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Crossing the border & Driving


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#1 mlfoto

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 08:59 PM

I haven't seen anyone deal with this topic recently. We are planning on crossing the border next week at Del Rio, TX/Ciudad Acuņa and making our way to Cozumel. We sat by a Texas family, who live near Del Rio, today in a Colorado restaurant. They were appalled that we would consider going into Mexico at all, much less cross the border at Ciudad Acuņa. The talk went from murders and land grabs to attempted kidnappings and total chaos. Unfortunately, my in-laws were visibly disturbed, despite our easy time of driving down and back last March and May.

I've driven to Cozumel twice and have never had a problem. While I realize the border has its own unique set of problems, I have felt that crossing at a spot away from Juarez, Loredo and Reynosa would be about as safe as possible. Early on a Sunday morning is my preferred time.

Does anyone have any recent experiences to suggest that I am putting myself and my wife in danger? Any more risky than driving through LA?

Stories or advice would be helpful.

Thanks,
Michael
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#2 Kandy

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 09:33 PM

mlfoto

I don't have any recent experience. However, my husband and I are in the final phase of moving to Cozumel; we currently live in Texas. Five years ago, I wouldn't have hesitated to drive down with the last of our things. We have talked extensively about current conditions on the mainland and there is no way we'll do it now. We'll ship what little we're taking with us and sell everything else including our vehicle. Cash travels much easier and I can buy whatever I need down there.

I guess if you do some really good research and plan your trip around the hot spots, you'll be OK. Just be very thorough and very careful. Others may disagree and think I'm being foolish. I'll be interested to see.
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#3 Coz2wonder

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 09:46 AM

mlfoto, I sent an email to Marcos (sanmiguelmoving@gmail.com) who moved us down here. I asked him for advice as to where you want to cross the boarder.

I figured if I had a contact, who does this for a living then it sure wouldn't hurt to ask the question(s).

Will let you know what I hear from him.

I understand the concerns that have been voiced to you...it's similar to telling people your driving through South Central LA...

Go through early, with a full tank of gas, and get out of Dodge FAST

Good luck...
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#4 Carey

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 11:19 AM

Most people I've talked to cross at Matamoros. I think I have that spelling wrong. But it's the crossing closest to the Yucatan and therefore inherently somewhat safer as a lot further from all the drug action.

I would check the forums at mexconnect.com as this is an excellently run set of discussion groups that have members from all parts of Mexico. I think they charge a subscription but it might well be worth it. Actually, I may still get a free pass with them because I wrote an article for them on Cozumel a long time ago. Let me see what I can find out for you. Will report if I come up with anything current.
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#5 Carey

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 11:34 AM

Sorry, couldn't find anything. Let's see what Paula's guy has to say. Ciudad Acuņa isn't exactly coming up reassuringly in an internet search, however, with news stories of cartel violence as short a time ago as the end of August. Unless you can get confirmation from Paula's guy, I'd be inclined to cross like most people do at sleepier Brownsville/Matamoros.
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#6 TRAVELER89

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 04:17 PM

Having lived in Texas for 20 years and started crossing the border in 1970, we usually crossed at Nuevo Progresso (a daytime crossing only) or McAllen/Pharr(take the new bridge), if we were going to the interior, Both are safe, easy and quiet border towns normally full of Winter Texan tourists from the Rio Grande Valley. Coming south, we usually enter town at breakfast time. The customs & bancercito are at the same location; at the foot of the bridge, before the customs booth, in a parking lot to your right. You can do everything there and even walk out the front door to an ATM for pesos, or across the street at a bank. Once finished, we usually move the car a couple of blocks south and have a hearty breakfast with good coffee. Then, we drive south past the Cuota and take a right on Rt. 2. Proceed past Rio Bravo and into Reynosa, where you will find a new intersection to Rt. 97 (Toward San Fernando). That will take you to Rt. 101 and toward Ciudad Victoria.

Note: Many of the roads in the states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon,Tamaulipas and Veracruz have been damaged by recent rains and flash floods(see link below.....) according to Sanborn's there are still roads closed and high water in some areas, I would avoid Brownsville-Matamoros area..... Get to the Texas side early enough the day before you cross to get you insurance((if you don't have it) NOTE: insurace offices may be closed on Saturday this time of year)) and do any last minute shopping.

Contact Sanborn's for more info...:
Sanborn's Insurance Customer Service
http://www.sanbornsi...compprofile.php
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. (CST)

More info....: http://sanbornsinsur...el-and-tourism/
1-800-222-0158

Map link: http://www.maps-of-m...co-map-c1.shtml

Hope this helps.......
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#7 mlfoto

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Posted 20 September 2010 - 04:27 PM

Thanks for the information so far. I should mention that we are coming from the west, and would prefer to not travel to the eastern most border crossings. We like passing through Saltillo and Queretero, rather than driving down the east coast (especially with all of the recent rains). So, we are starting to see that Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras might be a little calmer than Del Rio/Ciudad Acuņa.

Please keep the good advice coming.

Michael
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#8 Coz2wonder

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 12:18 PM

brief message from Marcos...he will answer questions at dawn (at least that was the translation)

Use Marcos blackberry contact which is:marcosmohoric@hotmail.com

He does speak perfect English, but for some reason responds in Spanish...
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#9 TRAVELER89

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 04:54 PM

Every place you will be passing through has had moderate to heavy rains lately, with local street and highway flooding, watch for land slides and washouts. When you get into southern Veracruz and Tabasco you will find a great deal of lowland flooding.... Drive carefully

T.
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#10 Guest_pecosgirl_*

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 08:23 PM

I just moved to Del Rio/Acuna 6 weeks ago. I think you'd be fine crossing here or at Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras. IMO both are safer than any place else. That's just my opinion. My husband is a teacher here and his students visit Acuna all the time. Another teacher's wife is from Acuna so they go all the time to visit relatives and he says it's great and we should go. The principal told us not to go. Are we going to go? Of course. Besides...how much time are you actually going to spend in any of these border towns on your way to Cozumel? Safe travels.
P.S. Another place that'd be good to cross would be tiny Prseidio/Ojinaja. You'd be in and out of there in no time.
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#11 roxie

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 08:49 PM

I have crossed over and spent quite a bit of time in Acuna and can recommend it as a safe place to cross. I have often gone over there just with my elderly mother and felt totally safe. I have also crossed many times at Progreso and it is very safe there as well. I feel Matamoros is a more questionable crossing. I personally would not want to cross there. Many times I have been vacationing within 3 miles of Matamoros and chose not to cross. Every since those kids got killed over there, I just get the creeps..
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