Mexico Alert

LGBT athletes and sportspeople visiting Mexico to compete or enjoy recreational sport...beware. Americans going into that country are increasingly the target of brazenly public armed robbery and assaults by organized gangs. Mexican police reportedly do nothing.

One sport that is now notorious as a target for these criminal activities is off-road racing in Baja. After the recent Baja 1000, a racer family, the Halls -- husband, wife, two kids -- were returning to the U.S. and had almost reached the border when they were stopped and kidnapped at gunpoint. The gunmen drove them into the mountains, took their trailer and racing equipment, money, GPS and jewelry, and left them stranded. The family hiked to the nearest town, where they found scant sympathy from officials on both sides of the border, but ultimately got home safely. I heard about this incident from a friend, and found a report by the Halls themselves on http://www.puro-off-road.com/?p=32. The incident is also reported on Baja 1000 racing news sites. The Halls count themselves lucky that they weren't murdered, and commented, "After 25 years of the Baja, we are done."

If this can happen to a straight family in Mexico, imagine what can be done to any of our own people. And no, I don't think the U.S. is a safe place either. But I've spent some time perusing the glowing LGBT travel touts for Mexico, and don't find much in the way of warnings. -- Patricia Nell Warren

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