May 22, 2009

Travel in Mexico

As anyone living in Mexico knows, Mexico is an extraordinarly unsafe country.

For gringos that is fortunately not true. Mexican people, and I guess Mexican criminals have this misbegotten idea that any problem involving gringos invokes the Mexican federal government or the US Embassy.

Generally speaking, if you are gringo, you will receive preferrential treatment in the provinces of Mexico. In the border areas you will be considered fresh meat. And if you are dumb enough to travel without car insurance anywhere in Mexico, you will be god's gift to extortionists.

Most Mexicans quiver in their pants over either being kidnapped or being obligated to empty their ATM account.
And many seek safer places.

Recently my Popoluca, who is a realtor, is negotiating several sales of houses of owners who want to leave the insecurity of Catemaco. Meanwhile she is also negotiating for houses for people from other areas of Mexico like Guadalajara and Puebla, who want to retire  to Catemaco because they think it is a safe haven.

The answer to those differences may lie in the middle.

Generally any gringo traveling in Mexico is protected by the "nochingagringos" effect, which is primarily practiced by the federal highway police, and to a limited extent by state police.

All that is obviated by the "gringopagadoble" effect in place in most interactions with local shopkeepers .


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