Rocky Point Warning Cites Cartel Violence of Past Year; State Department Also Refines Nogales Advisory

Categories: Bloody Mexico

 

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​For the first time, the U.S. State Department has specifically mentioned Rocky Point in a travel advisory, citing recent cartel violence there as the reason.

The small town on the coast of the Gulf of California has long been a popular vacation spot for Arizonans -- but not so much in recent years as news streams north of extreme smuggling gang violence. Mexico tourism is down in general, and far fewer people have been driving down to Rocky Point, known in Mexico as Puerto Penasco.

If you want the full scoop, read our February feature article about Rocky Point, Scarecation. We found the place nearly empty in December, and only slightly more full of tourists in February, just before the universities went on spring break. New Times explored the evidence of recent violence, including a slaying last August at a popular boat dock.

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Image: Jamie Peachey
Sunset from the Playa Bonita Resort on Sandy Beach in Rocky Point, Mexico. Beautiful -- but the State Department urges travelers to be cautious.
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We also interviewed the new police chief, Lazaro Hernandez, who told us that nobody knows why his predecessor was shot. The State Department warning states bluntly that the shooting of the former chief was related to cartel violence, (which, of course, everybody had figured.) After we got back, another apparent drug-related slaying occurred that seemed ripped straight from the Godfather. As New Times fellow Greg Pratt reported, a 21-year-old man was shot up in a firefight, then taken to hospital and abandoned by police. The attackers soon showed up at the hospital and finished the job.

Still, we found Rocky Point to be peaceful, despite the ominous aura of potential violence. Going over the stats and old news reports, it appears that no American has been killed in Rocky Point since the early 1990s -- and in that case, an American hired the killer to off his wife. Most people who worry about going to Rocky Point fear the 60-mile drive on Mexico's Highway 8 from Lukeville to the beach, but we're not aware of so much as one confirmed carjacking on the road.

Not to say that it can't happen.

But there are rewards for those who "risk" it: Gorgeous beaches, fun nightclubs, real Mexican culture -- and none of it very far from the Valley.

Just watch your back.

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8 comments
AzKELLYcom
AzKELLYcom

This would be like saying Atlantic City is Unsafe for tourist to North Jersey and NYC. No problems at the Border.  Oy vey...  Arizona citizens own Thaousands of homes and Condo's here.  Beach destination for Spring break and Summer too.

Guest
Guest

I have been driving from Phx to RP every other weekend for 2 years, by myself (Im female) and have never seen anything dangerous or unsafe. I have now lived in RP for a year and go out on the town frequently in the day and at night- never seen any violence here. Its a calm peaceful town and I say that because I live here, and I do not own a business (many people say that businesses owners want people to come out so they can keep their businesses going), I am here because I love the beach and the cost of living is low. Now I return to Phx once a month (by myself) and still have never experienced any danger (I returned from Phx just yesterday evening). I love it here!

Rob
Rob

"Just watch your back" the same can be said about the entire Phoenix area

The 50/50 Bar at 1600
The 50/50 Bar at 1600

So, the United States government ( one of the most successful drug smuggling entities known to the human race ) is going to trash talk a beautiful city that they themselves helped to ruin.How nice.

If the USA - CIA - DEA wants to stop the border violence that they themselves started, there is a simple way to do it...Legalize "Ephedrine" and allow production of Methamphetamine to resume in the United States. You stupid bastards have not proven anything by outlawing it. And in the same way you fucked up with the XVIII Amendment - Volstead Act of the Roaring Twenties, you have not thwarted at all the use of Meth in this country. But then again, That's not an imperative, is it ?

U.S. government couldn't care less if tweekers smoke that shit 'til their dicks fall off - but goddamn it, those Meth cookers are making hundreds of millions of dollars selling that crapA N DN O T paying income tax on their earnings.And that just pisses them the hell off. Go ahead and kill yourself, bitch, but pay me my issue before you go. Communist bastards.

And where is Barack Obama ?Why he's back in D.C., bein a good lil white niggah.

"I don't think border security is a big issue in 2010"Barack Hussein Obama

Megan
Megan

Im staying here on the North Shore of Oahu Hawaii at Sunset Beach. no thank you rocky point Mexico.

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