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Straydogges

Driving to Texas - recent Reynosa/Ciudad Victoria crime

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I need to drive to Texas, we usually go through Reynosa. I've delayed the trip because recent violence in Reynosa and Ciudad Victoria. A Mexican friend's family lives in San Luis Potosi, makes the drive to the border quite often. They have reported many incidents recently, even in San Luis Potosi (they were harassed in Reynosa; one had his truck confiscated yesterday in SLP). Reported nice trucks and SUVs confiscated by the Zeta drug gang along the highway to Ciudad Victoria. I know some of it was related to the recent arrest of a drug leader in Reynosa. They said it was even worse on the cuota from Monterrey to Reynosa. Has anyone driven this route in the last week? Wondering if we should still delay the trip - we're driving a big pickup.

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I need to drive to Texas, we usually go through Reynosa. I've delayed the trip because recent violence in Reynosa and Ciudad Victoria. A Mexican friend's family lives in San Luis Potosi, makes the drive to the border quite often. They have reported many incidents recently, even in San Luis Potosi (they were harassed in Reynosa; one had his truck confiscated yesterday in SLP). Reported nice trucks and SUVs confiscated by the Zeta drug gang along the highway to Ciudad Victoria. I know some of it was related to the recent arrest of a drug leader in Reynosa. They said it was even worse on the cuota from Monterrey to Reynosa. Has anyone driven this route in the last week? Wondering if we should still delay the trip - we're driving a big pickup.

We are delaying our planned trip because we have vehicles, either one, which someone would take a shine to...not worth the risk of ourselves or the vehicles.

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We are currently in Ciudad Victoria, but came up Mex 85 through the mountains, rather than via San Luis Potosi. We plan to cross at Reynosa tomorrow morning before noon. Will post a report tomorrow evening.

P.S. - We're driving a Toyota, so should be perfectly safe :rolleyes:

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Okay - As promised above.

We left La Villa Hotel in Cd. Victoria about 7:35 a.m. and headed north with clear sailing until just after the junction of the Tampico highway at around km 134 (sorry, my map is in the car, so I don't have the number). At this point the traffic was backed up on the highway for about 1 km waiting to get through the army checkpoint. It took just over an hour to get to the checkpoint where we were waved through without stopping. The road is four lane at this point, and the right lane seemed to move through much faster than the left. The right lane is signed for trucks and buses, but it didn't seem to make any difference to the soldiers waving the vehicles in when they got there whether there were cars in the truck lane or not. Once through the checkpoint it was again clear sailing until we turned off the Reynosa - Matamoros road in Reynosa to the Pharr-Reynosa bridge where the traffic was again backed up waiting to get to the bridge tollbooths. This delay (almost an hour) was entirely the result of the number of trucks, and once we were able to bypass the truck lineup (use left lane) , we were able to go directly to the parking lot to turn in our vehicle importation permit and FMT's. The wait at US customs was about 20 minutes.

There was no sign of any trouble. About 8 police vehicles were mustered in the Pemex in front of La Villa Hotel in Cd. Victoria early in the morning, and took off on the Monterrey highway in a convoy while we were having breakfast. We also saw two small army patrols heading south on the road. Coming into Reynosa, the police were using a hand-held radar gun and had about 5 officers waving speeders over, so close monitoring of your speed is needed there.

Please be sure to understand that this is simply a report of our trip and not a reccommendation as to whether anyone should make it or not. That decision is entirely yours. I do think that if you decide to make the trip, leaving Cd. Victoria an hour earlier would substantially shorten the wait at the military checkpoint, as the backup was much longer when we left than when we arrived.

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I suspect that truck and automobile traffic was heavier than usual Friday, and will be again today, as tomorrow is Palm Sunday. For the next week, there will be heavy traffic all over Mexico until after Easter.

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Okay - As promised above.

