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Old 03-20-2012, 12:58 PM   #61
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How about some of the border towns? That's where the cartel is reportedly waging open war against the federales.
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Old 03-20-2012, 02:43 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
Not at all. Just more fearmongering by the highly biased media. Mexico still remains the number destination for US and Canadian citizens in spite of the efforts of the media to demonize Mexico.
No disagreement that the media is playing their best scary story cards with this, but I see almost daily evidence that this sort of thing is real and significant (at least locally):
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Originally Posted by ItDontMeanAThing View Post
Today the LA Times ran an article ...No mention of foreigners being extorted. Obviously the indirect effects hit everyone:

The number of Mexican businessmen transplanting themselves, and often their businesses, to the United States has grown enormously in the last five years, as measured by so-called investment visas issued by the U.S. government to wealthy Mexicans, and by the millions of dollars those Mexicans are investing in new enterprises north of the border.
The influx of well-to-do Mexicans who are moving here - as opposed to the long history of tourism here for high-end retail and quality medical care - is very noticeable.

Events in Mexico were important when I was w*rking, and we stayed informed of political and criminal activity in that country. We worked there, we worked with government officials, and we actively gathered intelligence from a wide variety of sources.

I don't think that Gringo tourists and expats are in significantly more danger than they were at any earlier time. Well, maybe a little more, depending on location. My crystal ball is broken, and so I can't predict what is going to happen, but I don't need it to know that there are changes going on in Mexico that are scary for some of the population.

Mexico is not fundamentally more criminal or corrupt than it was before (IMHO it has always been very corrupt), but the historical controls over that corruption are badly undone. A new equilibrium is being sought between the traditional power structure and the newly empowered drug cartels. The result is the shocking violence being gleefully reported by the news media.

I'm not saying I would be packing my bags just now, but a smart person pays attention to what goes on around them. What would concern me, if I were living there, is that a number of that small elite group of folks who have always had all the money and power in Mexico feel compelled to leave. There's never been much of a stabilizing middle class in Mexico, and if the educated rich people that are heavily invested in Mexico start abandoning the ship I would consider that a sentiment gauge worthy of attention.

As in if I were a Gringo rat on the Mexican ship, and saw all the Mexican rats going over the side, I would wonder what they knew that I didn't know.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:40 PM   #63
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We have family in Mexico also. They go through Laredo, Texas, and You have 2 routes, the old roads, or the new Toll way. We take the new Tollway, it is $20.00 per toll and there is 5 of them. The Mexican Military is everywhere, because they want the tourist to come back. Last year a neighbor brought a New Chevy Silveraldo, $35K truck, and one day got a knock on the door, they said "Were here to pick up the truck", The neighbor said "What are you talking about?" They said "Give us the damn keys". Nothing you can do. We keep all our money in Texas, and withdraw once a month or two. You dont want to leave any money in a Mexican bank.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:34 PM   #64
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As in if I were a Gringo rat on the Mexican ship, and saw all the Mexican rats going over the side, I would wonder what they knew that I didn't know.
This is so clearly true, as it has always been true wherever there is an economically and often ethnically distinct upper/moneyed class and a large but poor lower class. Remember when the Malays rioted attacked and poillaged the Chinese in Indonesia some years back when they country was destabilized when Suharto fell?

The relatively moneyed Gringo expats make a logical target; Yanquis in Mexico did poorly in some earlier Mexican upheavals.

To me the "I feel safe argument" is very weak. Often we feel safe until we don't, then boom!
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:28 PM   #65
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We have family in Mexico also. They go through Laredo, Texas, and You have 2 routes, the old roads, or the new Toll way. We take the new Tollway, it is $20.00 per toll and there is 5 of them. The Mexican Military is everywhere, because they want the tourist to come back. Last year a neighbor brought a New Chevy Silveraldo, $35K truck, and one day got a knock on the door, they said "Were here to pick up the truck", The neighbor said "What are you talking about?" They said "Give us the damn keys". Nothing you can do. We keep all our money in Texas, and withdraw once a month or two. You dont want to leave any money in a Mexican bank.
That's why you don't buy a new truck and stand out here... If I recall, those are also some of the most stolen vehicles in the states, right?

If you blend in and don't try to look rich, you're better off. People here want you to blend in just like the states want these to do when they go north.

