Are Mexicans Afraid to Visit Mexico?: Mex. Gov't Advises Visitors to Form Convoys

ChronwatchAlan Wall

The Christmas (Navidad) season in Mexico is a special time, and a great time to visit relatives and friends. Unlike in the United States, Christmas has not become the target of rabid secularists, despite the fact that in many ways the Mexican political world is much more secular than that of the United States.

For Mexicans dwelling in the United States, it’s a time when they want to visit Mexico. And if they are able to do so, they usually do.

That’s why each Christmas season, there is a mass (temporary) migration of U.S.-dwelling Mexicans who drive south to Mexico, and then return to the U.S.

When I resided in Mexico, my family and I would go to the U.S. for Christmas vacation. As we drove north, we would encounter Mexicans headed south. They would often be driving vehicles laden down luggage, presumably gifts for relatives in Mexico.

Since we moved to the U.S., we´ve begun traveling to Mexico for Christmas vacation. That means that now we are part of the long line of cars heading south in December and north in January.

So it now takes us hours to cross the border from Mexico back into the U.S. There are so many vehicles (most of them pretty nice) belonging to U.S.-resident Mexicans headed to Mexico!

Last year, I took a mental note of the U.S. license plates on northbound vehicles. I saw more Texas license plates than those belonging to any other U.S. state, But the Illinois plate contingent came in second place. And there were other states represented, from the east coast to the west coast. Today’s Mexican Diaspora is no longer limited to the Southwest . The license plates verify that fact.

This annual influx affects the economy of the border region and of Mexico. In Mexico, they are glad to have the "paisanos"--the fellow Mexicans or countrymen--back for Christmas. For one thing, it pumps a lot of money into the Mexican economy.

This year, though, there may be fewer paisanos visiting. The reason: the continuing drug cartel war which continues to claim more lives and sow more fear.

And it’s northern Mexico--the specific region through which the paisanos must pass--that is the region of the worst violence in Mexico.

The Mexican government has caught wind of this, and is worried. So it has some advice for the paisanos

The advice: form convoys. Yes, that’s right, convoys. (Hmm, that reminds me of my tour of duty in Iraq.

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