Puerto Penasco

mad0953

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Hey guys I am planning a Spring Break trip (03/22/09 thru 03/30/09) to Puerto Penasco, Sonora, Mexico. We (11 of us) have rented a house right on the beach in a gated community from a person who lives in the USA. We are flying to Phoenix on 03/20 and renting a van and driving there.

A lot of friends and family are telling me not to go and to be honest I have been hearing a lot of bad stories about the violence, kidnapping, crime, etc. in Northern Mexico. I've never been ot Puerto Penasco before and my only trips to Mexico have been for the day off of cruise ships.

What do you guys think? Should I stay or should I go, should I cool it or should I blow?:smirk:. Anybody with any experience in this area out there? I would also like to find a nice hotel/motel near the airport in Phoenix that has an airport shuttle for the day before and the day after so I am posting this in the Arizona forum as well. Thanks in advance.

Mark

BTW I am the 2nd owner of a Viper that was bought new in Phoenix and serviced by "Fast" Eddie Martin at Bill Luke Dodge, can't rmember the previous owners name but when I spoke to him on the phone he seemed like a really nice guy.
 

Jim Wilson

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I've been there a few times, but you couldn't pay me to go there now. Doing the house rental on the beach is fun, but that's only when there's water to flush the toilets and the power isn't out. Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) is really lame when compared to other beach destinations.

Listen to your friends and family.....DONT GO!!!!
 

Paul Hawker

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Four major issues.

Cops are corrupt.

Might get caught in a drug war crossfire.

Tourista.

Wealthy people from the US have been targeted for kidnapping and ransom.

Most tourists have none of these problems, but the risk is much greater than a couple years ago.
 

Abq Bill

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Violence in Mexico is rampant. I'd sit it out and choose another year to visit Mexico:

Aug 2008: There have been 2,000 drug-related murders in Mexico this year, including scores of ghastly beheadings, putting 2008 well on pace to break last year's record of 2,500 killings.

Sept 2008: Much of the evidence is anecdotal, but it is said that 99 per cent of crimes in Mexico go unpunished. That is why a recent study declared that the country now has a worse kidnapping rate than Iraq, with three or four hostages taken each day.

March 2009: We've had 450 officers and soldiers gunned down in Mexico in the past six months. We've had 1,700 executions, all narco-related. Nearly 6300 murders in Mexico can be laid at the feet of the drug trade for 2008; and so far 2009 has already seen over 1000.


You couldn't pay me to go to Mexico right now.....

:dunno:
 

AZTVR

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What do you guys think? Should I stay or should I go, should I cool it or should I blow?:smirk:. Anybody with any experience in this area out there? I would also like to find a nice hotel/motel near the airport in Phoenix that has an airport shuttle for the day before and the day after so I am posting this in the Arizona forum as well. Thanks in advance.

I have no first hand knowledge, so, I can't help you there. I don't see that the attraction versus the risk is worth it, compared to going to, say, Key West, or other Florida beaches. Just cheaper at Rocky Point.

What I would offer, if you find yourself just staying in Phoenix, is an offroad Jeep ride for you and a couple of friends. I enjoy going out this time of year and wouldn't mind the company. PM me if you find yourself in that situation. Regards, Jim Schlemm
 

Abq Bill

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This article caught my attention today (Sunday, March 8):

A U.S. citizen was among the three decapitated bodies found earlier this week in Tijuana, Mexican authorities said Saturday.

Mexican authorities discovered three headless bodies in Tijuana on Tuesday.

The Tijuana attorney general's office identified the man as Jorge Natividad Norman Harrison, 45, who ran a pizzeria in El Mirador, in Tijuana. The bodies were found Tuesday.

In a written statement, Mexican officials said they found firearms and more than 100 ****** pills in a search of Harrison's business, CNN reported.

The statement also noted that he had a criminal history in the United States for drugs and conspiracy.

Growing drug violence has made beheadings in Tijuana, Juarez and other Mexican towns more commonplace over the past year. Mexico's military and police have been involved in an increasingly violent confrontation with cartels.
Battles between cartels have resulted in a brutal onslaught that resulted in about 5,400 deaths last year, more than double the 2,477 tallied in 2007. Many analysts say Mexico is on track to set a record again this year.
 

