Mexico Tourism

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This news is two weeks old so it’s not really news anymore. I’m using the story to set up a point.
Carlos Muñoz Portal, age 37, was an experienced location scout for various film productions including “Sicario,” “Spectre,” “Fast & Furious” and “Apocalypto.”
He was scouting in Mexico for the fourth season of the Netflix series, “Narcos”. 

Muñoz’s bullet-riddled body and car were found in a remote area  on a rustic road in San Bartolo, Actopan, near the borders of Hidalgo state, which is said to have the highest murder rate in Mexico. In July, 182 cases of homicide were reported in the densely populated state, a ratio of 12.2 for every 100,000 inhabitants.

Netflix issued the following statement: “We are aware of the passing of Carlos Muñoz Portal, a well-respected location scout, and send our condolences to his family. 
Muñoz’s murder raises doubts on whether the production will continue in Mexico or move back to Colombia where it began. Such a decision would imperil hundreds of jobs that the series’ production would have generated in Mexico.
Various leading narcos have what I refer to as ‘black sites’ (because no crime takes place there) where those people can hang out safely from the police, and the competition. All roads in and out are watched by halcones (falcons), who report suspicious movement. Enter Muñoz, who was running around taking photos.
And the narcos shot him to pieces. 
THIS is a lesson for tourists to Mexico. The country is controlled by cartels and Mexican journalists and spies (same thing) are slaughtered with disturbing regularity. Tourists look very much like a location scout, photographing points of interest. 
I’m repeatedly reassured by people who travel to Mexico that it’s perfectly safe. That’s simply not true. You could also make the case that attending a country-western concert outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas isn’t safe. The truth is that nowhere is safe, but you’re a lot more likely to be killed flat-hatting around Mexico than you are in the US.

12 thoughts on “Mexico Tourism

  1. I am so thankful to have toured extensively in Mexico when I was in my twenties. I would never go there now. I have friends who go to Cabo every year. Cabo is not safe. No siree. Besides, I always think it's strange for people to go to the same darn place every year (unless there's friends or family involved.) If sitting around a bunch of water is your goal, there are plenty of places to find water.

  2. I've been once, long time ago, no desire to ever go back. One of my cousins owns a place in Cabo, spends part of the year there. Swears it's as safe as can be. It's a guarded gated community, and they never get far from the club house or the golf course. Ugh, doesn't appeal to me in the least.

  3. Sitting in a gate-guarded compound on the sand might be safe enough. But that sort of 'vacation' never held much appeal.

  4. Been there years ago. No desire to return. I can get a full Mexican experience eight blocks from my apartment.

  5. Like California, the time to vist was decades ago, I suspect. Sad.
    Somehow Netflix' statement seems… off somehow; but the why escapes me.

  6. It's very mechanical. Some drone hammered out the official statement and likely ordered a basked of flowers to be delivered using the company credit card.

  7. You'd think that Netflix would have had contacts with the real narcos, or people who knew the "rules-of-the-road", and a set of guidelines on where they could, and couldn't (or shouldn't) go.

    But they're "Hollywood", and believe in faeries, unicorns, and their own PR, rendering them somehow immune to the Real World….

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