Sinaloa Travel Guide

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Miss Sinaloa Wrapped Up In Guns And Cash Rap

Where: Sinaloa, Mexico
December 24, 2008 at 9:00 AM | by | ()

Laura Ziga, a Mexican pageant beauty from Sinaloa who was set to represent her country at Miss International 2009, was arrested Tuesday in Guadalajara, riding in an SUV packed with seven men, two assault rifles, three pistols, 500 rounds of ammo, 16 cell phones and $53,000 in cash. Cops say one of the guys is a leader of the Jurez drug cartel, an organization that has loose links to the Pacific Cartel.

The alleged drug lieutenant is also Ziga's boyfriend, who she claims kidnapped her and forced her into the exceedingly suspicious vehicle. That's not so hard to believe in Mexico, where even anti-kidnapping experts get taken hostage in news so ironic it'd be funny if it weren't so tragic.

Hundreds of people are kidnapped in Mexico every year, and the US State Department has this warning:

Kidnapping, including the kidnapping of non-Mexicans, continues at alarming rates. So-called express kidnappings, an attempt to get quick cash in exchange for the release of an individual, have occurred in almost all the large cities in Mexico and appear to target not only the wealthy, but also the middle class.

Related Stories:
· Mexico: Guns, Cash and a Tiara [NYT]
· Enjoy the Beach while Ducking RPGs in Mexico [Jaunted]
· Scenic Sinaloa: The Center of Mexico's Drug War [Jaunted]

[Photo: Huffington Post]

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Drug War Travel: Enjoy the Beach while Ducking RPGs in Mexico

September 30, 2008 at 2:31 PM | by | ()

The government of Mexico hopes to create yet another heavily developed strip of sand for tourists interested in golf courses, hotels and condos, and President Felipe Calderon has gone so far to say it'll be the country's most important tourism project in a quarter century. But there's one catch: It'll be in Sinaloa, the notorious home to the Mexican drug traffickers known as the Pacific Cartel.

True, the beach-town-turned-resort of Mazatlán is in Sinaloa, and it's established itself as a (relatively for Mexico) off-the-radar place to be. But while there haven't been any grenade attacks there, it has seen some gunplay.

We've already told you about the military-grade weaponry being used by gangs and the shrines to traffickers in Sinaloa's capital of Culiacán. How likely it is that tourists will be lining up to fly down to check out the beach in the middle of a drug-fueled war?

Related Stories:
· US State Department Travel Alert for Mexico [Official Site]
· Mexico Announces New Tourist Resort [AP, via]
· Drug Travel coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo Google Maps]