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Concerned about safety in Tijuana


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I would like some input on safety in Tijuana. In the last 12 hours I have heard 2 major news stories on abduction and murder of Americans who were traveling there. I want to come but i want to be safe.

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I would like some input on safety in Tijuana. In the last 12 hours I have heard 2 major news stories on abduction and murder of Americans who were traveling there. I want to come but i want to be safe.

I have gone to TJ for my surgery and fills, sometimes alone. I have never felt unsafe. When you go for your surgery, you are driven over the border by the OCC van and the facility is only about 5 minutes from the border. The hotels they use are very nice, and if you have concerns, you don't have to leave the hotel.

When I go for fills, I park in a border lot, walk over the border and hook up with a taxi which drives me to the facility. All very easy and safe.

Red

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Were the recent news reports out of Tijuana?

Here is an article that I found interesting on the subject http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/7894/kidnapping_americans_in_mexico.html?cat=17

I guess the only thing that I can say to somewhat put your mind at ease is that you should go with the mindset of I am going in and handling my business and then getting out. I did not really venture out on my own when I was there and I brought a Mexican National with me as my companion. I tried to blend in as much as possible and I did not drink or party outside of the Mariott. I did go shopping on my own for makeup at the Plaza Del Rio (TJ's mall akin to any mall here in the US...has all the major retailers like Sears) but even then I took the taxi from the Mariott to the mall. He waited for me in the parking lot and drove me back to the Mariott when I was done. When I went out to lunch at the El Potrero with my Mexican companion we did get a cab ride there from the Mariott shuttle guy and walked back to the Mariott afterwards (5 minute walk). This whole time I did not do certain things like carry a camera, be distracted on my cell phone, site see, etc. The key is to blend in with the population as much as possible.

I found these tips at gogirl.com travel site:

Police say potential kidnappers target tourist areas where they're more likely to find someone driving a nice car, shopping in expensive stores - people they think can afford a healthy ransom. The kidnappings appear to be random, but a few common sense rules can help keep you safe:

Trust your instincts: If you feel like you're being followed or targeted, act. Get yourself to a public area where it's much harder to quietly whisk someone away.

Chaperone yourself: If you're going to drink, do it at your hotel or resort rather than out on the town. There's less risk of attack steps away from your room.

Use the buddy system: Never wander into unfamiliar areas alone.

Disrupt the plan: If you're in a crowded area with lots of people around, yell words like "FIRE." Make a scene, bite, break things - anything you can do to attract attention.

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I would like some input on safety in Tijuana. In the last 12 hours I have heard 2 major news stories on abduction and murder of Americans who were traveling there. I want to come but i want to be safe.

48 Hours had a pretty scary show on last night about a family abducted in Tijuana. My husband watched it and said, why is it again you picked tijuana???

I'm planning on staying close or in the hotel and the clinic. From everything I've read our path from San Diego to the clinic to the hotel is safe. At least I hope so.....

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I would like some input on safety in Tijuana. In the last 12 hours I have heard 2 major news stories on abduction and murder of Americans who were traveling there. I want to come but i want to be safe.

Unless you're a diplomat (or directly related to one), or are associated to the drug world, you don't have a thing to worry about.

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I would like some input on safety in Tijuana. In the last 12 hours I have heard 2 major news stories on abduction and murder of Americans who were traveling there. I want to come but i want to be safe.

OCC is very aware of the safety it needs to provide its clients. The Mariott and Lucerna are well staffed, the shuttle service provided by Francisco (the driver from OCC) takes you door to door and all the amendities you need can be found in either hotel.

Personally I don't feel comfortable walking on the streets of TJ by myself..so I don't. I go right to OCC from the airport and then straight back to the hotel. My trip to TJ at the end of this Jan. will be my third visit to OCC..for the initial surgery I was accompanied by my husband and twice for fills I will have gone by myself.

When I go back at the end of this month for my second fill with Dr. So, I will sit afterwards by the hotel pool, enjoy the sun with a glass of bottled ice tea and think how lucky I am!

The next morning Francisco will pick me up at the hotel, whiz me thru customs, drop me off at the airport and in 4 hours I'll be back in the land of ice and snow!!

Yes, you'll be a bit uncomfortable for a few days...gas from the CO2 will maybe cause a bit of joint pain...the incision site will be tender and sore for a bit...but hey..it's easier than having a baby..lol And just think of how HOT you are going to feel and look after a few weeks/months...

So put on your Happy face..lol ..The staff at OCC are kind, competent and caring.

