Friday, December 14, 2012

Update on Marine in Mexico

Latest hell for ex-U.S. Marine: Chained to bed in Mexican jail

Jon Hammar - cropped
Former U.S. Marine Jon Hammar is in a Matamoros prison in Mexico, charged with bringing an antique shotgun into Mexico. | Handout via the family/MCT

As a U.S. Marine, Jon Hammar endured nightmarish tension patrolling the war-ravaged streets of Iraq’s Fallujah. When he came home, the brutality of war still pinging around his brain, mental peace proved elusive.
Surfing provided the only respite.
“The only time Hammar is not losing his mind is when he’s on the water,” said a fellow Marine veteran, Ian McDonough.
Hammar and McDonough devised a plan: They’d buy a used motor home, load on the surfboards and drive from the Miami area to Costa Rica to find “someplace to be left alone, someplace far off the grid,” McDonough said.
They made it to only the Mexican border. Hammar is in a Matamoros prison, where he spends much of his time chained to a bed and facing death threats from gangsters. He’s off the grid, for sure, in walking distance of the U.S. border. But it’s more of a black hole than a place to heal a troubled soul.
The reason might seem ludicrous. Hammar took a six-decade-old shotgun into Mexico. The .410 bore Sears & Roebuck shotgun once belonged to his great-grandfather. The firearm had been handed down through the generations, and it had become almost a part of Hammar, suitable for shooting birds and rabbits.
But Mexican prosecutors who looked at the disassembled relic in the 1972 Winnebago motor home dismissed the U.S. registration papers Hammar had filled out. They charged him with a serious crime: possession of a weapon restricted for use to Mexico’s armed forces.
Hammar isn’t the only American accused of questionable gun-related charges at Mexico’s border. Last April, a truck driver who was carrying ammunition through Texas got lost near the border, dipped into Mexico to make a U-turn and was forced to spend more than six months in jail.
It’s been months since Hammar’s Aug. 13 arrest, and his former Marine comrades are livid and dumbfounded, impotent to help.
“It’s heartbreaking. This is a guy who I served with in numerous combat situations, and he was one of the best we had,” said veteran Marine Sgt. James Garcia.
Hammar, 27, joined the Marines and deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq before receiving an honorable discharge in 2007, serving another four years in inactive reserve. In Fallujah, one of the most dangerous cities in Iraq, Hammar’s Marine battalion was hit hard, with 13 killed in action and more than 100 wounded, Garcia said.
“There were days where it was like, dude, I may not make it out of here,” Garcia said. “If it wasn’t the IEDs, it was the car bombs or the suicide bombs.”
In Afghanistan, the Marine unit provided security for President Hamid Karzai, protected election polls and disrupted insurgent cells around Kabul.
Hammar did not have an easy re-entry to civilian life. After recurring bouts of depression, he voluntarily checked into The Pathway Home, a residential treatment center for veterans in California’s Napa Valley, in August 2011 for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. He graduated nine months later.
“A big portion of his PTSD is survivor’s guilt. It’s a loss of innocence,” said Olivia Hammar, his mother, a Miami-Dade County magazine publisher. “You’re still trying to process all your friends who didn’t come home.”
After leaving Pathway, Jon Hammar and Ian McDonough spent $1,400 on the used Winnebago, splashed out another $3,000 to outfit it and mapped a route to Costa Rica, hitting surf breaks in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and in Louisiana and Texas along the way to Mexico. Inside the rolling white beast were up to nine surfboards.
“We begged him not to go, specifically because we were worried about his safety in Mexico, but they were fearless Marines and were undaunted,” Olivia Hammar said in an email.
McDonough, a U.S. citizen who’s lived off and on for three years in Argentina, said he and his friend were wary of dangers as they approached the Los Indios border crossing, which links Brownsville, Texas, with Matamoros, Mexico.
“We had enough gas in the vehicle that we were going to make it to southern Mexico before nightfall,” McDonough said. “We weren’t going to stop.”
The issue of the shotgun came up near the border.
“I told him that we probably shouldn’t take the shotgun with us,” McDonough said. “And he said, ‘No, I’m going to get it cleared with customs at the gate.’ So I said, ‘That’s fine. As long as it’s legit.’ ”
