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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Solidarity through Mezcal

The news from Guerrero has not been good of late, what with the abduction and probable murder of 43 students at a teacher’s college in Ayotzinapa, and the subsequent riots. But real life can’t be reduced to one storyline, and so I was happy to get some better news from our friend, tequila and mezcal expert Clayton Szczech, who wrote to tell me about a kickass organization of indigenous peasants  in the Río de Balsas region of Guerrero. Sanzekan Tinemi  […]

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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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Mexico Around the Internets

At Mexico Retold, I stumbled across this is a fun quiz about the revolution of 1910 (I got 80%—clearly I need to brush up on my Obregon). However, I did even worse on Tony Burton’s current (typically difficult) geography quiz at Geo-Mexico. Luckily, this post on Mexico’s peace index definitely cheered me up. Burton notes: Mexico Peace Index finds that peace improved 7.4% in past two years The two-year improvement in peace was primarily driven by a 30% decrease in organized […]

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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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Excerpts from Steve's Travel Journal: 1995

editor’s note: When I was in high school, my mom got a job and an apartment so I could go to school in town. Those winters, my dad, Steve Rogers (co-author of People’s Guide to Mexico) went down south on his own for the first time since he and my mom got together. In 1995, my mom gave him a journal to record his travels for us.  I know other people out there miss Steve as much as I do, […]

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