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Crime in Mexico?

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JWinPS
1/27/2017 13:07 EST

I've heard and read a number of stories about the drug cartel related crimes. How murders have been between members of drug cartels. I've also read accounts accusing Mexican law enforcement being behind massacres of suspected drug members. Those accounts implied the people were suspected, but not proven to be, members of drug cartels. Expats residing in Mexico would be in a position, more or less "first hand," to provide an insight on this apart from news headlines. Input anyone?

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joaquinx
1/27/2017 16:39 EST

Say No to drugs and you'll be fine.

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PeterLawton
1/28/2017 12:51 EST

It would be nice if there was a way to vette some of the people that put out opinions and answers to people that really need help. Not to stop opinions but to know if some of these people have a clue what they are talking about or just trolls full of hot air (or maybe somewhere in between).

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lmontgom
1/28/2017 13:10 EST

For people anticipating immigrating, I believe media and US government accounts of Mex crime have an outsized effect. For people who've lived in Mexico for a while, the fixation on Mex crime is a bit troublesome. I don't see an easy resolution of the conflict between the two sets of opinions. What I've read is that, just as in the US, some cities, some neighborhoods are more dangerous than others. I am in Xalapa, where taxi drivers who see a woman waiting to cross a street, flick their lights and let her cross. These are sweet, gentle, humane people. That so many Americans think they are dangerous is hurtful. All I can add to the conversation is that if you choose cities outside the drug rings, behave yourself and treat people with respect, you will be reward with such civilized treatment that you will hardly believe it.

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tsblackmore
1/28/2017 14:10 EST

This reminds me of my visit to Belize many years ago. I was told that about the only TV stations that they could watch there were out of Chicago. Therefore, they thought that the entire US was just like Chicago. Yes, dangerous crime is rampant in some parts of Mexico, but if one avoids those areas, then it doesn't become a problem.

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lmontgom
1/28/2017 15:13 EST

A police officer from Haines City, Central Florida, writes a blog. This is from the one posted today: "3. Improved Safety and Security

As a retired law enforcement officer, crime and safety are very important to me. I keep up with crime trends and important news stories in my area of Mexico. I can honestly say that I feel safer here in Akumal than I did living in Central Florida." His blog is here: http://qroo.us/2017/01/28/8-reasons-to-become-an-expat-in-mexico/

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DNR
1/28/2017 16:42 EST

I couldn't agree more with the opinions of the others that have written. We were told we'd come down here and get our heads chopped off. I was scared to come down here. We are in Playa del Carmen, and we've never had any problems. As in the states, you use your head, learn what areas of the city to be careful or stay away from, There are those areas in every large city, anywhere in the world. We have also found most everyone we run into are extremely nice, friendly people. They are loving, considerate, helpful people. We are happier here, and feel safer, than we did in the States. We lived in a suburb of Seattle before we came here. Do your research, learn where the drug cartel runs the most of their business and what areas are the most dangerous. . .that's what we did. This side of the Caribbean is good.

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Cozumeldeb
1/28/2017 18:29 EST

I also agree, Mexico is retirement paradise, the people are warm, friendly and kind. We bought in 2001, retired in 2010 and began spending 6 mos here and 6 mos in Chicago suburbs, which based on American insanity will be extending our time in Cozumel. Do your research, many great areas!

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giershift43
1/28/2017 20:14 EST

We arrived in Ajijic to look around and learn more. Where is the best place to meet English speaking people? What is the best way to get around? I need to get Pesos as well. I thought I could use credit cards more than I can.

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Marinoni14
1/28/2017 20:48 EST

"It would be nice if there was a way to vette some of the people that put out opinions and answers to people that really need help. Not to stop opinions but to know if some of these people have a clue what they are talking about or just trolls full of hot air (or maybe somewhere in between)."__________________________________________________________
I can say that I am not of those that are full of hot air. I do live here in Baja north. I got in trouble for a post a few weeks ago that was simply too candid and true. I will use more discretion in the future as people, especially many expats do not like blatent honesty. They come to Mexico for that dream life that is so much better than the life they lived elsewhere. Well, I'm one of those. I came to Mexico to live the dream and for the most I am doing that. The problem is, I'm a realist too. I am also very detail oriented. I see what's going on around me and in a small measure I can calculate the risk to me and my family. Because we are not into anything shady or questionable, we are basically safe, but not entirely. I won't go into details, I did that before and got into trouble. But I will say that this part of Mexico, is incredibly high risk for me and my family 'compared' to almost every other place we have lived in our life. But, we are still here and have not had any seriously dangerous encounters. We intend to stay in Mexico, just not Baja north. Maybe we'll return to BCS. It's nice and warm there.