I was just thinking back to my first 2 years in a quiet area northwest of LA when I personally know 2 people who got car jacked by gunpoint and one got the crappie kicked out of him. Mexico is feeling safer every day...
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Old 03-21-2012, 01:45 PM   #66
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I love my 1993 Explorer (owned since new with 99k miles on the clock). One of the sacrifices for my new lifestyle. Even DW has given up wearing her jewels. But then, she probably would have anyway. It is part of the FIRE lifestyle.

As for Mexicans moving north, I don't know any. The sons of my friend from GDL live in the US where they graduated but my friend enjoys it here. Are you sure that they are not moving for opportunity?

When the PRI gets elected this year, the war on drugs will be over (PAN intiative) and the flow of drugs to the US will resume unhindered. This will cause a significant reduction in stories and improved tourist flows.

(And the resumption of police corruption like in Arkanasas.)
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Old 03-21-2012, 02:10 PM   #67
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I read those notices from the US govt very carefully and closely, about the issues to be found in other countries and the dangers found therein, and go there anyway.

Did I mention we were planning a trip to the "stans" next summer?
One should ask the state department to prepare notices using the same metrics on the US. Clearly for example parts of some cities would be as dangerous as parts of Mexico.
Just for grins here is the UK statement on the US for UK persons visiting (the part on crime)
"Safety and Security - Crime You should bear in mind the following:


  • Do not leave your door open at any time.
  • Avoid wearing expensive jewellery and carrying valuable items in run down areas.
  • Do not sleep in your car by the roadside or in rest areas.
  • Avoid leaving items on display in cars.
  • Try to stay on main roads and use well-lit car parks.
  • If hit from behind while driving, indicate to the other driver to follow you to a public place and call 911 for Police help.
See our Victims of Crime Abroad page.

Violent crime related to the drugs trade is a major issue in the Mexican states along the border with California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas and travellers by land to Mexico should note that we advise against all but essential travel to Ciudad Juarez, where there is a high level of drug related violence and criminal activity.

In addition, on 15 July the US Consulate in Ciudad Juarez issued the following Emergency Message for US citizens: "Information has come to light that suggests a cartel may be targeting the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez or U.S. Ports of Entry. In the past, cartels have been willing to utilize car bombs in attacks. We ask American citizens to remain vigilant".

We therefore advise against all but essential Mexican-US border crossings in Ciudad Juarez at this time and will continue to monitor the situation and update as necessary. British Citizens should remain extremely vigilant at all times.

Though some foreign nationals have been among the victims in the border region, there is no evidence to suggest that they have been targeted because of their nationality. Visitors to border areas should exercise caution and follow the advice of local authorities.

Violent crime, including gun crime, is not limited to the border areas. Incidents rarely involve tourists, but visitors should exercise caution when travelling in unfamiliar areas. Research your destination before travelling and seek local advice about areas with high levels of criminal activity."
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:01 PM   #68
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To me the "I feel safe argument" is very weak. Often we feel safe until we don't, then boom!
Nassim Taleb wrote a whole book about that. Remember the parable about the turkey on the farm? Life from his perspective was a string of 999 days of getting fed and being happy. All that changed when it met with the farmer's perspective on day 1,000 - the day before Thanksgiving - as he came into the barn with an axe in his hand.

Some people have the perspective of living there and feeling safe. My perspective is that there has been a noticeable, and dramatic, increase in rich Mexicans that have moved and brought a lot of money with them.

Different perspectives on the same situation.

Who knows what the outcome will be. So I don’t offer a conclusion, nor even a guess as to what will happen in Mexico. My view is that a good number of Mexicans of power and influence are looking for the exits, and I think that significant.

If I owned property in Mexico this would be something I would pay some attention to. IIRC Taleb’s book on Black Swan Events started out with a story about his family’s experiences in Lebanon during the civil war there in the 70's, and the dangers of being complacent, not seeing alternative views, and failing to be robust enough to survive BSEs.

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Are you sure that they are not moving for opportunity?
That depends on what you mean by opportunity.

These are not illegal immigrants risking life and limb to come north for a job. These are millionaires coming here to find a haven for their money and their families. These are the people who can use their money to buy opportunities - like E2 visas for temporary residence and EB5 visas that come with permanent residence.
Quote:
The call came into Texas Franchise Connection not long ago. On the other end was a 19-year-old young man from Mexico who needed to invest $5 million of his family’s money in America before he turned 21.