We left La Villa Hotel in Cd. Victoria about 7:35 a.m. and headed north with clear sailing until just after the junction of the Tampico highway at around km 134 (sorry, my map is in the car, so I don't have the number). At this point the traffic was backed up on the highway for about 1 km waiting to get through the army checkpoint. It took just over an hour to get to the checkpoint where we were waved through without stopping. The road is four lane at this point, and the right lane seemed to move through much faster than the left. The right lane is signed for trucks and buses, but it didn't seem to make any difference to the soldiers waving the vehicles in when they got there whether there were cars in the truck lane or not. Once through the checkpoint it was again clear sailing until we turned off the Reynosa - Matamoros road in Reynosa to the Pharr-Reynosa bridge where the traffic was again backed up waiting to get to the bridge tollbooths. This delay (almost an hour) was entirely the result of the number of trucks, and once we were able to bypass the truck lineup (use left lane) , we were able to go directly to the parking lot to turn in our vehicle importation permit and FMT's. The wait at US customs was about 20 minutes.

There was no sign of any trouble. About 8 police vehicles were mustered in the Pemex in front of La Villa Hotel in Cd. Victoria early in the morning, and took off on the Monterrey highway in a convoy while we were having breakfast. We also saw two small army patrols heading south on the road. Coming into Reynosa, the police were using a hand-held radar gun and had about 5 officers waving speeders over, so close monitoring of your speed is needed there.

Please be sure to understand that this is simply a report of our trip and not a reccommendation as to whether anyone should make it or not. That decision is entirely yours. I do think that if you decide to make the trip, leaving Cd. Victoria an hour earlier would substantially shorten the wait at the military checkpoint, as the backup was much longer when we left than when we arrived.

Thanks for the info. Could you tell me what time you arrived in Reynosa? RVGRINGO is probably correct - lots of traffic on the roads this coming week for Easter. Could be a good time to go to the border.

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Thanks for the info. Could you tell me what time you arrived in Reynosa? RVGRINGO is probably correct - lots of traffic on the roads this coming week for Easter. Could be a good time to go to the border.

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Were in line at the bridge at 1:08 Mex time, with about one hour of stoppage for coffee and lunch.

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From an RV forum --started off people thought it was a troll. Not anymore...

First posts met with some skepticism:

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/23820487/srt/pa/pging/1.cfm

Then follow-up from the victim:

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/23822029.cfm

and now ...

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/23823375.cfm

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whoops sorry double post

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I've seen nothing about it in any news broadcasts or on Uno Noticias online. Only on that one RV website. However, much of what was said in the postings does ring true.

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If you are driving to Texas, the Queretero, San Luis Potosi, Laredo route seems very safe. My friend drove from Austin, Texas last week to Morelia / Patzcuaro and returned today. He found no issues in his drive and made good time. From Guadalajara, that drive is 4-lane cuota all the way to the border. At Nuevo Laredo, go north 30k and cross at Colombia. Buen viaje, David

The Michoacan Net

Supporting the Arts in Mexico

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Michoacan_net/

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If you are driving to Texas, the Queretero, San Luis Potosi, Laredo route seems very safe. My friend drove from Austin, Texas last week to Morelia / Patzcuaro and returned today. He found no issues in his drive and made good time. From Guadalajara, that drive is 4-lane cuota all the way to the border. At Nuevo Laredo, go north 30k and cross at Colombia. Buen viaje, David

The Michoacan Net

Supporting the Arts in Mexico

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Michoacan_net/

Does anyone know - we brought our car in at Reynosa, is it ok to check it out in Laredo? The point of the trip is to sell this car and get a smaller one.

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Does anyone know - we brought our car in at Reynosa, is it ok to check it out in Laredo? The point of the trip is to sell this car and get a smaller one.

You can use any point of exit

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I've seen nothing about it in any news broadcasts or on Uno Noticias online. Only on that one RV website. However, much of what was said in the postings does ring true.

That could be the kind of news the reporters ignore in fear

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That could be the kind of news the reporters ignore in fear

agree - especially if they want to live. Yesterday I read that they actually hijacked and robbed a bus. Couldn't find the article again - but people were robbed - no one killed.

More on self censorship by journalists http://cpj.org/2010/03/drug-related-violence-endangers-media-in-reynosa.php

New York, March 11, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by a wave of drug-related violence in the Mexican city of Reynosa, near the Texas border, which is endangering the news media and causing widespread self-censorship. In the past two weeks, several journalists have been abducted and one reporter has died in unclear circumstances, according to press reports and CPJ interviews.

