I would love to visit your part of Mexico, Chuck and would absolutely love to see your new home. But the problem is, how to get there safely!
The Mexican failure to deal with the Drug Cartels (I'm not blaming the government because I'm sure they're doing all they can) has now evoled into the fact that the cartels are even taking over resort areas and they especially are targeting Americans for kidappings, etc..
That is why I personally worry about the two of you so much. Hopefully it will never reach your area of Mexico but it is becoming more pervasive and truth be told, the average tourist is (probably rightfully) scared to death to visit Mexico. Might not be right but perception is nine tenths of the ball game.
I know for a fact that the Mexican people are among the friendliest most wonderful people in the world. But this horrendous situation must be stopped. Yes, the market is in the US and around the world for illicit drugs but I personallythink it's past the time that the Mexican Military maybe even resort to some drastic measures.
In the late sixties my brother lived way down in the depths of Mexico and he made the following observation. In a small town with nothing but a dirt road, a couple of Federales were escorting a recalcitrant drunk (there was a Fiesta in the village) to the local hoosegow. The guy was semi-combative, etc. Then they spotted walking down the street a couple of Rurales. The Federales just stepped aside and up walked the Rurales. He said it was something right out of a western movie. The guy immediately stood up, didn't need any assistance and walked to the local jail. In short the Ferderales were considered to be ineffective, while the population was so respective (or maybe terrified) of the Rurales, that even the drunk knew better than to even so much as speak to the Rurales.
I have no idea if such a system still exists but if it doesn't, I'd bet on bringing back the Rurales.
They locked him up with no problem.
NCL Epic 2012, Eastern Caribbean
Explorer of the Seas 2009, Eastern Caribbean
Explorer of the Seas 2007, Eastern Caribbean
Explorer of the Seas 2006, Eastern Caribbean
I hope you will take the time to watch these four- fifteen minute segments. Right up front Sr. Calderon talks frankly about the cartel issues and what has been done to date.
At the brginning of his term as presidente, he identified around four dozen kingpins and leaders in the various cartels. He put out huge rewards of 30 million pesos each (3 million dollars) for information leading to these gangsters' arrests. To date about two thirds of them have been arrested and/or killed. This is huge progress.
Certainly there has been problems in many parts of Mexico, here included. But 99% of the issues have been within rival gangs and almost none of the violence has been aimed at tourists. In fact those tourists having had problems are almost always involved in drug trafficing as well.
Bad publicity travels fast and "news" channels such as Fox have used propoganda techniques to make the problem seem far worse than it is and to stir up racism in the U.S. for political reasons.
David and I have lived and traveled here for well over a year and we have experienced zero problems, Gracias Adios. We are not at all afraid and often we do not even lock our doors. We honestly feel safer here than we did in the states.
There are now direct flights to Morelia and Uruapan from many parts of the U.S. So you can even avoid changing planes in Mexico City or Guadalajara. Both Morelia and Uruapan are about 45 minutes by car. We would be more than happy to have you as a house guest and act as your tour guides. Right now the Monarch butterflies and the gray whales are on their migrations to Mexico. And the Monarch preserve is only an hour or so away. There is so much to see and do here.
We have several people coming from the states for our wedding/housewarming on Oct 27th. Some of these visitors are unescorted women. If we felt there were any danger at all, we wouldn't have them coming for our party. These are our friends and family.
Unfortunately good news travels slowly and doesn't make the 24 hr news cycle of the U.S.. But bad news gets recycled over and over again. David and I hope that one by one we can help people to know that Mexico is a very beautiful and extremely safe place to visit.
I saw the promotion package for this video - it has Peter Greenberg and some other well-known travel journalists. I spent some time looking at it.
It does look like a fascinating place and it did make me want to see the parts of Mexico they described.
Unfortunately, I have to agree with Todd that it is just too risky to be traveling internally in Mexico.
I applaud the Mexican Gov't for trying to boost tourism. I would like to see the U.S. government take a bigger interest in tourism. If they did, they might understand politics better.
There is no better way to promote understanding between countries than to visit that country. If the U.S. government understood that tourism is the main thing that kept the "Arab Springs" from going ballistic they might have more appreciation for the industry. The Egyptians know tourism is their main industry, and if that if they drive tourists away they go broke.
Tourism was one of the main reasons why these uprisings did not become full-fledged wars. Unfortunately, I don't think the drug cartels care about tourism.
As an example, last fall one Mexican was arrested in Michoacan the same day a raid of the same cartel brought in 16 gang members in Atlanta, Georgia. Using the same standard we should all be shaking in our boots about travel to Atlanta.
Drug trafficing is a huge business in the U.S. Much of Mexico's business in drugs comes from the U.S. Almost all of the firearms being purchased by the Mexican cartels come from the U.S. Mexico's gun laws are far more strict than the U.S. Drug usage in the U.S. is so endemic it just isn't news any more. Ironically the percentage of U.S. citizens in jail for drug offences is higher than in any other country in the world.
I think the U.S. should sweep its own doorstep before laying the blame entirely on Mexico.Or so it seems to me!