A cautionary tale

by anneh, Saturday, January 22, 2011, 18:42 (2515 days ago)

My family and I have been struggling with a moral dilemma about whether to post on this board and hopefully you will understand why after reading this post. We returned home on 01-17-11 after a week in Zihuatanejo. Our first 3 days were idyllic - the perfect spot, laid back, low key, delightful people, wonderful weather, warm seas, delicious food, fabulous hotel, excellent service! We had been reassured by many people that it was a safe place and there are clearly large numbers of visitors who return here year after year. We were walking back from downtown around 10 at night and were 100 yards from our hotel above Playa Madera when my husband and I were robbed at gun point on the corner by Hotel Palacios. Fortunately our daughters were ahead of us and had reached our hotel further up the road by this time. This left us feeling very sad, for us personally and for this delightful town which will undoubtedly suffer from this kind of event. We would advise everyone to take extreme care at night when walking back from downtown and please do not carry any valuables.

A cautionary tale

by GringoLoco, Saturday, January 22, 2011, 19:01 (2515 days ago) @ anneh

First of all, glad to hear you and your family where unhurt. As I stated earlier, i don't feel safe at all to venture out past dark, especially on foot. The Playa Madera area has its share of crime over the years, and more so this season.

I also debated about whether to post my neighbors armed carjacking on their way to Ixtapa last week. They also left home with a sour taste in their mouth, and they will not be returning to Mexico. They put their condo up for sale.

Not sure if anyone downtown heard of the gun battle that happened on Nicolas Bravo last night. IIt was not in the local paper this morning. If you walk by the Old "La Canada" (as I did this afternoon), the gun shots are still clearly evident on the wall...

I'm comfy here in my apartment and plan on staying here ALL Night...

Be careful out there :(

A cautionary tale

by karenanddick, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 07:41 (2514 days ago) @ GringoLoco

There have always been robberies in La Madera....just more of them now.

A cautionary tale

by Anyway, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 08:20 (2514 days ago) @ GringoLoco

There was 3 older gentlemen (looked like city workers) painting over an area in downtown center this morning, across from the statue on Nicolas Bravo. Not sure if that's where the shootout happened, but it seemed the most logical...

No bloodstains though:-/

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A cautionary tale

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Saturday, January 22, 2011, 19:07 (2515 days ago) @ anneh

I am truly sorry you had such a harrowing experience, though I am relieved no one was hurt. I always recommend that visitors not walk from town back to their lodgings at La Ropa or La Madera after dark. Unfortunately La Madera has been the scene of repeated robberies and hold-ups, and our police forces are apparently not up to the task of providing sufficient vigilance or public security.

Did you file a police report?

How about Troncones?

by Judy in PDX, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 11:10 (2514 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

We will be spending a few nights in Troncones and I was wondering what the crime rate is like in that area. It seems to be a bit safer than Madera, is that correct?

Thanks, Rob.

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How about Troncones?

by Ernesto ⌂ @, Troncones, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 13:05 (2514 days ago) @ Judy in PDX

Very Safe

How about Troncones?

by Judy in PDX, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 14:15 (2514 days ago) @ Ernesto

Thank you, Ernesto. That's exactly where I am going to be. See you soon!

A cautionary tale

by pdxSteve, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 11:30 (2514 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

anneh and family, i am sorry for your being a victim of an armed robbery. this shocks us because we always walk back from downtown to la ropa after dinner via la madera on the street. I have been a victim of an armed robbery (in St. Louis) and understand how everything changes when looking down the barrel of a gun.

we do not remember getting any recommendations not to walk home along the road throught La Madera (Calle Adelita). there have been many warnings to not walk along the beach path.

My question is: should we consider the whole bay of Madera unsafe to walk at night.

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A cautionary tale

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 12:29 (2514 days ago) @ pdxSteve

anneh and family, i am sorry for your being a victim of an armed robbery. this shocks us because we always walk back from downtown to la ropa after dinner via la madera on the street. I have been a victim of an armed robbery (in St. Louis) and understand how everything changes when looking down the barrel of a gun.

we do not remember getting any recommendations not to walk home along the road throught La Madera (Calle Adelita). there have been many warnings to not walk along the beach path.

