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Recent Cuenca High Article says expats are leaving Ajijic because of increasing drug violence? Hype or true?

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I have known several people who had to leave here because of pulmonary problems with our altitude. Did your Cuenca periodical mention altitude there forcing anyone to leave and move lower or sea level? I know many seniors who can not live at Cuenca, Otavalo or Quito altitude they say it's murder trying to breath there.

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Guest bennie2

afgh, you owe the victims an apology & retract that statement. the 2 floresta victims lived several blocks from my house. i saw them everyday when they walked their dogs. 2 lovely people in their early 70s, somewhat naive. they rented that house for 8 years, then bought it. the lady did not handle something correctly. therewas much noice coming from her nextdoor neighbor. contruction crews were playing loud music all day. she should have called the floresta security as i have done many times. you just tell them where the noice is coming from, & they handle it. a conflict began, it is not determined whether this was a factor. there was also a large TV which was delieved & in view. there was a small window left open as well during the night. that was the bottom line here. the incident was not last year but in 2013. edited: yes it was feb 2014

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With all these security concerns maybe Mexico isn't a good fit for you,maybe some place like Sun City,Arizona would be...

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Guest bennie2

chillin,montecarlo is 2 star. new posada/chapala reale (floresta) is 3star. guad does not have 5 star accomodations. the club nautico is the only upscale place in the area. in any event, it dosnt matter. there was a huge crime wave in late 2011 early 2012, crime against expats. it has gotton better except for the floresta incident & one other expat in chapala. havnt heard of serious crimes this year. the artical is correct, but kind of outdated. they are promoting their area as well.

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Well, I just had to go take a peek at the paper that put out this article and I was not disappointed. Maybe they really have something going down there that certain Ajijic residents could appreciate.

http://www.cuencahighlife.com/neighbors-complaints-of-excess-noise-leads-to-closure-of-historic-district-bars/

Other than that it appears that Quenca, too, has problems.

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Guest bennie2

the babyboomer generation should stop looking for the paradise. just grow up, put bars in your windows. be careful when you have high tech equipment delieved. dont leave the boxes in front. dont give keys to anyone ever. no they are not part of the family. because of open borders/refugee status, many mex/centamer/southamer gangs are going up north. maybe theres hope in OZ after all.

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....and there's another thing: That's a long flight home to see friends and relatives. No place is paradise in all respects.

Count yo' blessings.......this is close enough. No shoveling snow from your driveway like up North and no drought turning your lawn brown and best of all, no massive fires burning down your house. I like it here, warts and all. Now if they'd just get some of those worst potholes fixed............... :unsure: .

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Well, I just had to go take a peek at the paper that put out this article and I was not disappointed. Maybe they really have something going down there that certain Ajijic residents could appreciate.

http://www.cuencahighlife.com/neighbors-complaints-of-excess-noise-leads-to-closure-of-historic-district-bars/

Other than that it appears that Quenca, too, has problems.

The"arrogant expat" article in that paper was interesting.

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The"arrogant expat" article in that paper was interesting.

I think it was priceless: sounds like "here" all over again.

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Guest bennie2

there is also peru, which has some wonderful places. the food is great, & much cheaper than here. (the restuarants). shopping is incredible. lima has stores facing the ocean. there is one quaint safe area which i liked very much. there is also one other smaller city which is a good place to check out.

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I just want to share my 2 cents to this thread. I have lived in Ajijic for one year and more than two years now in Chapala. I do feel safe here. I meet with friends on the malecon several evenings a week and I walk home (the last 6 or 7 minutes alone) to my house near Cristiania Park. I am out walking home alone once or twice a month even at midnight.

O.K., so you figure I have mush for brains but I don't have a problem. Two friends who did get robbed were carrying big purses and it happened during the daylight hours. I'm a guy so that may make a big difference at night as opposed to a woman walking alone. I have made friends with my neighbors and I attend the local parish church which, I think, makes me someone local people recognize even if we have never been introduced. I also greet people on the streets even at night.

