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Kevin K

Advice from the U.S. consular agent in San Miguel de Allende

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This was shared by a friend who lives in San Miguel and I found Mr. Clancy's degree of candor quite remarkable (and hope he doesn't get into trouble because of it).

I'm not sharing this to build up Lakeside at the expense of San Miguel. We should all know very well by now that "it CAN [and has] happened here."

SECURITY SUGGESTIONS FROM ED CLANCY, U.S. CONSULAR-AGENT

Yesterday Ed Clancy met with a large group of ex-pats in Col. Guadalupe to discuss Public Safety. Perhaps because San Miguel is growing so rapidly, there is an increase in crime against persons and property. Almost everyone of the group of approx. 30 had been robbed. One woman's car had just been robbed, as she left the gym on the way to the meeting!

Here are safety tips from the meeting:

1. Speaking Spanish is essential.

2. LIve modestly, like a Mexican,--- leave (or send) your valuables back home.

4. Do not leave spare keys around or give keys to workers.

5. Trust nobody and believe nothing.

6. Always have somebody in your home when you leave on vacations. (actually, whenever you leave even for half an hour is best!)

7. Electrical barb wire is considered more effective than alarm systems.

8. Dogs are good, but don't let your guard dog befriend your staff.

9. The most effective defense is Neighborhood Watch. To do this, your neighborhood must elect officers, get a certificate from the Ministerio Publico. After that, the minister of public safety will address your group, and you will have some clout to ask for improvements such as more street lights.

10. If you make a request to a public official, be prepared to ask repeatedly or nothing will happen.

11. Report all crimes to Ed Clancy via email or a visit, so that the US Embassy has a record. (However, with all the crimes reported from the participants, this could lead to the State Dept issuing a travel advisory warning tourists not to come to SMA)

12. Drive an old jalopy rather than a new SUV.

13 Home invasions, i.e. burglaries when people are home) are getting more common, and happen any time of day or night in any neighborhood.

14. Criminals mostly work in groups of 2-4. There ARE look-outs watching for opportunities like empty houses. Be on the lookout for suspicious cars parked in your neighborhood. If you notice one, do not hesitate to telephone the police to come check out the car. They will do so, and it is a better deterrent than the drive-bys.

16. Taxis ARE robbed and not reported, because the taxistas are given the car/job by the government and wouldn't risk losing their job.

17. If you are mugged, throw your money or valuables down and run away.

18. Keep as much distance as possible from your attackers.

19. Pepper spray is good, and may be preferable to mace or tasers which can be used against you. With pepper spray, you don't get so close to the criminal. Using a gun on a Mexican is unwise, because it will land you in a legal mess, and you may find yourself supporting the criminal's family.

20. Personal alarms, available for $10 from Amazon, may be useful--like a key fob you carry when you walk.

21. It is not the police who investigate the crime and make a report, but the MInisterio Publica. It is open 24/7 and there is a section for ex-pats with translators.

Report crimes immediately at the new pink building up on Salida Queretaro. One participant did get his stuff back because he reported right away.

22. Thieves target property, and choose the easiest places to rob. Ex-pats are NOT being singled out any more than Mexican locals.

23. A thief known as "El Raton," who targets the elderly, is back on the prowl in the Aldama neighborhood.

24. Report crimes to Mayor Trejo on his English Facebook site.

25. If your video surveillance camera records a crime in progress, upload it to U-Tube. Making crimes known and visible in the public eye is the only way things can improve, because it pressures those in charge to do their jobs. If unreported, nothing will change.

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Excellent article Lakeside 7; thanks for sharing it.

And in the "mea culpa" department, the friend who sent me the original post (above) shared this correction by its real authors, a group called "More Security in San Miguel:"

A CLARIFICATION FOR OUR READERS:

The Civil List report ( which we had re-posted on our own WebPage) in regard to the Col. Guadalupe meeting earlier this week had one major iNaccuracy: Most of the 30 Community members who attended that session HAD NOT BEEN CRIME VICTIMS.

Also, there was an implication in the original report that all this suggestions came from Consul Ed Clancy. THAT IS NOT THE CASE! Many of the listed " tips" came from folks in that neighborhood.

DISCLAIMER: When we post Security suggestions on our Site contributed by people or groups, that does not necessarily mean that we agree with all of them. Gracias

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And in the "mea culpa" department, the friend who sent me the original post (above) shared this correction by its real authors, a group called "More Security in San Miguel:"

Thanks for the correction/retraction, Kevin. When I first read that list of suggestions, I knew something was off. I mean, there's no way a US State Department employee in that position would say, for example, "Trust nobody and believe nothing." Jajaja.

It takes a spooky expat to go off the deep end like that.

Good to know those types of people aren't limited to this area, and are haunting San Miguel as well.

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Thanks for the correction/retraction, Kevin. When I first read that list of suggestions, I knew something was off. I mean, there's no way a US State Department employee in that position would say, for example, "Trust nobody and believe nothing." Jajaja.

It takes a spooky expat to go off the deep end like that.

Good to know those types of people aren't limited to this area, and are haunting San Miguel as well.

Maybe nobody except for Fox Mulder!?

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