Want to plan a kiting trip? Just got back from one? Post you experiences, questions and information here.
Baja Joes can send a van to pick you all up and share the costs. Then you can pay a van like driver Bruce for example to take you on downwinders if you want. Its easy to walk to everything in Ventana. And perhaps you can reduce costs and risks if you don't drive. Did I mention the meth rat banditos on the road from la paz to Ventana at night? Super fun getting your car windshield broken by boulders... but hey that'll be covered by the insurance I hope.
Don't forget that besides the quoted rate they will add on insurance which almost doubles the costs.
Anyone planing on driving down should skip it this year. Crime on sports vehicles is out of control and rising. The chances you take driving through Northern baja are too great right now to risk losing everything including your life, better to fly down and camp or stay in a nice place and enjoy a nice vacation.
Race crewman reports latest Baja robbery
By Anna Cearley and Bill Center
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS
November 22, 2007
The violent robbery of an American family in Baja California early Monday morning is adding to concerns about safety south of the border.
The latest attack began about 1 a.m. when Chris Hall, his wife, Debra, and their 16-year-old son and 21-year-old daughter where driving home to El Cajon from the SCORE Baja 1000 off-road auto race, which ended Friday in Cabo San Lucas.
Hall said their 2007 Ford F-250 was pulled over by a black car with flashing red and blue lights and a siren as they traveled on the coastal road just south of the Playas de Tijuana toll booth. A second car blocked the path in front of them.
Hall, 42, is a truck driver and crewman who supports off-road racers. He was pulling an empty car trailer after assisting the race team of Andy McMillin, whose family is one of San Diego County's biggest home developers. The trailer was identified with McMillin's race insignia.
ìI think they knew what they were doing,î Hall said of the assailants. ìIf I had been a McMillin, I think they would have kidnapped me.î
The assailants took the wheel of the Halls' truck, held the family at gunpoint for two hours, and then released them at a secluded spot on a mountain, Hall said.
The men stole the truck and all of the family's belongings, Hall said. It took the Halls more than an hour to walk down the mountain and find help. Mexican police took them immediately to the border.
The Halls filed a report yesterday with Mexican authorities. Chris Hall estimated the family's personal loss at $70,000. ìBut we're alive and I didn't think we were going to be . . . I'm counting my blessings.î
The attack was the latest in a series that has put frequent Baja travelers on edge.
Stories of at least six armed assaults have been shared by travelers through the Internet and by word of mouth. Some, but not all, of the cases have been determined by authorities as credible.
One widely publicized attack Aug. 31 involved a group of North County surfers who were stopped by a convoy of armed men who used flashing lights to pull them over on the road between the San Ysidro border crossing and Playas de Tijuana.
The surfers were forced out of their vehicles at gunpoint, and one was ordered to kneel and crawl as if he were going to be executed. The gunmen took the surfers' two trucks and other equipment.
In another publicized case, Pat Weber of Encinitas and his girlfriend were robbed Oct. 23 by two men wearing military clothing and ski masks at Cuatro Casas, a surfing spot about 200 miles south of the border. The assailants shot at his motor home and sexually assaulted his girlfriend before stealing $10,000 worth of computers, video cameras and other gear.
Baja California tourism officials didn't return phone calls yesterday asking about Monday's attack. But last month officials with the state attorney general's office in Baja California said they were working with other agencies to beef up patrols along the roads tourists often use to get to and from the border.
They urged victims to report such crimes immediately, but some victims have been afraid of file reports because they don't trust Mexican law enforcement officers.
Three people recently contacted The San Diego Union-Tribune to report being robbed by Tijuana police officers near the San Ysidro border crossing over the past six weeks.
Their complaints come amid speculation in the Mexican media that extortion and other misdeeds by police have increased recently because of an anticipated crackdown once Tijuana's new mayor, Jorge Ramos, takes office Dec. 1.
