Is Mexico still safe for cruising? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 20 Old 02-26-2012 Thread Starter
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Is Mexico still safe for cruising?

My wife and I have become more and more concerned about the violence in Mexico and the fact that it is now essentially a failed state. It was a major deciding factor in our recent change in cruising plans. Originally we were going to cruise Mexico, the gulf and Caribbean and on to the Med. There were lots of factors in our change of plans, but Mexico was, at one time, an area that we looked forward to greatly. Now, I'm not so sure it's safe anymore.

Apparently the state department recomends avoiding 14 states in Mexico, including the state where PV is.

From the CNN article here: Cruise line: 22 passengers robbed in Mexican seaside resort - CNN.com

"The robbery comes two weeks after the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning to Americans to avoid all but essential travel to all or parts of 14 Mexican states, including the state of Jalisco. Puerto Vallarta is the sixth-largest city in Jalisco."

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post #2 of 20 Old 02-26-2012
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We have several friends currently (seasonally) cruising Mexico waters, primarily in the area between San Carlos and Manzinillo, some for the first time this year, others for the past several.

We've not heard of any reports of problems with the cruising crowd, and Jalisco is pretty much smack dab in the middle of that region. We spent a week a couple of years back in the Malaque/Manzinillo region and talked to several cruisers and such stories never arose. A small sample, to be sure, and current events may have changed things.

I think in general low profile cruising programs attract fewer problems. So maybe that half baked idea to trade Fairhaven in for an Oyster 62 should be put on hold!

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post #3 of 20 Old 02-26-2012
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I think there is no signifcant problem as long as you keep your wits about yourself. Anchoring in an isolated lagoon in one of the dangerous spots is not a good idea maybe - but it is hard to find those isolated spots anywhere. I don't follow the US travel advisories but check the Canadian ones and I have found that they are very conservative in their recommendations - as they should be. I remember their recommendations for Ecuador were concerning before we went there and I have rarely felt safer anywhere than I did there. People were incrediblely friendly and helpful and went out of their may to make sure you knew where you were going. I suspect Mexico might be similar.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #4 of 20 Old 02-26-2012
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YES,Mexico is safe

Yes, Mexico is safe for cruising, surfing and living.
Based on my personal experiences as well as conversations with ex-pats, locals, sailors & surfers. I have never felt in danger anywhere I have traveled in Mexico.

It's no more & no less dangerous than many large US cities and certain Caribbean areas. It seems to me that US media outlets seem to play up violence and crime in Mexico while ignoring homegrown troubles. Mexico has a lower overall crime & murder rate than USA... Hmmm
Of course, those stats are different if your in the cartel business

I've been commuter cruising since November in the Sea of Cortez. Previously, I had/have visited Mexico for surfing (Baja and mainland) 5 to 10 times yearly for the past several years. I have never felt in danger anywhere i have traveled in Mexico.

Don't let the spectacular coverage of a few isolated incidents deter you from cruising and enjoying Mexico.
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post #5 of 20 Old 02-26-2012
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The DOS has placed a number of spots on the "really, there are safer places to visit" list. If you really want or need to go there, you still go. If you'd rather not worry about those kind of problems, you skip those places until things change.

It really is that simple. Places don't get on that list because of one or two isolated incidents, they get on the list because of repeated problems. Pickpockets, you can take reasonable precautions against. Kidnappers and cartel wars against local police, not so easy to plan for. If you have to ask how dangerous it really is...it might be easier to go someplace else this year.
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post #6 of 20 Old 02-26-2012
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I wonder what the state department says about Detroit?
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-26-2012
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The state department doesn't go to Detroit!
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post #8 of 20 Old 02-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
The state department doesn't go to Detroit!
For good reason!
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post #9 of 20 Old 02-26-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whosedream View Post
Yes, Mexico is safe for cruising, surfing and living.
Based on my personal experiences as well as conversations with ex-pats, locals, sailors & surfers. I have never felt in danger anywhere I have traveled in Mexico.

It's no more & no less dangerous than many large US cities and certain Caribbean areas. It seems to me that US media outlets seem to play up violence and crime in Mexico while ignoring homegrown troubles. Mexico has a lower overall crime & murder rate than USA... Hmmm
Of course, those stats are different if your in the cartel business

I've been commuter cruising since November in the Sea of Cortez. Previously, I had/have visited Mexico for surfing (Baja and mainland) 5 to 10 times yearly for the past several years. I have never felt in danger anywhere i have traveled in Mexico.

Don't let the spectacular coverage of a few isolated incidents deter you from cruising and enjoying Mexico.
Don't get me wrong, I love Mexico, and we vacation there once or twice a year. But that said, the violence in parts of Mexico is not just a story the US media is making up. It is very real, and becoming more widespread. Definitely not "isolated incidences", depending on where you are. We were in Cabo a week after a shoot-out at the Wal-Mart on the way into town. Last week 22 cruise ship passengers were robbed at gunpoint in Puerto Vallarta.

Check out Borderland Beat. Not safe for the squeamish.
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post #10 of 20 Old 02-26-2012
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I am no expert on Mexico but it seems that most of this advice concerns the western coast. The Yucatan is a different place (the eastern side.) There have been a couple of piracy incidents in the last couple of months - boats being shadowed by what appeared to be Mexican Navy vessels that disappeared when the on-shore support people of several cruiser nets contacted the Mexican Navy. If you travel around on shore away from downtown Cancun expect to see truckloads of Mexican Army personnel - all armed and not very friendly (my sense is they are under a lot of pressure, its not about you.) Like anywhere there are safe places (Isla Mujeres being one.) Lots of boats around, again, previous advice. Don't go off to deserted places and anchor. Talk to the locals about what is safe and what is not. Federal Officials - customs, immigration, etc. are very pleasant and helpful. If you are heading south to Belize check for where you can clear out of Mexico. There are no real good choices. From a sailing standpoint the current in the Yucatan Channel is a constant problem if you are heading south. It is true but not well publicized that the State Department has removed all Peace Corps volunteers from Honduras and Guatemala. Yet my sense is that the Honduran Islands are still about as safe as they ever were.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by svzephyr44; 02-26-2012 at 08:49 PM.
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