You'll do just fine!! :D

Cheryl

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Were the recent news reports out of Tijuana?

Here is an article that I found interesting on the subject http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/7894/kidnapping_americans_in_mexico.html?cat=17

I guess the only thing that I can say to somewhat put your mind at ease is that you should go with the mindset of I am going in and handling my business and then getting out. I did not really venture out on my own when I was there and I brought a Mexican National with me as my companion. I tried to blend in as much as possible and I did not drink or party outside of the Mariott. I did go shopping on my own for makeup at the Plaza Del Rio (TJ's mall akin to any mall here in the US...has all the major retailers like Sears) but even then I took the taxi from the Mariott to the mall. He waited for me in the parking lot and drove me back to the Mariott when I was done. When I went out to lunch at the El Potrero with my Mexican companion we did get a cab ride there from the Mariott shuttle guy and walked back to the Mariott afterwards (5 minute walk). This whole time I did not do certain things like carry a camera, be distracted on my cell phone, site see, etc. The key is to blend in with the population as much as possible.

I found these tips at gogirl.com travel site:

Police say potential kidnappers target tourist areas where they're more likely to find someone driving a nice car, shopping in expensive stores - people they think can afford a healthy ransom. The kidnappings appear to be random, but a few common sense rules can help keep you safe:

Trust your instincts: If you feel like you're being followed or targeted, act. Get yourself to a public area where it's much harder to quietly whisk someone away.

Chaperone yourself: If you're going to drink, do it at your hotel or resort rather than out on the town. There's less risk of attack steps away from your room.

Use the buddy system: Never wander into unfamiliar areas alone.

Disrupt the plan: If you're in a crowded area with lots of people around, yell words like "FIRE." Make a scene, bite, break things - anything you can do to attract attention.

Very good advice and well written :)

Debbie

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I travelled to the OCC by myself from Canada for surgery. At no point in TJ did I feel unsafe. I was met at the airport by a driver from the OCC holding a big sign with my name and Dr ortiz on it. The Van was well marked with OCC and we drove right to the clinic to meet everyone. Following my appointment I was driven to the Marriott and escorted inside. I personally did not venture outside by myself. The Marriot had an exercise room and everything that I needed including a pool :)

I was picked up for surgery in the morning and brought back to the hotel the day after surgery.

When it was time to leave I was picked up at the door of the Marriott and driven right to the airport.

I felt very safe.

Debbie

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My brother lives in Tijuana so I am always hyper aware of news reports about crime. There has even been bodies found within a few blocks of my brother's home. But, so far and as far as I can tell, those killed are somehow involved in law enforcement (upstanding individuals who are fighting crime or corrupt individuals) or the drug trade. These are not random murders. However, my brother doesn't venture out at all hours of the night just to be safe even though he is over 6 feet tall and 250 lbs and looks ferocious. Even he knows not to tempt things.

So, please do go to the OCC, just be an informed traveler. The OCC happens to be a 5 minute cab ride from the border (always choose the drivers with the uniforms and name tags as they are part of a union) and is located in the absolute safest part of Tijuana - the Zona Rio.

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I would like some input on safety in Tijuana. In the last 12 hours I have heard 2 major news stories on abduction and murder of Americans who were traveling there. I want to come but i want to be safe.

I was just in TJ in December, I saw nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, a couple times I walked from the Marriott to the OCC just for the exercise. From what I read in the news papers, the drug gangs were kidnapping other drug gang family members or Mexican businessmen. If your that worried, take a taxicab at the border or ride in the OCC van from the airport to the OCC or hotel. The areas your in are pretty commercial, lots of cops, the commercial/business areas don't want to see anyone hurt or harmed in anyway. There's a lot of Mexican citizens that make their living in the medical tourism trade.

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I too was led to believe that when I arrived in TJ, there would be this burning hell-hole with bodies hanging from lamp posts and men with burlap sacks waiting around every corner. My experience was quite the opposite. It was pretty freakin awesome. I thoroughly enjoyed my Tijuana adventure!

I went to the OCC this December all by myself. I even came a day early so I could get my shop on. I took a cab called by the Marriott to Revolucion Ave and arranged for the same cab to pick me up at a predetermined time and place. I wore any old work-a-day stuff I might wear to Wal Mart. Everywhere I went, I looked purposeful, focused, thereby not inviting anyone to think I was easy prey. I didn't make eye contact with street vendors or anyone with whom I didn't have business. I didn't enter sketchy places or streets and kept myself in full public view whenever possible. I didn't flash cash and I didn't drink. I also made it a point to be back at the hotel before dark. After banding, some new bandsters and I shared a mini-van cab to Rosarito beach and back, with the same kind of pre-arranged pick up. We got some great post surgery beach walking in, I highly recommend it! I haven't experienced hardly any of the discomfort I was expecting and I think it's because of the huge amount of foot time I put in.

