Is Mazatlan safe to visit?

Travel Secrets Mexico, Episode 7 – Mazatlan – City with a Great Future. “We are convinced that visitors will see through the smokescreen of the often unsubstantiated travel warnings and change their opinions about Mexico and Mazatlan”, Herbert J. Kellner, Executive Producer, Travel Secrets Mexico. Airs on FamilyNet Televison 9:30 PST.

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The National Post, Tor0nto article, Decemember 9, 2013: Come on in, the water’s fine, or why there’s no logic in fearing a trip to Mexico

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Episode 6 – Mazatlan

Travel Secrets of Mexico, The Documentary TV Series, Episode One. Also on air every Saturday 9:30 p.m. (PST) on FamilyNet Television.

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Mexico is safer than other popular destinations.

Mexico, one of the world’s great travel destinations, is often singled out for violent crime without telling the whole story. While there is sporadic violence along parts of the U.S. border, the majority of Mexico’s key tourism areas are not only safe, but safer than many other popular tourism areas.

The Toronto Star, June 20, 2013: “Mazatlan gets its mojo back

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For a beautifully produced, fact filled (all in English), video on the joys and investment opportunities in Sinaloa click below. Quick! You’ll see some of your friends from Mazatlan.

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“Ignore the headlines: Here’s why you should vacation in Mexico” by Marina Jimenez
Article in the Globe & Mail, February 23, 2013

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From October 2012: I first visited Mazatlan in 1964 touring the country with an American Heritage group of high school students. Since then I have traveled to many countries but continue to come back to the many interesting regions of Mexico, and time and time again to Mazatlan. I have never felt in danger, or even apprehensive in Mazatlan. I have traveled around the world and think of myself as some what savvy. I travel the same way in Mazatlan as any where else; I am aware of where I am and what is going on around me, I don’t call attention to myself with a wad of bills or valuable jewelry, and I’m not in questionable areas or on the beach drunk at 3am.

I use the local buses, explore the downtown, eat at hole in the wall restaurants and enjoy myself thoroughly. I act the same in my hometown Portland OR, as I do in London, or New York, or Mazatlan. I think if anything were to happen to a tourist it would be because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time which could happen at home too.

Unlike many other destinations Mazatlan exists as a city in its own right, not just aimed at tourists. I think that’s one of the reasons I continue to like it so much. It’s real. I bring my friends and family here. Everyone I bring comes back again, and so will I. Viva Mazatlan!

Joan Loomis,Portland OR

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( September 2012)Jon Olson from Next Stop tv show was here filming in April. The Mazatlan segments are now online. Look for your friends and especially Glen Rogers in her workshop: http://nextstop.tv/next-stop-mazatlan-segments/

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Mazatlan International Week 2012

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( July 2012) For the second year in a row Mazatlan was named the best family beach in Mexico. Sinaloa’s public relations agency, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, submitted this report. “With over 68 percent of the votes, more than 41 points above its closest competitor, Mazatlán has been named the Best Family Beach in Mexico through an online contest organized by travel company Travelocity. Mazatlan swept the category in Travelocity’s Battle of the Destinations from the first vote, cast by boxing world champion and battle ambassador Mike Tyson. The competition results position Mazatlan as a superior family beach destination, over rivals including Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco,and Ixtapa. “I want to congratulate Mazatlan on being the Best Family Beach destination,” said Rodrigo Cobo, CEO of Travelocity Mexico. “Mazatlan was up against some tough competition, but consistently pulled ahead.”

MAZATLAN: Top 5 Reasons to Visit Mazatlan, Mexico

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From May 13, 2012:  Jon Olson, host of nextstop tv, the on-line travel show powered by Alaska Airlines, recently spent a week in Mazatlan filming a show which will air on September 4. He’s traveled the world and been to Mexico five times, but this was his first time in Mazatlan. I asked him for the highlights, he responded: “Mazatlan is one of our favorite Mexico destinations. What stood out is that it wasn’t as “touristy” as most of the other destinations we’ve featured. It was much more true Mexico, more authentic, which was wonderful to experience. I would personally highly recommend that any traveler visit Mazatlan and we found it very affordable, which also stood out! We truly enjoyed Plaza Machado, a very special part of the city. We filmed our music/dance segment there on a Friday night and it was amazing!”

My next question was about combating the fear factor: “We felt completely safe in Mazatlan and honestly in every other Mexico destination we’ve featured. The American media has blown things out of proportion. There is more crime in American border towns, like Houston, Phoenix and Los Angeles but you don’t hear it sensationalized like it has been in Mexico. Just like anywhere in the US, be smart and keep your eyes open. Don’t venture into dark alleys, etc…it’s just common sense. Mexico is safe, as I’ve said many times to many people. NOW is a great time to visit your lovely country and the people are warm, hospitable and a lot of FUN!”

