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2 for 2 infractions at border

by CathyMarie @, Nashville, Sunday, March 20, 2011, 12:13 (3960 days ago)

We left Zihua on the 14th, last week, for Laredo. And first of all cuoto drivers of cars and semi's are much more considerate than the States. Can't speak for Cananda. Anyway last August we paid $600 pesos for a speeding infaction, right!!, he pulled us out of moving traffic, then this year a motocycle cop we passed in moving busy moving traffic did the same only cost 1000 pesos. He kept saying police station, what did that mean, we were suppose to drive well off the beaten path to who knows where. We didn't, he took the pesos again no ticket. That was ok, I guess, but near the off the beaten path there was State military posted around a tire store, and intersection and 3 other spots. I felt really uncomfortable.
All thru Neuvo Laredo military trucks with armed soldiers guns out zoomed by.

Also more military, State and Federal than from my past 3 drives across Mexico. Twice there were caravans of 10 to 15 black Surbanans escorted by Military.

The drive was a breeze tho and scenery stunning. Patzcuara was fabulous. I purchased some bedding from Enrique, my friend Linda recommemded. I found exactly the colors I wanted in his shop but didnt have 2 to match for guest beds. In our broken Spanish and his English he gave us a ride to to top of the hill over cobbled streets to his factory. He stepped up to each machine and showed us the start to finish process of weaving the coverlets. The he let us in his office and there were 2 rojo coverlets that matched exactly.

On the way down he showed where the rich Americans lived, the view was beautiful and at the end of one street he stopped and all you could see where tiled roofs, steeples and tree tops. Thanks Enrique.

2 for 2 infractions at border

by Coco, Sunday, March 20, 2011, 14:17 (3959 days ago) @ CathyMarie

Where in patzquaro is enrique's store or do you recall the name?
thanks!:vivamexico:

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sure do

by CathyMarie @, Nashville, Sunday, March 20, 2011, 18:49 (3959 days ago) @ Coco

He is off the very lovely largest square, adama (Grupo Textile), you can enter thru the artisians alley, you will see the stairway at the back and the store is on the left. OR is you walk around the corner past artisians alley to the right, he is two or three doors down. Enrique Adama Alba, Dr. Coss No. 2, Centro, Patscuaro. Also adame42000@yahoo.com.
when I mentioned we lived In Zihua thru winter, he knew Linda and Paul, also live there and are from Canada. THANKYOU Linda!

2 for 2 infractions at border

by Scott ⌂, Mérida, Yucatán, Sunday, March 20, 2011, 16:28 (3959 days ago) @ CathyMarie

Out of curiosity, I just looked it up (only took 2 or 3 minutes because I know what to search for), and the actual fine for speeding in Nuevo Laredo is 20 minimum wages. The minimum wage in Nuevo Laredo (Zone A) this year is 59.82/day. So if you had gone and paid your fine legitimately, you would have had to pay 1196 pesos.

But if you're going to bribe your way out of a fine, you really shouldn't give them so much. It just encourages them to target foreigners. In Morelia 50-100 pesos would probably be sufficient for simple speeding. I don't know what the going rate is in Tamaulipas, but in Michoacan and Guerrero, giving 1000 pesos to a traffic cop for a simple infraction would be ludicrous.

The actual procedure is usually that they confiscate your license, registration and/or plates, and in exchange give you a ticket. You get your confiscated item(s) back when you pay your fine. He would take you straight there because you were only passing through and would probably want your documents back right away. But technically getting a ticket doesn't mean you have to go straight to the station. Your ticket will have checkboxes to indicate what documents were surrendered, and you are allowed to circulate without them for so many days.

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and what about police stations?

by CathyMarie @, Nashville, Sunday, March 20, 2011, 18:40 (3959 days ago) @ Scott

I wanted to call his bluff and go to the station but we settled to pay to get out of there. Would I really want to go to the station, just wondering.

and what about police stations?

by Scott ⌂, Mérida, Yucatán, Sunday, March 20, 2011, 19:35 (3959 days ago) @ CathyMarie

Well traffic police (transitos) are usually a separate police force from the others. It isn't like in the states where say a traffic cop across the border in Laredo could probably detain you for any arbitrary criminal offence they caught you doing as well. In Mexico traffic cops deal with traffic offences and that's about it. I don't know about Nuevo Laredo, but where I lived in Mexico the transitos have their own police station, and going there wouldn't be like going to a police station in the states or something where they also take common criminals. It's mostly a bureaucratic nightmare, waiting in lines, one to register, one to go pay, one to collect your documents, etc. Not really a sketchy place.

But yeah, I can understand in Nuevo Laredo, staying as far away from the police as possible is probably a good idea.

You were wrong

by Bill @, Chicago, Illinois, Sunday, March 20, 2011, 21:11 (3959 days ago) @ CathyMarie

You chose to drive into a battlefield and war zone, so why would you be surprised with the display of heavy military presence? About bribing the policemen, all I can say is rather than boast about (if that's what you were doing) you should talk about how wrong you were to do that. If you violate the law then pay the fine appropriately. If you didn't then say so and refuse to pay the bribe. I understand your being uneasy because of the location, but that was your choice - nobody forced you to drive into danger. Of course, all of this is easier for me to say, because I wasn't sitting in your seat making the decision.

