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Captain Jeff Jones

I have been to Mexico hundreds of times, but never without looking over my shoulder the whole time because an overwhelming uneasy feeling I have when I'm there. The country is full of kind and friendly folks that welcome outsiders for their tourist dollars. Unfortunately there is a criminal element that can strike anywhere, anytime in Mexico, just like in some of the poverty stricken areas of CA. I personally don't know anyone who takes a day to visit Watts, just to eat out of a push cart. Twice over the years I have been in a car that has been pulled over for absolutely no reason, and the driver taken to jail. Each time, the drivers family was contacted from "over the border" for "bail" money and the whole scenario played out like a hostage/ransom situation. My brother-in-laws sister was murdered in Mexico back in the 70's and there was little investigation following the tragedy. Thus providing zero closure for his family and Mexico never returned the body for burial. Most who have spent years traveling to Mexico without incident follow a certain list of rules to ensure their safety. (Never travel at night or alone, stay on major roads and highways, carry cash to get out of situations with local police.) Everyone knew the police were corrupt, but dealt with it. Years back, while running yachts down the Baja Peninsula we carried Budweiser Beer and Playboy magazines as leverage to get out of trouble spots. That hasn't worked for years, and penalties have gone up and up (Typically, no laws are ever even broken). While I always hoped that things would change for the better, and visits to Mexico could someday become less stressful, it has gotten much worse. The Hotel Marina Coral in Ensenada was once a bustling marina filled with glorious American yachts (and a long waiting list for slips) is now a shadow if it's past success. It's no secret that wealthy American yacht owners simply drive past the town because the risks are too great to family, friends, crew and property. I can only hope that a policy maker in Mexico's famously corrupt government reads this blog and decides to make the necessary changes to make Mexico a safe and fun place visit. Mexico is a beautiful place filled with wonderful and friendly people, but today the risks, costs and inconvenience outweighs any other reason to visit (including world class fishing). Sorry Mr. Ebersman, but I think only a complete boycott and some tough talk/sanctions by our own government can remedy this situation.

Ken Bell

I am not familiar with the situation related to yachts or sport fishing fleets, but it seems to me (respectfully) that Captain Jones paints with a pretty broad brush... and unfairly so.

Ebersman speaks only to the current situation. To blast broadsides at the entire government seems a bit much. We have a situation with one boat, and one instance. Let's hope it stays that way.

But calling for a boycott after one current incident is unwise and unrealistic when everyone seems to be saying there has been improvements in recent years. (Again, I say this respectfully... I'm not trying to pick a fight.)

I live in Mexico and I know that the government is trying very hard to make improvements and satisfy our needs. An outright condemnation in the midst of everyone trying to work together is unnecessarily inflamatory.

It's not that I don't understand how you feel... I just think a little patience will make room for progress. You may be justified for your feelings because of things from the past, but Philip has been working hard to build some unity and improve communication. Let's give him a chance to make this right.

Philip Friedman

It's funny how two people can have two different experiences in the same part of the world. I still to date, after over 45-years of travel to Baja and other parts of Mexico have yet to encounter any serious problems.

I do not feel the need to look over my shoulder or be afraid when I am in Mexico and up until now, I have been just fine. I too am frustrated with some of the current problems in Mexico but I am frustrated about the way our country does things too.

I am against any kind of a boycott against Baja and Mexico because of the damage it would do to the average, hard working citizens there.

As Ken says, let's be patient and see how this all plays out. In the end, my hope is that these two great friends, Mexico and the United States will be even closer after this process.

I will be headed down to Baja Norte next week to enjoy a part of this world that I truly love.

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Mexico Bureaucrats a.k.a. The Gang That Only Shoots Tequila by Will Ebersman - Phil Friedman Outdoors

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