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Jan 30, 2013
Bodies found near El Potrero Chico

grizzly stuff, though Im not sure about the 'flee' part.

Im thinking this is like any situation in any city though, if you arent stupid and stay away from shady people/places, then things are ok. Though I'd like to get a better handle on what the actual risks are here.

A friend is there now (Van K. - and I talk to Milton from time to time), just trying to get a handle on what the skinny is. Some friends will be there in a week or two as well, a month before my partner and I go. Just trying to reassure him and get some beta for my own peace of mind. :)

Ive been there before and we didnt hang out in Monterrey at night or anything (and certainly didnt go into any bars) - the city was nice to tour by day and we didnt see anything sketchy at all - nor during our two sejourns to Hidalgo. Heard guns at night firing into the air once or twice, saw some tough-looking kids lining the road to the park drinking beer in the beds of their pickups, but you can find that in many rural areas in the US just as easily. Most of them were actually nice to us to, I gather some of them thought that climbing is kinda bad-ass too, just like them! :)

Just wondering if it has changed drastically or what since we've been there - and if it's any safer now - will cops to be crawling all over Mina et al (though that might not mean much?)
Ken Chase
Joined Apr 13, 2011
7 points
Jan 30, 2013
This article has more - and more correct - info. Rock&Ice really needs to fix their article and post it as a correction with apologies!

americanlivewire.com/cartel-be...

The Hidalgo in the article is Sabinas Hidalgo, a different town than Hidalgo. Far away. Yes the bodies were found in Mina, which is up the road from the Potrero-local Hidalgo, about 6-8 miles away, but not right near the entrance to Potrero itself as was suggested (at one point I read the name of a local establishment in a news report, but I am wondering if that has been removed, I cant recall where I saw it, and I wont mention it in order to avoid misinformation continuing to be propagated).

at any rate, this is a sad story, but I dont think it changes anything for climbing in Potrero - not anything that climbers should know about already about going to Mexico - or certain areas of LA or many areas of many American or any other world cities..
Ken Chase
Joined Apr 13, 2011
7 points
Jan 30, 2013
sizone.org/potrero-article.jpg

^ cache of original article which mentions Homeero 's and is completely bogus (spelled wrong here so google doenst associate the place unfairly with murders). Bad journalism!
Ken Chase
Joined Apr 13, 2011
7 points
Jan 30, 2013
You stay away from mah pig!
Ken Chase wrote:
americanlivewire.com/cartel-be... The Hidalgo in the article is Sabinas Hidalgo, a different town than Hidalgo.


That's a significant difference, though still close to home for folks in Potrero. I know a couple people in the past who got lost on their way to Potrero, by winding up in Sabinas HIdalgo, rather than the (San Luis) Hidalgo near Potrero. I hope R&I changes that article.
camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Joined Jun 27, 2006
1,369 points
Administrator
Jan 30, 2013
A Very Not Snowy Christmas...
Rock and Ice articles have really gone down hill recently IMO... It's as if they purposefully report poorly so they can 'create' a response. Morgan Patterson
Joined Oct 13, 2009
8,420 points
Administrator
Jan 30, 2013
El Chorro
CaptainMo wrote:
Rock and Ice articles have really gone down hill recently IMO... It's as if they purposefully report poorly so they can 'create' a response.


Everything is about clicks now. They know that climbers will click on a story about dead bodies near Potrero - and they also know that 90% of us don't know the difference between the two Hildalgos. I'm sure it was an honest mistake on their part, but it was certainly caused by a rush to get the article up.
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
Jan 30, 2013
I think Rock n Ice has it correct and the other articles are confusing the two Hidalgos. Borderland Beat and American Live Wire describe the location of Sabinas Hidalgo (80 miles north of Monterrey), but then state the band was kidnapped from La Carreta--the bar across the street from Homero's. The borderland beat article includes a picture which is familiar to anyone who has stayed at Homeros.

Grim, for sure, but I still think you are more likely to get crushed by rockfall than caught up in violence down there.