My question is: should we consider the whole bay of Madera unsafe to walk at night.

Our place is on La Madera and we always walk home after dinner down below. The only change we've made is to walk back along Calle Adelita and up Heartattack Hill, rather than along the coast and up the stairs, although a light has been added to illuminate the stairs. There's also a new light up on Eva Samano, thanks to David and Lucy. WE take no added precautions.

Madera safe to walk at night ?

by chip and charo, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 13:14 (2514 days ago) @ pdxSteve

Not really sure.We have lived here five years...full time. Four years ago we were leaving Rufo's on Adelita to go back home. On The corner , a guy stepped out and put a gun to my wife's face. Right on her forehead. I gave him my money and he ran away. Policia were called but no results. The next week were broken into our house as we slept. I have been all over the world and been in what I would consider dangerous places and circumstances. At 67, the only time we ever had ANY problem was here. We will not leave but suggest caution. Flash light and a whistle. Don't mean to scare anyone.These are isolated incidents and can happen anywhere .

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A cautionary tale

by freddy @, Saturday, January 22, 2011, 19:56 (2515 days ago) @ anneh

Wow that is very sad and scary! We stroll home along there typically around 8:30 ish after eating downtown and strolling back to La Ropa. Is it then safe to assume no walks after dark anywhere along this jaunt? Was it on the road or on the promendae? I think I won't be walking any of these routes home at least not in the dark anymore! And this gunfight, when did it happen? Was it late in the evening or earlier? It's clearly a sign that times are tough and one should carry as little as possible on their person. I read about a similar event on Playa Larga a couple of days ago. We as touristas must share the good and bad. If at least anything, it will allow first timers an opportunity to not get caught in a situation like this, or at least, maybe minimalize the possibilty of some other innocent descent folk getting tangled in this web. As for the police, what the heck are they going to do? It's been said on this board that the powers that be are as corrupt as the criminals themselves. I still love this place, however, clearly more caution needs to be taken to not let these sociopaths have an easy target. Very sad indeed. Could this be a result of lower tourist numbers in the first place? Any input is appreciated as we still have 3 weeks left here. As for the victims, my deepest concern goes out to you all.


:-(

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A cautionary tale

by LadyM in Zihua @, Zihuatanejo, Mexico, Saturday, January 22, 2011, 20:04 (2515 days ago) @ anneh

Thank you for posting what happened. People should be aware. Very glad that you were not hurt and your children were up ahead and not involved in the event. People everywhere should be careful these days, not just here.

--
[image]
www.juliostours.com

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A cautionary tale

by Pam in NJ ⌂ @, Morristown, NJ, Saturday, January 22, 2011, 20:32 (2515 days ago) @ anneh

Although I am happy to hear that you were unharmed, I'm shocked and saddened to hear about your experience.

I will be arriving on Sunday for my 10th visit and will be staying along Playa Madera for the first time.

In all of the years that I have visited Zihuatanejo, I have walked everywhere - early mornings along the main road (thru la Ropa) and up the big hill and in the evenings into centro for dinner and then back to my lodging by 9pm. I have never felt threatened! Am I to assume that I cannot continue to do such?

This is truly a sad turn of events.

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A cautionary tale

by Dione @, Chicago, IL, Saturday, January 22, 2011, 22:14 (2515 days ago) @ anneh

What a horrible experience, but I’m glad you posted it. My husband and I walk those streets all of the time, even after dark and we have never had a worry. On Friday the 14th we left Tango after dinner which is near La Ropa, we decided to walk into town. We used the back streets by Madera like we always do. Suddenly two police trucks pulled up and a foot chase was on. The police ran in the opposite direction so we continued on into town. Believe it or not it really did not phase us. We live in Chicago so seeing police in pursuit was not a big deal. We actually walked the same street back to our hotel at the Brisas Del Mar on Madera. I do agree with your advise though, always take extreme care and never, never wear or carry any valuables.

