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lynski

Can any locals help with current information?

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Hi

We are thinking of semi retiring to the Chapala area next year and I am planning on going to Ajijic next month for some extensive dental work and a visit to check out the area.

There have been some alarming reports recently by a reporter called Bill Dhal about the ugly side of things, plus a blog post about the recent increase in crime, including kidnappings and carjackings.

I know every area has both good and bad and I am not the faint of heart type but I would love to hear from some locals about what it is really like there at the moment.

Is this guy correct in saying the lake is toxic, children are dying and crime is rampant or is he just trying to hype his book?

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Mr. Dhal didn't like how crowded it was here and is trying to thin out the place for his return.

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This guy showed up around here for a few weeks and became an instant expert.  And he isn't just maligning Lakeside, he's attacking Mexico as well.  He is extremely negative to the point of going right over the top.  He was ignored here which pissed him off.

From time to time we get some "burps" of criminal activity.  The local population knows where their bread is buttered so they manage to tamp it down pretty quickly.  Note that any place that brings relative affluence up against relative poverty is going to have its share of petty theft.  This is the kind of stuff you can prevent with simple care, awareness and common sense.

We've lived here 11 years and find it no less safe than many places we've lived in the U.S.  Here, however, you are more responsible for your own personal and property safety.

I don't know anyone who is leaving because of crime.  The principal reason people leave is either medical or family too far away or both.  That hasn't changed in the time we've been here.

 

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I agree with what Mainecoons posted. I have been coming down lakeside for some 21 years. I feel as safe here as I do in Seattle.  I love it here because of the great weather, the friendly locals and expats, the cost of living, the fact that I can go to Costco if need be and the fact that we have great healthcare here at a very reasonable cost. I could go on and on. Oh and although I speak street Spanish, you do not need to be fluent in Spanish. In fact I know many who have never learned the language.

Oh and I love the fact that I can either stream my favorite TV programs or watch them via satellite to include me Seattle stations. I could go on and on.

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I agree with all of the above answers and I've lived full time in Mexico for 23 years come May 1st. How Bill Dahl became such an expert in a two week visit is amazing. There is an underbelly of crime in every city in the world and most people go about their lives totally unaware of it.  It is no different here.

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I have lived here 12 years. Never a problem. Be vigilant as in any place in the world and don’t dangle money or jewelry. Be aware of your surroundings no matter where you are in this world. 

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The mayor requested help from state and federal police to help with recent crime wave, including murders. Mexican army is scheduled to patrol lakeside about twice a week in the very near future. Read Bill Dahl’s book and decide for yourself about the lake. It is available on Amazon and is a real eye opener. He did about two years of research on the lake before he came here to interview officials locally and in GDL who are directly involved in our lake and its problems. I’m a 14 year resident of Ajijic. Google can also help you with answers to your questions.

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I would phrase it this way.....  assuming that you are the ‘type’ who would migrate to a foreign country to begin with (and not doing this because you need to land in a place where your meager savings can be stretched), your bigger concern should probably be placed not on the ‘safety’ of living here but your ability to be comfortable with the differences in the day to day culture from wherever you might live at this time. This (and all of Mexico) is not a good place for a Type A to settle down. Also adhere to the old saying “don’t leave your brains north of the border’....

As to the lake being ‘toxic’... it’s not the cleanest and most of us don’t swim or boat in it but the Nationals surely do... and eat the fish that come out of it. I can’t imagine what ‘children are dying’ was meant to portray. If this were the case it would be all over the news, even the news that most of us read, and it’s just NOT. “Crime is rampant” is overkill... petty crime exists and probably to a larger extent (in Mexico in general) than where we most all came from. But if it were so ‘rampant’ there would not still be 1,000s of expats living here and having a great time doing so!

 

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Well, me and a lot of others here have done 10 years or more "research" on site and I found his writing exaggerated and sensationalist.  Already there is a very big effort underway to clean up the Santiago, and it has begun exactly where it need to start--with a clean up of the state's environmental office and a big jump in fines for polluting.  Previously the polluters either paid off the inspectors or just paid the minimal fines because it was cheaper to pay and keep right on polluting.  That day is ending rapidly.  A strong program of repair and new treatment plant construction is taking shape.  The Governor has enlisted a lot of qualified help to assess and recommend remediation.

The security problem is a separate issue and there as well I believe the government is finally taking it seriously.  I had gotten somewhat pessimistic about the future of this country as long as the PRI corruptos were running things.  All over the country they were tossed out on their ears, big time here in Jalisco and I honestly believe things are getting better.  As you note, the local and state government is taking the crime problem very seriously.

I recommend you follow Governor Alfaro's Facebook page.  It is clear he understands what has to be done and he is doing his damndest to do it.  I'm amazed at the progress already made by people who have been in office less than 6 months.

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"the lake is toxic, children are dying and crime is rampant"

The lake right now is so full of fish they jump out of the water.  Fishermen are having a great time throwing their nets in and in a matter of 30 seconds coming out with a dozen fish big enough to eat.  These were my observations last Sunday sitting by them for a while. They had big smiles on their faces.  Is the lake toxic? If you dived down to the bottom of the lake and sucked in the muck, you probably wouldn`t live long but heavy metals are...heavy.  They don`t migrate much.  But you don`t get a fish year like this with a toxic lake.