The Customs and Border Protection agent said it was all right to take the shotgun, McDonough said, adding that the agent told them: “ ‘All you have to do is register it.’ So they gave us a piece of paper and said, ‘This is your registration. You’ve got to pay this much.’ They gave us the piece of paper to give to the Mexican authorities.”
As soon as the Winnebago lumbered over the bridge and they handed over the form to Mexican agents, trouble began. The two spent several days in custody, separated from each other. Mexican authorities eventually freed McDonough, perhaps because of his Argentine residency, and he walked back to Brownsville.
On Aug. 18, Mexican prosecutors leveled serious charges against Hammar. Curiously, it wasn’t the type of shotgun that broke Mexican law. It was the length of the barrel, which the formal citation said was shorter than 25 inches, although a discrepancy has emerged over how the barrel was measured.
“It’s a glorified BB gun,” Olivia Hammar said.
Indeed, Mexico’s criminal groups routinely wield AK-47 and AR-15 assault rifles, high-powered .50-caliber sniper rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and other potent weaponry. If Hammar had any intention of causing mayhem, using his great-grandfather’s proud firearm would have been like Daniel Boone and his muzzle-loading Tick-Licker fighting a modern U.S. Marine.
Back in April, the Dallas truck driver, Jabin Bogan, carrying 25,000 pounds of ammunition in his 18-wheeler, said he got lost in El Paso en route to a delivery in Phoenix. When he lurched to a stop at the Mexican border, asking to turn around, a Customs and Border Protection agent told him it was impossible. He was told to enter Mexico and make a U-turn. He had no passport and couldn’t speak Spanish.
The ammunition was openly displayed on nine pallets in the truck, most of it of a caliber unsuitable for the AK-47 and AR-15 rifles favored by Mexico’s cartels.
Mexican prosecutors charged him with crimes that could have brought more than 25 years in prison.
“My son was not trying to deliver no drugs or no guns to nobody,” Bogan’s mother, Aletha Smith, told an ABC-TV affiliate in Texas.
Through pressure from members of the U.S. Congress, Bogan was freed Nov. 23, and he returned to a tearful reunion in Dallas with his family.
While his ordeal was difficult, Hammar’s has been worse.
Once Hammar was sent to a state prison in Matamoros, mixed in with the general inmate population, late-night phone calls began to his parents in Palmetto Bay, Fla.
“They said, ‘I have your son. We need money.’ I said, ‘I’m going to call the (U.S.) consulate.’ They said, ‘The consulate can’t help you.’ Then they put him on the phone. He said, ‘Mom, you need to pay them,’ ” Olivia Hammar recalled.
Over subsequent calls, the extortionists offered a Western Union account number and demanded an initial payment of $1,800.
Frantic, the Hammars contacted U.S. diplomats, who helped get their son out of a general cellblock into solitary confinement. They didn’t pay the extortion. Nor did they speak to the news media until now.
“He was housed in a wing controlled by the drug cartel,” said Eddie Varon-Levy, a Mexican lawyer hired by the family.
Varon-Levy said that Hammar, if convicted, could receive a sentence of anywhere from three to 12 years in a federal prison.
Making matters worse is the nature of Hammar’s confinement, a matter that’s drawn the attention of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Hammars’ local representative.
“His family has described a very disturbing situation that includes their son being chained to a bed in a very small cell and receiving calls from fellow inmates threatening his life if they did not send them money,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “The family also says that the jail where their son is being held is controlled by the dreaded and brutal Zetas drug cartel. The family wants their son back home, and I will do my best to help them."
For all the toughness instilled by the Marine Corps, friends say Hammar is a gentle soul.
“Hammar doesn’t take meds. Hammar doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink. Hammar doesn’t do any of that. He surfs,” McDonough said. “If you meet Hammar, you have to like him. He’s always there for you. If you need something, he’ll literally give you everything.”
So far, Hammar’s parents have gotten little help from U.S. diplomats.
“They take a real hands-off approach. Unless your life is at threat, they aren’t going to do anything,” Olivia Hammar said.
For Garcia and dozens of other Marines who’ve learned of Hammar’s plight, it’s hardly conceivable not to take action.
“He doesn’t deserve this,” Garcia said. “We never leave a brother behind. We never leave a Marine behind. We have to do something.

Read more here:


John Mc Gowan said...