If you keep your ducks in a row and make sensible choices, you'll be just fine. Oh, and tip your drivers and your bell boys, $2-5 is customary. 50 cents is insulting to all service people everywhere. Don't think it's cool just because everything is supposed to be cheaper in Mexico. (I'm a conversationalist and boy howdy you should hear some of these guys' "Amercian Tourista" stories.) This shouldn't have to be said, but during my extended stay I saw some behavior from touristas that made me embarrassed to be American. Treat everyone you meet like a real PERSON. And don't try to use their lingo *at all* unless you are extremely good at the local dialect. It comes across as mocking to them. If you speak in English in a way that acknowledges and respects that they had to learn it for YOUR convenience (looking a little apologetic and helpless doesn't hurt,) they will appreciate your awareness of that fact and treat you like real people. And we all like to be treated like real people, don't we?

You should have a fabulous time!

Oh... but maybe invest in some of those packets of toilet seat covers. Not to be icky, just functional, but... While I thought I was choosing good places to use facilities, I am now sporting an... irritation... on my hindquarters. Just sayin'.

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I would like some input on safety in Tijuana. In the last 12 hours I have heard 2 major news stories on abduction and murder of Americans who were traveling there. I want to come but i want to be safe.

My momma went with me to TJ because she and the rest of my family were tripped out with my going by myself. I was a little bummed because I wanted to see TJ and with my mom going we had to assure everyone that we were going to stay in the hotel or the clinic the entire time. Much to my suprise my mom said lets go shopping! Woot! So I had a companion and a shopping partner! We did not go out at night but we did shop our butte's off! Yay! I think we spent 5 hrs the day after sugery walking around and shopping. Had a blast. We went with all the people that were banded the day before us. Took 2 cabs and the same two picked us up when we were done. They took us to an off the beaten path Mexican rest. so the people who could eat ate. Very good mexican rest. and the locals wondered how we had found the place...heee heee our awesome cab driver!

I will say it was a bit of a suprise to see the military trucks with the guys in back carrying guns like it shows on the news. (I guess in person it was more real.) Other than that we had a great time and did not have any thoughts of danger or fear for our safty.

When you get there you will see what I am talking about. From there you will be able to make your own choices. Oh, and when my momma and I were down there that is when the big swing flu H1N1 outbreak happened in Mexico City. Talk about getting razzed about that for months! Ugh! I was so sick of hearing about the swine flu.....

At anyrate you will be in the best of hands!

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Linnipoo,

Thank you so much for mentioning details. I am glad to hear I was not out of my mind for tipping the drivers $2.00 per ride, bell boy $3.00 for the luggage up and the maids $5.00 for the room. I feel so much better now. That was great advice about looking like you have purpose and focus as well as not making eye contact. I guess in a nut shell the point is to be self-confident and let that radiate but not come off as cocky and arrogant.

Angie,

I totally forgot that I did see a fully armed tank in the middle of the raod with about a dozem malitia men around it and not to mention the armed Federalies standing outside the shanty hotel ext to the Mariott (shuttle driver from the Mariott said that hotel is actually converted to police headquarters and is a non-funtional hotel).

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  • 6 months later...

I live in Tijuana and feel very comfortable hosting visitors from the U.S. I would not tell anyone to avoid traveling here when they are seeking medical attention. I would approach Tijuana with the same attitude as Los Angeles or New York. It is a big city, doing normal business, not late late at night, is not going to put anyone at any kind of out of the ordinary risk. Petty theft is the biggest problem you may have if you do visit, so remember not to leave anything in your car. I posted a video on July 6, 2010 with details about safety in Tijuana if you want to know more about what is happening here:

Dan Silver

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I was just there in May and it was fine. I did not go anywhere though, it was not worth it to me to even put myself in any kind of position. It was fine and I feel safe as long as I am in the OCC, Marriot or shuttle. Here is the advise I have for you..... bring powdered broth!!! The chicken broth they give you at the MaRRIOT IS SO GROSS!! It is seriously the juice in the bottom of the pan after cooking a chicken. YUCK it made me hate broth forever! lol :)

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