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Attacks on American Tourists in Mexico

In recent weeks there have been reports in both the San Diego papers and CNN on some very violent attacks on American tourists in Mexico, mostly surfers in northern Baja, but also including some RV owners elsewhere in Mexico. As such, a number of readers have inquired whether we think it’s safe to cruise south of the border.

To our knowledge, there have been no attacks on cruisers, and in the 30 years we’ve been going there, we’ve never had a bad incident, let alone been attacked. But things can and do change. For instance, there is a serious meth problem on the Baja peninsula and, as anyone in law enforcement can assure you, meth and crime — in fact any drugs and crime — go hand and hand.

Surfers on remote beaches, as well as motorhomes that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, make for easy targets. Cruising boats, on the other hand, would seem to be less attractive. For one thing, if they are anchored out, a criminal has to get to them. And if they are in marinas, there is generally very good security.

As such, we think cruisers are most vulnerable when ashore. So when you do go ashore, we recommend the regular precautions — use common sense about where you go, be nice to everyone, and don’t flaunt your affluence.

We’ve been cruising in Mexico for three weeks already this year, and felt fine. We’ll be returning in a week for another two weeks, and aren’t particularly concerned. Like always, however, we will take the normal precautions.

If anybody hears of any attacks on cruisers, please let us know so that we can pass the word along.

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