A cautionary tale

by JBinCT, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 00:47 (2515 days ago) @ anneh

Thank you for posting this. Not sure what you feel the moral dilemma is; you were robbed at gunpoint walking to your hotel, how is that a dilemma? As a visitor since 1983, I know the town has changed- what hasn't?- and I no longer walk back to La Ropa after dark. Safety-wise the town still feels the same to me during the day, but after dark it is a different story.

A cautionary tale

by tj, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 08:38 (2514 days ago) @ anneh

Glad to hear nobody was hurt. Where was Rob and his machete when you needed him?

Where he is always...

by Anyway, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 08:45 (2514 days ago) @ tj

Light hearted Sunday Humor...don't get mad Rob :)

[image]

A cautionary tale

by Pecos Bill, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 11:31 (2514 days ago) @ tj

Thank you for this posting. We arrive in 2 weeks for 14 days at La Madera for our 8th year in a row. This is disconcerting and why we take a taxi home from downtown after dinner, but, hell,I live near Tucson. I will feel a lot safer in Zihuatanejo..fer sure !

A cautionary tale

by Sens, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 14:39 (2514 days ago) @ anneh

Been to Myrtle Beach any many other tourist beach areas many times and have never felt comfortable walking of the beaten track at night . Is Z any different than any other beach /tourist area that is not gated ? Going to Z for three weeks. I have not read any where that it is dangerous to walk in down town at night (early). This site and others say to take taxi when leaving bar/ res. to be safe just like I do in most American cities . Is there a police prescence walking/ driving at night at all in Z . I would be very concerned if robberies were in the day and at night with lots of people around . I take it that the streets after eight must be really quite with few people walking . The first time going down and realize that mexico tourism is going threw a tough time for many reasons .Z seemed to be a an area that has avoided most of the trouble . Seemed to be getting mixed messages on this site about safety . As I said earlier is any different in Z than in other similar destinations .I feel very sorry for couple who was robbed. Thank heavens no one was hurt and children were not their. I know it would ruin my trip .

A cautionary tale

by clint, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 14:52 (2514 days ago) @ Sens

We made a decision years ago that we would not walk anywhere except Centro after dark. Over the years, we have heard and read about many incidents.

We used to stroll down to Rossy's or El Manglar for dinner, but not any more. If we want to go there, we get a cab at the Catalina and return in a cab.

I feel more secure walking on 7th Ave. in NYC at 2 AM.

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End of Innocence

by NoName @, Vancouver Island, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 15:10 (2514 days ago) @ clint

How would a person go about having the numbers and visible presence of the tourist policia beefed up. I would think that some of the restaurants who cater to evening guests would be smart to have some portion of their "taxes" going to this cause. The more these incidents occur, the more people will be buying groceries and cooking their evening dinner at home..... or not venturing out past their hotel's eatery. I have heard the response about guns not killing people, but people killing people, but they sure can intimidate and scar a person's memories for a lifetime.... damn guns.

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End of Innocence

by LadyM in Zihua @, Zihuatanejo, Mexico, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 15:24 (2514 days ago) @ NoName

How would a person go about having the numbers and visible presence of the tourist policia beefed up. I would think that some of the restaurants who cater to evening guests would be smart to have some portion of their "taxes" going to this cause. The more these incidents occur, the more people will be buying groceries and cooking their evening dinner at home..... or not venturing out past their hotel's eatery. I have heard the response about guns not killing people, but people killing people, but they sure can intimidate and scar a person's memories for a lifetime.... damn guns.

People, restaurants, etc. have no more say here how their taxes are used than we do at home. It is a very nice, but naive thought. And I vote for it also.

--
[image]
www.juliostours.com

End of Innocence

by cd69 @, Winnipeg,MB,Canada, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 16:34 (2514 days ago) @ LadyM in Zihua

The powers that be better wake up and act upon these reports as it is no longer the odd incident we hear about.Too many tourists have been robbed at gun point and if the authorities aren't reenforcing the police presence,tourism will suffer even more than it is suffering now.It is one thing to hear about petty theft,ie the purse left on the beachchair that gets stolen but having numerous reports of people having a gun put at their face in an area catering to tourists is a whole different situation.

