by David Simmonds
Tourism is down in Northern Baja, primarily along the 70-mile corridor from Tijuana to Ensenada. There have been a few well-publicized robberies and assaults in the past year and many SoCal regulars have decided to say “no gracias”. A long-time favorite destination has been Puerto Nuevo, or “Lobster Village”, a makeshift enclave of restaurants on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific south of Rosarito, where the signature dish is Baja-style, deep-fried lobster, chased with cold beer an tequila. Word is, their business is off by 80%. Some friends were just in Hussongs Cantina in Ensenada, maybe the best bar in Mexico (the world?), and they report that it was very tame. Hussongs did not gain it’s well-deserved reputation by being tame. I have some stories…never mind.
So it was surprising that it was just announced that the Mexican officials are reacting with a huge PR campaign, assuring everyone that they have brought in some well-armed help to patrol the highways and towns. There is huge money at stake, with ocean-front condo developments popping out of the ground like desert wildflowers in the spring. Even Donald (don’t -call-me-Don) Trump has his comical image and name attached to a project that has pre-sold a good percent of their units, even though it has now been learned that they haven’t actually obtained the building permit to start construction yet. Anyone want to bet it doesn’t get built for five years…if ever? Thanks, Don.
But getting to the point of this piece: there is an organization that you can join for $25.00 that will get you a SOS sticker for your car if you are driving in Mexico, as well as a few other packet items. The sticker loudly announces to the Mexican cops and officials that you are a member of Support Our Sindicatura. The Sindicatura is a Mexican government organization whose purpose is to fight corruption among the police and other public officials. So you put one of these stickers on your car or truck and, reportedly, the shake-down cops will leave you alone. With “mordida” prices experiencing rapid inflation in recent years (basically, whatever you have in your wallet), the $25.00 sticker is a smart investment. You can request a packet by writing to: Support of Sindicatura, 7349 Millikin Avenue #140-234, Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org