Missing Girl: Police Say Fears Are Growing
Detectives say Shelley Pratt has had "absolutely no contact" with friends or family since she went missing on November 9.10:09am UK, Friday 14 December 2012
Shelley has gone missing before but not for so long

Police are appealing for information about a teenage girl who has been missing for five weeks.

They say concern is growing for the safety of 14-year-old Shelley Pratt from Croydon in Surrey.

Detectives have released new CCTV images which show her walking with a young black man along Croydon High Street just after midnight on Friday, November 9.

She is wearing her school uniform trousers and a hooded jumper with the slogan 'I love (heart symbol) London'.

Minutes later, police believe Shelly's Oyster card was used to board a route 60 bus heading towards Coulsdon.

The day before Shelley got off a 196 bus outside Harris Academy in South Norwood, Croydon, and walked south with a girl and a boy.

She was later spotted around 9.30pm on CCTV at George Street tram stop in Croydon town centre.

CCTV image of Shelley in Croydon High Street
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Dunne said: "It has now been five weeks since Shelley went missing and concerns for her safety and welfare, especially in this extremely cold weather, are heightened.

"Shelley has had absolutely no contact with friends or family since her disappearance and it is possible that she may be with someone, perhaps in a house or a flat.

"I am encouraging people, particularly Croydon residents, to look closely at the image of the young man seen next to her.

"Do you recognise him or see him moments before approaching Shelley, talking to a number of passing girls on the opposite pavement, clearly trying to get their attention?"

Shelley's parents have urged her to get in touch
Shelley, who is described as white and around 5ft 6in or 5ft 7in tall with long brown hair, has gone missing twice before but not for so long.

Her parents, Lisa and Tony Pratt, have begged her to come home in time for Christmas.

They said: "Shellz, please get in touch with us, we are desperate to hear your voice and know that you are safe and well.

"You're not in trouble. We love you and we miss you and just want you home, without you there will be no Christmas.

"Your presents are under the tree waiting for you. We are all missing you like mad. We love you - please, please come home."

Anonymous said...

OT- the two missing Iowa girls who were found,

Story today in iowa des moines register. The family held a "celebration" lots of statements in this one.

dadgum said...

A family I grew up with was traveling in Mexico..back when it was 'safe'. Their tire blew, and the car crashed. Mom and Dad were ok, but arrested. Teen daughter and 8 yr old jailed. Son, 12, also jailed with compound femur fracture. It;s a miracle he survived.

Two teens in my town went to Baja for the weekend. The girl fell, and died, because there was no one to rescue her. Boyfriend had gone for help. He was jailed, and her body was held by officials until our mayor (with family connections) intervened, and money was paid. Both families were well off, and the officials knew it.

I used to take church youth to serve in an orphanage in Tijuana. Once saw a car strike a bicycle. Though the rider was injured, and bike ruined, both left the scene, as they would both have been arrested.

People assume, and expect the laws and actions to be the same as in the US. They often think because they are an hour or two from home, nothing can happen.

The US officials should have refused to allow the shotgun through. It was stupid to take it in the first place. The whole thing is over money, imo.

I wouldn't go back into Mexico on a bet. I have family with family there, and even they don't go. Not now..

dadgum said...

Anon..there is a 90 minute interview of Elizabeth's parents done after the girls were found last week. Lyric's memorial will be in January.

Anonymous said...

@Dadgum- I didn't mean to imply it was funeral services..just saying it was in the today Iowa news, as I live here. Sorry for the confusion.

Vita said...

OT - Ayla Reynolds

Today at 2PM Eastern
Press Conference Maine State Police
Waterville Police

Ayla Reynolds

News site NECN says they will be covering. I am sure all the Maine News Press will be covering. Have not read it will be live streamed or not. I would think it would be.
From Press:
Waterville and Maine State Police have scheduled a joint press conference for Friday afternoon to update reporters on the status of the investigation. NECN will be there.


From earlier this week, 12/7/12

WATERVILLE — There are no new developments in the case of missing toddler Ayla Reynolds, but police will hold a press conference next week to provide a recap of the investigation, according to a press release from Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.

The 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, press conference will be held downtown, just days before the one-year anniversary of Ayla’s disappearance.

Ben McCanna

dadgum said...