I remember years ago tourists complaining in Acapulco about too many people on the beach harrasing them trying to sell them stuff.The government realized that this was becoming an issue along with heperception of too much small crime and they came up with the tourism police.Whatever is needed needs to be done fast in Zihuatanejo and in Ixtapa or you could end up in a catch 22 situaton where tourism will drop drastically,as if it wsn't bad enough, and more crime commited because more people out of work...

Sadly,if I had no been in the area before,I would have a hard time recommeding this place for new tourists as it is hard to tell people it is a great place,great views,good food but don't walk around after dark as you will get robbed.This in't what tourists want to hear.They want to be able to take a stroll after dinner.They want to feel safe.It is no small wonder that so many people opt for all-inclusive resorts to avoid these issues...

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End of Innocence......sewage smell

by LadyM in Zihua @, Zihuatanejo, Mexico, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 16:43 (2514 days ago) @ cd69

I agree with you on all points. This is definitely not even close to Kansas anymore. Trying to get the government to use your tax dollars a certain way is not the answer.

Making this town look a certain way when the smell is like pure sh$t is not helping matters either. When someone comes here as a tourist no matter how good something looks............if it smells like sh$t and is not safe they will cease coming. All this of course, is just my opinion. It is also the talk on the street.

--
[image]
www.juliostours.com

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End of Innocence......sewage smell

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 21:44 (2514 days ago) @ LadyM in Zihua

Speaking of the smell of $hit: the last couple of times we went to Lety's - most recently tonight - the water streaming out under the bridge had the color and aroma of raw sewage. I thought the nearby plant had been fixed.

End of Innocence

by k80hall, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 16:48 (2514 days ago) @ cd69

I agree completely with cd69. I see people on this board saying in protest that "this can happen anywhere..." - well, I don't have to worry about walking around after dark in my town. I choose to live in a cold climate, and I don't want to put out a lot of money to vacation in a warmer place where now I DO have to worry about this. We have been to Zihuatanejo many times and will be back to visit in a week. We want to continue to spend our tourist dollars there, but if the local government and police cannot step up to this recent distressing activity we will be forced to choose a different "warmer place". I think many people will feel this same way, and Zihuatanejo and its inhabitants will be the ultimate losers.

End of Innocence

by Canadian Snow Birds, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 18:04 (2514 days ago) @ k80hall

I guess if we all could vent to the proper "tourist" authorities about our fears and threats of not returning, they may see our "threats" as meaningful. Right now, I don't suppose they are even aware that we hear all these terrible stories. They probably don't want us to 'chat" amongst ourselves, and I'm sure they would prefer to keep all these occurences quiet. I appreciate being updated on all these bad doings, but should we not also be voicing our concerns to the proper authorities. Unlimited Fun sounds like it's turning into Unlimited Fear)

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Who's doing what

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 18:26 (2514 days ago) @ Canadian Snow Birds

I guess if we all could vent to the proper "tourist" authorities about our fears and threats of not returning, they may see our "threats" as meaningful. Right now, I don't suppose they are even aware that we hear all these terrible stories. They probably don't want us to 'chat" amongst ourselves, and I'm sure they would prefer to keep all these occurences quiet. I appreciate being updated on all these bad doings, but should we not also be voicing our concerns to the proper authorities.

Oh, you can be sure I've made them aware of what you're all saying here.

But my opinion is that it should be the lodging operators raising hell with the the authorities because they make the most money and have the most to lose. Unfortunately so far all I hear from them is silence (apart from a few of them griping behind my back how I am ruining our tourism, not the criminals, by allowing such discussions here). So it behooves those of you who care to help us to express your concerns to your lodging providers and send them the link for this message thread (or at least for my Message Board). I would love to hear what they're doing about this problem. I understand folks in Madera had a meeting about Madera's problems, which is sort of nice but also sort of selfish because we all stand to lose and Madera isn't the only place with problems.

