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Violence/Drug Wars/Safety(Includes Guadalajara-U.S. Warning)
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tideout



Joined: 05 Feb 2011
Posts: 180

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is more sad news (the grenade attack).

I've been considering a return to Mexico which I loved being in despite getting ripped off by a school there and being on the wrong side of a very disorganized Univesity. I had been thinking of Monterrey or Guadalajara both of which have rather large question marks hanging over them.

A good friend of mine who's an ESL trainer who also loves Mexico recently went to Veracruz. She and her husband love that area and have taught there before said the atmosphere has really changed there as well and that while you can find lots of music still around that the violence associated with drugs and gangs has had a significant impact on young people going out etc..

What's a little disturbing is how some of the narco-related stuff seems to be less regionally located than before - more likely to pop up in a city where there weren't problems (Monterery, Guadalajara etc..). I've been considering Puebla to work in but recently read that it's a city where some of the heavies in the Mexican cartel "industry" have families there - it has been something of an "off limits" city for drug related stuff for that reason. Makes me wonder though if that couldn't suddeny shift?

I should say, I have taken a lot of the US media on Mexico with a grain of salt but I do feel like there's a shift going on that's less than positive.
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the peanut gallery



Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 264

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"....ALSO - why doesn't the U.S accept that in the VAST MAJORITY of these incidents, the bad guys are using U.S sourced weapons? ....."


Completely incorrect! Looks like the 90 percent myth snagged another one.
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the peanut gallery



Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 264

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tideout,

The sentiment from people on Dave's is that the US media exaggerates and speculates quite a bit, in order to have sensational headlines. I fully agree with those views.

Mexican media, while slightly filtered, gives a clearer picture. Reforma newspaper is a good source for official stats on whats going on. Investigative reporter Carmen Aristegui provides excellent info and insight to current events. She was booted from MVS last week but is still on CNN.

You mentioned GDL and Monterrey....here are the official narco/violence numbers for the year to date for Jalisco and NL, according to Reforma:

Jalisco

82 murders related to cartel violence (45% increase from the same period in 2010).

NL

151 murders related to cartel violence (110% increase from the same period in 2010).
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tideout



Joined: 05 Feb 2011
Posts: 180

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the peanut gallery wrote:
tideout,

The sentiment from people on Dave's is that the US media exaggerates and speculates quite a bit, in order to have sensational headlines. I fully agree with those views.

Mexican media, while slightly filtered, gives a clearer picture. Reforma newspaper is a good source for official stats on whats going on. Investigative reporter Carmen Aristegui provides excellent info and insight to current events. She was booted from MVS last week but is still on CNN.

You mentioned GDL and Monterrey....here are the official narco/violence numbers for the year to date for Jalisco and NL, according to Reforma:

Jalisco

82 murders related to cartel violence (45% increase from the same period in 2010).

NL

151 murders related to cartel violence (110% increase from the same period in 2010).


For what it's worth I guess, I've been quite in agreement with the general proposition that the US media generally presents a cartoon image of much of the world outside of its borders. Too many examples to even go into right?
On the other hand, only fool believes it's a black & white issue - that there isn't a point at which things may have shifted beyond what you see everyday. I remember quite well going into Juarez about 4 years ago and writing friends that all of the violence there was overblown. Presumably very few people would make that claim today.

The numbers you quote suggest that there is a significant change in the violence and it may not even take those numbers to begin to influence the way a city or part of a city can start to feel or even function in the business world.

I really don't have an issue with posters on dave's feeling the violence is much more contained than presented - yet, I can also think of several long time gringo residents here (ESL teachers, 12-15 years here, residency etc, ) who've commented on rising crime and social changes in places like Veracruz, Oaxaca etc..

A recent defense of Guadalajara relative safety by a government official there (sorry I don't have the link) that people should keep Baltimore, Detriot etc in mind when assessing Mexico seems like an end run to me and not an assessment at all. I've spent some time in Baltimore as well. Plenty of places I wouldn't go - yet I don't recall people rolling hand grenades into night clubs or severed heads into bowling alleys. Tough sell for even the best Chamber of Commerce........
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ls650



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 3484
Location: British Columbia

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read that over the last three years, something like 30,000 people have been murdered in Mexico. That's about 10,000 a year for a population of roughly 100 million. In the United States, there about 15,000 murders per year for a population of about 300 million - so if my rough guesstimates are right, Mexico has a murder rate approximately twice that of the US.

There are places in the USA where I would feel quite safe, and other areas I would avoid at all cost. Much the same could be said about many countries, including Mexico.
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the peanut gallery



Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 264

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not so. Official stats are as follows:

From Jan 1, 2006 through Feb 11 2011 there have been 29108 murders. But those murders are directly related to the cartel wars. Those numbers are exclusive of all other "regular" murder figures.

http://gruporeforma.reforma.com/graficoanimado/nacional/ejecutometro_2011/

Additionally, it is irrelevant what is happening in Baltimore for someone looking to do business in GDL. Poor show from the GDL govt official.
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ls650



Joined: 10 May 2003
Posts: 3484
Location: British Columbia

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some 'official' murder rate statistics....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States
United States 2001 - 2009, odd years only. Murders per 100,000 people.
5.6, 5.7, 5.6, 5.7, 5.4

And for comparison with Mexico and Canada:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

Country followed by the per 100,000 murder rate, for each year from 2000 to 2010 from left to right:

Mexico 14.11 13.94 13.04 10 11 11 11 10 12 15 15

Canada 1.59 1.67 1.67 1.74 1.95 2.05 1.86 1.80 1.83 1.81 1.81

So murder rates in Mexico are roughly 3x those in the States, which are 3x worse than those in Canada.

