Greetings from Tijuana

I too have been scared off by threats and robbery in Tijuana. A once monthly visitor to the border town, I will not set foot on Mexican soil until I am thoroughly assured it is safe again. The last three times I have visited TJ and the surrounding areas, I have been robbed by Police twice, once in broad daylight, once about 50 feet from the turnstiles coming into Mexico. I ended up paying a total of about 220.00 for slipping off of a curb while walking (to avoid a donkey painted as a zebra) and when a couple of "officers" at the border crossing line, believed I had recently solicited sex and drugs from a prostitute. I was in my car coming from a day trip to Puerto Nuevo, with my wife and two friends, we had not even been in TJ that day. In the Mexican town of Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) I was drug out of the car and beaten by "policia", peppersprayed, handcuffed and thrown in jail for being in a car that made a u-turn in a parking lot. When a friend of mine asked to pay my bail at the police station, they attempted to negotiate my bail with him for all the money he was carrying(no set price), then told him they would not deal and I'd have to see a judge, threw him in the cell with me, one other American who had also been beaten, and about 30 Mexican men. He was robbed at the business end of a prison shank for about 300.oo dollars, all his money. I've traveled alot in my life, and Mexico used to be one of my favorite places in the world. Miles of warm water, beautiful beaches, great food, good people(mostly), and fun times. I mean you can surf all day in the sun, eat some of the best homemade food on the planet and relax with a Margarita listening to amazing live mariachi music, all in the same place! Unfortunately, I've seen an escalation in violence against tourists in the last few years, and I hear more and more horror stories coming out of TJ and it's surrounding areas. It makes me sad to think my days south of the border are over, but who knows what the future holds for Mexico and it's people. My suggestion is to stay away until things maybe get better, but if you cannot, and must go, be careful. Watch yourself, your friends, your money, and your surroundings. Don't keep all your money together, and always carry enough hidden to get home, or pay for a taxi to the border. Don't hassle the locals, the police don't care about your side of the story, and always watch your back.
— August 11, 2008 1:18 p.m.

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