I have a confession to make! We have been watching the drug violence in Mexico closely ever since we came home in April. We thought (hoped) it would blow over after the gangs killed off most of each others members but this does not seem to be happening. The violence used to be centered on the borders with a little seeping down the west coast, leaving the central Colonial areas and the Yucatan in relative peace.
The battles have now intensified with the narcos using military tactics as well as recruiting mercenaries from Central America. There has been one car bomb with threats of more to come. Despite the valiant efforts of the navy, marines and federalies the gangs seem to have free reign to operate wherever they choose. Calderon's war on drugs seems to be failing, at least for now. The death toll is now at 25,000 with no end in sight.
Admittedly, the violence has not reached the RV'ing community to any great extent. There have been some hijacking of vehicles and one shooting incident in our old RV park in Mazatlan but so far, no one has died. Our friends Jonna and Mimi in Merida tell us that in their area, there is no problem whatsoever and mi amigos John and Anita Calypso live in peace in the mountains west of Veracruz. On the other hand, Chris and Juan in Monterrey have been uncomfortably close to a lot of violence in the past few months. I am beginning to understand that there are two Mexico's, one I want to be in and one I want to avoid. The problem is, you have to pass through one to get to the other.
Like I say, we have been watching closely and now it is time to start making some plans for the winter. I cannot be called a scardy cat as far as travel goes as we have never backed away in the past. We have always been careful and aware of our surroundings in Mexico as well as in the USA and Canada ("situational awareness" as my military friend Steve or "Belgique" from North Carolina calls it). We know the warning signs of violence and avoid those areas and circumstances. The problem in Mexico is that police and soldiers are being attacked while simply driving down the road. The weapons being used are military issue and tend to spray a lot of bullets around in a very short time. If you are nearby when this happens there is a chance you may be hit.
If you want an up close and personal look at the violence in Mexico have a look at Borderland Beat. It is very graphic and maybe a little sensational but no responsible person can ignore the facts and this site shows them all in gritty detail!
All of you who know me know how hard it is for me to say this because I love Mexico and her wonderful people. We have traveled from one end of the country to the other with no problems but I think the time has come to take a year off.
We are looking at the Texas Gulf Coast as well as Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. There are places down there we have always wanted to see and this might be our best chance. The Blog will still be called "Croft's Mexico" because that is where my heart is and will always be considered my second home. This will just be one year off...
On the other hand, those of you who have been watching this Blog know how likely we are to stick to our plans!
My overriding emotion over the whole situation is anger! Anger at those who make canceling our winter of RVing in Mexico necessary and anger at myself for succumbing to the threats.
It is a sad situation! Perhaps we can meet some of our Mexican friends in the States sometime over the winter. It would be "almost" as much fun.