marseilles and on and on. That´s just to name a few towns on four continents the young Dawg visited as a backpacking vagabond and acted like a moron and survived only through the grace of God. For any news organization such as CBC News to rank countries by the supposed crime rates against any particular national or ethnic group over a ten year period and, by inference, invite future tourists to base decisions on such useless data is preposterous. The old Dawg traveling today to any of those cities mentioned above where I experienced danger in a state of inebriation as a youth, would travel to any of those cities today far wiser than in the 1960s and far safer as well. It´s not where you go but the precautions you take when there that count. All the same, I´d skip Southern Sudan or Yemen for the time being no matter how unctuously you interract with the locals. They´ll see through that.

One last comment for 57 Chevy. If your friend wishes to settle in Chiapas, I presume he/she is conversant in Spanish or plans to apply him/herself at becoming so in relatively short order or your friend may be unpleasantly isolated socially since English is not widely spoken in those parts. If your friend wishes to ask any specific questions that might be useful to him/her, have your friend ask on the public forum here under Southern Mexico and I´ll be happy to respond as best I can on the public forum as there are others out there who read this forum who might be interested in Chiapas as a destination.
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Post by raqueteer Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:34 pm

57Chevy wrote:Dawg, thanks so much for your informative post. I have a friend who asked me about Chiapas, because he is interested in travelling there to explore living there permanently. I don't know much about it, but told him I would put out a request on the forum. Thanks again. I have heard it is geographically beautiful.


Chevy, IMO it is geographically the most beautiful state in Mexico. Well worth a visit. I'll leave it to the Dawg to take it away, since he knows a lot more about it than I do.

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Post by 57Chevy Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:03 pm

Thanks for all the info and the suggestion. I will let my friend know and try to get him on his computer to post his questions and read stuff on Southern Mexico. The point about his Spanish is a good one to know about. He does speak it, but I don't think he is fluent. That may influence his decision. As I understood what you said, he would need to navigate and be able to communicate completely in Spanish.

I am interested in going there myself. My Spanish tutor Guillermo was born in that state, but moved to Mexico City as a young boy. One thing he mentioned about it is that there is alot of witchcraft there -- sort of like voodoo. Heard anything about that?? Sounded to me kind of like some of the stuff I used to see years ago down south in the U.S. Interesting. Brujeria.
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Post by brigitte Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:11 pm

You may want to read about the Maya before visiting. Just a warning you will be the odd one in the indigenous villages not them so I would not go around talking about voodoo and brujeria and do not ever take photos of any ceremony.

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Post by oncesubtle Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:08 am

I'd also recommend reading Jim and Carole's blog about their recent travels in southern Mexico. Good stuff: http://cookjmex.blogspot.com/2007/10/getting-started-on-my-blog.html
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Post by brigitte Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:08 am

You can also hire a good guide who will explain the traditional catholic religion ( this is what it is called)practice down there. It is a catholic veneer of the old religion.
The place famous for witchcraft is Catemaco not Chiapas.
Indigenous use curanderos down there who are more like medicine men practicing Maya medicine. The Maya medicine believes that all ailments are physical as well mental and they believe in curing the soul as well as the body. They do not separate one from the other. Some people may look at that at witchcraft but I think it is a very uninformed way to look at it.
There is a Maya medecine museum that explains the various practices and the plants that are used. Most of the plants are still widely used by indigenous as well as mestizos.

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