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Is Mazatlan Safe? What Gringos Say

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Henri Jarrat and his team, plus Luis Ramirez and Wendy Hardouin have asked members of the press to continue to spread positive messages about Mazatlan. They sent an open letter to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) reinforcing our combined distress about the ongoing distortions made by the North American media when reporting events in Mazatlan. Attached to this thoughtful letter was an addendum of emails from all of us who live here – either full or part time – answering the question, is Mazatlan safe to visit? Jim Hight has gathered all our responses and posted them on YouTube. See above. If you would like to add your experiences please e mail Jim at: jbhight@sbcglobal.net. But for all of your friends and family who ask the question, here are our answers.

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On 1/18/12 10:44 AM, Sheryl Erickson wrote:

I am a single woman who is staying in Mazatlan for her 5th winter. I feel just as safe today as I did 6 years ago while staying at one of the big resorts in the Gold Zone. I live in El Centro and have never encountered a scary or threatening experience. As in any big city, I think you have to be smart about what you do, don’t walk down a dark, unlit street alone at night, put the gold away and stick to costume jewelry and stay away from neighborhoods that are unfamiliar to you. I am from Portland, OR and we hear of gang shootings in our city on an almost daily basis. I have been here since December 1st and have not heard of one violent crime in this area since my arrival. This is a beautiful city with ideal winter climate and it is so sad that people are missing this opportunity because of outside media hype.

Sheryl Erickson

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From: Tyfany Pulice

Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2012

Hello Jim; my husband and I bought into the Inn at Mazatlan in 2007 and have returned with our family (we have 3 daughters, 17, 22 & 25) every New Year’s week since. We love Mazatlan, the people are so friendly and we do not feel unsafe in any way. My 25 year old daughter wrote the following which I believe says it all.

I’ve been to Mazatlan on four different occasions, for vacation purposes. I have been to other tourist hot spots in Mexico, such as, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Cancun. Mazatlan was hands down the most beautiful, rustic and welcoming. I was completely blown away by the beauty of Mazatlan. It has so much to offer visitors of all ages. From the one of a kind sunsets, the seemingly endless beaches, the rustic beauty of the Old Town Square, to the 8$ ribs that melt in your mouth from Fat Fish and the wildly entertaining staff at Senor Frogs, there is something for all to enjoy. Mazatlan is a hidden gem. I fell in love with Mazatlan four years ago.

It is so frustrating to hear the various things said about how dangerous Mazatlan is. Every city, town, municipality in the world has its dangers. How can one say downtown Vancouver is any safer than downtown Mazatlan? You can’t. All major cities around the world undergo their share of violence and gang activity. Unfortunately, Mazatlan is a tourist destination and was a main port for many cruise lines, and because of this any violence that occurs is publicized tenfold. It is saddening to see the decline in tourism and I hope that people can overlook the media madness and enjoy Mazatlan again.

Good luck with this!

Tyfany Pulice Burnaby, BC

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In a message dated 1/17/2012 2:30:00 P.M. Chuck Hall writes:

Charles A Hall, the author of the travel book, “Mazatlan IS Paradise,” and have been coming to Mazatlan since 1985, and been here six months a year in a house in a Mexican neighborhood since 1998. My wife and I have never had any safety issues in Mazatlan. Quite the contrary—we have found the Mazatlecos to be kind, helpful, and friendly, both in business as well as social activities.

A recent story should help illustrate: On January 14, 2012 a close friend and two other friends, visiting from Washington State were riding a city bus from El Centro to their resort, The Inn at Mazatlan. She inadvertently left her back pack on the bus containing her wallet, credit cards, cash, Social Security card, cell phone, and room key. A few minutes after departing the bus she discovered the loss and her friend got in a Pulmonia and chased after the bus. He eventually caught up to the bus but upon searching, could not find the back pack. About 8 hours later she received a call at her resort from a Mexican man named Pancho who said he picked up the back pack when he noticed she had left it on the bus. He was on his way to work and could not call until he was finished with his shift, but would deliver the back pack to her resort. At 10:00 P.M. that evening he delivered the back pack with all its contents intact. After a long conversation, words of gratitude, and a reward, four Americans had made a new friend.

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From: William Alexander

Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2012 17:28:48 -0700

Subject: Is Mazatlan Safe to Visit?

It’s not just safe to visit, it’s safe to live here. My wife and I have lived in Mazatlan full time since February of 2009. Not only have we never been a victim of violence, we’ve never even witnessed an incidence of violence. The same goes for the 60 odd expats in the Centro that we call friends or acquaintances. There is a good presence of police on the street. They are helpful and respectful of both Gringos and Mexican Nationals. All in all, Mazatlan is a pretty peaceful place.

