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Tijuana’s secretario de turisimo, Oscar Escobedo Carignan, was quoted in El Mexicano on Monday, July 20, regarding the state of relations between Baja´s police forces and tourists from north of the border. Escobedo said that fear and distrust are still common perceptions when it comes to police.

Among the measures taken to control ¨problem police¨ and reduce the number of complaints, according to Escobedo, is the enlistment of officials from the federal division of roads and bridges; they’ve been given the authority to approach vehicles that have been stopped by police and investigate as to whether visitors are being shaken down for bribes.

Several areas are problematic -- the road between Tijuana and Rosarito, Zona Central, and the area around Zona Rio, the location of the high-end shopping center a couple miles southeast of Revolución and downtown Tijuana.

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SDaniels Aug. 3, 2009 @ 11:02 p.m.

Maggie wrote: "Heh, come on over and see me, I'm Maggie's Madness."

Maggie, is this a business?

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David Dodd Aug. 4, 2009 @ 2 a.m.

She's good. She starts a newspaper, and I'll write for her. She's honest, direct, and isn't interested in feeding anyone a line of crap. Everything there is true so far as I know, and that's a good start.

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SDaniels Aug. 4, 2009 @ 2:43 a.m.

How does one get access to your blog, listed on hers?

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maggiedrake Aug. 4, 2009 @ 10:50 a.m.

Hahaha guys. No, but really, when the writer of the above letter says that conditions are better in Rosarito, no it is not. Better for whom? the local businesspeople two weeks ago were on their knees pleading for protection since four restaurants were just hit by armed gunmen, two cops recently shot. Thank god Manjareez stepped in and hopefully we will see more Federal Police as the Rosarito Department is cleaned out.

And the part about the drivers license, please, any cop is going to ask to see your drivers license, further, if these people really do live here, the Mexican address does not show up on your license, it would be either a stateside address or a P.O. Box in the states.

There is a genuine war going on down here, I won't whitewash it, it can be downright dangerous - but I'm finding this letter a bit suspicious, it reminds me of when someone wrote a blog about anarchy breaking out in Rosarito in an attempt to promote more fear and anxiety. Because with fear and anxiety in place, you can control and manipulate people.

There are plenty of people who would love for nothing more than to make life miserable for Mayor Ramos and Chief Leyzaola and to try to destabilize matters even more, take your pick: cartels, criminals, Mexican haters, political adversaries who in the past encouraged the cartels, etc. Even the greedy American real estate developers, many of them would prefer things just go back to the way they were. And these groups know that historically Americans have never paid attention to Mexico, so they can say anything they want. There are plenty of fringe groups with their own agendas who are champing at the bit at every and any opportunity to create more havoc.

And what kind of a parent would admit to the freakin world that their daughters breasts were being fondled? Oh, I see, they would print that outright instead of taking the issue up with the authorities.

You know, last week at the dedication of the new police facility in Tijuana, Mayor Ramos broke down and cried. And that is the type of angst that is going on here, thanks to US drug consumption. Too bad the Reader didn't do an article on that.

If in fact this incident did occur, I'm sorry, but how it was handled was in very bad judgement.

See you guys later.

Maggie

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maggiedrake Aug. 3, 2009 @ 5:50 p.m.

Okay, I have asked around on both ends of SADM and I find no one who matches this description. I'm not saying this event didn't happen, BUT I am amazed that number one, this person after living here 15 years has not discussed vital components of safety with his/her daughter.

Did the young woman get the police patrol car number? Did she get the police badge number? I ask this because just last week, Chief Leyzaola announced the patrol car used in the fatal attacks which killed two police officers in Terrazas was CLONED and the department put out an all points with pictures of 4 ex-cops working for either Sanchez or Teo. So, we know there are cloned vehicles and bad cops. Last week in ENSENADA, one man arrested carrying false police id, and in TECATE last week, several people arrested with Federal Police identification and uniforms.

