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Tijuana Mexico Crime Rate

Ken asks…

How safe is Monterrey, MX right now?

Hi,
I am visiting Monterrey for few days (max 4) and I hear about violence and demonstrations on the news and other sources and I am honestly a bit worried.
I know lot of people ask concerned questions these days, and most answers are like, ” how would you feel safe in Chicago, L.A and south philly, Mexico is just the same, ask for trouble and you’d get plenty etc, etc, or like that “, Responses like that is not only Condescending, its also not helping and keeps people away, thinking why take the risk.
( Plus America doesn’t need a reason these days to be scared of anything.)

My worries are genuine, since I am a visitor, tall and have light ethnic skin with bright green eyes and distinct features I would easily stand out, and I also don’t speak Spanish. I am staying with a church family whom I am about to meet. Thank you.

When we hear 5000 murders in less than 11 months right across the border and more than 26 percent in Tijuana alone, it does gets noticed, whether you choose to talk about it or not.

Gosh! Isn’t your main economy tourism, why not put all the druggies in jail and enjoy freedom and democracy.

( I even heard of the assignation of the leader of the demonstration for peace last week in monterrey???

P.S: I live and work in San Diego. I love your country and people and how nice you all are. I want to travel cheap, I am crossing the San Diego – Tijuana Border and I am taking a cheap airline into Monterrey. Thank you.

Tijuana answers:

THe guy who posted before me is NUTS. The United States is safer than Mexico, and very few stretches of the imagination could explain otherwise. Yes, the U.S. Has a high murder rate.. But it’s restricted to homicide. Not only that, Mexico’s population is only a 3rd of the U.S.’s. No where in the U.S. Can a criminal act with impunity in broad daylight and hold up cars at gun point. But in Mexico… Well, you just have to look at the headlines. The own country’s newspaper sindications will reveal what state the nation is in.

Foreign companies are rethinking investments in Mexico mainly because of security concerns. Fewer Americans are travelling to Mexico. My hometown of Juarez has fallen into a veritable anarchic state… And El Pasoans normally not afraid of risking the chance of petty crime have stayed away from Juarez for nearly a year. Spring Break in Cancun looks like it may be less crowded than usual.

Not to mention Mexico has one of the highest kidnapping rates worldwide. (Did you fail to mention this, Mark?) You are much safer walking the mean streets of New Orleans and/or Detroit than Mexico City.

Now for the answer to your question:
#1 Monterrey was settled by many a European colonizers, and many of their descendants still reside there.. Meaning, many have light colored hair, light-white skin, colored eyes. You won’t stand out. If you told me you were going to the mountains of Oaxaca or Chiapas, this might be an issue. Not in MTY.

#2 Monterrey has not escaped the horrors of Mexico’s ongoing drug war, but it’s generally a SAFER city. That being said, I wouldn’t suggest going to nightclubs unless going with locals. If you’re going with someone that lives there, you will be A OK.

#3 Our main economic activity is OIL. But even that is not a large part of our country’s GDP. Our economy is very diversified… With manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, banking, mining,.. Among other things… Making up large sectors of the economy.

#4 If locking up druggies were as easy as you said… Not to sound condescending… We’d be a better country darling. We HAVE a democracy…. A very real one. (We almost elected a damn communist into our executive branch last presidential election… That’s the problem with letting everyone vote, they vote for whoever promises the most)

However, Americans pay top dollar for cocaine from Colombia, and we have a geographic advantage over others for smuggling drugs into the U.S. Running coke into the U.S., protecting drug barons,… Etc… Pays infinetely more than a menial job at a factory… So you tell me what you would do if you have 2 kids and a wife and a crappy job… Stay at your crappy job and let your kids starve or take up a job with the mexican mafia if offered? The drug trade problem is a lot more complex than you think. If you want to attack the root of the problem… Attack your drug addicts in the U.S. Cut the demand, and there won’t be a reason for supply.

Welcome to Mexico!

Nancy asks…

Will America Lose the Culture War?

California was once the home to Conservatism as we know it: producing such notables as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Pete Wilson, “B-1″ Bob Dornin, Republican candidates once regularly swept California’s biggest in the US delegation.
But, in the last 20 years, the foreign-born percentage of the population has gone from 9% to 29%…and most of these new arrivals are now Democrats.
Why?
Because that’s were the entitlements come from! Yeah, the free stuff that is not available back in the “old country”. The heck with whats right and wrong….traditional American values? not from an immigrant!

So the demographics are stacked against the Republican Party in California….FOREVER! Sure, they have a Repub Governor now…because he was the Terminator!
And now places like Colorado, Iowa, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida, all top destinations for immigrants, illegal and otherwise, are almost to were California is now, with the immigrant vote breaking 60-40 or more for the Dems!
At this rate, America loses its traditional identity…FOREVER at some point in the next ten years. IS IT TOO LATE TO CHANGE THIS TREND?
What say you America?
Please opine if so inclined, and remember, no bloviating in the No Spin Zone!
jehen: ever hear of ACORN? to think that ni illegals ever voted is SO nieve! The Dems pander to illegals by the hundreds of thousands….did you read my synopsis on California???? Our culture is rapidly changing. Bilingual (read Spanish) is a way of life in certain areas! B-1 Bob was replaced by a Leftist Loon names SANCHEZ, who has done NOTHING in her 8? years in Congress…not one bill.
>>>>America is supposed to be a “melting pot”, where different cultures mix. California is becoming Tijuana North, where gangs and spanish and bario culture dominate…not blend.