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JohnPS
1/28/2017 21:29 EST

English is more widely spoken in Ajijic than English. Hang out near the coffee shop on the plaza, check out the Lake Chapala Society a couple blocks away, talk to shopkeepers, waiters, other diners, and everyone else you come in contact with - all very friendly and glad to help.

Take a Spanish class at LCS and other activities that may interest you.

To exchange currency, Intercam on the main road in the center of Ajijic gives an excellent rate. CIBanco at Centro Laguna charges around 15 pesos, as I recall, for an ATM withdrawal, whereas HSBC charges closer to 35, still not a whole lot.

But your bank may also charge you a fee that is more than that - plus some banks, but nor all will charge you a foreign transaction fee of 3%. So verify what your bank charges, and consider changing banks if they're soaking you with fees.

Some banks, like Schwab (and they're not the only one) do not charge you anything for an ATM fee, and even reimburse you for the fee that the other bank charges, plus they do not hit you with the 3% foreign transaction fee. Your money goes a bit further if you have an account with these features.

Also, credit cards may charge you a 3% foreign transaction fee - some do and some d not, so verify what your cards charge, and look for another card if necessary. Don't let then take advantage of you.

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JohnPS
1/28/2017 23:44 EST

Oops. Error in first line above. English more widely spoken than Spanish.

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tamber
1/29/2017 18:07 EST

I have read alot of different replies about gangs and crime in Mexico and honestly Mexico is no different then anywhere else! There are gangs and crimes everywhere...We are just outside of Hamilton, Ontario Canada and we hear of shootings and stabbings daily here in Hamilton and surrounding areas, especially Toronto, so for all of you's that think that Mexico is dangerous and are changing their minds about moving there, well I hope that these little stories about gangs and crimes stop you, corruption is everywhere, yes even other government and other countries im sure has some kind of corruption, We just dont hear as much about it.
With that said we still plan on heading to PDC very shortly for hopefully long term.
If your a abiding citizen and dont get mixed up in drugs or any other criminal activities then dont worry about things so much.

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JohnPS
1/29/2017 20:37 EST

It seemed like there was at least one murder reported in the news every day when we lived in Palm Springs. But since I don't listen to local news in Spanish here, I don't really know what they are reporting.

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tamber
1/29/2017 23:31 EST

sorry my above comment should have read (do not stop you) from moving to mexico :)

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dwwhiteside
1/30/2017 10:34 EST

I would recommend looking at crime in Mexico from two different perspectives; violent crimes and property crimes. Generally speaking, it appears that the vast majority of the violent crimes are committed by the cartels and against other cartel members or those attempting to disrupt cartel "business." If you are not involved with a cartel, and are not in a position where you are attempting to interfere with them, you have little to worry about personally with respect to this type of crime. It is true that innocents can get caught at the wrong place at the wrong time and become inadvertent victims but, this is not a very common occurrence.

On the other hand, property crimes are a bit more common and are not always restricted to the "dangerous areas." There are a couple of steps you should take to reduce your chances of being a victim of property crime. First, do not make a conspicuous display of your wealth. Walking around with a lot of gaudy jewelry, flashing large wads of cash, even driving an expensive luxury car (or having it parked in plain site at your house) can make you a target.

Second, invest in some protection for your house. Putting bars on windows, installing security cameras and / or electrified parameter wires, getting an intimidating looking dog are all relatively simple steps you can take to discourage would-be criminals from targeting your house.

Summing it up, concerns about violent crime are probably largely overblown unless you plan to become involved with a drug cartel. On the other hand, the poverty rate in Mexico does correspond to a significant number of property crimes. However, there are steps you can take to avoid becoming a target.

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CoconutBowling
2/1/2017 16:14 EST

I support your responses to posts however I read the post that was removed and quite honestly you were venting. Nothing in your post was too true, just not helpful to anyone reading this forum. HOWEVER there is nothing at all wrong with venting. But I don't think the "truth" about Mexico had anything to do with it.

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bvml
6/19/2017 06:55 EST

I cannot speak for the whole country of Mexico, but I have a place in Quintana Roo and spend several months a year there. It is completely crime and murder free for tourists. I feel safer there than I do in half of America. There has been a little activity starting up in Playa and Cancun between the Zetas and the current mob that runs the drug trade to tourists, but it has been minor and not exploded yet.