Some of the children in the east villages are dying of kidney disease.  My husband works in those villages and he says that so far there isn`t a consensus about what is causing it.  The drinking water is inadequate, the carp in the lake have been reported containing mercury and the nutrition of these people is piss poor.  These things are known.  There are people working on this, there have been studies done but much more needs to be done.  Why isn`t it being reported? Because here, the problems of the poorest of the poor don`t get reported.  You have to go to these places, speak Spanish and come to be trusted to find these things out.

Rampant crime? You`d have to point it out to me because I haven`t seen it.  None in the area I live in.  There`s been a few murders reported in the larger area.  More than anywhere else?  The statistics don`t show it. As far as I know, the impact on people`s lives is about nil.

I`m happy as a clam here and nothing in recent memory has affected this one jot.

 

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Like the old saying goes here.  "The cobblestone streets here have caused more damage by far than any cartel !!!"  In the states with all the shootings for no reason I have a license to carry a weapon but here i have no desire whatsoever.  The tranquil life here to me is like the 1950's in the U.S.  Yes, be wise and yes be cautious as living anywhere in the world but we love it here and would not want to live anywhere else.

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Agree with the above posts.  We have lived here just over 8 years and although the crime activity has increased this past year, keep in mind that it always seems to when we have a government change!  Gets a little rocky for a time then all quiets down again.  It is something you just have to get use to and relax with.  It 's just how it is in this country.  Like it or not.  We feel very safe here - well, then again I guess everybody feels safe until they don't.

Do your research and remember that there is no perfect place on this planet, but this is as close to perfect (for us) as we can find.

 

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Thank you so much everyone for your fabulously informative replies. I'm so glad I asked locals! We're not the faint of heart type, have moved often and always research, visit and rent first before major moves. I like to know the good, the bad, and the ugly!

TBH I suspect it would be safer than most American schools at the moment. We moved to Montana from Australia five years ago after reading about the good skiing in Bozeman in a magazine. While the USA is in a very sorry state at the moment we love Montana despite the fact that nearly everyone carries a gun and there is a major meth problem here. It is so funny in the gym changing rooms listening to sweet little old ladies talking about their cute new pink .38 or their new conceal carry purse.

So I'm just about to look at flights and make my first appointment with Dr Barragan. Looks like we will be making at least three trips there this year so I will be much more personally informed.

Thanks once again!

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IMO, you have picked a great Dentist in Dr. Barragan.....

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7 hours ago, MtnMama said:

You are very right - there has never been a school shooting in Mexico.

Student shoots teacher and classmates before killing himself at Mexican private school

 
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
JAN 18, 2017 

A 15-year-old student opened fire at a private school in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey on Wednesday, shooting a teacher and two other students in the head before killing himself. Another student suffered lesser injuries in the shootings, which were captured on a chilling video posted to social media.

https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-mexico-school-shooting-20170118-story.html

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I am sort of a newbe compared to many on this board. I have been living here perk near 19 years business owner dual nationality and have not changed my lifestyle the least ioda.   

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On 3/26/2019 at 5:36 PM, Mainecoons said:

 And he isn't just maligning Lakeside, he's attacking Mexico as well.  He is extremely negative to the point of going right over the top.

 

 

irony.jpeg

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Haven't seen anything lately,  but he was sharing his fountain of negativity on the Mexico Expats forum with an emphasis on his book.  It was obviously all about selling something: his book.😎

I've found this to be a great place to live, overall.  There are some warts, but doesn't every place have them?  I've lived in Lakeside happily for over ten years.

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Maybe if you can share all the reasons you are leaving Mexico, we can be more helpful....perhaps some of them will follow you to MX...maybe not....For sure our  Climate is great...but many locations do not have "good" internet service 

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5 minutes ago, lakeside7 said:

Maybe if you can share all the reasons you are leaving Mexico, we can be more helpful....perhaps some of them will follow you to MX...maybe not....For sure our  Climate is great...but many locations do not have "good" internet service 

Thanks Lakeside 7but I'm not leaving Mexico, we are thinking of moving there for 6-8 months of the year from Montana initially. Maybe full time eventually. We are also looking at Boquete in Panama, we don't like extreme heat and humidity so are only looking at places with reasonable elevation. My dental work is extensive so I'm sure we will be there several times over summer so I can see it at its hottest there.

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47 minutes ago, lynski said:

Thanks Lakeside 7but I'm not leaving Mexico, we are thinking of moving there for 6-8 months of the year from Montana initially. Maybe full time eventually. We are also looking at Boquete in Panama, we don't like extreme heat and humidity so are only looking at places with reasonable elevation. My dental work is extensive so I'm sure we will be there several times over summer so I can see it at its hottest there.

Spring is when the weather is hottest here: March, April, May, and beginning of June. Rains begin mid-June and things cool down then. Usually. 

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