When I moved to Mexico I signed up for my hometown paper on line. The place I come from is in a wooded / farming area of about 13,760 people. I'm trying to compare apples to apples as much as I can. I know that Chapala is larger than my hometown and perhaps Ajijic is as well. There are crimes reported every day in that little paper. Muggings, robberies, theft of funds from the school board or from local businesses by employees and yes, even murders at least once a month. This is in a one-horse town of 13,760 people! One big murder that occurred recently involved a minister gruesomely murdering his brother-in-law just so his wife could inherit the local farm so that he could start a ministry on it! A one-horse town in the middle of nowhere, U.S.A. ! Would I feel safe back there? Probably yes (except for those terrible winters). I'm only trying to point out that even in that small little town you frequently find rapes, murders, robberies, muggings, break-ins (almost daily in the paper), vandalism, arson...and there are places where I probably couldn't walk at night. Chapala is much bigger and there are neighborhoods I would avoid even in the daylight but for the most part I can walk almost anywhere in Chapala Centro without looking over my shoulder.

Do I feel safe here? Yes. That isn't just a gut response to a negative article. It is a realistic response to living here while still keeping in touch with the happenings in my former hometown through family, friends and the local online newspaper.

A city of approximately 14,000 has at least one murder a month? That would give it the highest murder rate of any city in the United States.

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I think it was priceless: sounds like "here" all over again.

If you read the comments to the article you'd think that you were at Lakeside..
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I am grateful for all your personal responses to my question so far. I certainly have learned a lot today. I have to admit I was a bit blindsided this morning from reading the Cuenca High article - up to now I had not read anything on this web-board about security problems in Lakeside. So I have spent the day reading on the internet, and talking to folks, and it turns out quite a bit of other stuff has been written in the past. As most of you know, it really is quite difficult to compare differences between two places because of differences in statistical analysis, different perceptions of people and their personal expereinces etc. But my gut feel, based on what I have learned so far, is that the per capita crime rate against gringos is probably a little higher in Lakeside than in Cuenca. I believe that would be true in two areas - firstly, in terms of per capita murders, and secondly, in terms of home invasions. In the final crime area that I have considered, petty theft, I am thinking that the two might be a wash. However, before any of you attack me on these conclusions, please note, I do not have much of a statistical basis to make this conclusion, it is only based on some reports, and my reading and talking with a limited sample of people. Your conclusion might be different. My next step is to spend more time talking with people about this topic during our upcoming exploratory trip to Lakeside. Before reading all these articles today, I might have said that our chance of moving to Lakeside was over 90%. Now, as I am a bit more informed, I would now say it is a little lower. But at this point in time, the risk still seems manageable, especially since we have already spent 4 years living in Cuenca, and travelling throughout Ecuador, which has some of the similar security concerns as Mexico. I look forward to meeting and talking with some of you when we are in Lakeside. I am hopeful the issue of crime will not be a deal breaker for us. However, it certainly seems worthwhile for us to learn more about this important topic. Thanks again for your help, and I look forward to hearing more.

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From the article:

“For years, the drug related violence here was restricted to certain areas, but this is changing,”

says Roger Hinson, a retired police chief from Virginia who still lives in Ajijic."

"According to Hinson, who runs an expat website, about half those leaving are going home

but the other half are moving to other Latin American countries."

Until this article, I had never heard of Mr. Hinson, though he seems to have expert knowledge

on the migration trends of lakeside residents. Where might I find his website, and what sources

does he reference to substantiate his statements ?

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I've lived here for more than 12 years in both Ajijic and Chapala. I don't go looking for trouble and the worst thing that has happened is that once I carelessly left my purse lying around and it was stolen. Could happen anywhere.

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Lived here for 15 and the rear view mirrors on my pick up were stolen in Guadalajara...Only in Guadalajara!

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I have never heard of Roseanne Norris nor the Canadian body found along the highway in February, nor Roger Hinson who runs a local web site here. Maybe, I need to get out more. Does anyone know of these folks who were mentioned in the Cuenca article or about the body of a Canadian male found in February? I am drawing blanks on all of it.