You were wrong

by suztamasopo @, Monday, March 21, 2011, 08:54 (3959 days ago) @ Bill

Just wondering where you were exactly when you were stopped for these supposed infractions. That is the route we take to USA because it is the
safest of all on the East side. Both Matamoros and Reynosa are far more dangerous at this time. We take the Saltillo by pass, the Monterey by pass and cross at the Colombia Bridge crossing. We have done this without incident twice in the past 6 months and hope to do so again soon. Thus the reason for my question. We would like to avoid the area or areas where you had problems. Thanks for any info and sorry for the "shake downs" you had to endure.

Right or Wrong...

by kayakdude, Monday, March 21, 2011, 15:38 (3958 days ago) @ suztamasopo

I've driven a zillion times in and out of here to SF or to NYC over the past 15 years. Every trip has an adventure and there are invariably incidents which involved law enforcement and the potential to exchange money for forward progress against infractions both real and imagined.
What I have determined is that (a) its far better to dawdle along and get there when you get there, especially inside the zona fronterawhere all the Federales del Camino hang out, lurking for "espeeding" turistas... rather than give in to the "horse-smells -the-corral" headlong flight to the nearest stateside Burger and Budweiser Emporium...and
(b) the better your Spanish is and the more willing you are to play the game the easier it is to slide out of the ones that you really ARE guilty of for 50-200 pesos or so... the ones that are imagined are laughably easy to duck with a little indignation and a slight detour to the local station. Usually the policia with the wild imagination will drive a few blocks and then peel off to disappear: you're too much trouble at that point. Costs you a little time, (which you have the most of when you think about it) and you'd be surprised what pops up along the way to the cop shop by way of "roadside attraction" that you might return to examine at closer range when you're off the hook....the point being is that it doesn't often get that far. This I know and I am a pretty law-abiding guy out on the road...Been there, done that, have a few t shirts to prove it and there's never any guarantee that even if you NEVER do ANYTHING wrong on the road that at some point you are gonna get played, so get used to it.;-)

Right or Wrong...

by suztamasopo @, Monday, March 21, 2011, 16:49 (3958 days ago) @ kayakdude

Kayakdude - Until the past 6 months I would had agreed with everything you have written. Not now! We are careful to never break any traffic or other laws while driving in Mexico and have had our share of stops for mordidas. We have used all the tactics you mentioned - my Spanish is pretty good. And usually get off with 100 pesos or so mordida.
But things of changed. In the past 5 months - after 25 years and more than 150,000 miles of Mexican driving - we have been stopped 3 times for doing absolutely nothing wrong and encountered mean, handcuff and gun pulling officers. Traffico, Municipal and Estado. No longer are they content with
100 pesos but want 500 to 1000. Now we are even more careful. We will not curtail our travels because of fear, but more care than in previous years is certainly warranted because climate has drastically changed.
It saddens me that more and more folks are not coming to enjoy the wonderful scenery, culture and people of Mexico because the government has not been able to bring a stop to the acts that are causing the fear.
I do want to add that the Military, Federal Officers and any authorities are
inspection stops have always been and still are courteous and non threatening.

A potentially very dangerous game

by Bill @, Chicago, Illinois, Monday, March 21, 2011, 21:19 (3958 days ago) @ suztamasopo

Unless you're a very experienced driver on Mexican highways, speak and understand Spanish and have informed yourself very well about the current warfare and terrorism ... I think it's foolish to be driving through Mexico to the border crossings in Texas. About the military checkpoints: they're not all that safe these days. Soldiers are jumpy. A group of soldiers murdered a US Citizen driving near Acapulco on Highway 200 late last year. Such murders and attempted cover-ups afterwards aren't commonplace, but when approaching a checkpoint it's very difficult for inexperienced (and some experienced) drivers to know whether they're being stopped by terrorists or actual military or legitimate police. It's potentially a very deadly game.

A potentially very dangerous game

by Canadian Rainbirds ⌂ @, Victoria BC and Zihuatanejo, Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 18:17 (3956 days ago) @ Bill

We were stopped twice enroute to Saltillo from Piedras Negras for made up offenses and ended up paying nothing. We held our ground, were polite, though near the end let our annoyance show through. We do have a Mexican cell phone and would call a Mexican "relative" if push came to shove. We have decided "No More Mordita"!

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principles & backbone

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 18:38 (3956 days ago) @ Canadian Rainbirds

We have decided "No More Mordita"!

Thank you for showing a little backbone and not paying mordidas to corrupt police. Having principles is one thing, but actually living by them is another. Rare but admirable traits.
:dude:

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principles & backbone

by frostbite ⌂ @, Hamilton MT, Wednesday, March 23, 2011, 21:15 (3956 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

Our architect/contractor told me a similar story. He was stopped for speeding on the way to Morelia and took the 200.00 Peso ticket, rather than paying a 50.00 Peso mordida.