A Fly Fishing Guide On Mexican Drug Violence

In the Los Angeles Times, fly-fishing guide Ed Kunze describes the situation in and around Zihuatanejo — where once the only danger to tourists was bull sharks — as relatively safe: “‘Just use common sense,’ Kunze advised. ‘Do not go out late at night to strip joints, high-profile bars or discos, where young men with a lot of money to flash around would hang out. I would not want to be in one of these locations if two rival factions were there at the same time.'” Article by Pete Thomas.

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  • hmmmm…
    there are more safety tips that i would give fly anglers even here in the states:
    1. if you’re fishing in undeveloped lands…esp state and federal lands in the southwest us and california in particular…be aware that mx drug cartels have set up shop in many of them. marijuana growing ops, meth labs, and drug deals have become quite common in these areas. so the gun battles and such that go along with them have too. in several cali parks, fly fishermen have told me they simply won’t go anymore due to personal security problems: campers/hikers murdered more than once/year, cars routinely vandalized, etc. in attempts to keep the public out of “cartel territory.”
    2. in az, nm, tx, the problem is not nearly that severe; but it should still be considered a possibility.
    3. and in many areas of mx, kidnapping americans has become a profitable biz for the cartels and small-time criminals alike.
    4. most tourist areas are not so dangerous, but the same precautions should be taken as when traveling in many remote and/or under-developed regions of the world.
    5. keep in mind: more americans have been murdered in mexico from 2004-2008 than in all other foreign countries combined (us state dept bulletin, march 2009).
    note: in a “former life,” global security was my biz and my wife is a military cop in el paso, tx. we live 1 block from fbi/dea hq. so several of our neighbors work there. so i’m not pulling my advice/opinions from thin air or cnn headline news.

  • john egbert

    thanks for the good advice….it is timely and unfortunately true.
    No one from here goes to Juarez like we used to. The article recently in The Economist showed a map of the cartels and their territories.
    Basically: Baja border not good
    S. Az south of Tucson not good
    anywhere near Juarez not good
    Texas border not good
    East coast of Mexico not good through Veracruz, including the Sierra Madre Oriental, a favorite vacation area for us
    The usual Sinaloa-Sonora and now further south along the west coast problem
    Take a plane to Zacatecas and go cactus hunting! The rib down the middle after Juarez looks okay.
    John