Bill Alexander

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On 1/13/12 8:18 PM, “Mike Morrow” wrote:

I have been to mazatlan 3 times since 1985 the last time in 2010 I felt very

safe in mazatlan the people are very friendly and always looking to have a good time and be very helpfull. We took the bus to the central market with no issues and always enjoyed our time there. I would never tell my Canadian friends anything other than its a great place to go.

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On 1/18/12 11:47 AM, “Monica Laudenglos” wrote:

I would LOVE to give my input on travel to MAZ. Is it safe?

My husband John & I travel to Mazatlan twice yearly staying 4-6 weeks each time. Feel safer walking the streets there than Seattle or Tacoma…any night or day! We start walking the Malacon before sun rises each day and walk to dinner after dark. NEVER have we had a problem or felt afraid. Our kids & grandchildren also come for 2 weeks yearly…booked already for April 2012 stay. Several friends are currently renting condos or apartments in Mazatlan from January into May. Mazatlan is a vacation bargain too!

(Loss of cruise tourists has taken a toll on the whole city. It has effected most everyone. What a shame. We have friends who cruise that WANT to stop in Mazatlan. Ships are saying NO.)

You are welcome to use our names or contact us at this email address.

Regards,

John & Monica Laudenglos

Bonney Lake, Washington

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On 1/13/12 8:03 PM, “Kenneth Akre” wrote:

We have been coming to Mexico, for the past 30 years. We have recently purchased a new condo in Mazatlan Sinaloa Mexico, and now plan to live here, for up to about 5 months a year.

We have travelled extensively throughout Mexico for that 30 years, and find that the only difference now travelling than any time before, is that the traffic is much lighter on the highways. We left our motorhome in Phoenix the last several years and drove our car only to Mazatlan and other places that we wish to travel and visit throughout the winter. We find this winter to be even more quite than usual regarding any drug activity. And of course with no cruise ships a lot fewer tourists, and tourist activity, sadly for this beautiful city.

Kenneth Akre,Prince Albert Saskatchewan, Canada

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On 1/13/12 8:51 PM, “John O. Brown, Jr., MD” wrote:

As a dyed-in-the-wool red, white, and blue, conservative republican US citizen, 65 years of age, and having lived for extended periods of time in Miami, FL, New Haven, CT, Boston, MA, Sacramento, CA, and Portland, OR, I will attest that my 4 years of residence in our new home, Mazatlan, SN, Mexico, is the safest I have ever felt. My wife is extremely active in the community socially and otherwise, and does most of her daily travel alone and without fear or hesitation. The US consulate in Mexico is required to report all adverse incidents as they occur; however, they are not required to provide perspective or balance. Mazatlan, Mexico, is far safer (using any parameters) than Miami, FL (my home), and the home of both the busy Miami and Port Everglades cruise ports.

John O. Brown, Jr.,M.D.

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In a message dated 1/14/2012 12:12:25 A.M. Carole Wieman writes: We have been coming to Mazatlan for 15 years after spending many years traveling around the world. We feel safer here than anywhere else in the world. We live 6 months here and 6 months in Minnesota and I have no fear walking home from the golden zone to my apartment halfway down the Malecon. Something I would be very reluctant to do in the twin cities area of Minnesota where I live. My home has been broken into 3 times in Minnesota not here in Mazatlan. My car has been broken into twice in Minnesota, not here in Mazatlan, and we drive down here every year. It’s paradise, the views, the weather and the people are wonderful. Tourists are safer here than in the states.

Carole Wieman.

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On 1/14/12 7:57 PM, “Jacquie Plunz” wrote:

My husband and I have been coming to Mazatlan for 5 to 6 months each year since 2005. At first we lived in our 5th-wheel trailer, but for the past 2 years we’ve rented a condominium on the malecon. We feel as safe, if not safer, in Mazatlan than in our own city in Alberta. We go to all parts of Mazatlan and surrounding area, and have gotten to know and love this beautiful city and its people. We’re so sorry that people choose to believe the falsehoods of the Canadian and US media, rather than the personal testimonials of those of us who return here annually or who live here full time. We’ve also had our children, grandchildren and friends visit us in Mazatlan, and we certainly wouldn’t do that if we didn’t feel it was safe.

Jacquie Plunz

Red Deer, Alberta

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On 1/18/12 6:45 AM, ” Jana and Phil Graves > wrote:

Yes, We love Mazatlan. We both feel totally safe here. We have our kids and grand kids visit.

If we if in any way thought, it was dangerous that would not happen.

We have lived here for 15 years all great among the nicest people around.

I really feel it is more dangerous in the USA than here!

Have a great day!

