Sunday, January 31, 2010

Guanajuato, Mexico -- Arrivals

In my quest to present The Plain Truth About Living in Mexico, no fluff, a news report caught my attention this morning.

My usual morning routine is to settle down with the laptop in front of the Tele, have a hot cup of coffee, and watch the news coming out of Mexico City.

For American tourists, the Mexico City Airport is the normal destination when coming to Guanajuato. In a lot of cases, where flights to the Leon, Guanajuato are more expensive, Mexico City becomes the arrival target for economic reasons. I think this is a mistake but no one ever listens to me.

Though saving a few bucks is the major motive for arriving in the Mexico City airport, a story on the morning news is one reason for reconsidering how to arrive in Mexico when heading to Guanajuato.


Visitors to the ATM's and Money Changer kiosks are ending up on the wrong end of an encounter with a Mexico City Robber!

The Mexico City Airport being the hub for the entire country, has more than twenty million passengers passing through its gates each year. It is the busiest airport in all of Latin America. And, this airport is becoming increasingly dangerous to use the cash machines and money changing kiosks, according to the TV Azteca news story.

Personally, I would avoid Mexico City airport if at all humanly possible. However, if you must arrive at that hub I would make sure I had changed my dollars, or whatever, into pesos before arriving in Mexico so that I had a wad of cash hidden on my person before reaching Mexico City.

If Guanajuato is your destination, change your arrival plans to come to the Guanajuato airport instead of Mexico City.

This story I saw featured a video surveillance of a criminal following , in the airport, a woman who got through customs then headed for the cash machines. She put her money, about seven thousand pesos, into a purse which the thief relieved her of promptly.

Recently a Frenchman was followed outside the airport after getting a cash machine withdrawal and shot in the head during the robbery. Jan. 2009, FOXNEWS:

The 55 year-old French biotechnology researcher, who works at a Mexican university, was attacked and robbed of euro4,800 ($6,336) on a street near the airport, assistant city prosecutor Luis Vasquez and police said. He is in serious condition at a local hospital.

Officials at the French embassy said they could not confirm the victim's name or home town.

Mexico City police chief Manuel Mondragon said criminal gangs have posted lookouts at some of the money exchange businesses inside the airport. The lookouts tip off associates waiting outside who rob the victims after they leave the terminal. The gangs often use extreme violence.

The lookouts "send a message by radio or telephone about who has changed money ... and then cars are sent out to intercept the person," Mondragon said. "When the victim resists, it unleashes the most incredible violence, like shooting this man in the head."

A connected issue to ATM crimes is as follows:

Also, "libre" taxis are often connected to express kidnappings, which are abductions where the victim is held captive for a matter of hours in order to obtain a small ransom, or the victims are shuttled to a series of ATMs and forced to withdraw funds. Because 24-hour withdrawal limits are now the industry standard for ATM cards, express kidnapping victims are being held for 24 to 48 hours to maximize withdrawal amounts.

If I were you, I would NOT fly into Mexico City.


A Walk Through Mexico's Crown Jewel: A Guanajuato Travelogue CLICK HERE



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