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Beware of police corruption and safety risk in Acapulco

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San Francisco...
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Beware of police corruption and safety risk in Acapulco

I returned from Acapulco early June. We were twice victims of a police shakedown -- 10 minutes apart.

We were driving a rental car on the downtown strip at noon, and a "tourist" officer on foot signaled a police car to pull us over. We were just driving in a traffic jam with all other cars going 10 mph. He demanded money from us. We insisted to go the police station or for him to give us a ticket but he won't give the license back -- he got his $20 after ten minutes of debate. At some point, we just wanted to get out of there and gave in to corruption.

Ten minutes later, a "city" police car pulled us over an attempted the same. Out of money, we were much more aggressive -- and he let us go within 2 minutes.

When I called the tourist police office to report it with the help of resort staff, they asked for us to come in person to make a report. I laughed, since BOTH incidents happend less than 1 mile from the office!! I wasn't leaving the resort until it was time to get to the airport.

I reached out to the US Consulate, who of course is all too familiar with this story. His advice is to basically keep insisting on a ticket or to go to police station -- which we attempted. Try to get as much information on the police as you can and the consular will help report the incident. I also learned from staff at the resort that the police cannot issue tickets to tourists as an attempt to stop this police behavior -- clearly it didn't work.

After sharing this story, two friends had worse first hand experiences in Acapulco. We are grateful to be phyically unharmed. My family will never go back to any part of Mexico.

If you do decide to go, make sure you have the US Consular's phone number in your cell phone.

Cozumel, Mexico
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1. Re: Beware of police corruption and safety risk in Acapulco

20 bucks is all...What is the safety risk?....What did you do wrong to get pulled over?....How are you greatful that you would get physically harmed? Did they beat you, or threaten to?

Corruption does exist everywhere in the world. You just got a little taste of it and it probably rocked your bubble world. Welcome to a life experience. I live on the other side of the pond, and a little different here. But for a few bucks, the problem goes away, instead of going to court in front of a Judge...

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Beware of police corruption and safety risk in Acapulco

1) Driving straight down the street, following traffic, going 10 MPH.

2) Safety risk - when the police are so corrupt that their response is "it happens all the time, sorry, come in and fill out a report if you'd like", I don't feel the police can offer *any* protection.

There was an under reported gun battle the Sunday I was there between 2 cartels and the federal police force.

Also, a friend had an experience there -- which I just found out about after sharing my story -- where the police did assult him and rob him while he was just walking back to his hotel 2 years ago.

3) bubble world? Hmmmm. When I take my family on vacation, I am interested having a level of comfort in our personal safety. I am not going to take my chances again in Acapulco. Not with young kids. I've always lived in big cities and well traveled, and things happen... cab driver scams and kid theifs in Spain, pick pockets in India, Chech street hustlers, etc. Had many attempts that role off. But, when the police *are* the problem, I have no interest in spending time there again.... not when I intend for the trip to be relaxing. To each, his own, and everyone needs to make their own decision based on information. I want to share my experiences.

One other piece of advice I later heard -- always keep a photo copy of your ID to give the police... never give your real ID to them.

Boston
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3. Re: Beware of police corruption and safety risk in Acapulco

" Corruption does exist everywhere in the world "

I usually just read and once in a great while post on these boards but I couldn't let this one go.

Please, Im not an active member of this board or an active tourist to Acapulco as I once was, but you must be insane to you insinuate that this is normal, Its NOT, and its been like this for years even back in the 70's when I use to come and enjoy Acapulco back when it was some what normal. Is it to anyone’s surprise why many Americans dont bother with Acapulco anymore? until they clean there act up once and for all and try to make people feel safe it will remain what it is.

South Florida...
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4. Re: Beware of police corruption and safety risk in Acapulco

I have been stopped as many as 4 times a day by the policia

looking to take a bite out of this gringo.

I always speak English only and pretend to make various cell

phone call. (i.e.;Hertz, Avis, President Obama lol... whomever...)

If you really want to drive...It's part of the Acapulco driving experience.

After the good cop-bad cop routine (there are always 2 police)

and my insisting on a ticket and never considering paying a bribe;

they always let me go. It may be 5, 10, 15, no more than 30 minutes...

but they let you go.

****Important...... if you really must drive in Acapulco....

Every year I get an International Driver's License at AAA , so when I get stopped I never give them my "real" driver's license.

Happy motoring.

Floral Park, New...
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5. Re: Beware of police corruption and safety risk in Acapulco

Sorry this happened to you I really am...Just that this has happened all too often it surprises me that people always seem to find the forum section of TA when something bad tlike this happens.

There are about 500 threads on the subject of DO NOT rent a car in Acapulco or this will happen to you. This is not to offer an excuse for corruption but these forums have tons of information at your finger tips use it. I have no doubt these clowns would have put a damper on my day but ruin my vacation!! Not a chance!!

Lesson learned and hopefully you can alert the next traveler of what not to do...Thanks

Pinellas Park...
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6. Re: Beware of police corruption and safety risk in Acapulco

Too bad you didn't do your research before you decided to go to Acapulco and to rent a car in Acapulco. If you had searched the forum, you would have come up with tons of topics on renting a car in Acapulco and what you should do if someone tries to shake you down. Most of us will tell don't rent a car.

As far as shoot outs between the military and the cartels, unfortunately that is nothing new and a lot of it goes unreported. What a shame that you are writing off an entire country because of being shaken down in Acapulco.

IMO there is no need to rent a car. You can take a bus, taxi or hire a private driver and avoid all the drama.

Floral Park, New...
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7. Re: Beware of police corruption and safety risk in Acapulco

This could be a help!!!

en.rian.ru/world/20110629/164902913.html

New Orleans...
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8. Re: Beware of police corruption and safety risk in Acapulco

Really unfortunate that some don't check these forums before they go... what the police did is of course wrong, yet part of the traffic police's culture there. As has been said a gazillion times on here, there is really no point in renting a vehicle in Acapulco. That and to steer clear of the local cops.

Cozumel, Mexico
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9. Re: Beware of police corruption and safety risk in Acapulco

"Never give your real ID to the Police" So that makes you a...........also?

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10. Re: Beware of police corruption and safety risk in Acapulco

Sorry to hear that it happened to you. Definitely tends to overshadow the rest of the trip. In hindsight, you can see how other members are pointing out that you should not have rented, but on the other hand, it sucks that you would have to tailor your travels based on corruption. So I feel for you.

But besides that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln? Did you have a good time otherwise?

Edited: 30 June 2011, 13:02