HISSSN1

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Do not go I was awarded a cruise to Mexico gave it to a employee he said at times they felt uncomfortable. I think Mexico is just to dangerous to visit all you hear about is pretty bad stuff. Go vacation in a place that is safe.
 

AZTVR

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This article caught my attention today (Sunday, March 8):

A U.S. citizen was among the three decapitated bodies found earlier this week in Tijuana,

The Tijuana attorney general's office identified the man as Jorge Natividad Norman Harrison, 45, who ran a pizzeria in El Mirador, in Tijuana. The bodies were found Tuesday.

In a written statement, Mexican officials said they found firearms and more than 100 ****** pills in a search of Harrison's business, CNN reported.

The statement also noted that he had a criminal history in the United States for drugs and conspiracy


This definitely would make me think twice about going to Mexico and trying to deal drugs without getting the seal of approval from the Mexican Drug cartel !!!!

(But, I would pay the few extra bucks and spend my vacation and money at a beach in Florida or the Bahamas instead of Mexico.)
 

Marv S

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HeraldNet: Judge rules elderly Arlington man can leave Mexican prison


This story reads like some locals trying to extort some quick $$ from an 88 year old senior American and his grandson. They must have thought the guy would be an easy pay but when they refused to pay off things went downhill fast.

The locals were faced with admitting they were lying and trying to get a quick buck or sticking to their lie. Neither was a good option for the locals at that point so it became a mess.

I've been following this story for a while. These guys are from your part of the country and were visiting not all that far away from Rocky Point

(excpet the town they are locked up in is right at the border and not a hour south like R.P. is)

There are some great deals in the US due to the economy. San Diego is great. Lots going on in Florida.

US ****** Islands (St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John are warm and owned by the USA.)

************************************************************

LOS ALGODONES, Baja California Norte - The *********** arrest of an 88-year-old snowbird in Mexico, along with his grandson, is quickly escalating into an international incident.

Family members of Edward Chrisman of Washington, who was jailed Jan. 8 with 40-year-old Gary Chrisman Jr., say the two men are victims of Mexican injustice.
But the woman who pressed charges for soliciting **** photographs of her 13-year-old daughter said police acted properly.

The Chrismans are about to enter their fourth week behind bars while family members carry on a publicity campaign declaring they are innocent targets of an attempted shakedown. Shannon Perkins, sister of Gary Chrisman Jr., said Mexican officials twice suggested that charges would be dropped if family members came up with thousands of dollars in bribe money.

"The corruption and injustice in Mexico are completely out of control," Perkins wrote in a letter to the media. "When people become so desperately greedy for money that they would fabricate atrocious stories and slander two innocent men's reputations without remorse, we have a serious problem on our hands."
In an interview with The Arizona Republic last week, the 13-year-old girl's mother offered an entirely different account. The mother, who filed the criminal complaint, said she and her daughter are not greedy or corrupt Mexicans, but U.S. citizens who live in Yuma and filed the police report out of fear.
"This is the truth," the girl's mother concluded, her eyes welling. "My daughter is afraid. . . . And all the lies keep coming" in news stories.

Conflicting accounts


Los Algodones is a popular border destination just southwest of Yuma, where tourists seek cut-rate prescription medications and low-cost medical care.
Most of the town's estimated 4,000 residents depend on dollars from American visitors for subsistence, and the community even has a squad of special "tourism police" to ensure good relations.

All of which makes the he-said-she-said incident at the mother's novelty store, Novedades Jasmine, all the more puzzling.
According to Perkins, her grandfather and brother visited the Mexican town Jan. 8 so Gary Chrisman could have dental work done. Although most tourists park at the border and walk into Mexico, Perkins said, her brother drove across the border because of his grandfather's failing health.

She added that Gary Jr., a Yuma security guard, had received a camera for Christmas and was taking cultural pictures in Mexico. So the two men drove beyond the main tourist zone and stopped at Novedades Jasmine to buy a soda. Inside, Gary Chrisman Jr. asked the girl and two young women if he could take their photographs. According to Perkins, one of the women requested money, and Gary Jr. gave her about $25.
The mother's version of the event: The Chrismans first visited on Jan. 5 while her daughter was tending the shop with two other women. The mother said Gary Chrisman entered the store alone and took some normal pictures with permission, then said, "Without clothes, I'll pay more." When the girls refused, the girl's mother said, the visitor displayed a knife and said things would go bad if the girls told anyone. She added that the man wrote his name and phone number on a sheet of paper, telling the girls to call if they had a change of heart.
She said her daughter was shaken that day as she told of the incident.

