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A visit to Ajijic Mexico 3/4 years ago.

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9050054
1/8/2018 08:31 EST

As Britons, my wife and I went for a three week visit to Ajijic Mexico, we had read of the snowbird winter population there, we were looking for a permanent destination, Just before departing I read a US report advising not to travel to the area as there were drug gangs murdering local people.
It was too late to cancell, we got to our destination via Texas, the accommodation was
Very poor, but the discovery that there had been numerous murders of beheaded victims left in vans outside of town was quite disturbing. It was the worst visit to anywhere in my life, and I have visited Africa, Indonesia, Australia (great place) Seychelles, etc, etc. But nothing compared with Mexico. We decided on Buying a villa in Madeira, a small Portuguese island mid Atlantic, near the Canaries. A lovely scenic place, very friendly folk, known for being
Completely crime free. and it is. We live in the capital Funchal, and have a balcony overlooking the city to the harbour, we can see the daily visits of various cruise ships including those from the USA. All the locals speak English, we can fly within an hour or two to many parts of Europe, and within Three hours to London, I'm surprised more Americans don't move here, full year round sunshine, cost of living is great, we have a deal that saves us paying any tax here or the UK. Come on over it's the best destination and the safest by far.

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tony7240
1/8/2018 10:06 EST

Sounds like a paradise found!
However Mexico should not be all painted with one brush stroke. Yes Mexico has crime. Some areas much worse than others. It is the others that are peaceful and safe. We are in PuertoVallarta and feel safe. Local watch out for you. Just stay away from the vice and bad areas and you are very safe.
That said. I like to visit Madeira for sure.

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tony7240
1/8/2018 10:06 EST

Sounds like a paradise found!
However Mexico should not be all painted with one brush stroke. Yes Mexico has crime. Some areas much worse than others. It is the others that are peaceful and safe. We are in PuertoVallarta and feel safe. Local watch out for you. Just stay away from the vice and bad areas and you are very safe.
That said. I like to visit Madeira for sure.

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giershift43
1/8/2018 10:34 EST

Reading this seems to confuse reports of other parts of Mexico with Ajijic and the Lake Chapala area. The travel alerts regarding hangings are not near Lake Chapala. Also I have visited the Lake Chapala area and stayed at a very nice place named Danza Del Sol. There are many nice hotels and accommodations My husband who is blind and I walked around evening until the dusk, and never felt threatened. I wonder where you stayed. If I did not have family issues at home, I would have purchased a home there.

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longtimelurker
1/8/2018 13:41 EST

Lake Chapala is not immune to the killings and cartel activity.. Joco, Chapala, Ocotilan, La Barca , even Ajijic have had their killings over the years. Michoacan also borders the lake.

Most of the time Expats keep their nose clean. If they get mixed up with the wrong people bad things can happen to them too.

Read the local news for the local news, NOT the USA news sources.

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Songster
1/8/2018 13:50 EST

sounds like you went to ajiijic just when the action against the drug lords in the area was at its peak. i heard of it, but visited there a bit after everything had calmed down.

during my visit, there was a canadian woman and her boyfriend who were murdered in ajijic. the story goes that the woman had witnessed a neighbor's dog being abused by two workman on the property, and she reported it to the homeowner. the men were summarily fired. subsequently, the men broke into the whistleblower's house when she was on an errand, but in the middle of the burglary the woman and her boyfriend returned to the house...they were both slain.

mexico clearly presents some dangers with regard to the criminal element, but foreigners are not generally targeted. that said, it is best to keep your nose out of other peoples' business, just like the mexicans themselves do. in a society that has weak law enforcement, you need to make sure you don't anger the wrong persons...

