Mexico Gets A Huge New Protected Area

Good for tourism, good for Earth
BY: DICK FITZWELL

The U.S. State Department has revised its warning for travelers to Mexico, easing restrictions for three states and tightening them for a fourth.  

Basically, their new announcements do not affect us, as the nuttiness of this cartel stuff is mostly confined to a handful of states over on the mainland. The U.S. government actually recommends that its personnel remain in tourist areas and forbids them from using public transportation in the city of Oaxaca. 

The advisory recommends that any travel between cities take place during daylight hours. (Busses have been robbed, just like old timey stage coach stickups). 

The only mention of Baja is the following: “Caution, particularly at night, it is recommended in the states of Baja California and Baja California Sur, given the number of shootings”  

This year we have had shootings between two gangs, mostly in La Paz, but increasingly in Los Cabos. Nobody but the baddies have been shot so far, but there is the possibility of collateral damage if someone gets in the way. 

The federal government is all over this, as we are their golden tourist zone. Mexico brings in about 22 billion dollars in foreign exchange each year, more than the next two sources, remittances from Mexicans abroad, and Mexico’s national oil reserves.  

This week more than 100 police in La Paz and Los Cabos, (40 in Los Cabos alone), were fired for failing their confidence tests. 24 state police were let go, but they won’t be missed. They were the biggest problem for foreigners. 

Questioned by the local newspaper El Sudcaliforniano if there were any fears that the new police officers might join the ranks of organized crime, Mayor Armando Martinez is unconcerned. “The SNSP follows up these cases at the federal level . . . it’s a monitoring strategy beyond my scope, but they have it covered,” said the Mayor. 

The fired police were quickly replaced by soldiers until more police can be hired and trained. This explains the larger presence of the soldiers, which can be a bit intimidating, but they are our friends.  

Firing these police, who were mostly collaborators with the druggies, is a huge milestone, as none of the previous governments were willing to fire those who failed the lie detector test or who were caught stealing.  

Also, there are road blocks on the highway to La Paz set up to keep the druggies from driving down to Cabo. Awnd, now you know why the police have been so grumpy about taking that tinting off your car windows. They know what the bad guys look like, and they want to be able to see and identify them.  

Police officers the country have been consistently failing mandatory evaluation and trustworthiness tests. In La Paz, at least three previous administrations had taken no action against officers who didn’t make the grade. 

It looks like if we just show a little ,more patience, we are all going to be safe and snug once more.