Thanks for the information. It's terrible but nice to know. Terrorism is definitely on the rise down there and obviously spurned on by the "dirty Americans" bringing contraband sandwiches off of cruise ships.
Good post, Sherri. Here is a little "historical" discussion on this issue in which I was "poo pooed" on the safety of Mexico travel:
Posted May 24, 2007 11:06 AM Hide Post
Welcome to cruise chat, psychocruiser!
Ah, the Mexican Riviera; good question about the safety of the region. I'm booked for 3/16/08 and have some similar concerns. Certainly, if you take any excursions, be sure the company is reputable, and I'd be cautious about taking anything more than a mile or 2 inland. As the date of our cruise gets closer, I'll be looking very closely at the political tenor of the region; check the state department's travel advisories, as well.
The good news is that it does not appear the ports are in the middle of the war zone or in the middle of the "hot" smuggling (drugs and humans) transportation routes into this country. They are on routes into the country, but not yet "hot" routes...
Someone replied to me:
Drug gangs aren't stupid. They know that a great way to get real pressure brought to bear is to start messing with the tourist areas.
To which I replied:
With all due respect, XXXX, I think those might be rose colored glasses out of which you're viewing. The cartels don't give a rip about the tourist economy and will do whatever it takes to further their purposes. The police in Mexico are underpaid and underarmed, and in many locations, bought by the cartels. The police are worthless which is why the adminsitration sent in the army late last year to fight the cartels (all the while, iring civil rights groups in Mexico!). The Mexican military has its hands full as the cartels are armed as well if not better than the military!
There is also a human smuggling train well entrenched that begins in El Salvador that makes its way up through Mexico and in some locations, along the coast. This train is "managed" by the cartel.
So, again, no offense, but the cruise lines (translation: tourist) will have no impact on the cartels any time soon. At the same time, knowing what I know, I'm still going to the Mexican Riviera next year.
Which prompted yet another reply:
So if a bunch of drug war killings started happening in Cozumel you think the Mexican government (and the U.S.) would simply stand by and do nothing?
My glasses may be rose-colored but I think yours need some adjusting too.
Didn't say that, XXXX. In fact, quite the opposite. The Mexican military is already involved in other locations. In other words, despite intervention, Mexico, in certain locations is already far more dangerous than any gang zone in the US. All I'm saying is the cartels are not going to be deterred, which, could very well make our favorite places to go, too dangerous to visit. It's not the case now, but it's not out of the realm of the possibility.
And, I'll give it to you that perhaps my vocation for the past 24 years has skewed my vision to some degree. I may be hypersentitive to what I see happening; but, when in Mexico, if I'm to err, it will be done so on the side of caution.
When I was in Cozumel on my cruise, I always felt safe. I did not see a single panhandler, gang member, illicit drug, nor even a pushy street vendor. I look forward to the next time I go to Cozumel, Mexico. Maybe next year during the Cruise-Chat charity cruise?
I'm with you SD Cruiser; I've been cruising the Mexican Riviera since 1974, and traveling there long before I discovered cruising. I was in Puerto Vallarta before Richard and Liz.
And I have never had an incident; but I have always followed some basic safety rules which I'm sure we all know; probably the most important of which is being aware of your surroundings--caution is a must.