Highway 5 Ambush

pascuale

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  • Aug 14, 2004
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    This was reported to me by a resident of Gonzaga. I drove this road last week. Never had any issues. Be safe out there.


    From Rudy, full time resident in Punta Final. ….

    Caravan of Tourists Ambushed on Highway 5

    Edit to Add: This occurred during broad daylight and we now know that one of the stolen vehicles was recovered by LE yesterday afternoon



    --------------------------------------------------------


    Dejando Huella is a local and very reliable news source operated by my good friend Angel Anguiano who has very good sources with the local, state and federal police / national guard.

    Angel reported earlier this morning that last Wednesday, August 11, tourists traveling in a caravan of three vehicles were ambushed at kilometer 148 on the Puertecitos-Chapala Highway.

    Authorities were contacted by the manager of a local business in Bahia San Luis Gonzaga who informed the responding officers of a group of 7 foreigners who arrived, stating that while traveling on the Puertecitos-Chapala Highway, a black Toyota Tundra Pickup Vehicle blocked their way.

    Several armed men wearing hoods got out of the vehicle blocking the highway and took their personal belongings and then fled northbound with their vehicles.

    The vehicles reported stolen are a black Chevrolet Tahoe, a white Toyota Tacoma Pickup and a Toyota 4Runner truck.



    -------------------------------------------------------


    *** This has been a concern of mine and why I do not personally recommend that long, remote section of highway to travelers. It's an open invitation for such types of events. I understand that others may feel differently but that's just my dos centavos ***
     
    Jun 5, 2006
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    Really bummed to hear about this. What a shame. So do we take the risk of the highway danger on Hwy 1 or run the gauntlet of bandidos on Hwy 5? I am going to BOLA next Friday and was thinking about asking if anyone wanted to caravan but it doesn’t look like it helped this group of 3 vehicles. WTF really
     
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    pascuale

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  • Aug 14, 2004
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    Really bummed to hear about this. What a shame. So do we take the risk of the highway danger on Hwy 1 or run the gauntlet of bandidos on Hwy 5? I am going to BOLA next Friday and was thinking about asking if anyone wanted to caravan but it doesn’t look like it helped this group of 3 vehicles. WTF really
    Yeah its something to consider. I would take the 1 for now. If those guys were successful, they may keep doing this. On the other hand, its all a risk. Gotta keep living. Maybe once you get to Puertecitos, wait for several cars and just hang in the back.
    The military checkpoint at Gonzaga is gone. No military there anymore. That opens up more opportunity.
     
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    Dogman619

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    They pulled this same thing about 2 or 3 years ago. Right after the road was complete. Where the old machinery is set up by cocos, they had blocked the road and robbed a cpl. Didnt take the vehicle then.
    They recovered one truck the next day and said it's a known gang or group that they are aware of. Problem with 1. Is they pulled the same shit at el marmol cpl years back too. So just remember it's a one time event. If you live dont go back. That's how I look at it. What else can we do? Ram the truck and pray you live through the carnage?? Idk.
     
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    michael e. bingham

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    May 26, 2015
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    Thats fucked up for sure , baja is just starting to see people traveling again because of covid and now this happens along with rising numbers of covid cases , people are hurting and this isn't going too help
     
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    baaadlybent

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    Sep 5, 2006
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    All my Baja neighbors have talked about the "what ifs" this ever happens to us. What will we do? I always said I'd put my F-250 Diesel in 4x4 and run their asses over. So...in January I was driving home from LA Bay and just north of Gonzaga in the middle of freaking nowhere at 4am in the dark when I round a corner and there is a cop blocking the road with his lights on. I have about 100 yards to go and I'm thinking wtf am I going to do? I guess I'm not so tough after all cuz I didn't run him over. I roll up and open my window. There's a mexican cop with one hand behind his back and speaks perfect english and says he needs my help. I'm like...what? He says he backed his truck off the road to assist someone and now he can't get out of the dirt because his 4x4 won't activate. Says his police mechanico just replaced the trans and must have screwed something up. So I get my tow strap and yank him out. He says thanks and I take a moment to tell him what it's like for a gringo to be stopped in the middle of nowhere in the dark by a cop with one hand behind his back. He politely said he was sorry about that and we say our goodbyes. Next time I'm pretty certain I'll put it in reverse and get outta there.
     
