Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

A Letter From Todd Clement Concerning Safety in Baja Mexico

Recommended Posts

I received this via email today. As many of you know Todd Clement and Co. operate Wide Open Baja Adventures and Horsepower Ranch. They are up and down the penninsula regularly.

"A Letter From Todd Clement Concerning Safety In Baja Mexico

Dear Friends,

It is my hope that this email finds you and your families doing well. At this point in time we felt it is important to address the growing concerns in our community regarding the violence emerging from the major Mexican border cities.

Based out of our Horsepower Ranch just east of Ensenada (approximately 100 miles south of San Diego) and along the entire Baja peninsula south to Cabo San Lucas. In the 12 years since we were formed we have never experienced anything more than the occasional traffic violation (let's face it...we are racers!).

The media that we have seen of late clearly shows that the violence is stemming from a turf war to control the drug transportation routes. In an article published in the December issue of Forbes Magazine, there was a map that outlined the areas affected by this unrest. It visibly show that towns along the US/Mexico border are the "hot" zones (with the majority happening in Ciudad de Juarez, across from El Paso, TX). Also noted in the article are the cities of Tijuana and Nogales. On a daily basis we transport parts, staff and guests in private coaches through the San Ysidro border crossing and down the toll road which skirts around Tijuana to Ensenada. During our tours our trip routes do not include any of these areas of instability. Further, we would not venture into any city throughout the world during our personal travels, without local knowledge, i.e. Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Miami, etc... These issues do not affect our Wide Open Adventures.

Alonzo Pena, attache to the Department of Homeland Security, confirms this point in an article released by the Associated Press last week on Thursday, March 12, 2009:

"Further, the Homeland Security Department's attache to Mexico said the violence in Mexico is not as dangerous to U.S. tourists as has been portrayed. Alonzo Pena said the violence is in isolated areas of the country and only affects the people involved in criminal activity. He said the violence is not affecting U.S. citizens visiting Mexico and Americans should not cancel their vacations in the country."

As with all Wide Open Adventures along the Baja peninsula, you will enjoy diverse terrain, pristine coastlines, authentic pueblo villages and the unscheduled interaction with fishermen, ranchers and farmers which is unique to every trip. We will continue to stay informed and keep you abreast of the latest. I hope this info gives your friends who have concerns about this issue the confidence we take for granted as seasoned Baja travelers to join you on your next amazing adventure.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact me.

My personal office number is 949-635-2292 x 111

Email: toddclement@wideopenbaja.com

Regards,

Todd Clement

Founding Partner

Wide Open Adventures, LLC

For More Information and to Book the Adventure of a Lifetime

949-635-2292

guides@wideopenbaja.com

www.wideopenbaja.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

very nice, it is sad to see the folks that live in baja suffer economically because of these turf wars. i agree that the media has blown this up to be what it is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I feel safer in Tijuana than I do in Riverside.

or garnet in pb on a friday night with all the frat boys and skin heads...

of course tc is more eloquent than I.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I feel safer in Tijuana than I do in Riverside.

Perhaps. But. There are some huge differences. At least in Riverside, or any other US city, when you call the authorities for help you know that you will get people who are there to help, are well trained, courageous, professional, and will do everything humanly possible to help you. And they won't be associated with those who are causing you problems nor ask for money to help you or let you go. But that is a comment appropriate for Tijuana and not really very relevant to the rest of Baja.

I love Baja and still go, but just get through TJ as fast as possible, or go around, but that has always been my SOP anyway. Guys who go down there and ride or drive off road, or surf have a propensity to take care of themselves and be self sufficient. It is the normal tourist that stay away in droves.

While Todd is a stand up guy and his organization top drawer, he does have a vested interest in offering an optimistic perspective of the terrain and situation. I for one hope he is right. It is about time that none sense down there ends and civility returns.

May God bless the people of Baja!

RB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... "Wide Open" must be feeling the burn/pain of the issues in Mex, and felt it necessary to 'bring back paying customers'. I don't see that letter as a 'informative' letter, but more a "baja is safe" letter to aid in income. ... He even based part of it on the media's portrayal (he should know better). Marketing I tell ya, marketing. All we need know is a written guarantee not to be F'd with when on a "tour". :)

(if nobody else will say it, I will)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the HP ranch will be full on April 4th.

Perhaps your "spin" is unfounded. The US recession would be more of a drawback for Mr. Clements' business interests than the turf war...because we have no reports of wide open customers being murdered by cartel...

or do we?

