Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Has Rving Become a Dilemma?


The news this year hasn't been good on either side of the border. I feel the pain as we are just beginning our retirement and our plans having been in constant change since the increase in violence in Mexico. Now the cards are changing suit and the trouble for rvers seems to be on the other side of the fence. Two rving couples have been murdered in the U.S. and that is troubling. We had hoped at best to be able to rv this winter in Texas and New Mexico visiting our friends we had made in Mexico.

We are very close to purchasing a new rv and I know many of you think it isn't a big deal. "Go buy the damn thing." Well, I'm just not that kind of shopper and have other concerns to think about. If you have never imported an rv into Mexico, there are certain details. Once crossing the border the agente aduanal pretty much drops you off and says good luck.

Although I have to say that in 2004, and many things have changed for the better since then, I was told to stay out of sight at the border as we crossed. "Sit in the truck and don't get out." The papers were stamped, no mordida paid and off I went to the 26th km to get the approval for the pedimento. It was easy. I left McAllen at 6 p.m. and was at home pulling the trailer into the driveway at midnight not knowing if it would fit or not and making it in on the first try which I haven't been able to do since then.

Some things are changing and for the better. There seems to be a bit of backlash from certain groups. One for example is the group of federales in Juarez that attacked and expelled four of their comandantes for involvement with the "you know wh0". Does that say something about loyalty and honesty or what!

There is now debate in the house and senate about the legalization of drugs and the impact on the criminal element. They are not winning the battle against the army or the marines. The military is kicking their butts. One interesting comment made by our comandante from Kino the other day regarding the statistics on criminal arrest and that only 15% make it to prison. Well sure, just like any other country, if you can't prove their involvement in a crime you have to let them go but you do have their photos and fingerprints on file with hopes you'll catch them again. The actually percent, as the comandante likes to exagerate, was actually 25% that are imprisoned.

There also seems to be a growing confidence in the denuncia anonima or anonymous police reports and they are getting these guys left and right. In the last week alone the military and local police have rescued 26 supposed kidnap victims here in the metro area. That is a record and I say "supposed" because we don't know if they are the opposing gang or what.

Also, Calderon and Fox are going at it via a debate on legalization of drugs. One good point brought up today in congress was that legalizing drugs in Mexico would do nothing to the illegal market in the U.S. In other words, the U.S. would have to legalize drugs also to make any type of impact.

I know I have been staying away from this issue on my blog but in my little town of 23,000 we no longer have a police department. 11 were killed this year and the rest of the 25 total quit and took off in fear. Now, we call the military base if we need assistance.

I've not given up yet. Our trip to SMA was uneventful except for the bad food incident from which I am now fully recovered. We traveled freely from Monterrey some 1400 kms without a problem and the return trip was even better knowing we were safe and having a good time. Next test will be with the new rv. Anytime soon now.


  1. Wow! That is quite the story about your local police! Those were the great guys who helped me clean up the mess on the street after our run-in with the overpass! It is getting very close to home.

    I understand your concern with buying the new RV. Do you bring it across the border or leave it in the USA for now? John Calypso lives in the mountains west of Veracruz and has seen no violence whatsoever, same as Jonna and Mimi in Meida. It would seem that there is still peace down there.

    Your problem, same as us, is getting there. We have still not completely written off Mexico for this year but the more I investigate LA, MS, GA and FL, the more excited I am to go there. Weather and costs are a concern but we still consider Mexico as a backup. I sure hope we can get together for a vodka or ten. On either side of the Rio Bravo.

  2. I want to brag a little about our military young men from Yucatán. They were recently transferred en masse from Valladolid where they had been for many years to Juarez. The group from Juarez came here which may not be good for us.

    At any rate, it was these young men who were faced on arrival with commanders who hid drugs on them to force them to work for the cartels and instead, they took them in custody and demanded they be arrested. Good for them! I hope that the attitude and courage of the Yucatán will convert the troops that just arrived here as well. Mexico needs that kind of soldier.

    I would not worry about getting an RV. It appears to me that the cartels are mainly interested in big pickup trucks and flashy cars. If you are not driving something they want and you are not hanging out with them or around them, everything seems about the same to me. Of course, I say this from down here where we aren't having the problems they are having in the north.

  3. I agree with you 100%. We enjoyed our trip to SMA. I am traveling to Saltillo tomorrow for work and won't give it a second thought.

    As for the rv, I want it here and I want to travel back down south. The weather is great and the people too!

    Once we sell the house I see a winter in the Yucatan.