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    michael e. bingham

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    May 26, 2015
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    ive been going back and forth on a regualar basis because im building a new house and garage by Daggets at LA bay , I spoke to my son in law Edgar Castro of Puerto San Isdiro which is where my other hpuse is and he`s told me to cool it going down for a while until these giys get caught , he thinks probably crystal heads , im not tol happy about it but I won`t be going back anytime soon as im sure lots of other fisherman and baja travelers will do the same , my new garage which will house my new 29 foot panga , my old dodge truck and jeep will have too wait a little bit which hurts mauro the builder , his helpers and family , all it takes is for somethig like this to happen and it has a ripple effect thru out baja , Hope they catch these people soon and hang the sons of bitches
     
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    aguachico

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    Jul 20, 2004
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    Sucks. We stopped caravaning thru Baja for several reasons. This was not one of them.

    Caravaning is slow.

    I'm sticking to Mex1, not because it's any safer - I'm just more familiar with it.
     
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    woodfish330

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  • Aug 14, 2012
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    All right...from an old time Baja guy.... is anyone surprised? Seriously? I believe .....like many others... that one day....Baja will be the place we can go "safely".

    ......laughing... BUT let's face it.... its ALWAYS been a rugged place of "high risk" and "high rewards". We as adventurers seek out these places... right? Because others "don't " or "won't " go... makes it even more attractive. I mean let's face it.... who in his right mind would make a Hobbie out of driving an endless circles all day hoping fish would be there....lol. That's us...Brothers....😆

    I'm the first to admit 50 years ago.... I had Baja dreams.... and hopes. It seems NOTHING HAS CHANGED. The suspects are the same.... their methods have evolved. Their victims remain the same. Adventurers. Travelers. Tourists. Foreigners. Anyone showing wealth....

    So.... SURPRISED..... think not. Sad.... of course brothers. Am I still willing to go? "Brave it"?

    You bet!! Be safe out there. We never want to read these stories.... they just happen.
     
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    surf launch

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    I somewhat (but respectfully) disagree with your assessment. I too have been going down to Baja for many decades and yes, the challenges were there for certain. But those challenges we faced were different. Mostly the uncertainty of gas, food stuffs, fresh water, ice, beer, etc. Not to mention lack of medical care, poor communication, horrible road conditions and bridge wash outs. Petty theft was rare but encountered once in a while.

    BUT, the bold violent vicious crime we see down there today was virtually non existent till recent times. It represents the worst of the socials ills taking over Mexico and spreading like a putrid sickness. The Mexican people don't deserve this. I hope to God things turn around for the better .......and soon.
     
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    woodfish330

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  • Aug 14, 2012
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    I guess its all a matter of "Risk Assessment".... ignorance of the "Risk" is not an excuse. If YOU decide its okay to go.... you take your chances right?? You knew it maybe "ugly" before you went.... just saying.... be prepared for the unexpected "risk" as well. Be safe brothers.
     
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    Leslie. Christensen

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  • May 31, 2014
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    Pretty disturbing, Michael's family being intertwined with baja. I really appreciate his veiw. Some have more to loose than others, go or don't ? Not much to lose passport running out, so a little trip to SQ por que no. For some with families to take care of maybe go back to fly down, stay at resort's. More of these trips available every day, too sad, lot going on
     
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    waynem

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    I so agree with one of the posts about how the "risks" of Baja are now more about criminal activity than what used to be mainly the rough roads, etc. I've gone down Hwy 5 to Gonzaga Bay and beyond for many, many years, and it was only when the road was completely paved past Puertecitos to Hwy 1 that I started seeing more evidence of shady activity (broken car window glass along scenic lookouts, much more graffiti, etc). I also noticed a couple years ago how the little market on the highway at Gonzaga had put up a tall chain link fence all around the store and surrounding area. Made it look like a prison compound. They must have had their reasons, but it really changes the feel of the place to see stuff like that. As they say, "Bad roads, good people....good roads, bad people." One of the reasons I always felt safe in that area was because the dirt road was so rough, it made it too difficult for criminals to deal with. I miss the good old rough road!
     