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Well, here is my take on this, as a resident of Ajijic for almost 10 years:

Petty theft is pretty common. I carry a small purse that hangs across my body. Ladies, if you carry a large purse and hang it over the back of your chair at a restaurant, you are vulnerable. BUT this would be true in so many lovely places, especially places that draw tourists. Guys, try carrying your wallet in a FRONT pocket. I would recommend doing this in Florence, Italy and London, England also. This is a tourist town. Tourists are preyed upon worldwide.

The narcos, in my humble opinion, do not generally prey on expats. I feel quite safe, as attacking me would potentially create an international incident. Stop me if I am wrong, but I think the narcos avoid molesting US citizens and other foreigners. At least in Ajijic and Chapala and Jocotepec. Traveling north is another matter; it is best to drive thru Sinaloa in daylight hours IMHO.

Drugs: That is the big problem, is it not? No small town in the US is exempt, so far as I know. I do not want to get on a rant here, but this scares me.

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Gosh, I sure hope Garth doesn't pass us by. That would be so sad. I did have to wonder though why Garth would leave a

place that is so much safer than here. Still, he is so well informed. All those facts that none of us even knew.

For ten years I have been dumb and happy thinking I was safe in Mexico. Well, except for expats in cars.

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Guest bennie2

jaybearll, murder/assault of an expat is not an "international incident", its not a big deal. CNN focuses on terrorism in iran. once the canadian papers were contacted by the neighbor of the deceased & did a write up. (because the victims were from their city). there are different levels of the drug business. you dont know who does what on the side. the difference between here & the US? its a topic of social conversation w/retired folks. never ever have i heard a word about this untill i moved here. i dont think pickpockets are the worst of it here, but what ever. kidnappings/extortions are typical in mexico, but usually dont target expats. the other creepy things have been discussed on this thread.

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A city of approximately 14,000 has at least one murder a month? That would give it the highest murder rate of any city in the United States.

Sometimes more than one person is murdered. Just one example in the past year where two young guys (early 20s if I remember correctly) robbed a bar after they thought it was closed and killed the owner and a patron locking up. Another young guy at a different time tried to rob a man on the street one evening and the guy fought back and was killed by the robber. The "minister" murdered his brother-in law--found guilty though he still proclaims his innocence. Facts, carcamal. Perhaps you should check out some small town online papers yourself. There was a rich business owner murdered in his home one night and the crime has yet to be solved. I'm not saying that every small town is like mine but yikes! It is true. Economy? High unemployment rate among the young? Just plain greed? I don't know but I read the paper to see how things are going. It isn't hell but it does in fact have unsavory criminals who are involved in drugs and crime and have guns to get what they want. I'll bet almost any small town north of Dogpatch will have the very same problems.

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Sometimes more than one person is murdered. Just one example in the past year where two young guys (early 20s if I remember correctly) robbed a bar after they thought it was closed and killed the owner and a patron locking up. Another young guy at a different time tried to rob a man on the street one evening and the guy fought back and was killed by the robber. The "minister" murdered his brother-in law--found guilty though he still proclaims his innocence. Facts, carcamal. Perhaps you should check out some small town online papers yourself. There was a rich business owner murdered in his home one night and the crime has yet to be solved. I'm not saying that every small town is like mine but yikes! It is true. Economy? High unemployment rate among the young? Just plain greed? I don't know but I read the paper to see how things are going. It isn't hell but it does in fact have unsavory criminals who are involved in drugs and crime and have guns to get what they want. I'll bet almost any small town north of Dogpatch will have the very same problems.

The idea is preposterous that this is typical of towns in the United States. Camden or East St. Louis in their worst years, possibly, but not elsewhere. A dozen murders a year in a town of 14,000 yields a murder rate of 85.7/100,000. In 2013,the last year FBI figures were available, the nationwide murder rate was 4.5/100,000.

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