Someone I work with said I was crazy for going to Baja.

I said he was crazy for commenting on something he knows nothing about.

"Do you really know what you are talking about?"

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think the HP ranch will be full on April 4th.

Perhaps your "spin" is unfounded. The US recession would be more of a drawback for Mr. Clements' business interests than the turf war...because we have no reports of wide open customers being murdered by cartel...

or do we?

Someone I work with said I was crazy for going to Baja.

I said he was crazy for commenting on something he knows nothing about.

"Do you really know what you are talking about?"

I expect nothing less... Promote Baja all ya can!!

... and I'll say it until I'm blue in the face. Even though I too believe it'll never happen to me (violence in baja), the one time it happens is all it takes to make a 'bad' experience. And is not worth it to me at this point in time. ...if you can't agree with it, then at minimum... respect it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One of my biggest concerns in Baja is getting run over by a Wide Open Baja convoy. Kinda ironic.

We had a fellow rider get hit by one of there buggys.:banghead:

He was ok ( shear luck he did not get killed):banghead:

Everybody was sorry at the time; BUT

It took them a couple of years to get them to pay for the quad they totaled.

Not tomention the apolige that never came from the owner to the person that got hit by one of his leed drivers.

That gentalmen has not gone since and my never go again because of that.

And it is not because he is afraid(he is a police officer here in the states)

but does not want the hassel.:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do think tourists on rented offroad race cars should have very serious training on open trail etiquette before being given the keys, or pull chords.

JJ,

An analogy is: L.A. gang violence is not expected to affect the safety of foreign tourism in Death Valley. And everyone has an agenda, right? I suspect you hang around this forum because a part of you wants to ride Baja.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I

JJ,

An analogy is: L.A. gang violence is not expected to affect the safety of foreign tourism in Death Valley. And everyone has an agenda, right? I suspect you hang around this forum because a part of you wants to ride Baja.

John

... yes sir. Ya caught me.

Being I've ridden Baja for years, and traveled Baja for more years.... I can't "stay away" for very long. This forum, is a fun read... and I'll never not read it, or not respond to it. As you ... and others now, it's a disease. One you can never simply get rid of, or want to get rid of. Someday I'll ride it again, and I eagerly look forward to those days :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I do think tourists on rented offroad race cars should have very serious training on open trail etiquette before being given the keys, or pull chords.

JJ,

An analogy is: L.A. gang violence is not expected to affect the safety of foreign tourism in Death Valley. And everyone has an agenda, right? I suspect you hang around this forum because a part of you wants to ride Baja.

John

John, good and very valid point but the analogy is only valid if those tourists are forced to get to Death Valley by Entering the area and then starting their travel to Death Valley by landing in and then taking surface streets starting at Jordan Downs and driving north through South Central to Down Town L.A.(112 Blocks) before entering the Freeway or other more efficient and safe transport.

I used to lead tour groups in Baja and whenever we would see another tour group (cars bikes or quads) we would stop and talk to see where they were going so we could avoid those more high speed encounters. The guys from W O B were always very co operative and first rate in sharing and planning for safety. I think more carnage was avoided in the parking lots of Ensenada Hotels, or around the pool at Mike's than anywhere else in Baja.

When myself or any of our guides was leading we would always be looking way ahead looking for dust. There are a lot of things to see ahead of time besides W O B cars. Trail Etiquette is something that should be taught to everyone who rides the trails down there. It is even a good thing to remind some of us old Baja vets about before we head out. The pre-ride discussion for everyone should always include this precaution along with all the other SOPs we all use. RB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From a very reliable source.

From a reliable source??? How's about from an incredibly biased source? How about from a source that has everything to gain and nothing to loose by posting a letter like this?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for open conversation and a sharing of ideas, but this letter stinks of marketing hype. Isn't this supposed to be an un-biased forum? At the very least I should hope that Senior Bosche is getting paid for this blatant advertisement...

And Scotty... jeeze dude, get a grip. I've grown weary of your never ending monolistic diatribe portraying Baja as a haplessly safe harbor, where pixy bunnies dance around lollypop trees. Baja has and always will be a land of violence, where criminals rise above - now, more than ever. And this drug induced violence bleeds down to the good hearted folks that we all care for. If you think the violence begins and ends at the barrel of a gun held in the hands of a cartel funded street thug, think again. Remember that the 90% drop in tourism preceded the economic down turn by a good 6 months. Good, honest business folks are being force into a world of petty crimes and back alley violence just to pay their rent and put some meager crumbs on the table. And this ebb of violence spider-webs its way across Baja - far beyond the border town cities. The cause and effect can be seen in even the smallest of communities where the once plentiful tourism has abandoned the small cafe's, cantinas and hotels, leaving behind ghost towns that once again redefine the poverty level.