Was a police report filed? Was a complaint filed with the US Consulate? If not, why not? When finally approaching the toll booth, was this reported ? If it had, the Army would have been there is a freakin heartbeat.

I question this account not because I am on the Baja rahrah team, far from it, but because recently I have - at least on my blog- received many hateful comments, which I suspect are from Minutemen or other sickos. Alot of nuts are coming out of the woodwork with their own agendas now.

Further, "police free zone"??? Please, that was supposed to have been an agreement a few years back when tourists were being attacked, before any of you up there were even slightly paying attention to what was happening down here. That was a long time ago, there is no "police free zone" anymore.

And if this is really real, this person should know by now that NOTHING in SADM is selling, so how weird is that? Oh yea, I forgot, the Homeowner's Association President will rent it out for you - but take a cut and the screening for potential renters is a joke.

I just feel The Reader needs to scrutinize comments and investigate them, especially with accusations like this one. It is one thing to be aware, it is another to be hysterical.

Heh, come on over and see me, I'm Maggie's Madness.

Maggie

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David Dodd Aug. 3, 2009 @ 6:13 p.m.

No, no, Maggie, it's mass hysteria here. I get raped every day when I leave my house. We all do. Heads are chopped off randomly (haven't you read?). Come on, you know how it is here. Everyone is dying and attacked and everything is bad and we are all murdered or murderers. And now that Visduh isn't comming back, we're all poor and hopeless. Because, you know, the economy here was based on his once-every-five-years visits and now that he's put the word out, we're all doomed.

It's okay to say it, because it's what everyone over there wants to believe. And, since I really dislike most tourists, I'm pretty happy that they believe it. Obviously many of my good friends that relied on tourism are pretty desperate, but since everyone here is a criminal I am sure that they'll find something to do.

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Hrymonkey July 27, 2009 @ 11:50 a.m.

I cant even remember how many propinas I have paid to police for bogus stuff!

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alive_in_Tijuana July 27, 2009 @ 12:18 p.m.

What happenned to keeping the route between the border and the toll road a "free of police" zone? While that was in effect, we were at least able to rest in the fact we wouldn't be bribed in that part of the road. No more. Police are back to bribing unsuspecting tourists in that area. Young people beware. My daughter, 19 years old, while driving alone from the border to our house, was stopped by the police near the toll booth, where he fondled her breasts through the drivers window, while my daughter cried and was terrified. She was sure she was going to be raped. He then forced her to park beside the road, and would not allow her to leave for 45 minutes. She came home crying, and shaking. Of course, no one should drive alone in Tijuana, which we know now, much less raise children there. We have lived in San Antonio del Mar for 15 years, and the municipal and federal police have been our worst problem and fear. We have been stopped many times for bribes, in Tijuana and Rosarito as well, although Rosarito seems to have gotten better. To the writer of this article, how do we ask "officials from the federal division of roads and bridges" to come to our rescue? We still live in San Antonio del Mar, but can say we deeply regret moving into Mexico. We are now fixing our house up for sale. Can I suggest that an enterprising individual began an ocean ferry service from Rosarito to San Diego? What a relief that would be, as long as there are no police on board!! To the Mayor, I applaud your work in trying to clean out the problems. I suggest video cameras be used in cruisers, so that evidence can be made against the police. You do not really expect us to report a matter, do you, knowing that the police and the cartels are connected, and the first thing the police do is ask us for our drivers license, which has our name and address etc.? What a nightmare!!!

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ChuckMac619 July 27, 2009 @ 12:56 p.m.

This really sucks considering I used to visit mexico all the time & have a blast! And now im smart enough to not even cross the border & take the risk of getting screwed by these "so called" police or worse yet getting my head chopped off ! If these problems dont get solved Mexico is done for ! As far as i know tourism is a huge part of mexico's income ...... but now that all these coke crazed cartels are running it all , theres very little , if any , hope for Mexico ! I sure would love to see it change although i dont think it will ....