I highly recommend checking out Tulum or Playa del Carmen if you are looking for safe and inexpensive.

Also, as long as you are not involved in consuming or distributing drugs, you are considered a civilian in the war and generally left alone unless you happen to be at the wrong spot at the wrong time -- like the incident at the EDM Festival in Playa last year.

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giershift43
6/19/2017 08:59 EST

bvml, what you write makes sense to me and reflects my experience. Sure there is crime. If you know where to find it State side or Mexico you can find it.

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nelsonokelmgmailcom
6/19/2017 09:08 EST

Puerto Vallarta has been named the safest city in Mexico. There is a very infrequent mugging but for the greater part it is totally safe. Great city, great people, large friendly eXpat community, excellent markets and shoping. Been here 4 years and loving it. The tap water is certified safe. I've been drinking it for 4 years.with no ill effects. International airport and cruise ship harbor.

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MexJuan1
6/19/2017 09:30 EST

I've been in PDC since June of 2015. I live a 20 minute walk outside of the City Center/5th Ave, down the beach, south and walk in every morning very early. I have my coffee and eat only, at local sidewalk cafes in various neighborhoods and taxi to areas too far to walk. Admittedly, I'm not "where the action is" at night, don't do bars or clubs and not into drugs I can't buy at the Farmacia. I haven't seen or had any trouble, not even an inkling or the threat of any issues that have made me the least bit uncomfortable in those two years and where I live, although not "inside" the country, would be considered "local" by tourist standards. I've heard of some issues, of course but, feel very safe so far...

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MexJuan1
6/19/2017 09:38 EST

Wondered if anyone saw that piece last night on Megan Kelly about Americans moving to New Zealand en masse? They're driving up housing prices out of the range of the Kiwis living there. The report was "warm and fluffy, but the natives can't be happy about that situation? Definitely beautiful there but looked cold..... Me, I don't want cold!!! Ppl interviewed like the Work/Family Life Balance and laid back life style. Costs we're said to be comparable to living in the States. I've just heard that the ppl of that country aren't too crazy about Americans? I wonder...

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katzgar
6/19/2017 10:02 EST

You pretty much answered your own question when you talked about the drug cartels killings. Free connected to expats that aren't in the drug cartels don't have any issue.

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Cozumeldeb
6/19/2017 13:36 EST

Agree bvml, we live in Cozumel/Chicago half yr each, people asking me are u afraid..are u kidding. We started going there in 1989, and every yr after, bought in 2001, no regrets ever. CZM's crime is usually a crime of convience, leave your purse, phone in your locked car they might break in.. Situational Awareness is required everywhere..In respond on the concert attack in Playa last winter.. Federal police, military came out in force in Playa + Cancun, cracked down hard..Tourism is high priority, and think they learned their lesson by ignoring Matazlan and Acapulco disasters..any areas u are considering u should check State Dept warnings and ex pat blogs in those areas. Happy hunting.

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Cozumeldeb
6/19/2017 13:37 EST

Agree bvml, we live in Cozumel/Chicago half yr each, people asking me are u afraid..are u kidding. We started going there in 1989, and every yr after, bought in 2001, no regrets ever. CZM's crime is usually a crime of convience, leave your purse, phone in your locked car they might break in.. Situational Awareness is required everywhere..In respond on the concert attack in Playa last winter.. Federal police, military came out in force in Playa + Cancun, cracked down hard..Tourism is high priority, and think they learned their lesson by ignoring Matazlan and Acapulco disasters..any areas u are considering u should check State Dept warnings and ex pat blogs in those areas. Happy hunting.

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giershift43
6/19/2017 21:17 EST

Good to know

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MexJuan1
6/22/2017 12:46 EST

I just read a Newsweek article that said the murder rate in Mexico has reached record highs. The article likens the crime occuring now to that of 20 years ago (1997) and said that in May, murders in Acapulco occurred at a rate of 7/day! Factors cited were that of Pena Nieto's "collaboration" with the Cartels, immigration issues and loss of good jobs related to the trump administration policy and attitude towards Mexico and it's ppl. Also, the Opioid Epidemic happening in the States is creating, once again, violent competition among the Cartels. The murder rate in Mexico, according to Newsweek, is approaching 4 times per 100,000 of that in the U.S.!!! Not good news...