Tijuana answers:

Once again your spot-on with this one. I am an immigrant, and live in the LA area. There are certain parts of LA and orange county that look like the Black Hole of Calcut…er…Tijuana. With the dirt and crime and drugs and gangs…it makes me sick. We will lose the culture war if we don’t get a handle on the illegals and fast!

Maybe if America wrecks its economy, the illegals will stop jumping the boarder because we will be as poor and jobless as Mexico! Nice fix, Huh?

Steven asks…

Travel plan to the USA- help please!!?

Hi I am an 18 year old Australian and am planning on travelling to the USA next year. Am planning on arriving at the very beginning of March and travelling for 2 months before I leave to work in Canada.
I am planning on doing it as cheap as possible whilst still enjoying myself. I am quite aware it will still be quite expensive.
I do not know all that much about where to go in America. This is why I am writing this, my question to you is where should I go? What route should I take? What should I do? What are the must sees? How should I travel and where should I stay? I am aware I am being extremely vague in what I want to do/see and not giving you much to go on and I apologise for that! I honestly just dont know where to go or what to see! I do want to see a baseball game and an ice hockey game ( if they are in season at the time i am there) I also have a great interest in History, so any major historical sites would be great. I also owuld love to see the Grand Canyon. I want to get a true sense of America as I have never been there before. I understand it wil be impossible to see it all in 2 months, I will return at a later date to travel more but for now what should I see for my first time there?
I am hoping to end my trip in New York and flying to Canada from there.
I will be 19 years old, travelling alone, trying to do it on the cheaper side and travelling in March and April, please give me as many suggestions as possible! I need help in planning this trip as I have never travelled before and need help! Any help will be appreciated! Thankyou in advance! :)

Tijuana answers:

I’d suggest starting out in California. From Australia you should be able to get direct flights into Los Angeles and/or San Francisco. You could also potentially fly to Hawaii (America’s own tropical paradise) before heading to the mainland.

California tends to have good weather year round (in March and April there’s a chance of rain, but that’s about the worst of it) and a lot of interesting stuff to see. You might make a big circle around the state–say fly into LA, take a few days to explore LA and San Diego, then drive north along the coast to San Francisco (the CA coast is quite scenic and has a lot to do and see.) Spend a few days in San Francisco, then head to Yosemite National Park (absolutely a must see). From there head south to Sequoia National Park, then Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon which is also absolutely a must see. From there you can head back to LA. San Diego is also right next to the Mexican border and you can easily head over to Tijuana–however Mexico has had a major spike in drug related crime, and I’m not sure how safe the city is these days.

Other major National Parks in the western US include Yellowstone in Wyoming, Glacier in Montana, the Rocky Mountains National Park in Colorado, and a number of parks in Utah. Check out www.nps.gov for the US National Park Service’s website, which may give you more ideas for interesting places to visit. Unfortunately though many National Parks tend to be in out of the way places and may be hard to reach without a car (see below.)

You could head north towards Portland, Oregon, Seattle and even Vancouver BC; all three are very pleasant cities with lots of young people and nice scenery in the immediate vicinity (especially Vancouver) making them great places to kick back and relax, but I’d probably suggest heading East. Probably the most interesting things to do in the Eastern US is to hang out in major cities–Chicago, Washington DC and New York are all especially interesting, cosmopolitan places with fantastic museums and each can probably easily fill up a week of your time with no difficulty. Boston is also very pleasant–in good weather–and may be of particular interest to history buffs. Niagra Falls and Acadia National Park are noted scenic destinations in this part of the country.

Probably visiting those spots should take roughly 2 months or so, and would be a great general introduction to the US. Some other notes:

To get a sense of what else to see, by all means buy a guidebook or check one out of a library. I’m personally fond of Lonely Planets.

Unfortunately youth hostels are somewhat rarer in the US than in most parts of the world. Still, check out hostelworld.com and/or hostelbookers.com–you should be able to find hostels in most major cities. The HI hostel in Chicago is especially good. If you find yourself visiting an area without any hostels, priceline.com is a good source for hotels–motel 6 is probably the least expensive decent hotel chain.

Priceline or yahoo travel are also worth checking for plane tickets. However the nation’s main discount airline Southwest (southwestairlines.com) apparently doesn’t advertise its rates on these sites, so check them out separately. Southwest also doesn’t charge bag fees, unlike most major airlines, which is a very good thing if you’re carrying around a big ‘ol backpack.

For trains and long distance coaches check out amtrak.com (trains) and greyhound.com (buses.) Both tend to be cheaper than air travel–however the US is a BIG country, and it’s probably a more comfortable and efficient use of your time to fly long distances.

Unfortunately the most convenient way to get around many parts of the US is by car, and many car rental firms may not rent cars to people under 25 (or may charge hefty extra fees). For this reason you may want to look into package tours to get to destinations that are outside of urban areas. Www.statravel.com (I don’t know if they have an Australian site) is geared towards youth/student travelers and tends to have good deals both for packages and also for things like airfare.

On a related note: I’d suggest against trying a cross country road trip. It seems like a cool thing to do (and on one level it is) but as is the case with Australia the US is very big, and there’s not a heck of a lot in the middle.

Also regarding sports, March is in season for both hockey and basketball–in fact there’s a major university level basketball tournament called March Madness which much of the country is obsessed with. The baseball season starts in April. The only major sport that will be out of season during your stay is American football.

Also make sure that you get travel insurance; the US does not have a national healthcare system, and paying out of pocket for medical care can be quite ruinously expensive.

Anyway, I hope some of that helps!
Cheers and enjoy your trip!

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