Flame on...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the point here is that more people (like us)need to speak up about Baja's positives, not the negatives. 99% of Baja's people are awesome humans with the same amount of compassion as most humans on the globe. Culturally they have not had the opportunity that most of us have. That said, certain individuals will take advantage of situations just as other third world citizens will. That's not to be unexpected. And...before anyone trys to corner me, I clearly do not mean murder and violent crime is acceptable or excuseable.

Regardless of WOB Baja's marketing plan. Clement stepped up into the public eye and is attemptng to bring people back down to Baja. Thats good!

If any of you have not read Kent Kroeker's post on this matter I invite you to do so. Although its from 2007, it still applies to today. Kent is a awesome guy, a Baja vet and served active duty:

http://www.baja.net/forums/showthread.php?threadid=24185

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From a reliable source??? How's about from an incredibly biased source? How about from a source that has everything to gain and nothing to loose by posting a letter like this?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for open conversation and a sharing of ideas, but this letter stinks of marketing hype. Isn't this supposed to be an un-biased forum? At the very least I should hope that Senior Bosche is getting paid for this blatant advertisement...

And Scotty... jeeze dude, get a grip. I've grown weary of your never ending monolistic diatribe portraying Baja as a haplessly safe harbor, where pixy bunnies dance around lollypop trees. Baja has and always will be a land of violence, where criminals rise above - now, more than ever. And this drug induced violence bleeds down to the good hearted folks that we all care for. If you think the violence begins and ends at the barrel of a gun held in the hands of a cartel funded street thug, think again. Remember that the 90% drop in tourism preceded the economic down turn by a good 6 months. Good, honest business folks are being force into a world of petty crimes and back alley violence just to pay their rent and put some meager crumbs on the table. And this ebb of violence spider-webs its way across Baja - far beyond the border town cities. The cause and effect can be seen in even the smallest of communities where the once plentiful tourism has abandoned the small cafe's, cantinas and hotels, leaving behind ghost towns that once again redefine the poverty level.

Flame on...

Valid points and very true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
From a reliable source??? How's about from an incredibly biased source? How about from a source that has everything to gain and nothing to loose by posting a letter like this?

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for open conversation and a sharing of ideas, but this letter stinks of marketing hype. Isn't this supposed to be an un-biased forum? At the very least I should hope that Senior Bosche is getting paid for this blatant advertisement...

And Scotty... jeeze dude, get a grip. I've grown weary of your never ending monolistic diatribe portraying Baja as a haplessly safe harbor, where pixy bunnies dance around lollypop trees. Baja has and always will be a land of violence, where criminals rise above - now, more than ever. And this drug induced violence bleeds down to the good hearted folks that we all care for. If you think the violence begins and ends at the barrel of a gun held in the hands of a cartel funded street thug, think again. Remember that the 90% drop in tourism preceded the economic down turn by a good 6 months. Good, honest business folks are being force into a world of petty crimes and back alley violence just to pay their rent and put some meager crumbs on the table. And this ebb of violence spider-webs its way across Baja - far beyond the border town cities. The cause and effect can be seen in even the smallest of communities where the once plentiful tourism has abandoned the small cafe's, cantinas and hotels, leaving behind ghost towns that once again redefine the poverty level.

Flame on...

Mr. Cell,

Exactly what I was trying to say in my post but I was, probably mistakenly trying to be a little more subtle. I do disagree with your analysis of the crime problem down there though. I have been going to Baja first to surf and over the last 30 + years to ride and race. I think Baja is now and will be for the foreseeale future anyway, a land of two cultures. There is now and for as long as I can remember been, the City dwellers and then all the rest. I think the City dwellers are the ones alluded to in your post. The others are of course affected but, I believe, not to the extent you define. I have always been impressed and heartened by the spontaineous acts of kindness and help by the locals. True around race time there are problems but most of those come from people that come in from the Mainland just to victimize those who are down there for the races.

You are obviously and intelligent man and I was impressed by your post. I am interested to get your thoughts on this.

R B

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×