Jana and Phil Graves

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In a message dated 1/13/2012 3:54:43 P.M. Bob Strasser writes:

Hola Mis Amigos:

My name is Bob Strasser and I have been living in Mazatlan for almost two years now. Mazatlan is a beautiful and safe city for visitors. I can say that with all sincerity because I have walked through most of the areas of Mazatlan from tourist areas to pure Mexican areas during all times of the day and evening and never once had a problem. It is important to point out that the Mexican people are a kind and respectful people but you have to take the same precautions in Mazatlan as you would in any big city in Canada or the USA. Don’t get drunk and walk home late at night by yourself. Don’t wear expensive jewelry unless you have transportation arranged. Stay in a group or travel with a Mexican guide. Don’t leave expense electronic equipment unattended. Don’t carry lots of money with you or flash a pile of bills in public. Don’t go to an ATM by yourself. These are the same rules I would follow in any large city in Canada or the USA and they work here in Mazatlan as well. If you use common sense, then you will not have any problems in Mazatlan.

Hope this helps,

Bob

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From: Sam McQuade Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2012 16:31:38 -0500 (EST) Mexico has a reputation that is totally wrong and totally unfair. The truth is drug cartels are killing each other over territory, and the Mexican government is killing the cartels. Drug violence is NOT affecting Americans! Why? Because we are their customers! We are the people who buy their shit and smoke it! Do I feel as safe in Mazatlan as I do in Bismarck, North Dakota. No. But I feel much safer there than I would in Oakland or parts of LA. My wife and I live in Mazatlan five months per year. We go where we want and do what we want. Never once have we felt threatened or in any danger.

Sam McQuade

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In a message dated 1/14/2012 2:10:54 P.M. Mountain Standard Time (Jack and Valerie Moreau wrote:

My wife and I have been coming to Mazatlan for 28 years, and have spent 14 winters here. We have never had a “safety” issue and believe that if you use common sense, and are not involved in buying or selling drugs then Mazatlan is the perfect vacation spot. Jack and Valerie Moreau, Nanaimo, B.C. V9T 6J1

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In a message dated 1/14/2012 10:42:40 A.M. Bill Demmer writes:

My wife, Jacque, and I are United States citizens formerly living in the state of Texas for many years. We constructed our first home here in Mazatlan in 1981 and have lived here full time for the past 17 years. During those 17 years there has not been a single injury to or the homicide of an American at the hands of the drug violence.. We have a considerable number of house guests each and every year. Our children and grandchildren truly love it here and it is their favorite vacation site. As a matter of fact two of our children just flew in for several days to celebrate my 80th birthday.. We are not concerned about our safety or that of our guest and feel all the outrageous publicity in the United States is absolutely unwarranted. The only thing that has been accomplished by the ill informed news media is the creation of a weaker economy for our wonderful Mazatlan. Bill and Jacque Demmer January 13th, 2012.

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In a message dated 1/14/2012 12:22:18 P.M. Mountain Standard Time Sharon wood writes:

My wife and I have been going to mazatlaan since 1980 almost every year, our kids were very young and my oldest turned 33 yesterday. We have met many wonderful people both mexican nationals and foreigners on our trips down there. Despite the fact that violence has been reported non-stop in the papers here in canada we have never encountered any in our travels here in mexico. We are fully aware that the possibility exists that we may find ourselves in a situation that is dangerous but I don’t feel it is to the extent that the risks are any greater then our home town of Edmonton, ab. The helpfulness of the people of Mazatlan and Mexico in general make our visits very worthwhile and fulfilling. I truly think that the people who are staying away due to the press regarding the dangers of Mexico are missing a wonderful opportunity to experience a culture that is rich with history, good food and great climate. We now take our grandchildren there and I hope I will be around to see our great grandchildren go with us. I sometimes feel selfish and think ” well if people believe everything they hear on the news, more Mexico for me to enjoy without the rest of the gringos” but really Mexico needs our support and we need their great attitude toward life, they have a way of putting life in perspective, something I can’t find in my own backyard.

Rodney Wood

I’m spending my 60th birthday in Mazatlan in February

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In a message dated 1/14/2012 10:24:45 A.M. Mountain Standard Time ( pwoycheese@) writes:

For two months in 2011, my 88-year-old Scottish-born mother visited us in our condo, outside Mazatlan, from her home in Chicago, Il. She loved her Mexican holiday and thoroughly enjoyed the people she met along the way who were so kind to her and caring. En route home, Mum spent 10 days in San Felipe with our daughter and grandchildren. Upon her return to Chicago, people asked if she had been afraid in Mexico. Mum looked amazed and said, “Afraid? Rubbish!”

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In a message dated 1/22/2012 5:38:40 A.M. Mountain Standard Time (Me, olicajanek@hotmail.com writes:

We have travelled all over the world and decided that Mazatlan is the place where we wanted to retire. We have been visiting Mazatlan for 27 years and the last 11 years we spent the winters here for more than 6 months, driving all the way from nothern Ontario. The last 5 years we moved into our home we built on the El Cid golfcourse . It is beautiful here and the people are very friendly not only in the tourist areas but also in the outlying colonias. We enjoy taking visitors on tours of the city and even to El Quelite a quaint town 30Km from Maz. Our children and grand-children are visiting next month and we will certainly take them to enjoy the ambience of old Mazatlan.

