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Safety in Cabo, a warning

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Phoenix, Arizona
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Safety in Cabo, a warning

I'm sorry to have to add a qualifier to the post about safety. We've been down here three weeks now. In that time, I've heard of three instances where the police have stopped young men and tried to extort money from them.

The first time happened to a friend of our son. He had left Squid Roe about 2 am to go back to his hotel. The police stopped him on a side road, pushed him against their car, demanded to know where the drugs were. He said again and again he had no drugs, although he was drunk. The police made him strip, waved a gun around and then put him in their car. When he realized they were driving away from the center of town, he started offering them his money. They took $250, but let him keep his I-phone when they made him get out of the car. He told us about this the next morning when he came to our timeshare to visit.

The second time also happened last week to some friends my daughter met in a bar. The two guys from California had been walking home from a bar about 3 am. The police picked them up and again roughly questioned them about where they kept the drugs. They denied. The police drove them to the jail, locked one of them up, and told the other to come back with 500 pesos to get his friend out. The guy was able to get the money from an ATM at a bank.

We were telling these stories to a guy in the lobby of Hacienda del Mar, who is an American but works here. He said the same thing had happened to him several weeks ago. He was on his own, walking from the bars late at night and the police picked him up and started hassling him about drugs. Because he's fluent in spanish, he was able to tell the police that he'd report them to the authorities. They let him go.

In all these instances, it was young guys, late at night, leaving the bars who were hassled. It was also during Spring Break season. So I think the average tourist can still feel perfectly safe in Cabo. But I hate to see the police using these bullying techniques in a town that has always been safe and family friendly.

Denver, Colorado
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1. Re: Safety in Cabo, a warning

For obvious reasons, it's always better when the person who actually experienced the problem posts about it for his/herself. It can be difficult for some people to accept as truth things that are posted in the third person.

Over the years, we've learned that, usually, there is more to the story. That's been the experience on this forum, anyway.

Not at all saying that police shakedowns don't happen (I know they do). Anyone contemplating leaving a bar in a foreign country in the wee hours should most definitely be on their toes -- if not for policia looking to score a mordida, how about your run-of the-mill thug (or worse, rapist). People who've been drinking and are in public with no witnesses around make easy targets for criminals of all types.

Cabo San Lucas...
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2. Re: Safety in Cabo, a warning

DMWalker – I agree 100% with your comments.

Just FYI – A very similar story was posted on Baja Nomad 3 weeks ago. Very similar. Same time, same place, same ride away from town and they even left him his cell phone.

Also – 2 cops pick up a couple of people, take them to the station (where there are other cops) and only get $40. Even in Mexico, assuming a four way split – hardly worth their effort or risk

Duluth, Minnesota
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3. Re: Safety in Cabo, a warning

does this happen...? I don't doubt it does occasionally, heck, cops everywhere go over the line sometimes, no excuse for it of course. But when the play by play comes from drunk young people late at night, and you add in the language barrier, who knows??

Best to travel in groups, stay on the main streets, and take cabs instead of putting yourself out there. my .02

Phoenix, Arizona
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4. Re: Safety in Cabo, a warning

The reason I posted was because I didn't believe it could happen in Cabo either. One of the best things about visiting here is that it has always been a family friendly place. But after hearing about it three times in three weeks, I thought it should be reported.

I know the first event I told about happened because the guy was still shook up about it the next morning when he saw us at PBSB. We talked about it for an hour, and he said he was just walking back to his hotel when they stopped him. We've known this guy since kindergarten, and he's not a heavy partier or aggressive type.

The second instance I won't vouch for, because it was guys talking in a bar.

The third incident is from the guy who manages the rental car business at Hacienda del Mar. I can't imagine why he would make it up. He was sober. He speaks fluent Spanish and says they used searching for drugs as the excuse to stop and search him.

It sounds to me like the Cabo police have found a lucrative side business from young guys who are not going to report it. (Nor are they likely to post about it here, because it's happening to 25 year old guys, and they don't post on Tripadvisor!). Evidently, if no one is even willing to believe that it is happening, the police will continue to get away with it.

cabo
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5. Re: Safety in Cabo, a warning

Of course it can happen in Cabo. Cabo is not in a bubble. Some Mexican police are corrupt. Some Cabo police are corrupt. Lots of drunk spring breakers wandering the streets alone in the middle of the night, aka easy targets, right now in Cabo. I don't find any of this shocking.

I can vouch for the fact that nothing good ever happens after 1am.....in Cabo or pretty much anywhere else. Unless your name is smrbrz or Caboshorty

Tacoma, Wash
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6. Re: Safety in Cabo, a warning

:))) true words tacCabo.....BSFRTT

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Safety in Cabo, a warning

Happens all the time.

One he should not be carrying that much money.

Two 500 Pesos is the going rate.

Three knowing Spanish will make all the difference.

Walking late at night should be done only with other people or take a cab.

I've watched my Mexican friend get shaken down three times now since the end of Dec.

When the cops are hungry they will take whatever time to find a reason.

Never carry large sums of money allow for a few hundred Pesos extra in your pocket beyond what you think you need for the day.

New Jersey
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8. Re: Safety in Cabo, a warning

I agree with TacCabo with one change, the older I get the more I feel that nothing good happens after 8pm! Just heed the warning

9. Re: Safety in Cabo, a warning

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Removed on: 23 March 2013, 20:05
Olympia, Washington
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10. Re: Safety in Cabo, a warning

When police were doing traffic shakedowns south of Cancun, the consular representative got involved with the Mexican government. They still continue, but to a lessor degree. This behavior will continue until the supervising officers stop it, unless they of course happened to be part of the problem.

Where are the resort owners when we need them to apply political pressure? If 10% of the tourists decided to not come because of these alleged behaviors, it would cost the companies mucho dinero. Would you resort and bar owners please intervene to protect your investment and decent employees?