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    Crowman

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    I somewhat (but respectfully) disagree with your assessment. I too have been going down to Baja for many decades and yes, the challenges were there for certain. But those challenges we faced were different. Mostly the uncertainty of gas, food stuffs, fresh water, ice, beer, etc. Not to mention lack of medical care, poor communication, horrible road conditions and bridge wash outs. Petty theft was rare but encountered once in a while.

    BUT, the bold violent vicious crime we see down there today was virtually non existent till recent times. It represents the worst of the socials ills taking over Mexico and spreading like a putrid sickness. The Mexican people don't deserve this. I hope to God things turn around for the better .......and soon.
    The Cartels run Mexico not the Government.
     
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    surf launch

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    Been working on my truck and boat past 6 months to be ready for my first baja trip in quite some time. Was actually planning on renewing all permits and Mex insurance this week for a trip next month.........lets just say I'm reconsidering everything.
     
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    MYNomad

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    Mexico, or at least baja, could and would thrive if the government could control crime and corruption. Tourism and construction would explode. Employment opportunities would quickly rival those of the US. The quality of life for the average Mexican on the street would be immeasurably improved. Perhaps, in some parallel universe, this exists. But here the real tragedy is the dismal existence to which Mexican citizens are condemned because they have a shitty government.
     
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    Carl

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    Mexico, or at least baja, could and would thrive if the government could control crime and corruption. Tourism and construction would explode. Employment opportunities would quickly rival those of the US. The quality of life for the average Mexican on the street would be immeasurably improved. Perhaps, in some parallel universe, this exists. But here the real tragedy is the dismal existence to which Mexican citizens are condemned because they have a shitty government.
    Last time I was in the san jose del Cabo area you couldn't go 2 blocks without seeing construction. It seemed everyone was working.
    Who was in charge and where that money came from is another ?
    Zihuatanejo and Acapulco wasnt as new construction heavy but seemed fairly prosperous and thriving.
    View of Acapulco was largely from water for me so certainly wasnt all encompassing
     
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    Fifty Fifty

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    Can you legally carry Grizzly Bear Spray in your vehicle in Baja? In our caravan we communicate via walkie talkies. Travel in pairs and in the early morning. What other precautions can be taken? Last month took 5 home from BOLA and was easy and fast so would like to continue that route with all the tools of safety available. Please list your ideas for safety traveling the 5, thanks!
     
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    surf launch

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    For years I've been carrying a can (or two) of wasp & yellow jacket spray in the cab of my truck. Concentrated nasty shit with a 20' range, I wouldn't want a face full of it. If asked what it was for just said "camping".

    Looked into carrying bear/pepper spray in Mex a while back but got conflicting answers.
     
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    Carl

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    So your plan is to fight armed men with bug spray?
     
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    surf launch
    Those people were lucky to not end up shot along the shoulder of the road or held for ransome. With Mexico's strict gun laws or even a knife blade over 3", its time to get creative.

    I refuse to go without a fight
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    Leslie. Christensen

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    Good posts, always comes down to go or don't go. For the handful of people on here probably a million driving thru that don't even know this stuff is happening. Kinda of wonder how it stays out of the news. There was a time when you got a caravan together they would escort you, haven't heard of that in a while. Good luck,it's the lottery you don't want to win
     
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    a7ewizard

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    Damn! My wife and I just drove up Baja 5 on August 4th.
    Great road and very light traffic.
    Just wondering if traveling in a caravan is more conspicuous? Probably coordinated too. "Oye! 3 tourist vehicles coming your way and not another car for 10 minutes".

    Sad! But crime is rampant in California too. Many areas here I avoid.
     
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