According to that same article, the global average was 7.4 murders per 100,000 in 2004, so the USA is somewhat below the global average, and Mexico twice as high.
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laconic



Joined: 23 May 2005
Posts: 198
Location: "When the Lord made me he made a ramblin man."

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy Courchesne wrote:
laconic wrote:
Might this be related to the warning issued by the consulate given that both were published about the same time:

http://www.globalnews.ca/world/LPGA+cancels+Mexico+tournament+over+safety+concerns/4212419/story.html


I wonder if the Pan American games this October are going to be affected.


BBC is mentioning the very same thing in its story and film footage of the attack on the nightclub.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9395
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be a shame to have them canceled and a big blow to GDL and Mexico as a whole. They managed to pull off the Commonwealth games in India recently under similar concerns of safety (terror attacks in the Indian case) and Brazil got the World Cup and Olympics and is running a similar War on Crime/Drugs to prepare. The Mexican government is going to have work very hard through the summer to keep the games I suspect.
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the peanut gallery



Joined: 26 May 2006
Posts: 264

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ls850,

Wow, the homicide rates you quoted along with the cartel murders i quoted really make for some scary numbers.

Considering all or most of us posters live in Mexico the general rule on this forum is to compare Mexico with Mexico. This seems to go for everything from wages and water quality to crime and corruption. Fair enough right? I dont think fact that Nuevo Leon might have 60% more murders than Texas matters too much. What does matter is that Nuevo Leon had 4 cartel related murders in 2004 and 651 in 2010. Jalisco had 10 cartel related murders in 2003 and 545 in 2010.

Guy,

What do you mean by "The Mexican government is going to have work very hard through the summer to keep the games" ? Work hard how? Do you mean a good PR campaign over the summer to assure the world that Mexico is safe? Or do you mean that the violence needs to be brought under control somehow?
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tideout



Joined: 05 Feb 2011
Posts: 180

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy Courchesne wrote:
It would be a shame to have them canceled and a big blow to GDL and Mexico as a whole. They managed to pull off the Commonwealth games in India recently under similar concerns of safety (terror attacks in the Indian case) and Brazil got the World Cup and Olympics and is running a similar War on Crime/Drugs to prepare. The Mexican government is going to have work very hard through the summer to keep the games I suspect.


Agreed. The last thing the country needs are more economic hits.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9395
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Guy,

What do you mean by "The Mexican government is going to have work very hard through the summer to keep the games" ? Work hard how? Do you mean a good PR campaign over the summer to assure the world that Mexico is safe? Or do you mean that the violence needs to be brought under control somehow?


Most certainly both and ideally in the reverse order. Perception is and will probably be the biggest hurdle in my opinion.
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Spector



Joined: 23 Oct 2009
Posts: 66

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So a week before I set off for GDL, I find the place has become a Latin American update of Mad Max. Hmm. Guess I picked the wrong week to quit taking amphetamines...
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gregd75



Joined: 14 Mar 2007
Posts: 360
Location: Tlaquepaque, Jalisco

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the peanut gallery wrote:
"....ALSO - why doesn't the U.S accept that in the VAST MAJORITY of these incidents, the bad guys are using U.S sourced weapons? ....."


Completely incorrect! Looks like the 90 percent myth snagged another one.


Any chance of quoting a source to prove this is incorrect... can't be claiming this falls into the 90% myth by falling into the 90% myth yourself.

The fact the vast majority of weapons have been smuggled into Mexico via the USA is a well know fact quoted by US and Mexican government officials regularly. Watch the news and you'll see reports of people being caugth smuggling guns into Mexico from the US. The drugs tunnels across the border are used in two directions (pretty logical).

I haven't seen reports nor photos of Russian/Chinese made weapons- although I admit I'm not a weapons expert.

FINALLY the changes in U.S laws back in 2004 by President Bush simply coincides with the increase in violence?

Nop. All fact here.... looking forward to reading the proof to back up your wild statement, the peanut gallery
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gregd75



Joined: 14 Mar 2007
Posts: 360
Location: Tlaquepaque, Jalisco

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An attack in GDL is not good. Don't get me wrong- BUT- please don't assume it's related to the recent 'supposedly' drug-cartel attacks- which, in themselves cooincided with the opening of two new bridges which took over a year to complete and are both seen are significant developments in the infrastructure of the city.

I have contacts in local city government and I know that they are working VERY HARD to contain the situation- both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes.

Now, lets turn to the recent attack in a nightclub. Here's the news reoprt link: www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-12441481

Here's the quote that I'd like to draw peoples attention to:
Quote:
Police said the attackers were customers who returned to exact revenge after a late-night dispute with other drinkers.


Not drugs related at all.

If you'd like an incident thats far more worrying AND drugs related, let's look at the drugs related shoot out in or near Mexico City this weekend; www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-12444813

Quote:
Police say the shooting may have been part of gang warfare for control of the city's drugs market.


Every city has it's dangerous parts. Doesn't matter if it's London (during the IRA bombing campaign), Baltimore, Guadalajara or Mexico City.

Personally I'd like people to stop calling these people narco trafficers and start calling them TERRORISTS. That'd capture the attention of neighbouring governments and hopefully encourage them to take responsibility for the situation. Mexico is fighting a losing war and the country's image is suffering as a result.
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