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giershift43
6/22/2017 12:51 EST

Suggestion: quit reading!! Lol

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joaquinx
6/26/2017 18:50 EST

This appears to be a saner reply to crime in Mexico http://www.expatsinmexico.com/how-safe-is-mexico/

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eshieldsga
6/27/2017 09:59 EST

Great link, Joaquin, thanks! The article has suggestions about planning for emergencies which is good to remember, too.

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MexJuan1
7/12/2017 10:22 EST

Listening to NPR early this morning, they reported that 11,000 ppl have been murdered in Mexico in the first five (5) months of 2017. The murderous activity is reported to be working it's way into areas like Los Cabos, Cancun, PDC and various other tourist and expat areas. I'd say that more than 2,000 ppl/month could be considered much more than an uptick! All out WAR is breaking out due to the immigration policies of the corrupt and criminal administration in the U.S., sending ppl back who must seek money and employment in any way possible. Often resulting in criminal activity. Also, the drug trade due to the Opioid Epidemic in America is creating massive competition amongst the Cartels. It seems as though Mexico is reverting to the 1990's when you came here on vacation and we're told NOT to leave the Resort in which you we're staying. I can say, personally, that living in PDC, I have experienced nothing of this but I have read about and heard some stories of nefarious activity. And I'm sure that their are safe towns and "pocket" areas in Mexico that remain safe. I just feel that anyone living here should be aware of the facts of what is occurring and be safe in their daily lives and travels. As well as anyone who might be contemplating a decision to move to Mexico. Do your due diligence and research because, Mexico is going through changes.

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worxs
7/13/2017 13:33 EST

Sending illegal alien criminals back to their country of origin makes perfect sense to me. Let the home country pay for their stay in jail. I think we should just kill those that have committed crimes. We still have the death penalty here in Mexico right?

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joaquinx
7/13/2017 13:50 EST

No death penalty in Mexico, however, citizens have been known to take justice into their own hands.

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MexJuan1
7/13/2017 15:11 EST

Sure, that would be all well and good if that's what was, actually, happening. Obama (donned The Deporter in Charge") was sending criminals back. "the don" is sending back a significant percentage of hard working ppl who should be given a PATH TO CITIZENSHIP like the ppl who made the country. My parents came over on the boat from Lithuania, fleeing Hitler in 1947 and the U.S. is made up, predominantly, by those ppl, their children and grandchildren. He's sending back Dreamers who have done NOTHING WRONG! He's sending back ppl who had a DUI 10-12-15 Years ago. He's sending back ppl who've had minor misdemeanors in their distant past who are all working and paying taxes just like you. He's sending back ppl who overstayed their Visas to attempt to give a better life to their families. If that were the case, I'd have been on my way back to Lithuania (and currently the U.S.)a long time ago. The whole theme of America which has, somehow, been forgotten? Land of Opportunity, Melting Pot and all that DEMOCRATIC JAZZ. What about you? Never did anything, slightly, outside of the law? Make a mistake? Forget to do something that you must do? So yes, I agree, send the criminals back but, give the hard working ones that path to stay and a contribute just like all the rest of us IMMIGRANTS. And you, please, stay on message and contribute complete intelligent, knowledgeable information. Not just the rhetoric. You'll be better for it, trust me...

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Cozumeldeb
7/13/2017 15:15 EST

Are you cousins with Ramzfan and Tuevich? Birds of a feather. Facts do matter, which you 3 ignore. Democrats/Progressives far outnumber Rethugs in MX. Why would Rethugs want to live in MX, your comment, "just kill them," in a country with no death penalty..Only reason I see racist Rethugs in MX, they are to broke ass poor to afford US Retirement.

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kikipt
7/13/2017 20:33 EST

Did you move here from Saudi Arabia, perhaps?

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kikipt
7/13/2017 20:36 EST

lmontgom, I have to agree about the impact of press sensationalism. But I had to laugh about your depiction of cab drivers letting people cross. Here in Merida drivers often accelerate when they see a pedestrian. There are a lot of wonderful people in this city, but when they get behind a wheel all bets are off!!! LOL

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MexJuan1
7/13/2017 20:42 EST

Just like that in PDC too. When I get in a cab I just talk to the driver and pay no attention to traffic. They've got it! ADO Buses are the bomb though. Like riding in a limo... They're Mercedes! Only the best...

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GranJefe
7/13/2017 21:47 EST

Yes, ADO buses are awesome. Been riding them for over 10 years. Too bad Greyhound is not.