For ten years Oli has been helping out at a Family Community Centre in Genaro Estrada a poor colony on the outskirts of Mazatlan. He drives there at least 3 times aweek and has never had a problem; in fact the people there welcome him with open arms and invite him into their homes saying ” Mi Casa es su Casa “. More recently we have encouraged our friends to join in with a Mexican Family that gives out 2300 frozen chickens and 800 bags of staples on Christmas Eve to the poorest people in Mazatlan. This Mexican Family is not rich but put on a huge breakfast at the docks to raise money for the goods. Jorge once told me that they do this to give a good example to their children; I countered that his family gives a good example to all of us. They have been doing this for 20 years. Twelve of us went to different colonias helping to distribute the food and we all shed tears of joy as people gave us hugs and told us that they had nothing for Christmas. This should give you an idea how proud,friendly, generous and beautiful the people are in Mazatlan. We enjoy every minute of our time here and have never had a problem with safety or theft. Last week our friend lost 2 diamond rings on the golf course; after a few days one was recovered when a tourist took off his golf shoes and found the ring stuck on his cleats. This prompted the caddies to search for the second ring crawling over the course and they found it and returned it.

We notice that a lot of people are without a job this year because of the unwarranted bad publicity of the sensational Press and Media coverage that has influenced even the Cruise ships from not visiting Mazatlan. We can only hope that the business Moguls have a conscience and a change of heart when they see our letters pointing out the hardships they have unjustly placed on the people of Mazatlan. Yes there is a struggle for the control of the drug trade but unless you are part of the trade you have nothing to worry about. Tourists are not targetted but respected. Any tourists that we talk to, love Mazatlan as we do.

Oli and Betty Cajanek

58 Alexander St. Lively Ont. P3Y1E6

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On 1/14/12 11:05 AM, “Richard Swanson” wrote:

Jim:

Is Mazatlan safe? I travel a great deal on business. I visit Mazatlan

on vacation. I can honestly say that I feel more safe in Mazatlan than

I do in most large cities in the U.S. In some ways, I believe the added

hype we see in the media about crime in Mexico has actually increased

safety in Mazatlan. In my opinion, the government there is acutely

aware of the issue of safety and if anything, is more committed than

ever to making sure visitors experiences are safe.

Hope this helps.

Rick Swanson

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On 1/14/12 7:16 PM, “Rich Williams” wrote:

I have been coming to Maz for 30 plus years and the safety is not quite the

same as it was. But San Jose Cal is not as safe as when I was a kid( late 50s)

Sac calif has its dangerous areas as does every other large city. When I walk the streets of MAZATLAN I NEVER get that nervous feeling, as all the people

out and about are friendly and never pass with out a friendly greeting.

I don’t get that level of friendliness in most US cities. Try it you’ll love

it!

Rich Williams

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From: Kathi Allen

Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2012 10:50:57 -0700

To: Jim Hight

Subject: safe in Mazatlan

I can walk my dog at night without worry. I feel safer in Mazatlan that in Surrey BC

Kathi Allen -Living full time in Mazatlan since 2008

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In a message dated 1/15/2012 6:21:39 P.M. Louise McCook writes:

Yes, I too feel that a lot of the media has kept visitors away from Mazatlan needlessly. Even as a single senior I have no qualms about returning to Mazatlan, as I feel I am safe there. Louise McCook, a six month resident for the past five years.

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On 1/14/12 7:47 AM, “Charlie Mouland” wrote:

Good Morning Jim. My name is Charlie Mouland. I received a letter from Henri Jarret and your effortto make a film about Mazatlan Safety . To get back to the safety I would be pleased to help you with that. I believe Mazatlan is just as safe to walk on the streets then any city in Canada or the United States, I will give you some examples that happened I lost my cell phone two time and both times it was returned t me when I phoned the number. Another time I had 60,000 pesos in my wallet from a commission I had received from a sale . I was at the movie theater in Gaviotas and it fell put of my pocket when I went to the washroom during the movie. When I noticed It was gone I panicked as I had all of my ID in it as well as the money. we went to the food counter to advise the staff and to see if somebody may have returned it . Which by the way I thought there would be no way somebody would with all the money in it . When we got there a couple was standing there . I told the girl and the man came forward with my wallet, They were waiting to see if the owner would come . He ask me to identify some things in the wallet as he wanted to make sure it was returned to the rightful owner. When he was sure I was the owner he returned the wallet. I offered him 30,000 pesos for returning the wallet as he had not taken one peso . He refused and said he was happy i got the wallet back . The same thing happened when my cell phones were lost the people refused a reward. If I had been in Canada I doubt the wallet or phones would have been returned.