Who's doing what

by k80hall, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 19:16 (2514 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Thank you Rob, point well taken. I will send the lodging where we will be staying an email with my concerns and ask for information on steps they are taking to keep their guests safe. Especially as the incident posted was I believe approximately 2 blocks away. This was just a bit more disturbing than it would normally have been for me - as I said, we have traveled to Zihua many times before, however this time we are traveling with a couple that are "first-timers" and I feel that I've betrayed their faith in us as "tour guides" for their first trip as we assured them this is not one of the more dangerous areas. (Guilt - the forever curse of a Catholic upbringing) In the past we traveled with my elderly mother-in-law and so always utilized taxis for returning to our hotel after dinner as she was not overly ambulatory. We were hoping to do a bit more walking for after dinner exercise this trip, but we will make the saner/safer choice and stick with the taxi method for any after dark traveling. It is just sad that this is the case.

Who's doing what

by sue, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 20:07 (2514 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Rob, you are 100% right about suggesting that lodging providers take some responsibility in terms of working to keep the streets and hotels comfortable and safe for guests. We were the only occupants for a good part of the week between Christmas and New Years at a favorite small...less that ten rooms... hotel near La Ropa. It was the only time in the past seven years that I have felt uncomfortable there, coming back after dark with my family to an obviously empty hotel. I asked the owner to leave lights on in a few rooms to make the place look more lived in since there was no night caretaker...and he declined. I asked that he arrange for someone, a family member perhaps, to sleep there at night so we felt more comfortable and again he declined. The odds of me going back to that hotel: zero. The odds of me recommending that hotel to friends: zero. Where I come from people in business understand that it takes money to make money; a small investment in added security would mean a lot to faithful tourists like me and keep us coming back. Our experience at the hotel can be compared to the quiet streets in the La Ropa and Madera neighborhoods at night with tourism down...hotel sponsored patrols could do a lot to deter the criminals who love the opportunity presented by dark, deserted streets and walk ways.

Who's doing what

by Sens, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 20:39 (2514 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

ZROB 1120 hits on thread, people are concerned. If this is happening on a regular basis there is a huge problem for a tourist area . Is there really no people on la ropa beach in the evening or the streets at night (8 to 11 ). More people around the safer people feel . Not all problems are reported in any tourist area (Myrtle beach has its fair share of crime) I convinced a few couples to come down and hope they are no reading this site . If they are I'm afraid I will be out a lot of money(flights ,condo). It is one thing to read about the drug crime but when there are crimes in a tourist area and little is being done about it is a concern for tourists . It seems the regulars who come here have different points of views from common sense approach to "no worries " . If cabs are needed at night it should be included in all tourist info in bold letters . In most down town tourist ares there is always greater police presence . It's hard to believe it's not in Z if crime is an on going problem . That being said if it is only a couple a year it is probably way down the list of dangerous tourist areas.

Who's doing what

by Tess @, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 21:01 (2514 days ago) @ Sens

Maybe it's because I have been reading this board for many years but I have never not taken a cab home to La Madera or La Ropa after dark. There have always been isolated incidents making this a safe plan.

Of course with the worldwide economic downturn EVERYWHERE is less safe as there are more people desperate to feed their families.

Who's doing what

by Pam & Denny @, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 21:36 (2514 days ago) @ Tess

OK, I can deal with getting "ripped off", over charged, robbed, lied to etc. I understand that people need to eat. Gun point! Can't deal with that! It would be my last vacation to that destination. Sorry. :-(

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Who's doing what

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 21:48 (2514 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

It's hardly selfish just because La Madera has a fairly active community council.

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Who's doing what

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, January 24, 2011, 08:31 (2513 days ago) @ frostbite

It's hardly selfish just because La Madera has a fairly active community council.

I thought you were a deeper thinker than that, Sidney.

La Madera does not atrract tourists on its own. It is part of a larger picture with a common problem and common interests.

For years Zihuatanejo businesses have been complaining about how Ixtapa gets all the publicity and attention. Well, we can't have it both ways. While La Madera has every right to ask for neighborhood improvements, when it comes to certain things like public security La Madera needs to remember that it hurts them the same whether a tourist gets robbed (or worse) in their neighborhood as it does if one gets robbed in La Ropa, El Centro or Ixtapa. So while they have every right to ask for increased police protection, it would serve their residents well to remember that La Madera is not alone in its crime problem. When we discuss security-related issues among residents of El Centro, we are not excluding La Madera from the discussion since a good deal of our clients stay in lodgings there. We share common fates and common interests.