If he can find a restaurant or retail franchise that suits him — and there are many having trouble finding franchisees with capital — the EB-Investment Visa program could allow him to become a permanent resident relatively easily.
"Mexicans investing in America" - Austin Business Journal, Oct. 21, 2011

That’s not the working class coming here to find the streets paved with gold; it’s the ruling class bringing their gold with them.

What does a working class guy do when somebody comes and demands the keys to his new pickup truck? In Mexico, if he likes living, he hands over the keys.

What does a business owner do when he is targeted for similar extortion? He goes to the police:
Quote:
As Jorge escaped, shots rang out behind him and he arrived to the police station with a bullet wound to his arm.
Just like anywhere else in the world. Except this is Mexico during a time when the police can't protect themselves, much less anybody else.
Quote:
At the station, however, the police told Jorge that there was little that they could do for him.

“I was told that as soon as I left they could not guarantee that I would live.” They asked Jorge if he wanted to be taken to the airport or the U.S.-Mexican border.
When the police can’t protect him what does our business owner do? In Mexico, if he likes living (and wants to hang on to his money), he seeks opportunities elsewhere.

Google “wealthy Mexicans moving to {Austin, or Houston, San Antonio ,Dallas, San Diego, or Miami}" and you’ll read about what we’re seeing here on the receiving end.
Quote:
"This is becoming a haven," said Matos, a native of Spain who was raised in the U.S. but lived in Mexico for a few years when he worked for an energy company.
Quote:

In 2006, he left Mexico after receiving a threatening call from a drug cartel member who was trying to extort money by reciting Matos' daily routine. The caller politely listed what time Matos went to work, the gym and back home, then asked for "protection" money.

"I was out of the country within 12 hours," Matos said.

Woodlands a haven for Mexican entrepreneurs - Houston Chronicle
Quote:
Castro estimates that Mexicans own at least 50,000 of the approximately 500,000 homes and apartments in his city of 1.3 million, which has a vibrant Hispanic culture. Many are in gated communities that have sprung up in the city’s sun-baked northern hills. One neighborhood built around a country club has so many residents from the Mexican city of Monterrey that it has been dubbed “Sonterrey.”

“I’ve never seen so many Maseratis and Porsches in my neighborhood,” said Carl Bohn, a businessman who lives in what is formally called Sonterra, a tranquil development of homes with red-tiled roofs, palm trees, colonnaded entrances and backyard pools.



Quote:
“It’s a very substantial flow; I would say probably the largest since the 1920s, the last great period of upheaval in Mexico,” said Henry Cisneros, a former mayor of San Antonio who served in President Clinton’s Cabinet. “We have whole areas of San Antonio that are being transformed.”
Drug war sparks exodus of affluent Mexicans - The Washington Post

Quote:
Quote:
Rajunov said he knows of about 30 companies in the past year that have hastened their expansion to Texas at least partly due to drug-related violence and other security concerns. Most of the businesses are establishing operations in the Dallas, Houston and the San Antonio/Austin areas, said Rajunov, who declined to identify specific clients. They include retailers, manufacturers, distributors, real estate, restaurateurs and others.

“The level of activity started occurring about 12 months ago,” Rajunov said. “It increased about nine months ago, and it got to a fever pitch about six months ago.”
Mexico's woes bring businesses, jobs to DFW - Dallas Business Journal
Quote:
Real estate broker Luis Tamborrel says about 90 percent of his clients are Mexicans.
"Maybe 1,500 homes have been sold to Mexicans or Hispanics over the last couple of years," Tamborrel says.
Real estate agent Lori Van Joslin says Mexicans find the master-planned community perfect for their needs…Mexican families use their Woodlands homes as vacation retreats at first, and then gradually move there full time…
Woodlands Sees Influx of Wealthy Mexicans
Quote:
“We saw Mexican investors come all the time. But they were not interested in making a life here,” said Silvia Graves of the Houston law firm Graves & Graves.
Now they want to know about the private schools, taxes and — most importantly — visas.
More investing their way to visas - Houston Chronicle

I look at the numbers of businesses opened, homes bought, new students in private schools, and I wonder just how many rich people does Mexico have? And if,
or when, most of them have moved to Texas - what happens to Mexico? We're talking about a country with not much of a middle-class, and a huge under-class without many of the skills useful in running a modern democratic state and/or a capitalist economy.

