18 murdered, dumped in portrero chico; climbers are fleeing


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Trad climber
estes park
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
I spent a year and a half in central Mexico, before the drug wars escalated. The first time I was there nothing happened to me. Th second time I went down I had a myriad of bad experiences. The context of crime and the danger to foreigners is different than here in the US. Just different. Having street smarts and comparing things to American cities means very little. Yes our culture is almost equally messed up, but in different ways.

Just because people smile and are friendly (most Mexicans are) doesn't mean the countries problems are exaggerated and that everyone loves you. When people suggest this it is simply condescending. To suggest the violence in their country isn't bad and that they are all friendly and welcoming to foreigners, it minimizes their plight. They have a myriad of problems, many of which we are partly responsible for, and there is some genuine and widespread distaste for Americans often simmering below the surface. Ever been spit on before? Then there are some truly friendly and giving people as well, I have many Mexican friends who are great people. The two can present in various ways. My friends here in the US always talk about how bad it is when they go back home, the country has big problems.

True the Cartel's violence is usually between the cartels, but often it spills over as well. White people stick out in Mexico, Mexicans universally assume all white people are American. (like we universally assume all Hispanics are Mexican). There is a long and volatile history between us. You have to be careful. Travel to Hidalgo is probably safe, maybe, I don't know. What if the cartel knew there was a group of rich foreigners 200 meters away? Could they have found a reason to mess with them? Maybe. I can't think of another town in northern Mexico drug territory with this concentration of foreigners, its not unfeasible to think someone might take notice at some point for some reason.
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:17pm PT
But it would be much more effective to simply steal someone else's plants

Chaz, that used to happen to us back in the late 1960s-1970s in Saranap (between Lafayette and Walnut Creek). We’d grow 10-12 plants on our hill, even my mom, who disapproved of the stuff, would water them when I was away climbing or my late brother Mac was at UC Davis, Napa or France.

But even though her dad was a well respected judge, she grew up on a farm in WVA “and I just can’t see plants wither way”. Hence she’d water them for us. And you name it, we grew it – oranges, apples, pears, peaches, olives, plums (Mac’s first winemaking), Cab Sauv vines, cherries loads of veggies, rabbits, chickens, goats, etc. A mini-farm in suburbia.

Long story short, we hardly ever harvested our pot plants, but we know usually who did. We never resorted to guns or violence. Just shrugged our shoulders.

PS I don't smoke the stuff anymore.

Trad climber
estes park
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:33pm PT
More food for thought:




Gym climber
South of Heaven
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:35pm PT
Climbers will be fine. No reason for the cartels to fuk with their paying customers... as long as they aren't sleeping with their women.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:39pm PT
^^^ That would be a decidedly unhealthy assumption to make and live by.
Psychos don't live by pat assumptions made by others.

Gym climber
South of Heaven
Jan 30, 2013 - 01:52pm PT
They aren't psychos, they are refined business men. Don't you ever watch gangster movies?
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:08pm PT

Even worse than this, is they are now breeding dogs so they can insert bags of drugs inside them and then transport the dogs into the US. Once the dogs have the bags taken out of them you can only guess what happens to them after that. If they have no respect for human life, you can only imagine what they do to animals.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:10pm PT
Phug That Shnitzel.

We've got impressive, safer places to climb in the states.


Gym climber
South of Heaven
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:14pm PT
Apparently some people have been bringing their trained attack dog to the crags around here. I guess South Lake is pretty close to Carson, so I'm not surprised.

Social climber
Joshua Tree
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:16pm PT
Once the dogs have the bags taken out of them you can only guess what happens to them after that

Korean BBQ?
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:28pm PT
So to link this to the Bad Kitty thread, which I admittedly started, when the question of invasive species came up, I expressed hope that the Florida python problem would abate.

But as some posters wrote on the thread and I have since researched a bit, those suckers are really taking over south Florida.

So the big question. Who will get wasted first? The pythons or the cartels (of Mexico and the world)?

Or will both problems persist for many moons to come?

A proud and stupid American who lives elsewhere.

Trad climber
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:40pm PT
Yes that's all true dirt cload but the point is gringo climbers aren't in that group. I'm not saying everything is great down here. What happened to the band is horrible whether they had cartel relations or not.

I'm not saying you should come here. I personally think it's safer for climbers now with less climbers. After watching a huge rock fall through a crowd of people on the Jungle Wall during the two crowded weeks near new years, I think the loose rocks on multi-pitch routes are the bullets that have come way closer to killing climbers here.

The title of this tread is false about climbers fleeing. Maybe a few people have left but as of yesterday climbers were still climbing. Also the bodies weren't dumped in Potrero it was Mina. Just trying to shed some truth on the situation, though


.....in a single wide......
Jan 30, 2013 - 02:44pm PT
Borderlandbeat.com is pretty amazing..

seems to be the best source for 411

Steven Amter

Washington, DC
Jan 30, 2013 - 05:47pm PT
This news article from the Toronto Star seems more detailed and up to date than most:


According to the article, which included quotes from a police spokesman, the band member who survived reported that "the 18 musicians and crew members were blindfolded and driven on dirt roads. He then heard the assailants ask fellow band members if they belonged to a drug cartel, shots were fired and the bodies were dumped into a well."

I don't think I'll be visiting too many live music venues when I'm down there next week...


Trad climber
Northern California
Jan 30, 2013 - 05:55pm PT
Climbers will be fine. No reason for the cartels to fuk with their paying customers... as long as they aren't sleeping with their women.

Yeah, I hear that cartels are very careful not to shoot yuppie/hippy gringoes because otherwise the police would get involved. And I'm sure that a Mexican willing to kill fellow Mexicans would probably have reservations about messing with some gringo tourist.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jan 30, 2013 - 06:46pm PT
Guardase maestro Amter!

And have fun!

We will be awaiting your TR so pull down for us, brother.


Mountain climber
Bay Area , California
Jan 30, 2013 - 07:35pm PT
19000 were killed in a year so add another 18 to it
Steven Amter

Washington, DC
Jan 30, 2013 - 07:49pm PT

Big John has my back!

SF bay area
Jan 30, 2013 - 08:19pm PT
And quite a few of those missing Amricans in Mexico are involved in the drug trade, like several in this article.


Big Wall climber
Jan 30, 2013 - 11:51pm PT
.Duane Raleigh:
Your article is very sensacionalist ( aka Tabloid).
you pick careully a single incident and some general statistical data and rush to write this down out of context, inducing the reader to panic without a point of reference... of the real situation and most important:
I was last winter in Potrero for a couple of months and things haven't change much since my last visit.
In the last years there are at least a couple hundreds of climbers per season who stay for several weeks at the area without recalling a single notorious incident and the locals (the good and the bad ones) naturally knows who are all this foreing people.
I will notice that you must exercise common sense visiting potrero like you will do in some other out of states adventorous climbing areas like south america or even europe.
Acurate, sencible information is crucial to succed as a climber.
As a columnist of this magazine you owe to the readers a sound judgement
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