And the remedies are the same for our entire community: professionalized and better paid police force with a visible presence in hotel zones, better neighborhood watch programs, security cameras, street lighting that actually illuminates the streets and walkways instead of everyone's second floor living quarters. Etcetera.

In the area where we live, Lupita and I are always vigilant to what is happening outside our home. It behooves Madera residents to be the same way instead of closing out the outside world when they close their doors and turn on their televisions. When I lived there, I felt not too different from the Lone Ranger, because I was the ONLY person who caught two wannabe thieves during the 7 or so years we resided there. No one else there even made an effort. They would wring their hands and complain a lot, but I never heard of anyone else confronting and detaining robbers. Apathy is the worst enemy of our community, but unfortunately almost everyone here displays it in spades.

Instead of everyone trying to channel water to their own mill, folks need to keep our common interests in mind.

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Who's doing what

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 14:55 (2512 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

It's hardly selfish just because La Madera has a fairly active community council.


I thought you were a deeper thinker than that, Sidney.

La Madera does not atrract tourists on its own. It is part of a larger picture with a common problem and common interests.

For years Zihuatanejo businesses have been complaining about how Ixtapa gets all the publicity and attention. Well, we can't have it both ways. While La Madera has every right to ask for neighborhood improvements, when it comes to certain things like public security La Madera needs to remember that it hurts them the same whether a tourist gets robbed (or worse) in their neighborhood as it does if one gets robbed in La Ropa, El Centro or Ixtapa. So while they have every right to ask for increased police protection, it would serve their residents well to remember that La Madera is not alone in its crime problem. When we discuss security-related issues among residents of El Centro, we are not excluding La Madera from the discussion since a good deal of our clients stay in lodgings there. We share common fates and common interests.

And the remedies are the same for our entire community: professionalized and better paid police force with a visible presence in hotel zones, better neighborhood watch programs, security cameras, street lighting that actually illuminates the streets and walkways instead of everyone's second floor living quarters. Etcetera.

In the area where we live, Lupita and I are always vigilant to what is happening outside our home. It behooves Madera residents to be the same way instead of closing out the outside world when they close their doors and turn on their televisions. When I lived there, I felt not too different from the Lone Ranger, because I was the ONLY person who caught two wannabe thieves during the 7 or so years we resided there. No one else there even made an effort. They would wring their hands and complain a lot, but I never heard of anyone else confronting and detaining robbers. Apathy is the worst enemy of our community, but unfortunately almost everyone here displays it in spades.

Instead of everyone trying to channel water to their own mill, folks need to keep our common interests in mind.

That first line strikes me as a rather shallow comment. I have no problem with most of the rest. The ACLU, by definition, deals with civil liberties, the NRA fights against restrictions - real or imagined - of the second amendment and the NAACP deals with matters of concern to African Americans. The La Madera Neighborhood Council, by definition, focuses primarily on matters affecting the neighborhood after which it is named. To suggest that we as a group or as individuals don't care about the rest of the community, state or country is plain silly. The neighbors I have spoken with - and I - do most certainly share these concerns. I'm told that the council has, indeed, leaned on the "powers that be" to improve security city-wide, not just in our part of town. The improvements in the neighborhood that I'm aware of, i.e. street lights and cleaning up the old cemetery were financed by membership dues and donations.

well WE ARE READING YOUR BOARD

by pdxSteve, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 22:15 (2514 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

this thread has been viewed over 1000 times.. this should make FONATUR sit up and take notice that the cash cow is at risk. Tourists are a fickle breed who do not need to come to Zihua; we want to.
Armed robbery in a hotel district is NOT acceptable.The popularity of this thread demonstrates the importance of safety/security to this cyber-community. My family has spent thousands of dollars coming to Z over the years and love it but this could be a deal breaker for us.

Correction

by pdxSteve, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 22:20 (2514 days ago) @ pdxSteve

I said
My family has spent thousands of dollars coming to Z over the years and love it but this could be a deal breaker for us.

I should have said

My family has spent tens of thousands of dollars coming to Z over the years and love it but this could be a deal breaker for us.