On Jan. 8, she said, Chrisman returned and again offered to pay for photos without clothing. "My daughter told him, 'No, and get out of here.' "
The girl's mother said she arrived in her car as the men were driving away. She followed, calling police on her cellphone.

As a businesswoman who relies partly on tourism, she said she has no motive to fabricate such a story. She added that her daughter remains fearful and has been traumatized by media coverage.

"They say I'm telling lies, but police have a page with his name and number on it," she added.

Jail conditions


Perkins said her brother and father have clean records, and it makes no sense that they would risk arrest for naked pictures when there is a free strip-tease bar just down the street.

Perkins also noted that allegations about a knife are not in the police report. "Absolutely ridiculous. Gary doesn't even own a knife," she said.

After the arrest, Perkins said, her grandfather and brother were held in horrid conditions, forced to sleep on concrete without food, water or family notification.
The two men had no hearing for five days, she said, and were told they had been found innocent. But that decision was promptly reversed, and they were shipped to a prison in Mexicali, where they remain.

Early this week, Perkins and other family members offered to provide documents for a news report on the case. However, when a reporter arrived in Yuma, a representative refused to divulge the records or the name of the family's attorney in Mexico.


Foreign affairs


Accounts of what happened in Los Algodones merge on one important point: Edward Chrisman did not enter the store.

The girl's mother said she has no idea why the octogenarian was arrested and does not believe he should be in jail.

"We're so outraged that this could happen," Perkins said. "My grandfather wasn't even doing anything. He was in the car."

Even Los Algodones Mayor Hector Guzman said he is mystified and is pressing for a quick resolution to the court case.

Guzman became part of the intrigue early when he did a television interview and declared that photographs seized from Gary Chrisman Jr.'s camera are not illegal. Some media reports indicated the mayor had ruled both men innocent.
In fact, Guzman said, he does not know what happened in the store and will let the justice system determine guilt or innocence.

Media coverage further fueled the controversy. Initial news reports in Mexico contained lurid, inaccurate allegations and distorted mug shots. Subsequent online reports in the United States were somewhat sympathetic to the Chrisman family.

An Internet article by KOMO-TV of Seattle, Wash., appeared under the headline: "Family: Wrongfully held man may die in Mexican jail."
The Chrisman family is trying to apply political and economic pressure on other fronts. Last week, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., announced she would contact the State Department.

Guzman said he is aware that the case has international implications. "It's very difficult," he added. "We never have problems like this. This is a peaceful pueblo, and we always respect people whether they are citizens or not."
 

Boxer12

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I think most of what you are hearing here about Mexico as a tourist locale is BS. I go to Mexico once or twice a year, 5 star resorts that can't be beat. I have gone probably 50 times in my life, and never so much as a pick pocket. ROME, on the other hand, LOS ANGELES, MIAMI, or NEW YORK, CHICAGO, ATLANTA, HOUSTON, (to name a few big cities) are full of thieves, killers etc. Tijuana is a border town south of L.A., don't compare other parts of Mexico with it. I have only been to P.P. once, and drove there from Colorado a few years ago since we were doing our Spring break in Utah and it was unseasonably cold, and it was nothing like an actual resort town (more of a border town). I am from Colorado (frequent Vail, Breckenridge, Aspen, etc) and have traveled to Scotland, Ireland, England, France, Italy, Kenya, Bahamas, etc etc etc and there are no nicer resorts anywhere than say The Palmilla or a half dozen others in San Jose/Cabo hotel corridor. Many of the world's best golf courses and secluded beaches are there. Cozumel is wonderful, and so are a dozen other resorts you probably haven't heard of. I would avoid Cabo San Lucas beach area or Cancun on Spring break, unless you stay away from the 'all inclusives' or hub of teenager activity. No worries in Mexico, have fun! If you want personal recommendations, feel free to PM me.
 

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