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During an era when some people wonder if it is still safe to travel in Baja California, it was refreshing to witness the throngs of visiting Americans, ex-pats and local residents that packed themselves into Ensenada’s Riviera Del Pacifico conference center yesterday to sip tasty Baja wines and munch on finger foods while schmoozing with dignitaries, business professionals and other guests who were present at the festive event.

Speakers on hand included Ensenada Mayor, Enrique Pelayo Torres, Baja’s Secretary of Tourism, Juan Tintos, Baja Director of International Relations, Sigfrido Pineda and former Mayor of Rosarito Beach, Hugo Torres Chabert. The Mega Mixer proved to be an effective vehicle for raising awareness regarding the unique recreational and residential opportunities that are available in Baja Norte and throughout the Baja peninsula.

In a separate exclusive interview, Secretary of Tourism, Juan Tintos, offered his assurance to all U.S. anglers staying in Mexico 72 hours or less that there is absolutely no need for them to obtain a visa to go fishing in northern Baja if they are towing their own boat down or going out with a local sportfishing operation. His clarification was offered in response to previous allegations by some U.S. sportfishing operators that all foreign anglers fishing in Mexican waters would now need to carry current visa documentation in addition to their valid Mexican fishing license to fish there. No license is ever required to fish from shore, a jetty, pier or other land based platform.

From the standpoint of ‘petro-tourism’, the cruise port city of Ensenada with its Mediterranean like climate offers a near perfect solution for southern Californians looking for a quality bargain getaway that keeps getting better as soon as they drive across the International Border. At the current exchange rate, regular gasoline at the state run Pemex stations runs about $2.97 a gallon, as opposed to over $4.30 a gallon in San Diego and Los Angeles.

With the conspicuous presence of several branches of the Mexican military along with federal, state and local police, Ensenada has gained that reputation of being perhaps the safest city in Mexico; it is also distinguished by the fact that, per capita, it boasts the highest preponderance of advanced academic degrees in all of Latin America.

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For an ongoing listing of other recreational events in Ensenada, simply visit: http://www.ensenadagazette.com/events.html

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READ MORE ABOUT BAJA: http://www.countrymanpress.com/titles/HookedBaja.html

Comments

Fulano de Tal March 18, 2012 @ 6:50 p.m.

"Ensenada has gained that reputation of being perhaps the safest city in Mexico..."

Is that some kind of a sick joke? For the first two months of 2012, there have been 12 murders in Ensenada. This is a murder rate of 25 per 100,000, which happens to be four times greater than the murder rate in the city of Los Angeles. So far in March, the murder rate is zooming even higher. Four men were murdered there just last night.

Did you happen to know that Ensenada leads the entire nation of Mexico as the city with the highest incidence of family violence?

Tommy, get a grip on reality!

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Tom Gatch March 19, 2012 @ 12:43 p.m.

Editor’s note: Hmmm. A quick search of your previous postings will reveal to anyone who is sufficiently interested that, for whatever reason, you are not a big fan of Baja California.

Statistics alone, however, can be a bit misleading. While Baja Norte’s murder may still seem numerically high, these numbers fail to note that a preponderance of these killings are related to some aspect of the illegal drug trade, which, at least in this region, is well known to be fueled by American demand.

In respect to the general population that is not involved in these types of illegal activities, the overall crime rate in Ensenada is much lower than in many U.S. cities. There is also the reality that in the Mexican drug trade people are usually killed for a specific reason; whereas, sadly, north of the border you might very well end up dead because you went to the wrong hairdresser on the wrong day, worked next to the wrong person for several years or went to see a politician at a shopping mall at the wrong time. And, whatever you do north of the border, don’t ever piss anyone off on the highway!

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Fulano de Tal March 20, 2012 @ 9 a.m.

Actually, Tommy, most of the crimes in Baja California are not drug related. You would know this if you read the Spanish language information that comes out of Mexico, instead of parroting what the Baja Tourism Ministry says. Here is a link to the crimes in Mexico which show Baja is the highest in almost all categories: murders, rapes, robberies, car thefts, etc. It actually shows the organized crime related data and all the rest of the crime:

http://www.prominix.com/sblock/web/index.php?new=53

Your statements about crime rates in Ensenada are incorrect. You are putting forth a false sense of security that is unwarranted by the empirical data. Your comments contain downright lies refuted by the data published by the government of Mexico and Mexican think tanks.

Just as you incorrectly advised your readers to illegally collect Mexican shellfish as fish bait, you are once again leading your readers astray with false information.

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Tom Gatch March 21, 2012 @ 11:45 a.m.

Nonetheless, it is actually once again YOU who continues to bash Baja California and any improvements that take place there. Why waste your time continually arguing your beleaguered, negative tirades on just about any positive posting that is made on this Website regarding Baja?

It is my profound hope, however unrealistic, that at some point you will wake up and realize that there are both good and bad people in EVERY country. In the final analysis, working to build a positive solution to an ongoing problem in Mexico, the U.S. or anywhere else on the planet for that matter, makes a lot more sense than spending one’s valuable time and energy re-hashing old failures.

May I offer you a challenge? Google the phrase “…and then turned the gun on himself”. You will quickly discover that over 90% of the horrific incidents listed took place in the good ol’ United States of America …NOT Baja California.

After reading your postings, the old saying comes to mind, “Two men looked out from behind prison bars; one saw mud, the other saw stars.”

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Tom Gatch March 21, 2012 @ 12:21 p.m.

BIO INFO: BAJA-4-U Editor and fulltime Baja resident, Tom Gatch, is a 3rd generation San Diego native as well as a published author/columnist that covers travel, food and outdoor recreational opportunities in Baja California. His background traveling, fishing and ultimately living in Baja California Norte spans over half a century. GOOGLE: Tom Gatch Baja

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