I have travelled extensively and have lived in four different countries since leaving Canada.

Mexico is safe yes there are murders as there are in Canada and the US but as far as safety in the street all you have to do is go to the Malecon every morning or evening to see the amount of walking or anywhere in the city. I Canada where I come from there a constant street assaults here I see none even though there are a few . The last year I lived in Canada I stopped three street assaults in two months in broad day light .

so ask me of Mazatlan is safe and I will defend it to the end

Yes Mazatlan is safe and people who listen to the bad press in Canada and the US are only stopping themselves from having a very pleasant experience in their live.

If I can help please contact me at your convenience.

Thank you and have a good day

Charlie Mouland

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On 1/15/12 7:50 PM, Joella Paquette wrote:

Beautiful Mazatlan, a piece of Heaven on Earth My first experience here was in 1963 when it was still a sleepy small town with only a few big Hacienda type Hotels. I came again in 1981 with my present Husband and was delighted to see many more Hotels and Restaurants, and that the people of Mazatlan had retained their wonderful Culture. Their easy way of living made us relax within 2 hours, and in fact when our Hotel Elevator to our room took us 30 minutes, we simply made sure we had a Margarita with us and stood watching all the newly arriving guests huffing and puffing with a total lack of patience. There is simply no way to feel pressure for very long here.

My Husband and I bought our beautiful Condo here at Paraiso I on Cerretos beach 6 years ago. For the first 3 years we rented it most of the year as we were going through our USA downsizing period due to work retirement. Today we spend 6 months a year here in our Condo, loving every day, enjoying the almost perfect weather, and knowing and loving so many Expatriots, Nationals, and close friends made over the years. There is no end to activities that we can be involved in and in fact we have to hide in our Condo in order to get some rest. Music entertainment is outstanding with multitudes of talented individuals living here and performing here. We have our favorites that we hear perform and our favorite restaurants to dine in, both large and small locations. Over the last 2 years many great restaurants have opened up very near to our Condo so we do not need to drive far for good food and entertainment, but still our favorite experience is to head down into the Old Historico part of Mazatlan to be with the local people walking around the Plaza lighted with amber lights and Nationals and their families walking arm in arm, and always always smiling at us.

There is violence here, but we have never seen it or felt it. There is violence everywhere. In our X-home Town of San Jose, CA people are killed and/or robbed often, cars are stolen, policemen are killed, it happens everywhere in the World. The US Media has done a very poor job of promoting this beautiful and restful place, and in fact have turned Americans and other Countries away from it. Please hear what we are saying to you, this is a small piece of heaven. Mazatlan is a real town with a huge heart, loving warm people. They have done everything they can to attract Tourists and Expats, and we need to help them by telling you the truth! Please hear us and come!

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On 1/14/12 2:24 PM, “Tom C. Whitmore” wrote: I live here in Mazatlán and know as a fact that the city is very safe. Almost all of the so-called violence is between narcotraficantes and does not involve “civilians.” Like any city, Mazatlán has areas I would be reluctant to visit, especially after dark. But the Golden Zone and downtown (especially the Plazuela Machado) are very safe. It is sad how the bad press has distorted the matter.

Sincerely, Tom C. Whitmore

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On 1/15/12 9:05 AM, “Ellen Anderson” wrote:

I feel that Mazatlan is safer than many big cities in the United States or Canada. The media has blown the violence here way out of proportion. I do feel I need to be aware of my surroundings at all times and take safety precautions which I would need to do anywhere I visit in the United States. I feel it is unfortunate that many peple are being scared away from visiting this beautiful city and experiencing the warmth of the people and beauty of its culture. Ellen Anderson full time resident since 2005

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In a message dated 1/16/2012 12:05:52 A.M. Richard and Eleanor Perry wrote:

We have been coming to Mazatlan for almost 20 years and we have loved it so much that we purchased a well-constructed, lovely condo on the new marina just six years ago. We have never had any fears or any problems in this beautiful city and love the warmth and friendliness of the Mexican people. Our condo is a delightful mixture of Canadian, American and Mexican people and we enjoy the friendship and camraderie of all three groups and all three cultures. In the US we live just 17 miles from New York City and frankly, we feel safer here than in many parts of New York. We feel most places in Mazatlan have good security and there are areas of Mazatlan, like New York City, to which we would not go at night but it is like any city in that regard. The beauty of this city – the Malecon, Stone Island, El Faro Lighthouse, the 15 miles of gorgeous beaches and the improvements made in the past few years make it a remarkable place in which to live which we do for four months each year while we escape the winter weather in New Jersey. The cost of living is very reasonable and retirees can live here very comfortably with good medical care at a very reasonable cost, excellent dental care at far less expense than in the states, taxes which are much less than in the states, and with some of the friendliest and most caring people we have ever met. The Mexican people are family oriented, fun-loving and happy people on the whole and we feel there would not be a drug problem if the demand for drugs in the US would diminish and if some unethical people in the US would not so readily sell drugs to the cartels just to make a profit with no consideration of the human lives they are putting in jeopardy by their greed. The drug problem is universal which we know well as we have lost a relative to drugs in California so one need not fear this problem in Mexico any more than in the United States. We would love to see tourism revive here as it is a wonderful place to live and to visit and we are very grateful we made the decision to purchase here and to live here part of the year. We hope more Americans will take advantage of what Mexico, and especially Mazatlan, has to offer.