I just thought you'd be interested in the loong interview. :o) They are an amazing couple..their seating positioning is because the mics are behind the chairs. I thought they should have been mic'd properly, and seated together.

They speak of seeing their little girl's shoes, and Lyric's, and not wanting the details in their heads. Dad speaks heartbreakingly about her bedroom...

Nanna Frances said...

Please contact President Obama. Pressure from US will free this American vet.

Dadgum, I agree with you. I would not go to Mexico.

Nanna Frances said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eliza said...

The ex-marine's story haunts me since yesterday... This man survived Iraq and now this happens to him? Is there something to do, some petition to the Mexican authorities to sign, anything to help? I can't believe how US governement doesn't help him!

dadgum said...

CT school shooting. At least 26 killed, inc. shooter, the father of a student.

Vita said...

Dadgum' (ohmygod)

I did not see your post. I went to the front page of the website, for Ayla, NECN. Read the Headline of the School Shooting.

(NECN/AP) - An official with knowledge of Friday's shooting at a U.S. school said 27 people were dead, including 18 children. It was the worst school shooting in the country's history.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is under way.

Another official, speaking on condition of anonymity for the same reason, said the gunman was among the dead.

The White House said President Barack Obama had been notified.

The killings happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City.

State police said Newtown police called them around 9:40 a.m. (1340 GMT).

Photos from the scene showed young students - some crying, others looking frightened - being escorted by adults through a parking lot in a line, hands on each other's shoulders.

- Oh my god an Elementary School.
what the hell is wrong with people? Shoot yourself, leave the children alone! I am speechless.

Vita said...

Live Streaming ABC

Shooting at elementary school

dadgum said...

Students were k-4th, nearly 700 on a secured campus (phone/video ID required. I wonder if they has threats?

Shooter was 20yr old male. Numbers keep changing, but any number is too many...

dadgum said...

shooter identified

Vita said...

Dadgum' your right, the numbers keep changing, and ONE loss of life was too many.

The press on the Shooter /Shooters?

NEWTOWN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut/AP) — CBS News is reporting that at least 26 people are dead, including 18 students, after a mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. The gunman is among the dead.

CBS News’ John Miller reports there is preliminary information that the gunman was the father of one of the students. Miller additionally reports the gunman is 20 years old and is from New Jersey.

CBS News is confirming that a second body has been found in the New Jersey home of the shooter.

A law enforcement official in Washington said the attacker was a 20-year-old man with ties to the school and that one of the guns was a .223-caliber rifle. The official also said that New Jersey State Police were searching a location in that state in connection with the shootings. That official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to speak on the record about the developing criminal investigation. It is not known whether the shooter took his own life or was killed.

“The shooter is deceased inside the building,” State Police Lt. Paul Vance said during a press conference, adding that the scene is secure.

CBS News reports that a potential second shooter is in custody and that SWAT is now investigating the home of the suspect.

A witness tells WFSB-TV that a second man was taken out of the woods in handcuffs wearing a black jacket and camouflage pants and telling parents on the scene, “I did not do it.”

Fox Connecticut reports that the shooting began in the kindergarten classroom.

Read More, article wont fit in one post -

dadgum said...

his fb page went down..but I have it up, as well as his friends list..
Ryan Lanza

Vita said...

I put into twitter search


This is the first thing that came up

Alleged this is the shooter, his name and photo

dadgum said...

He began in the office..people were in a meeting, went to the hall after hearing shots, and never returned. He was found in the Kindergarten room, the kids in the class remain unaccounted for (as of this report), parents are being notified as they arrive. The number sounds like he shot whatever adult he saw, and the entire class of 5/6 yr olds.

Rifle and 2 handguns..yet he bypassed the security. Someone must have known him..teacher's/employee's child??

dadgum said...

Lord, be with these families..
son just left to bring granddaughters here. No more news in this house unless it's online... What is the world coming to?

Vita said...

Dadgum' he keeps coming up in my search of his name, age 24.

I think this is him. People are writing comments under this video, from 2008- that it is him.

He and the photo posted on Twitter, look the same. Same name. He is said to be a student in the video. If he is 24, he would have been 20 in this YT. It adds.

dadgum said...

Me too, though CNN says the fb is down..idk
twitter too..

