Thursday, February 24, 2011

Last Week at Xpu-Ha

I can’t believe that the Winter is almost over. We got here on December 7th and other than the 17 nights that we spent back home for Christmas, we enjoyed every minute here. All the friendly campers and the beautiful beach and pleasant weather made the days go fast. I especially enjoyed reading about the snow, ice and cold weather back home.

People always asking me about  safety in Mexico. Like the states, you don’t want to go into a bad neighborhoods at night. Unlike the states most crime is petty theft with no weapons. You read about all the deaths and shootouts here, but 95% of it is in the border towns. I would never camp in Texas near the border of Mexico. Far more likely to be robbed, shot or have your truck stolen.
Here on the Mayan Riviera everyone wants and treats tourists very well. The tourist bring the money that supports the hundreds of thousands of workers who have found their way here for jobs and housing. New small houses are being built everywhere.
How about crossing the border? We try to pick a place where there is no town at the border like Los Indios/Free Trade Bridge which is good for us Easterners. Those heading West have lots of safe options as well. Just stay away from Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa or Matamoras, big cities bring more danger.
What is the biggest problem travelling? Topes, the speed bumps that control traffic whenever you are near any population. Some are huge and could really cause vehicle damage. Gas Stations, they are full serve and many attendants try to scam unsuspecting travelers. But stay at the  pump, watch that they start the pump at zero and make sure you tell them and they agree to the size of the bill that you are handing them. They will try to say you gave them a 50 peso note rather than a 500 peso note, if you let them walk away to get change. Police, I guess it’s because they are low paid and think tourists are rich, stupid and scare easily into giving them bribes. They make up infractions and then ask for huge amount of money.

Some tourists submit because they don’t want to be delayed and pay illegal bribes.

I also post this sticker on my RV, that says “No Bite”, “Don’t feed the corruption”

Below are two paragraphs written in Spanish that you could use to stop this illegal practice. If they stop you for a traffic violation. Hand them this.

Entiendo que Usted ha pedido que me detenga debido a que posiblemente he cometido una violación de tránsito. Obedeceré sus instrucciones de acuerdo a la ley, le entregaré mi licencia para conducir y el registro de mi vehículo. Sin admitir culpa en esta situación, voluntariamente lo seguiré hacia la Comandancia de Policía en donde Usted o alguien podrá informarme acerca de los procedimientos legales a que haya lugar y si me es requerido, pagaré la multa que corresponda. Entiendo que en este caso, se me extenderá un recibo por el concepto de la multa.

(English translation)
I understand that you have stopped me for allegedly committing a traffic violation. I will obey your legal instructions by providing you with my Drivers License and vehicle registration. Without admitting guilt in this situation, I will voluntarily follow you to your local police station, where you can properly inform me of the legal procedures, and if asked, I will pay the required fine. I understand that you will issue me a receipt for these actions.
Or if they ask you to pay a fine or ask for a bribe or a gift, hand them this.

Por favor, tome nota de que:
Tengo conocimiento de que existe la Sindicatura del Ayuntamiento y que si Usted me ha pedido que le pague directamente la multa de la infracción de tránsito, le pediré que me diga su nombre y número de oficial. Es mi derecho reportar esto al a oficina del Ayuntamiento, donde una investigación oficial podría ser iniciada.
(English translation)
Please note:
I am also aware of the SINDICATURA process, and if you have asked me to pay you directly for a traffic violation fine, I will ask that you give me your name and badge number. It is my right to report this to the Mayor’s Office, where an official investigation may be undertaken.

1 comment:

  1. We try to pick a place where there is no town at the border like Los Indios/Free Trade Bridge which is good for us Easterners.

    If you cross where there is no city, there may be no witnesses.

    My friends have been held up after crossing at Los Indios. And I mean held up by guys with M16s. They normally will let you go after you hand over your cell phones and cash. This is very hard to do in town. Of course it could happen on any rural road, but the closer to the border the gangs operate the richer the pickings are.


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