Richard and Eleanor Perry

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On 1/16/12 9:27 AM, “Sandra Hunnicutt” wrote:

My husband and I have been coming to Mazatlan for 14 years. We have owned a

home there. We have continued to travel to Mazatlan as always, despite all the negative media hype. We have never felt unsafe, especially now since

there has been a major emphasis of government and local oversight. The issues

that have plagued Mexico in general are not occurring in Mazatlan.

Sandie Hunnicutt

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In a message dated 1/16/2012 7:32:42 A.M. Steven Backman writes:

Dear Henri,

In the almost 6 years living here I have heard of 2 foreigners being shot. In San Jose, Ca., one of the safest big cities in America in 2010 we had 20 killings. The chance of being hurt in Mazatlan is slim to none. We have many more crazies at home.

Dr. Steven Backman, D.C.

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On 1/15/12 11:14 PM, Emalie Monarrez wrote:

Hello. I am responding to Henri’s memo about your wanting to hear from some Mazatlan residents about the SAFETY of visiting in Mazatlan.

First, if you have not already done so–Please go to our volunteer website WWW.MazatlanTouristAide.com <http://www.MazatlanTouristAide.com> ( especially the “Meet our Volunteers ” section.

There you will see capsule bios of MTA volunteers who address the warm , friendly ambience that we experience here–and the ABSENCE of any underlying fear for our safety or that of our families or young relatives.

Nancy–age 80?, is cited as having re-assured two women tourists from Seattle of the lack of fear in her daily life.

I myself am a former criminal defense attorney. ( Stanford Law, Class of 1976) . I would be the first to warn away my friends if I had ever thought this was an unsafe city.

drive-.by shootings? muggings, Murders–OH YES!! DAILY!! BUT THAT WAS THE OAKLAND / RICHMOND AREA WHERE I have lived. And East San Jose, Calif., too. Or Salinas , where I grew up.

HERE..in Mazatlan, I can walk alone on the Malecon. I can take a bus late at night and feel no fear that any one is going to accost me.. Friends did not believe me–and were hesitant to visit. Now, ´friends from Vancouver B.C. and Oakland CA have come and discovered for themselves. MAZATLAN IS SAFE TO VISIT. SAFE TO LIVE HERE. PLEASE TELL THE WORLD!

Emalie Monarrez Ortega

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On 1/17/12 1:47 PM, “Norbert Gilmore” wrote:

I come from a city close in size to Mazatlan and honestly I feel safer there than I do there. We have seen this before with the “swine flu scare”, when it was recommended that we not travel to Mexico because of a case or two in Mexico City with a population of 20 million people.

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On 1/16/12 12:24 PM, “James Goodman” wrote:

Good afternoon Jim. Your request for a testimonial to the safety of my city has been sent to me by 2 different folks. I know how critical it is for the economic health of Mazatlan that we correct the false perceptions that people NOB have of our city. My family and I have been full-time residents of Mazatlan since 2003. We live in an ungated, middle-class neighborhood and feel safer here than we did in Denver, CO. I find the Mexican people to be warm, friendly and generally willing to lend a hand. I am not retired, but work in my construction company and also sell real estate with Invest Mazatlan. My wife volunteers 3 days a week at a daycare teaching English to toddlers. My daughter is the assistant manager of a local beach restaurant. We love Mazatlan and know this city is our home.

Saludos cordiales, Jim

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a message dated 1/16/2012 11:57:47 A.M. Larry Hirsch/Dorothy Taylor wrote: My wife Dorothy and I are fugitives from the “rigors” of our home base “winters” in San Diego,CA …….are we nuts?,….. don’t think so. We summer up North, but enjoy the equitable “winters” with the ambiance and local people of Maz. We watched our new condo literally rise from out of the ground, while living on our sailboat at Marina Mazatlan, a stone’s throw away. We cruised the seas for many years and sailed into the Marina five years ago, more by chance than design. Literally after a few short weeks we knew that “this was the place” for our home-away-from-home and have never regretted our choice. When cruising, we visited much of Latin America, the island nations of the Caribbean and all of the countries that border the Mediterranean.