Postulating he was well known to staff..had to either be child of staff, or volunteer..

Vita said...

Twitter feed under hash tag


It continues to load new tweets, since I went on it, moments ago, there is 159 new tweets.

dadgum said...

Vita..did you check tumblr? A lot of young people (did I just use that term!?!?) use it. Kayla, the girl that drowned the other day in NC was all over tumblr.. I don't twut, or tumbl..

Vita said...

Is this him?

All the searches on him have come up with two cities -
Ryan John Lanza, age 24

Sandy Hook, CT
Atco, New Jersey

Shutter the thought, it does explain his guns and preparedness. Sick Bastard.

Ryan Lanza
Delaware Department of Corrections
Atco, New Jersey

(Greater Philadelphia Area) Law Enforcement

Correctional Officer
Delaware Department of Correction

October 2011 – Present (1 year 3 months)

Vita said...

New breaking

UPDATE: According to NBC News, the gunman has been identified as Ryan Lanza, 24. Reports indicate that Lanza's mother worked at the school.

The CBS presser to say they found a body - is this his father? or ?
Did his mother survive the ambush? she being an employee at the school.

CBS News is confirming that a second body has been found in the New Jersey home of the shooter.

dadgum said...

He killed his mother..
she was a teacher.
An ambulance left the family home, not clear if it held his mother or father..

Vita said...

His MOM was the Kindergarten Teacher!

NEWTOWN, Conn. —

A gunman who opened fire at a Connecticut school this morning has been identified.

Officials said 24-year-old Ryan Lanza shot and killed at least 27 people inside Sandy Hood Elementary around 9:30 a.m. today. Lanza's mother is said to have taught kindergarten at the school, and reports indicate her classroom was targeted.

Lanza's mother was shot, according to reports.

The gunman is dead, and apparently had two guns with him. His body was still inside the building throughout the investigation.

Some reports indicate Lanza's father was shot in his New Jersey home prior to the shootings at Sandy Hood Elementary.

He did or did not have a child in this school? how would his mother be teacher to her own grandchild?

This is beyond mind scope

dadgum said...

I don't think he has any kids..his mom was teaching there..Early report was wrong.

Linking mom to school site, dad to home..

dadgum said...

Neighbors describe both him and his brother as 'troubled'.

Our mental health system needs a revamp. Shockingly underfunded, especially for kids in early adulthood.

Gun control isn't the answer..getting people help is, imo.

Vita said...

Confirming live

His mother was the Kindergarten teacher, she is dead.

Authorities will not release yet, other ongoing investigation
" elsewhere" - activity of 24 year old Ryan Lanza, prior to him entering the Elementary school at 9:30 am.

President Obama is Live right now

dadgum said...

Where is his brother??

dadgum said...

Brother was found dead in comment on his father..

Vita said...

Dadgum' I worked at a daycare for 5 yrs. 6wks-5yrs of age the children. All divided into areas of the building, by age group.

My last year, I was in the preschool room. The majority I had cared for since they were 6wks old. I moved with them as they aged to the preschool room. Their last year, was my last year, they then to move on to Kindergarten. I said I cannot do another tour. These kids were my heart, 5 days a week, 5 to 10 hours a day.

32 children was our capacity. Reflecting here, if 18 of them had been victims, alike the the children today. I still to this day, remember their faces, names, they near 28yrs old now.

I cannot comprehend the actions of Ryan Lanza. I cannot.

More so I cannot comprehend the witnesses - the children what is ongoing inside their minds right now. The children who watched. The parents to be told. The casualties to become, the walking wounded at age 5-10yrs old.


dadgum said... too. I did day care in my home for several families, newborns thru pre-K, for years. I still remember each child's name, parents and siblings..and know what some are doing now, some 20yrs later. Same with the kids and babies we fostered..

Speechless well describes it.

Vita said...

Now they are saying the shooter may be Adam Lanza not Ryan.

I cannot believe this.

Just said live, they may have released the wrong name?

dadgum said...

Heard that as well..they are working multiple crime scenes in 2 states.

dadgum said...

Interesting fb sites showing up under Adam Lanza. So much misinformation flying around. Going to wait and see..too confusing and awful.

Vita said...

WASHINGTON — Fox News is reporting the shooter in the Connecticut elementary school has been identified as Adam Lanza, 20.