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9050054
1/8/2018 15:25 EST

Tony, when you live in Northern Europe these days, sometimes you are shocked by the local atmosphere when you visit a more distant place.
Perhaps our visit was at the peak of the gang violence. It is just a big shame that the local people, particularly the young are put in the line of fire. How can Mexican people ever get to a time when they can enjoy life again ?
Is it any wonder that so many Mexican people want to leave and give their children a chance?
Tony, if you did ever get to Madeira Portugal in the future, I can promise you will never want to leave. The local people I did meet whilst in Ajijic had a friendly manner once we made an effort to communicate. I wish them well.

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9050054
1/8/2018 15:40 EST

Songster, I get your drift, but all of the examples you mention are so far from normality in the U.K., Ones safety is paramount
When on holiday, In Africa I met with a couple of tribes whilst on safari, the Maasai camp we visited was full of happy families, you can't hide fear...until Mexico gets to grips at the top the people will continue to live a life of fear.

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giershift43
1/8/2018 15:43 EST

I never said any community was immune to violence. I just described my experience in Ajijic which was very pleasant and accommodations excellent. I have visited Chicago a few times and was fine there as well. I live in a somewhat upscale condo community here in the States. Several years ago we had a murder here as well. For couple from the UK, Europe would be closer for trips home.

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Songster
1/8/2018 18:37 EST

dear 9,

i am not trying to marginalize the potential for violence in mexico, or to present it as something that's "normal" by the standards of others. i might also point out that the place where you feel "safe" happens to be a very small island that is quite isolated, by the standards of most americans. one might expect relative safety on a tiny island with a very small population...and one might also expect island fever to set in there as well.

a londoner friend of mine was viciously mugged at an ATM machine in wood green, after she had withdrawn some cash. she lost the cash and went to hospital for a head gash and other injuries. while this may not be "normal" for the UK (or any other place, for that matter) it happened nonetheless.

as for safety in africa, much depends on where you go. nuff said.

complete safety is a pipe dream, no matter where you are. however, knowing the nature of the crime where you live, taking precautions, and avoiding dangerous circumstances is the best thing that anyone can do to keep safe. very few expats in mexico ever experience violent crime.

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Songster
1/8/2018 18:38 EST

dear 9,

i am not trying to marginalize the potential for violence in mexico, or to present it as something that's "normal" by the standards of others. i might also point out that the place where you feel "safe" happens to be a very small island that is quite isolated, by the standards of most americans. one might expect relative safety on a tiny island with a very small population...and one might also expect island fever to set in there as well.

a londoner friend of mine was viciously mugged at an ATM machine in wood green, after she had withdrawn some cash. she lost the cash and went to hospital for a head gash and other injuries. while this may not be "normal" for the UK (or any other place, for that matter) it happened nonetheless.

as for safety in africa, much depends on where you go. nuff said.

complete safety is a pipe dream, no matter where you are. however, knowing the nature of the crime where you live, taking precautions, and avoiding dangerous circumstances is the best thing that anyone can do to keep safe. very few expats in mexico ever experience violent crime.

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tomwins
1/9/2018 10:43 EST

As someone who has visited Lake Chapala for 6 years and lived full time here since 2015, you are wrong about it being a violence ridden place. Those involved in drugs are in danger for the most part. I know some gringos who have been killed by doing stupid things. It is more likely you will be killed in the US than in Mexico.
I have been to Funchal and am glad you enjoy it. It was not for me. We all have varied needs and wants and you found yours. Please stop repeating false and misinformation about a place you know little about. The US is not know for accuracy in statements about other countries so don't base your impression on anything from there.

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giershift43
1/9/2018 11:02 EST

I share your impression of Lake Chapala as a peaceful and pleasant place.

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katheryn
1/9/2018 12:28 EST

I'm so glad to read your post as I am planning to move there in March.

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william70
1/9/2018 13:43 EST

Tomwins, I'm surprised that Madeira Portugal
Was not for you, I suppose it's what sort of lifestyle you are used to. Any postings I have made here have been on the basis and tone as
Was sent to me, I presume that the area of Mexico in question can bring back echoes of the old Wild West for some, not for me. I would like to see out my full retirement without too much drama............

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