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Monday, November 8, 2010

Why I don't go to Mexico

This is from a friend of mine, an American expatriate who lives near
Rosarito Beach, just south of Tijuana, Baja California (Mexico).

While I understand he lives in quite an attractive seaside neighborhood,
similar to a gated community, he and his family and neighbors still get some
of the overflow problems that are happening all over Mexico, including Baja,
California (Mexico.)

I've deleted his last name for security reason. I forward this so you might
understand what is going on with our neighbor to the south. The emails are posted sequentially:

29 de octubre, 2010 23:37:27
Asunto: Friday evening in SAM
Four TJ police vehicles responded to a report of home invasion on the 400
block of Farallon, San Antonio del Mar Friday evening. Occupant is bruised and beaten but suffered no serious injury, according to a Rosarito Cruz Roja
emergency clinic staffer (a doctor was not available). The occupant said he
was attacked by his maid's husband and an accomplice; the latter had done maintenance work at the home.

He indicated two, perhaps three, other men had tried to steal his motorcycle following the attack. Furniture in his home and entryway had been damaged and tossed about.
2 de noviembre, 2010 16:27:56
Asunto: Rv: Friday evening in SAM - Neighborhood watch note
Points for consideration:

I have no further information regarding the individuals who attacked the
occupant of a home on the 400 block of Farallon in San Antonio del Mar. The
occupant has disappeared. His car and motorcycle are gone. His estranged
wife is looking for him. I am told he is a drug/alcohol abuser. The background
of the true series of events that required the intervention of the Tijuana
police department on Friday is murky and resembles a soap opera. Simply stated, we in Neighborhood Watch have no pertinent information regarding the well-being of the occupant.

According to Dra. Martha, the event was not a home invasion per se, but the
result of a personal disagreement between the occupant and a worker. A
point has been made that the occupant of the home apparently owed his maid's
husband some money for work he had done. It is my understanding that the accepted protocol for obtaining debt relief in Mexico is to submit a complaint to the office of the Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado (please correct me
if I am mistaken, as my ignorance of the Mexican legal system is profound).
Beating up a debtor and/or stealing his property is is a crime and compounds
the problem.

Additionally, the fact that the occupant is missing raises a suspicion of
kidnapping, and this issue is being pursued by the occupant's wife and
It is obviously beyond the scope of the Neighborhood Watch program to
influence the personal life and situation of the occupant. He apparently is
severely handicapped by years of substance abuse, and reportedly has a
violent nature. All we can hope to do at this point is to report any further mayhem we may observe to the authorities, and strive to protect the rest of the
neighborhood from harm.
Best regards,
Friday evening in SAM - Neighborhood watch note - updated
(SAM = San Antonio del Mar)

To my good neighbors,

The one positive development that has emerged from this entire fiasco is
that our Neighborhood Watch system is functioning as intended. A disturbance on Friday, October 29, was noted by neighbors. The police were summoned and appeared in force. A homeowner who had suffered bruising was taken to Cruz Roja for a diagnosis and then released by the medical staff when it became apparent that his condition was not serious. A medical staffer recommended that the patient be referred to his personal physician for any follow-up treatment that should be required.

The individual who suffered the injuries has returned to his home. He
apparently has suffered no permanent injuries.

There are issues that have surfaced since the October 29th incident that
have caused concern for all of us here on the 400 block of Farallon, however.

The main issue is the possibility of drug use and/or trafficking by the
homeowner and other people that come to his home will likely effect the
safety of his neighbors.

The other issue is the prosecution of the indivuals who attacked him.

There is one school of thought who feel that an attack never occurred, and
that the disturbance was the result of substance-induced hallucinations by the
occupant after a binge he indulged in immediately preceding the disturbance.

There are others who believe that his story is true because there is no
logical reason he would have to distort the events that occured regarding the actual assault. It was was planned and executed with precision. The physical
evidence left in the house is still present (duct tape, bindings, rolled up socks to stuff in mouth etc.)

There were signs of an struggle in the house: clumps of hair and shoe scuffs
on wood floor, broken pottery and furniture, a crumpled rug at the entryway,

Quoting an individual who has devoted a significant effort into obtaining
facts surrounding this event:
"The police have made several arrests including the guy who had a gun....

Regarding (the occupants's) suspicions/theories on who's involved? Ill [sic]
just say that what sounded paranoid to me a few days ago now seems

They actually discovered sophisticated tracking software on his cell phone
along with a few other details or coincidences."

The technology has been around for awhile. Here's a link to spyware for cell
phones: (watch the informative videos on this webpage)
The software that was loaded on the occupant's phone was a program
specifically designed for his Blackberry. He noticed his wife had switched the battery in his Blackberry when she was last at the house (red battery was now yellow).
He thought nothing of it at the time and figured her battery was shorting out.
On the contrary, she stole his battery and substituted one that was loaded with
spyware software.

On the back of Blackberries and most other cellphones, under the battery, is
a label with codes/data specific to that phone. This information can be used
to install spyware on the phone. The phone's location can then be tracked
within a 30 foot radius. A cellphone's microphone even works as a bugging device. Conversations being held near the phone can be monitored.

The occupant said that the perpetrators knew exactly when he would be going
out of town. The handyman was to pick up tools at the house earlier in the week (the day he had planned to fly North) but he never showed up. He had postponed his flight for 3 days until the the evening of the incursion.

The "handyman" who apparently set up the attack has been arrested. He
instantly "gave up" another guy who, according to the "handyman" was armed with a 9mm pistol. A few hours later, the Rosarito PD arrested this individual who was in possession of a 9mm pistol.

Police are also investigating the possibility that the occupant's wife was

A representative from the office of the Procuraduría General de Justicia del
Estado said the perps are ex-cons from the US.

I hope this information provides a clearer understanding of the events which
occured on October 29. The information I was afforded regarding spyware
installation on wireless devices was indeed edifying. It is suggested we
all work in a concerted way to prevent a reoccurance of this type of
situation. There is little likelihood of responsible behavior by the actors
occurring in this soap opera. At least we now have an awareness of what is
Best regards,

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