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Who's doing what

by freddy @, Monday, January 24, 2011, 16:35 (2513 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Last night on our walk back (we decided because it was early) we saw a major police presence. I know I've said what would the do, but nice to see constant patrols zooming by on the road. Maybe the bad guys will get the message it won't be tolerated. It was nice to see!

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Who's doing what

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Monday, January 24, 2011, 17:34 (2513 days ago) @ freddy

Last night on our walk back (we decided because it was early) we saw a major police presence.

If it was in La Madera the police presence was probably due to yet another robbery that took place there yesterday.

End of Innocence

by Pam & Denny @, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 18:36 (2514 days ago) @ Canadian Snow Birds

We will be in Zihua for 3 weeks in Feb. After reading this tread, loud music is the least of my worries! Walked this area at night many times. Group of 6 walking at night still a bad idea? Ages 23 to 55. Comments please.

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End of Innocence

by Fran @, Evanston, IL, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 18:42 (2514 days ago) @ Pam & Denny

I doubt very much that a group of six would have much trouble anywhere. Crimes like the one described are crimes of opportunity. Two people, no onlookers.

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End of Innocence

by Fran @, Evanston, IL, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 18:27 (2514 days ago) @ k80hall

I'm not ready to write off Zihuatanejo and I am not sure where safer tourist destinations are.

But I will say that when a neighborhood starts to get the reputation as unsafe for tourists or residents or merchants, it's really time to step up protective services, neighborhood vigilance and police presence. I don't think Madera can afford to be seen as a dangerous neighborhood.

I would also hope that there is no local culture that shields the people who are responsible. If locals know, locals should come forward.

It's true that you cannot tell the government how to spend tax dollars but it would seem to be in the interest of keeping Zihuatanejo prosperous to put some resources in the neighborhood before the reputation gets set in stone.

End of Innocence

by Scott, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, Monday, January 24, 2011, 03:06 (2514 days ago) @ Fran

I'm not ready to write off Zihuatanejo and I am not sure where safer tourist destinations are.

Well I'm going to Varadero tomorrow and I have absolutely no worries about violent crime or safety there. And I have every intention of cruising around the countryside and giving lifts to any random stranger we come across at any hour of the day or night, and meeting lots of great people along the way. The only worry there is hustlers who try to befriend you with hopes of selling you something or perhaps scamming you but that truly is a risk anywhere you go in the developing world. I'm not writing off Mexico either, just taking a break until things settle down. I think I've learned too much for my own good about Mexico by now.

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End of Innocence

by Fran @, Evanston, IL, Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 14:05 (2512 days ago) @ Scott

Alas, Varadero is not an option for me. My options for Cuba are very limited and, if I found a way to go, it could not be as an independent traveler. One of my country's blind spots.

But I wish you well and perhaps you will post a report for those of us who cannot have the experience.

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End of Innocence

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 14:16 (2512 days ago) @ Fran

Yes, you can travel as an independent traveller in Cuba. No problem at all. Daily flights from Cancún's airport. Just exchange your dollars to Mexican pesos before you get there and enjoy the mojitos, the music, the culture, and the hypnotic beauty of the Caribbean island.

US visitors to Cuba

by Harry, Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 15:06 (2512 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

I remember Cubans being very accommodating to American tourists. Starting with entry stamping a loose piece of paper that you can fit in your passport, that doesn't have to be shown to US authorities upon your return.
There might still be regular flights Miami/Havana.

Quite the love / hate thing about the States. The country almost defines itself by its opposition to America, but at the same time worships so many things about the US. Everything from a love of baseball to greenback dollars being the desired black market currency.

The people there aren't free. And the regime can be quite oppressive.
Amazing music, cigars, rum and as usual, terrific "hard times" people who will love you to pieces and try to get you to sponsor their emigration.

