Book Review: Narcocorrido by Elijah Wald

note: Click on links for music. Would you rather listen to gangster rap, country music, or polka?  If you cringed in horror at any of the three options, well, brace yourself. If you answered, “All three!” then you probably already know your Tigres from your Tucanes. Whatever your musical tastes, the blood-splattered accordion-happy world of the Mexican narcocorrido is a fascinating place to visit. In Narcocorrido: A Journey into the Music of Drugs, Guns, and Guerillas, folklorist and musician Elijah Wald explains […]

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Book Review: El Narco

I shouldn’t be reviewing this book or recommending it to our readers. As an editor for a travel site and managing editor for The People’s Guide to Mexico, one of my goals is to, you know, encourage people to go to Mexico. It’s my job to say that your fears about Mexico are overblown, that the media is mongering fear, that our vision of modern Mexico is skewed by the press, that vast portions of Mexico are still safe, that […]

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Abduction of Students Fuels Fires of Protest

Mexican Highway 200 with Mexican road sign that says "Guerrero"

Tony Burton at Geo-Mexico wrote a comprehensive overview of the horrifying situation in Guerrero, where the police abducted 43 student protestors, who are now presumed dead. His article contains a lot of interesting links that will fill you in on the details of the story to date. Check it out. If moving pictures are more your oeuvre, Vice News has some good video coverage of the case, including footage of the protests in Mexico City and interviews at the liberal […]

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Is Acapulco Safe?

A reader writes: I really enjoyed reading your guys’ book with all the practical advices about Mexico; a question: any current concerns for traveling to and around Acapulco? -Dan Churpa responds: Hi Dan, Thanks for reading. Hmmm…Acapulco. That’s a tough one. The last time I was in Acapulco was in 2013. We drove the coastal Highway 200 from Oaxaca, through Guerrero and Michoacan, and up into Sinaloa. As you may already know, Guerrero, Michoacan and Sinaloa are all considered hot […]

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El Codo's Michoacan Travel Advisory

Coat of arms of Michoacan

After recently visiting Michoacan and talking with friends and neighbors (all Mexicanos), I have come to the conclusion that travel in the state is inadvisable due to the strife between the LCT (Los Caballeros Templarios), the Rurales, the authentic cops, SSP and military authorities, and the utterly corrupt state and local police. Tourist cars have been carjacked outside the sancturio mariposas, Uruapan, Tzintzuntzan, and north of Caleta de Campos on Mex 200. Tourist pedestrians have been robbed at gunpoint during […]

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Is Oaxaca Safe?

Stone ruins of Mitla and old church

A reader writes: We were thinking of renting a house outside of Oaxaca this April. Heard some rumors that it may not safe? Also does one need your own transportation? Are there enough buses around and frequent enough to be taken places? Thanks. –D Churpa answers: For as long as I can remember, Oaxaca has been a politically charged state, with more strikes and demonstrations than most other parts of Mexico. However, this agitation doesn’t tend to be aimed at […]

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Nogales or Agua Prieta? Which is Safer?

  A reader writes: Hello, This year my fiance will be released from prison and deported back to Mexico (6yrs in). He has been in the US since he was 5. All of his family is here, but he doesn’t want to chance coming back (he just served 6 for crossing twice) so he left me with the task of finding where is safer: Nogales or Agua Prieta. Here is a little about me: I’m white , green eyes, super […]

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New Data on Mexico's Homicide Rate

Geographer Tony Burton of Geo-Mexico looks at National Statistic Institute data, which seems to indicate that the homicide rate in Mexico finally began to decline in 2012. I wish we had access for data from 2013.

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Noticias 5/22/2013

La Migra – The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the so-called Gang-of-Eight’s immigration reform bill 13-5, which includes a path to citizenship. After surviving a flurry of amendments intended to water the bill down, the bill now goes to the Senate floor where Republican Senators face the choice of angering their base or further alienating Hispanic voters. An immigration bill is also expected to be introduced to the House of Representatives in June. Negocios – Nestle has opened a 130 million […]

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The Trip in Full

'87 Dodge van parked in palm grove.

So we made it. 6,500 miles in an ’87 Dodge van. We camped off-road in Chihuahua. We got lost at night on the back roads of Oaxaca. We drove through states, such as Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, that are known as hot spots in the narco wars. According to one study, we drove through three of the top twenty most violent cities in the world (by murder rate):  Acapulco, Torreon, and Culiacan.                                                                                                                            photo by Gina Dilello We rode the subways […]

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