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kwete July 27, 2009 @ 3:34 p.m.

Ok. Let me start out by saying that what I have to say is just an opinion. These police officers Dont get paid Sh@!. Which causes them them look for "alternate sources of income" They too have children, Families, and bills. Im a working man myself, and if I had a wife and child who were almost starving I would go to great lengths to make sure my family is housed and fed to the best of my ability. Of course there are a few "bad apples" but who's perfect? Im not trying to make excuses or defend any body, Im just trying to provide a different way of thinking when it comes to this issue. The problem is the goverment down there, not the people. Im sick and tired of people slandering mexicans for the decisions they make to try and live a somewhat better life than the ones they were born into...

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la_sexy_pajara July 27, 2009 @ 4:57 p.m.

Well I also agree that the mexican government is at fault for the distruction Tijuana, Mexico as become. I think by now with so much things going on with all the captures and the many things seized including money you would think the government can help out many people in need.But reality is, it goes to they're fat bank accounts overseas. Last all the people who live or frecuently visit La Baja know the Police could be connected to the cartel.I mean you wonder where is the authority when all the beheadings happens.

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rickeysays July 28, 2009 @ 1:23 a.m.

kwete what's your point? I hope you're not trying to justify corruption. Especially out of police, the people you need to be able to trust. I have been pulled over and shaken down three times down there, so I finally said I just can't drive down here anymore. Even though it's inconvenient, I'll have to walk across and use cabs. Then I got shaken down last time I was down there just walking down Revolucion. It's already dead down there compared to how it used to be. If they don't get this crap under control it's going to be a ghost town. The criminals and the cops can take turns shaking each other down, because they'll be the only one's left.

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Visduh July 28, 2009 @ 9:09 a.m.

Where is refriedgringo? This story begs for a comment from him that straightens everyone out.

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David Dodd July 28, 2009 @ 11:07 a.m.

I have nothing to add. I've lived here for seventeen years. It isn't possible to look more gringo than I do. Yet, I haven't been shaken down by a cop in well over fifteen years. I don't know what to tell the guy with the 19 year old daughter. I have daughters, they don't ever have this sort of thing happen. If anything did happen, it would be reported. The cop would be easy to spot and apprehend, he would be the one with big giant bite marks in his hand.

If I ever did run into a cop wanting to shake me down, I would tell him to take me to jail first, so I could report him.

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Visduh July 28, 2009 @ 1:18 p.m.

Thanks Reader for this public service. Just one visitor saved from the depredations of the criminals in TJ is worth the space. I hope you can keep running these revealing TJ tidbits on a weekly basis.

I used to ride the Coaster from No County and transfer to the Trolley, using public transportation to get to the border crossing at San Ysidro. Then I'd walk out a wide boulevard to the shopping mall at Zona Rio. Commercial Mexicana was one of my favorite stores, but there were others, and at one time it had a fabulous panaderia. I haven't done that in over five years, and it is good to know that even that upscale (by TJ standards) area is no longer safe from shakedowns. Those of us who do not speak the local lingo like a native are always at a disadvantage in TJ. I no longer enjoy being at the mercy of a crooked cop or shakedown thug. I'm staying away for good.

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kwete July 28, 2009 @ 10:08 p.m.

Yeah Rick, ur right! As far as justifying curuption, Im justifying a mans need to live. Like I said "alternate sources of income" the only difference between our coruption and theirs is they do it out of neccesity, and we do it out of greed. What I mean by "we" is our police, and goverment. The same sh!# occurs every day in city hall as well as the white house. Believe me, we just dont hear about it as much!

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rickeysays July 29, 2009 @ 1:34 a.m.

kwete, with all due respect, you're an idiot. Ever hear of Duke Cunningham? When people abuse their positions here, they usually get caught. And there is also, to me, a big difference between a congressman soliciting a bribe in a backroom somewhere, and a person feeling like they're not safe walking down the street minding their own business, because if the criminals don't get them, the cops will.

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