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Take Travel Warnings Seriously: One Account

Take Travel Warnings Seriously: One Account

Old Mar 16, 18, 8:22 am
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Take Travel Warnings Seriously: One Account

I follow a forum about San Miguel de Allende, GTO. It has over 8000 members many of whom are seasoned travelers and ex-pats. They travel Mexico and spend good amounts of time in beautiful SMA if not all their time.

I have always taken the State Dept. travel warnings about Mexico with a grain of salt, especially in areas that I know or have traveled. Until now. Below is a recent account of an ex-pat's beach trip to just north of Zihuatanejo. To get there from SMA, it requires a car trip through the Michoacan State long on our State Dept. warning list. It was always thought stick to the toll roads and you will be fine......I guess not: ( the spelling errors are the original authors.)

Folks, take these warning seriously. We’ve lived here, peacefully, for 16 years. We have driven all over Mexico. We felt safe and poo pooped all the ‘warnings.’ Until now.

Yesterday, due to my unexpected illness, we decided to return from our Troncones vacation a bit early. We left our B&B at 9:30 a.m. at 12:20 p.m. on highway 37D the Lázaro Cárdenas/Morelia highway (a cuota) we saw smoke up ahead and a line of cars begining to back up on the road. As we sat in the line of cars I saw a man about 6-8 cars ahead of us wielding a rifle on the passenger side. He was not in uniform. I then saw people runnng to the sides of the road and jumping barbed wire fences. At that moment, it registered we were in trouble. This was not an car accident up ahead.

Cars in front of us started turning around and heading back the way they came. We did the same.

Unfortunately, the bad guys anticipated this and they cut us off a couple miles down the road. My mind was rapid firing. We had no choice but to drive into the mess. There were less here than behind us. They were hitting all the cars. A man began yelling at us and pointing his rifle- the words I heard were ‘give me your wallets and your phones.’ Which we did. He then told us to pull to the side of the road. Which we proceed to move toward but I told my husband to just keep driving. This was stupid, in hindsight. As we drove at top speed we had to narrowly pass two busses blocking the highway. I’m not sure what that was about - good or bad. We barely scraped by.

It was about 20 miles down the road before we saw federales and Military moving in. When we got to the toll booth they had shut down the traffic and insisted we pay the toll. Thankfully, we had enough change in the console to pay. She was not letting us through without paying 92 pesos. Try counting money with that money ch adrenaline going. You can’t.

So, now back in our hotel we’re reach out to friends and analyze the options. We hear the military has secured the area from one and another says the area is still embattled. Who knows for sure. We’re not tak No an chances. We are flying us and our two dogs home to SMA. We’ll fly pay to fly someone in to retrieve our vehicle once it is safe. Then, no more driving in Mexico.

We hear from our Mexican friends we are lucky to have our lives, our vehicle and our dogs. Phones and money can be replaced.

And, now, I read here being held up is becoming more and more prevalent in our little part of the world. This gives me pause and reason to seriously consider all the options. If it allowed to continue it will ruin our little town.

As an aside, two years ago our driver from Mexico City airport was held up in the parking lot at 5 a.m. after picking us up from an international flight. He paid and we were on our way home. I should have learned then!

I’m listenng to the univers, now. And, FYI, caravanning does nothing for you except give them more targets to rob. You are still helpless against multiple persons with rifles.
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Last edited by JDiver; Mar 24, 18 at 6:29 pm Reason: Spell out full name of area
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