And this is from Monterrey

20 Mar 2010 01:59:25 GMT

Source: Reuters

* Armed men block Monterrey highways with vehicles

* Gunmen may be trying to stop anti-drug operations (Adds arrests, quote from police chief)

By Robin Emmott

MONTERREY, Mexico, March 19 (Reuters) - Armed men likely linked to drug gangs blocked highways with trucks and buses in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey on Friday in an apparent attempt to hamper army operations near the U.S. border.

Gunmen pulled truck and bus drivers out of their vehicles in the wealthy business city and used them to set up blockades on major four-lane highways, sometimes slashing tires to make it harder to tow them away, police and motorists said.

And one more article

SAN ANTONIO, March 25 (UPI) -- The chief executive of Latin America's largest newspaper company says he moved himself and his family to Texas from Mexico out of fear of ruthless drug gangs.

The article goes on to say - None of Grupo Reforma's 4,000 staffers have been killed, but some have been kidnapped and beaten, said Junco, whose company publishes 10 daily newspapers in five cities.

Grupo Reforma reporters now wear bulletproof vests. Their beats are rotated, and bylines often are dropped off articles related to violence, Junco said.

So NO reason NOT to believe the story

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I just returned to lakside via Monterrey. I crossed the border at 6AM, took 20 minutes to get my FM3 stamped & new car permit. It was daylight when I left the parking lot. There were two police cars stationed on the highway around town (one at a busy crossing).

Plenty of truck traffic on the cuota. Lots of traffic, no problems all the way to the cuota around Monterrey and the new cuota between Monterrey and Saltillo. Lots of tourist vehicles. If someone tried to stop traffic they would have had to stop literally hundreds of vehicles.

I think stay on the cuotas, don't go downtown in Nuevo Laredo or Monterrey, and you will be fine on the trip. I was towing a cargo trailer, with a US plated vehicle.

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I just made that trip in a very cool Dodge Ram Pickup, it was a hideous trip because of the length, road conditions and rude drivers but there were no incidents. I even drove at night and slept in my camper with a bunch of truckers next to a PEMEX station out in the middle of nowhere. I guess it is a game of chance though.

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Be careful in Durango and / or don't be a cowboy and try to run a roadblock. I've read reports of the army and police shooting people that run roadblocks and 10 people were murdered yesterday when they ran through a narco roadblock. Nothing is worth your life. Buy full insurance and don't travel at night although that is no guarantee as the roadblock was at 2pm.

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Be careful in Durango and / or don't be a cowboy and try to run a roadblock. I've read reports of the army and police shooting people that run roadblocks and 10 people were murdered yesterday when they ran through a narco roadblock. Nothing is worth your life. Buy full insurance and don't travel at night although that is no guarantee as the roadblock was at 2pm.

Here is what Intercasa was referring to: http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/estados/75347.html

Seven children and three young men aboard a van were killed late Sunday by a group of mounted gunmen at an illegal roadblock on the road, confirmed the state attorney general office.

The victims were traveling in a pickup truck back to the village of El Aval, from where they originated, having gone to Los Naranjos for support and continue their studies.

When they returned were instructed to stop the movement of the vehicle, the driver did not attend the call and that was when they shot the tires with heavy weapons.

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Avoid this area at all cost NOW

Twitter is such a valuable resource. For example, today would NOT be the day to choose to cross into McAllen.

Lots of tweets right now reporting shootouts and several blockades in the city including access to Pharr bridge. Claims that taxistas are refusing to drive to the airport. Checkout cruzfashion and #Reynosafollow. You will see pictures taken literally minutes ago.

The following is what is happening this minute.

Officials: Pharr bridge access, various other points in Reynosa blocked

29 minutes ago

March 30, 2010 10:50 AM

The Monitor

REYNOSA — City officials say the access road to the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge and other points throughout the city are blocked.

Officials advised motorists to drive with caution and to avoid the area south of the Pharr bridge.

A bulletin sent by Reynosa city officials about 11 a.m. Tuesday said that various points throughout the city are now blocked to traffic and that people should avoid driving there, if possible. Officials described the blockades as a "situation of risk."

Reynosa city officials issued a bulletin about 10:20 a.m. regarding the blockade near the Pharr bridge.

A second bulletin sent by city officials about 10:25 a.m. said the highway between Reynosa and Rio Bravo — Mexico Highway 2 — has been blocked, as well.

It is unknown who is causing the blockades.

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