Here is a link to the Borderland Beat article: borderlandbeat.com/2013/01/kom...
WMcD
Joined Aug 15, 2007
125 points
Jan 30, 2013
So I was planning a month in potrero come feb 20th. Does anybody know if climbers are leaving the area? Did this happen in Sabinas Hidalgo or Nuevo leon Hidalgo (potrero city.)I was going to do a solo trip but now im worried about finding partners. Any thoughts, is anyone there now? Jack Sparrow
From denver, co
Joined Jun 28, 2010
740 points
Jan 30, 2013
video here of a news report you can run thru google translate for the text or practice your spanish, but cant view 'in my region' (not mexico?)

m.musica.univision.com/tragedi...

yeah, the sign looked familiar in that small video frame :/ and the name sounded as well. and we heard loud raucous parties there a couple nights at that ranch down the road from Homero's when we stayed there a few years ago.

confusion on what actually happened...

as for climbers, friend of mine is still down there and said he'd be there solo for all of Feb, not sure if his plans changed since...
Ken Chase
Joined Apr 13, 2011
7 points
Jan 30, 2013
It appears that the band was abducted from Carreta (night club across from Homero's) and bodies dumped in Mina.

As far as I am concerned,it's too close for comfort. I have been to EPC every year for the last 10 years...not going this year.
gblauer
From Wayne, PA
Joined Jul 27, 2008
604 points
Jan 30, 2013
On Las Aguajas with TW0 summit in the background
I dont speak well enough spanish, but this video definitely looks like EPC Hidalgo, not Sabinas Hidalgo. I copied this link from the comments section of the Rock and Ice article.

firstpost.com/topic/place/colo...

-Brett
Sure-man
From Boone, NC/ S.F.
Joined May 12, 2008
48 points
Jan 30, 2013
Imaginate
Brett Sherman wrote:
I dont speak well enough spanish, but this video definitely looks like EPC Hidalgo, not Sabinas Hidalgo. I copied this link from the comments section of the Rock and Ice article. firstpost.com/topic/place/colo... -Brett


From listening the video, and reading the title which is hidalgo, NL. I'd say it is Nuevo Leon.
David Appelhans
From Medford, MA
Joined Nov 11, 2007
350 points
Jan 30, 2013
Sabinas Hidalgo and Hidalgo are both of course in Nuevo Leon, no dispute there. And in fact, they were taken from La Carrera near Homeros, as per the video shots. I personally know there's a ranch house/hall there thats rented out for parties/dances/whatever, cuz they made a hell of a lot of noise thu-sat we stayed at Homeros 4 years ago :)

More info:

noticias.univision.com/mexico/....

mainstream press picking it up now, not sure if there's any new info tho:

google.ca/search?q=kombo+kolum...
Ken Chase
Joined Apr 13, 2011
7 points
Jan 31, 2013
@Ken

We are also good Friends with Van K. We have plans to visit him in EPC in a few weeks. We have heard rumors that he was spotted yesterday helping out around Ariels but we haven't heard from him. Have you had any contact with him in the last few days?
5.Jeremy
Joined Jan 31, 2013
0 points
Jan 31, 2013
Shocking to hear about, but not totally unusual for the Zetas. It seems like their MO includes scaring the tourists away. I think this is one of their tactics to drive away revenue for the gov, since their already better financed than the army & Policia. With financing problems, the playing field is much more even for them in their fight with the gov. I believe that also was a motivation for the mass murder of tourists in Acapulco in 2010.
So what are you going to do? Stay home? I've only had problems in El Portrero with Americans thinking they can get away with stuff because their in the wilds of Mexico. All the true Mexican locals I've had to deal with were very kind and honest. None of these problems will ever be solved by staying home. Practice your Spanish, and go climbing!
bruced
Joined Jun 13, 2009
1 points
Jan 31, 2013
bruced wrote:
None of these problems will ever be solved by staying home. Practice your Spanish, and go climbing!


And you are solving what by going? There is a thin line between fearless and stupid.
chuffnugget
From Bolder, CO
Joined Sep 14, 2011
22 points
Jan 31, 2013
VAN IS FINE hung out with hime yesterday! Everyone in the climbing community is fine!!
As climbers we have all learned to except fear to a certain point. Being paranoid is something different all together.

Best,

Matt
slacker
From North Conway NH
Joined Jan 17, 2011
8 points
Feb 5, 2013
Good news all round then. No plans to change our itinerary, gonna be clipping bolts mid march! can't wait! other locals going before then, hope to bump into some of y'alls. Ken Chase
Joined Apr 13, 2011
7 points
Feb 5, 2013
Mountain Bike Action!
Anybody read the Jeff Jackson editorial?