Law enforcement initially said the shooter was 24-year-old Ryan Lanza, however Fox News said the shooter is Ryan Lanza’s brother, Adam Lanza.

Adam Lanza, 20, shot his mother dead and targeted her kindergarten class at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., sources sais. Sources also told The Post that Lanza’s mother was a teacher at the school and he “had a dispute with her.”

Police in Hoboken, NJ are questioning Lanza’s older brother Ryan, 24, but he is not a suspect.

According to CNN, the suspect’s mother is a teacher at the school and is among those dead.


(so confused)

Vita said...

The first official said Adam Lanza is dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

According to the second official, the suspect drove to the scene of the shootings in his mother's car. Three guns were found at the scene - a Glock and a Sig Sauer, both pistols - and a .223-caliber rifle. The rifle was recovered from the back of a car at the school. The two pistols were recovered from inside the school.

The official also said Lanza's girlfriend and another friend are missing in New Jersey.

Meanwhile, former Jersey Journal staff writer Brett Wilshe said he has spoken with Ryan Lanza of Hoboken, who told Wilshe the shooter may have had Ryan Lanza's identification.
Ryan Lanza has a Facebook page that posted updates Friday afternoon that read that "it wasn't me" and "I was at work."

Anonymous said...

Boy is named Adam, mother was NOT a teacher there, they are learning. News is updating often. No second shooter, no man in the woods, brother was at work, father is alive.

audpaud said...

Let's move some more of our jobs to this wonderful country? *dripping sarcasm*

BostonLady said...

I had an account I was working with in El Paso Texas back in 2000. I was excited to be so close to the Mexican border as I'd never been to Mexico. El Paso is right on the Juarez border so I thought I would just go across to check it out, have lunch and come back. Well, the nurses I worked with told me in no uncertain terms to forget that idea. They said it was a dangerous place and no one should go there. Even they never went over the border. They steal your rental car (if you can even get one that will let you take it over the border). They steal money and worse, you could end up in a jail and no one would hear from you .. if ever.

I heeded their advice. These women were bikers too ! And they were right because anything I wanted was being sold right there in El Paso.

I wouldn't go to Mexico - even the Cancun, Cozumel tourist type spots now. There are other beautiful islands where you do not have to fear for your safety.

I hope they can get this Marine out of there. I cannot imagine how horrible this is for not only him but his family and friends.

Trigger said...

This is so awful.

Mexican jails and jailors are deadly.

I knew someone who was jailed because he had a flat tire and pulled off the road to fix it. The "police" accused him of having a "wreck" on the road so they put him in jail because it was illegal to have a car accident.

He said that he was terrified. The jail was dirty and unsanitary. He was afraid to eat or drink anything during his stay. He looked like dirty and emaciated when he was finally released after a week of "negotiations" and a ransom.

dadgum said...

Many people are naive..they assume that Mexico is an extension of the US..similar to Canada in laws and practices. Not a big way.

We used to take 3-4 day cruises when we lived in SoCal..nice way to relax and not worry about where to go, stop, eat and true vacations ever. One stop was Ensenada, usually..get off the boat to a filthy harbor, and armed soldiers, with auto weapons, in the port. This was late 80s.

Honestly, the way things were run in town made us sad, angry..little kids begging, but having to give the money to a man running the area..sick. We still made the trips, but stopped going ashore..

When even people born there refuse to go and visit..when a young mother straps a gun to her thigh because she feared robbers would kill her and her husband to steal their kids to get's time to tell Americans to stay North. But they won't..

dadgum said...

Many people are naive..they assume that Mexico is an extension of the US..similar to Canada in laws and practices. Not a big way.

We used to take 3-4 day cruises when we lived in SoCal..nice way to relax and not worry about where to go, stop, eat and true vacations ever. One stop was Ensenada, usually..get off the boat to a filthy harbor, and armed soldiers, with auto weapons, in the port. This was late 80s.

Honestly, the way things were run in town made us sad, angry..little kids begging, but having to give the money to a man running the area..sick. We still made the trips, but stopped going ashore..

When even people born there refuse to go and visit..when a young mother straps a gun to her thigh because she feared robbers would kill her and her husband to steal their kids to get's time to tell Americans to stay North. But they won't..

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