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giershift43
7/14/2017 07:31 EST

That is because you do not know enough about it. The undocumented actually contribute to the economy and have for a very long time. Remember Bush just gave them amnesty. We just need immigration laws that reflect the times and needs of the country. It is more complicated than all black and white.

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MexJuan1
7/14/2017 08:58 EST

It has been complicated for, basically, no good reason and should be black and white and if it were, the issues that exist of criminal aliens would, very simply, go away. That just makes way too much sense for ridiculously stupid, U.S. bureaucrats. And way over the head of a rhetorical, criminal minded, racist wanna be dictator. At the height of Mexican immigration into the U.S., there were 12.2M in the U.S. 8.2M (an astounding 67.2%!) of whom were in the work force (an infinitesimal unemployment rate when you consider the balance, 3M, were young children, the elderly and/or disabled) while, at the same time, 93M (67%) of "able bodied" Americans were not working. Bureau of Labor stats. There were approximately 820,000 (1 in 12) Mexican Immigrants with a felony conviction or in prison while the rate of adult Americans who were in similar straits was 1 in 14. Bureau of Prisons stats. Doing the math, it is easy to see that both populations had a 7% rate of imprisoned or not, felons. In other words, people are people, Mexican Immigrants or American Citizens. In other words, Mexican Immigrants are twice (at a minimum) as industrious as U.S. workers in doing jobs in Agriculture (26%) and Construction (15%) that the "Lazy American" won't do. In other words, 90% of Mexican Immigrants, as per the lying his ass off to serve his own disingenuous purposes, donald trump, are NOT CRIMINALS/FELONS. Murderers and rapists I believe were his exact words. In other words, the Mexican Immigrant situation in the U.S. is a, highly, advantageous and lucrative one to America and when they are gone, the impact will be stark and deep to all those Republican (or Dem/Indy) Farmers and Union Construction Companies who voted for this lying criminal. I feel no sympathy for them whatsoever. I would rather align myself with the much maligned, mistreated and abused Mexican Immigrant worker. Where the hell is this generation's Cesar Chavez?

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Cozumeldeb
7/14/2017 09:10 EST

Well said MexJuan1. The human equation appears to be lost on this administration. From the moment Trump slithered down that escalator and took aim at Mexico, the uneducated loons had someone to look down on or so they thought..Their pretender hero is already throwing them in the swamp.

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MexJuan1
7/14/2017 09:48 EST

Thank you! Yes, the human equation and condition is lost on these ppl because they are an abhoration of humanity. It's all vitreol and conspiratorial rhetoric. The NY/WH Kremlin is crumbling and rapidly. It's a very dangerous time when high quality, professional, human investigators are silent. The rest is all Lip Service, but necessary. Then out of the blue comes the Thunder and Lightening! ;-)

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RVGRINGO
7/14/2017 14:38 EST

Bravo, Juan. Es la verdad.
Sadly, most USA Americans just don‘t have a clue. The downward slide is rapidly accelerating, and they don‘t even feel the wind, as their country is being left in the dust.
Crime in Mexico? Only to supply the criminal appetites of the USA.

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MexJuan1
7/14/2017 14:51 EST

Prego, prego! Yes, and started by the U.S. Government (CIA) running guns for drugs in South and Central America. Now and for some time in Mexico too. And cash. Lots and lots of cash. largest criminal country in the World, the U.S. of A. Just sneakier and better at putting a fresh, innocent face on the surface. Everybody sing! "God bless America... ". ;-) Reality (really) Bites!!!

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augieman
7/24/2017 11:03 EST

The importance of immigrant labor to US economy is exemplified by recent reports of crops rotting in fields for want of laborer to harvest them..

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MexJuan1
7/24/2017 13:54 EST

That issue was imminent due to the criminal "business" president of the U.S. He's, actually, anti business for the country and pro business for himself. As for crime, I read an article that there we're 2,314 murders in Mexico in June (a record) and that Mexico is returning to the heights of the Cartel Wars because of competition for heroin to supply the Opioid Crisis in the U.S., immigrants being returned to no jobs and resorting to crime and Pena Nieto looking the other way. Also, in another article, bands (small armys) of armed men are collecting in Cancun and Playa del Carmen preparing to take over the Drug Trade in the Tourist Areas. It's getting bad! 1997 all over again... The effect trump and sessions are having in Mexico is profound! I think Mexico should build a wall to keep the Americans out!!! ;-)

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