There
are opportunities here: The economy is doing well, there is a large Spanish-speaking population that is becoming more affluent, there is a demand for capital investments, and we're giving away permanent residence to rich dudes who start businesses and hire people, etc.

But there are other "opportunities" as well: Our justice system is fairly effective, relatively honest and efficient, and doesn't suggest people
drive for the nearest foreign border if they've been threatened.

Kidnapping is a rare crime here, the local Wal-Mart is not the subject of a hand-grenade attack, we don't see headless bodies of our journalists hanging from freeway overpasses, the army is not fighting gunbattles in the streets of our country, and usually the only kind of "extortion" that a factory owner has to worry about is labor threatening a strike if they don't get a raise.

So which set of opportunities is at play here? Carrot? Stick?
Both?

If I were a rich Mexican, I would see a lot of attractive
opportunities in the U.S.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:10 PM   #69
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As for Mexicans moving north, I don't know any. The sons of my friend from GDL live in the US where they graduated but my friend enjoys it here. Are you sure that they are not moving for opportunity?
We have a lot of wealthy Mexicans relocating to our area of South Texas and several restaurants as well moving north of the border. That's how I heard about the "Investor Visa". It's providing quite a boost to the local economy not to mention some nice new restaurants.

And locals tell me this is a completely new thing. We've had tons of Mexican tourism in the Valley before, and that continues. But not significant relocation of wealthy Mexicans or their businesses.

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Old 03-21-2012, 07:04 PM   #70
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Do you know Mexico is the 5th Richest County?
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:12 PM   #71
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Do you know Mexico is the 5th Richest County?
Can you provide a link to your source of this information?
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:22 PM   #72
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I suspect that wealthier Mexicans are getting a little more anxious. I bought 2 new pairs of glasses at my favorite Palomas Mexico Optometrist, "US bank checks no problem, I have an account in the US that I deposit into." Our favorite mercado The Pink Store would bill you in Peso's for lunch, inexpensive tequila, and mexican chotchkie's. I always take my Cap One CC for no currency transaction fees. No more billed in $. We watched the Deming School District bus pull up to the border checkpoint and unload children who than walked across to the border into Mexico.

Last Friday we came home from dog agility class, at our gate was a UDI with no pack. Here where I live if the mexican hikers have no pack, they are dope smugglers. Vamos I say, the two dogs run to the gate, I grabbed my truck gun, and off he goes. I watch him pick up a pack at a Emory Oak where it had been stashed. Later the Border Patrol picks him up. He has 10 lbs of flour, 10lbs of rice, 2 gallons of water a sleeping bag and binoculars. He had been spotting for the drug mules that are invading our country. Scary for Mexicans, who can't own a gun, just a day in life for me.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:27 PM   #73
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You can have an old car, something which isn't conspicuous. But you can't hide the fact that you're a gringo.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:29 PM   #74
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:13 PM   #75
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Can you provide a link to your source of this information?
I forget who told me that one day and it has stuck with me. I got on line, and Germany is the 5th richest. They said that Mexico has lots of oil. I was wrong. I know one thing, if someone post facts, they better be right with this group. Because you guys are good.
Maybe when all the Mexicans go back home, with American Muney, they will be #1.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:19 PM   #76
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Need disguise!


But your missing the Hoss Cartwright 10gal. white hat.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:20 PM   #77
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Did I mention we were planning a trip to the "stans" next summer?
Be sure to ask the customs and immigration folks there if they saw "Borat."
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:23 PM   #78
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You can have an old car, something which isn't conspicuous. But you can't hide the fact that you're a gringo.
You can't even hide that you are an American in London, let alone Mexico. Anyone with eyes to see picks up on thousands of cues, behavioral, dress, style of moving about. The foreigner doesn't even have to speak to be blown.

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Old 03-21-2012, 08:29 PM   #79
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You can't even hide that you are an American in London, let alone Mexico. Anyone with eyes to see picks up on thousands of cues, behavioral, dress, style of moving about. The foreigner doesn't even have to speak to be blown.

Ha
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Old 03-22-2012, 08:45 AM   #80
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Be sure to ask the customs and immigration folks there if they saw "Borat."
Definitely NOT!
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