Safe enough to visit, I suppose, but their bureaucracy can get at least as ugly Mexico. Last summer there was a horrendous story about a Cdn. lad who was involved in a car accident, and it became a real horror show trying to get home afterwards.

http://todaynews.ca/national/549/canada-is-concerned-canadians-detained-in-cuba-2.html

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5j3hXTq_iBBBfrjdfSWb07lEEn0_Q

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US visitors to Cuba

by Scott, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico, Friday, February 04, 2011, 12:29 (2502 days ago) @ Harry

Last summer there was a horrendous story about a Cdn. lad who was involved in a car accident, and it became a real horror show trying to get home afterwards.

Do you know what happens to people who have car accidents in Mexico?

The guy was involved in a possibly criminal accident. He wasn't allowed to leave the country until the investigation was complete. If he left, what do you think the chances are that he would ever return to face trial? It's not like he was kept in jail all that time, he was "forced" to stay at a resort hotel. How horrendous.

If a foreigner is under investigation here in Canada, what do you propose we do? Let them go home and never return, rather than face trial?

Just so you know, if you ever have an accident in Mexico, it wouldn't be unusual for the police to come and arrest you on the spot, and you will sit in jail until everything is worked out. Even if there is no injury, you could very well sit in jail until payment for physical damages has been worked out.

A cautionary tale

by norm, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 17:10 (2514 days ago) @ anneh

Thanks for post.We always used to walk from Marina to Ixtapa for dinner and back along the poorly lit road.Two years ago there were a few robberies on that road at night.We no longer walk back at night but take a cab or bus.Th ecouple that was robbed,still come every year .It took a little pleasure out of trip but would not stop our returning.We were really pretty naive walking there before.

end of innocence

by Pecos Bill, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 17:54 (2514 days ago) @ norm

I agree with the above comments about what this means for the future. I.too.have faced dangerous situations when I lived in NYC, Washington,DC,Los Angeles and used to travel a lot in Asia and Africa and other locales. Frankly, I simply don't feel like doing that any longer. We look forward greatly to our upcoming visit on La Madera for two weeks and expect to have our usual terrific time among the wonderful folks in Zihuatanejo.

But it may only take a couple more such incidents to convince us we've had a great run in Zihuat. over the years and it may be time to dip our toes in calmer waters in the future. We'll see...

end of innocence

by connie, Sunday, January 23, 2011, 22:22 (2514 days ago) @ Pecos Bill

I agree, Bill. We, too, have traveled extensively all over the world, and while I do feel relatively safe in most of Europe and Asia, we have written Africa off. Zihuatanejo was always our "haven" and home. It was not where we went to "see the sights" or visit one more tourist highight. It was where we went to relax and see lifelong lfriends and smell the lovely aromas coming from the great restaurants and wake up every morning, just breathing the sea air above La Madera beach. Included in that was always the leisurely stroll after an evening in El Centro through the La Madera neighborhood, back to our hotel, often just the 2 of us, sometimes with another couple. If we are now forced to take a cab home every night, part of the magic will be gone.

PLEASE, let us all do whatever we can to make this a safe second home for so many of us who love it, and for all the great local people that we have come to care for and who rely on us for their livelihood.

end of innocence H's 2 cents worth

by Harry, Monday, January 24, 2011, 10:29 (2513 days ago) @ connie

I and my daughter will be Z bound next weekend, my 6th, her first trip. And we'll be staying in Playa Madera. Last year I felt a real kinship for folks there and have purposely booked again because their efforts and courtesy deserve to be rewarded. And it's a nice place to vacation.

I didn't do many night excursions back from Centro last year, but my usual route was along the Paseo, over the little bridge on the canal and down Calle Adelita. Never a tense moment, though it was quite dark around the bridge.

Once during Carnivale I took the malecon/seawall back, and in the dark, almost bumped into a pair of well-armed police. As I passed them I said "Muchas gracias." All was well.

I'm guessing that there will be more of a police presence generally at Carnivale. I suppose while there I'll probably talk to some of the business owners along Calle Adelita to chat about the security situation. Perhaps the majordomos of Z/Ixt will see fit to have visible patrols and police presence along the major routes that tourists use back and forth to the hotel zones.

Meanwhile, we will do our best to enjoy ourselves and fit in in a low key way. I'm always polite. Always try to speak Spanish and engage with the people personally who serve me. I am a guest in their home and I want them to think well of Canadians.

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