Authorities are unsure whether the latest accounts about attacks against tourists reflect an increase in attacks or that more people are sharing their stories with reporters or on Internet sites.
Robert Fishman, director of administration for the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, said he was robbed of more than $500 in cash by a group of Mexican police officers Oct. 13 after leaving a Caliente sports gaming site. He said the officers stopped him on a dark section of the pedestrian bridge that leads to the San Ysidro border crossing around 10 p.m. and searched his wallet and pockets. After they let him go, he realized the money was missing.
Fishman filed a report with the San Diego Police Department, which forwards the information to the U.S. Consulate in Mexico. However, he said the case appeared stymied because he couldn't see the officers' faces.
Fishman said he does not plan to go back to Baja California.
Hall is more adamant.
ìI'm the person who has always dispelled the rumors about being hassled in Baja California,î he said. ìI have always loved the country and the people. . . . Before this year, we had never had a problem, only great memories. But I'm never going back.î
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There are many proposed explanations as to why they appear to be more reports, here's a short summary though not sure if any is correct.
The increase in affluency in Baja's tourists has increased jealousy and bitterness from the have nots, who are incited to commit crimes by their lack of economic opportunity.
Drug cartels are still powerful and increasingly brazen encouraging more violent crime due to availability of weapons, outfits etc... Changes in Cartels meaning arrests or deaths, cause uncertainty from luetenants and lower ranking drug cartel members who seek out additional money from robberies, kidnapping and hijacking.
Reduced income from drug cartels to police causes them to mimick drug cartel aggression and use they're police equipment to rob tourists.
Basically there is no will to stop the crime since, in general USA is not liked on the whole. Mexico has no obligation to support the rich jerks from California.
The loaded sports trucks passing through TJ are too much of a in your face look at me and what I have and what you don't to the bad guys who are all addicted to Methamphetamine and can't resist robbing one more person for another bag of meth.
And the political changes cause people to have no job security and therefore no obligation to do their job, the police are all about to possibly lose their jobs on dec 1st and therefore they are crazy now for cash to make it through the x-mas holiday where they must give toys to their kids. As such it will be increasingly dangerous from now though the holidays.
You need to be extremely aggressive about protecting yourself and do not for one minute allow yourself to be boxed in by other vehicles, especialy would be police in TJ toll roads and if so fight for your life with the vehicle as a weapon and use knifes and bars to fight off the meth rats/police.
Mexico police chief murder linked to border tunnel
http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCr ... SN04471445
By Lizbeth Diaz
TIJUANA, Mexico, Dec 4 (Reuters - Gunmen killed the police chief of a Mexican city bordering California on Tuesday by shooting him some 50 times in an apparent revenge attack after police found a drug-smuggling tunnel under the border.
Gunmen broke into the house of Tecate police chief Juan Soriano in the early hours of the morning and shot him repeatedly in the face and torso as he slept in bed with his wife, an official at the Baja California state attorney general's office told Reuters. His wife was not hit.
The killing of Soriano, who had started his job only last week, appeared to be an act of revenge against Mexican police, who on Monday discovered a tunnel nearly a mile (1.6 km) long running into California from Tecate near the Pacific coast after a tip-off from the U.S. Border Patrol.
"As soon as Soriano made public the discovery of the tunnel, he went home and hours later, they executed him in his bedroom," said the official, who requested anonymity.
Police also found two tonnes of marijuana in a vehicle near the tunnel, which ran from an abandoned warehouse close to the Tecate crossing point into a rural area of Southern California, and was one of the longest ever discovered along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The Mexican government says the deployment of some 25,000 troops and federal police across Mexico is halting drug violence between warring cartels fighting for dominance of smuggling routes to the United States, citing a fall in monthly murder tolls.
But violence has continued in Baja California, Mexico's bloodiest state, where more than 300 people have been killed this year.
Some 2,350 people have died in Mexican drug violence so far this year, most of them members of rival gangs.
(Editing by Eric Walsh)
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