Is Maz safe ? We got here pushing our late 70s and we are now in our early 80s. We have never felt “threatened” and regularly use the local buses, Pulmonias, and drive our 22 year old jeep Cherokee,(which is a permanent resident) all over town, except when we bike several days a week along the Malacon or out to Bruja’s in the North Cerritos area .

Larry Hirsch/Dorothy Taylor

Feel free to use this “endorsement” , “infommercial” in any way that helps…………we need more commercial air service from the States…..w/ sensible schedules and at reasonable cost !!!

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In a message dated 1/16/2012 1:29:22 P.M. Mountain Standard Time (Me, bp-kirby@shaw.ca writes:

Is Mazatlan less safe to visit than any other major city in North America? The answer would be no.

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On 1/18/12 9:52 PM, “PAULINA CARRILLO” wrote:

My name is Paulina Carrillo, born and raised here in Mazatlan, a local. I´ve been to diferent cities in The States and Canada for long periods of time. Cities like New York, L.A. etc. All I have to say is…………die;Mazatlan is safe place to live in, why would´nt it be a safe place to visit?

I jog with my lab every morning. You have to experience mornings at El Malecon en Olas Altas, it is full of americans and canedians living here in Mazatlan part time. Theres the seniors bike group, and the dog walkers, some jog, others take their coffe. But all enjoy our city while you are letting fear decide what to do or not.

There’s Onca explorers, there’s Anglers Inn, there’s Carnaval, there’s the Plazuela Machado, there’s the activities at the local Theather…………Americans are everywhere, even in my Pilates class.

So, if it’s safe to live in, it’s gotta be safe to visit!!!

I’m a therapist and hold my practice downtown. I can be reached at pccpsicologia@live.com.mx

I hope I can be of help. Thank you for doing this for my Mazatlan!!

Grettings,

Paulina Carrillo Collard

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On 1/16/12 6:50 AM, Bonny & Dan Hicks wrote:

> We have been enjoying Mazatlan for the past eight winters, and we have

> never felt any sense of a threat to our safety or security. We are active,

> have fun, and behave ourselves. And we feel that this city is as safe as

> any similar sized community where Canadians, live, work, or visit.

>

> Bonny & Dan Hicks, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

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On 1/17/12 9:41 AM, “Barry Silverstone” wrote:

Jim,

Linda and I have lived in Mazatlan for 5 years. We live in Centro and have never felt unsafe on the streets or anywhere else. We love the city and the people and would not consider leaving. The city does have it’s faults, but we feel they are working to make it better.

Barry & Linda

Barry & Linda Silverstone

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In a message dated 1/16/2012 12:29:30 P.M. Steve Hall writes:

Jim,

The e-mail that Henri forwarded to me is very interesting; I, too, am working on a project to promote Mazatlan.

My name is Steve Hall. My wife, Pat, and I purchased a condo here six years ago, and spend about six months each year in Mazatlan (returning to our little “ranchette” in the mountains of Idaho in the Summer).

Music was one of the things that attracted us to Mazatlan in the first place (we were involved in the effort to save Canucks). I started a little band this year called “Our Gang” (as in the Little Rascals); and we play once a week, on Mondays. We do it because we like to, of course, but the end goal is to raise money for local charities. The “gringos” in our group receive no compensation. The Mexican members of the band, who are trying to make a living with their music, are paid; and, they receive all of the tips. We are proud of the fact that we have raised over 24,000 pesos for charity in just six gigs. [Tonight, for example, our fundraiser is for the Salvation Army Children's Home that was robbed on Christmas Eve; the thieves made off with all of the money that the kids had raised singing and performing in December.]

As a spinoff of that effort, we are now in the planning stages of producing a music CD, featuring musicians who play here in Mazatlan. Here is the basic idea:

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

los GRINGOS in PARADISE

WHAT: A Musical CD

By WHO: Musicians in Mazatlan

WHY: To encourage people to come to Mexico!

To say that visiting Mexico is safe, relative to other parts of the world.

To promote Mazatlan.

To have fun and enjoy the music.

WHEN: January – March 2012

MISSION STATEMENT: Produce quality media aimed at potential visitors, mainly from Canada and the USA, especially those who are “on the fence” about coming down because of the negative media and the perceived dangers.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

We have already had a discussion about an accompanying DVD. We thought that live interviews, and shots of what the city offers, would make a great video, especially with a quality soundtrack (from the CD) behind it.

Anyway, we applaud your effort! And we thought that you should know what we are doing. [Also - we are probably going to form a non-profit Mexican corporation as an umbrella for our projects, and are looking for interested persons to join our Committee.]

Keep us updated on your progress,

Steve and Pat Hall

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