Rock and Ice, Jeff Jackson

Personally, I love the Portrero but I am a little puzzled why everyone is falling over themselves to insist on how safe it is...
richard magill
Joined Jan 1, 2001
2,678 points
Feb 5, 2013
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
The updated article indicates the abduction occurred near a climbing campground. I don't know the area. So, can someone explain to me why they think this is not an indication that the area has become unsafe? Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Joined Jul 17, 2006
274 points
Feb 5, 2013
Considering the numbers that are floated (100,000 killed in the last N+1 years in .mx), im not sure why 18 people is getting all the attention. It's like the number of car crash deaths compared to 100 people killed in a downed airliner. The latter is miniscule compared to any month of road stats, but it gets all the headlines.

Climbers are supposed to be experienced an clinical in their assessment of risk, but the fact that 18 people in one group (and not just 18 people in a 24 or 48 hour period) were abducted and killed, is causing extra attention to the situation. If only 1 or 2 were killed, would we care? I refer you all to your stats101 courses.

Im not sure how this event indicates singularly a trend that didnt exist before - either it did and we were ignorant, or it didnt and this is an anomaly. Anomalies do not trend make.

someone mentioned being there in Dec without any state Dept travel warnings, and now there is one - does it take 18 people killed at once to issue a warning because of sensationalistic reporting, or is there a new paradigm of rate of US nationals (though im canadian, doubting that extends any protection however...) being abducted or worse?
Ken Chase
Joined Apr 13, 2011
7 points
Feb 5, 2013
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
That's an interesting perspective. I thought that maybe the event was more removed from the climbing areas than was depicted. But, that's not what I'm getting from that response. And, it seems to me that this issue is rather different than a comparison of airline and automobile accidents.

There's good reason to suspect this is related to the ongoing war between drug cartels. And, when a war spreads into a new area, clinical risk assessment skills would lead many to conclude that the risk in that area has grown.

Maybe this is a single incident and not the beginning of a trend. But, reporting it is an example of responsible journalism, IMO.
Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Joined Jul 17, 2006
274 points
Administrator
Feb 5, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
...and you can't hit replay if you don't like how the game is going, or turn the movie off. M Sprague
From New England
Joined Nov 9, 2006
5,504 points
Administrator
Feb 5, 2013
Lichen head. Me, with my usual weatherbeaten, lich...
Now for a fantasy break from reality: Machete in 420 seconds

Warning, in german and there are boobs and asses, very nice ones I might add.
youtu.be/UdU3OAXi5ug
M Sprague
From New England
Joined Nov 9, 2006
5,504 points
Feb 5, 2013
How come any time someone needs to justify something dangerous (regardless of what it is) they bring up the "much more dangerous to drive"

As if it has any relevance to the dangerous situation they are putting themselves (ice climbing, soloing, going to northern Mexico in the midst of the drug war, etc).

If you are going to use that driving stat as some sort of justification - use real stats. Give me a stat that shows how dangerous driving is when you drive the speed limit, have your seat belt on, aren't drunk, aren't driving in the middle of the night or on New Years Eve, etc...and throw out of the equation the people who kill themselves and/or passengers with their own reckless driving or driving drunk or high - because if you are simply driving around using standard safe driving protocol ONLY deaths occurring randomly should be used - i.e. john Doe was on his way to work and a drunk driver came out of nowhere and killed him. That would make it at least somewhat relevant to traveling to Mexico, using standard "traveling to a potentially dangerous location, but I'm keeping a low profile, not going brazenly out at night, etc." protocol and getting beheaded anyways.

For FU*Ks sake if you are going to ice climb, hit up K2, solo at your limit, or travel to international (or domestic) locals that are crime ridden and dangerous just admit it is dangerous and you are willing/wanting to take the risk. Enjoy your life, but stop pretending.
Tony Hawk
Joined Jul 7, 2009
1 points
Dec 26, 2014
The main reason that this problem exists in México is because of all the drug use in the United States, the shippments go trough Monterrey, so please tell our friends in USA to do something about it.

Your apetite for drugs is creating a nigthmare to your neighbor in america, and that country is México, and to make matters worst the love for guns that USA has, makes it very easy to get them and bring them to our country.

If there is corruption in México it is not the USA business, that is something we have to deal with, but for sure it is a great injustice that a poor country like México has to pay such a heavy pricefor your love of drugs.

America is a big continent and the drugs travel from Colombia, central America and finally México to get to the rich consumer. USA.....please do something about that.
edmundo
Joined Dec 26, 2014
0 points


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