Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-05-2010, 09:11   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Panama City, Panama
Boat: Hunter 42 Passage
Posts: 318
Send a message via Skype™ to Panamajames
Thumbs up Cruising in Mexico (7 Days in a Mexican Jail)

Another miracle for my life and another chapter for my book.

Good morning everyone

This is where I have been for 7 days. I stayed out of the main section, thank God as we slept in the office where the attorneys meet we saw many of the prisoners close up. The prisoner boss of the prison came to me with an interpreter to find out what happened. These are very dangerous people that are involved in all types of crime. Their real bosses are on the outside of the prison and give them orders. The guards here respect them and stay out of their way. They have not trouble moving about the prison. I paid my respect to him and his group. Women are in this prison and children are allowed until they are 5 years old. Wifes can come into the prison to stay with their husband.
There is a section where we showered that have all the drunks they picked off the street the previous night. We shower with a bucket of water and soap. My cellmates, a professional hit man, rapist and kidnapper (all accused) helped me alot. One of the mothers of one of the guys washed my clothes and brought us toliet paper and things we needed. The simplest things were very valuable. Like my jacket for a pillow and a plastic cup and a plastic spoon to eat and drink with. Everyone was very clean and organized and cleaned the floor with clorox 2 times per day. The lent me a blanket to sleep on. The prison provides nothing. But if you have money you can buy things at the commissary. The guards can get us anything if we have money. When I went to the court for hearings I was shackled and put in the back of a closed pickup. No less than than 10 armed police and military with machine guns took me to the court with 2 cars in front and back. You would think I was Pablo Escobar. Sirens and light flashing all the way.

All charges dropped regarding my gun that I carry on my boat. Lily will be free to leave Mexico either monday or tuesday. We did not know Lily and her brother needed a visa to enter Mexico. Getting my passport on Monday.
I am in a hotel and after sleeping on hard floors, it is very very nice. Lily is with immigration at the Cancun airport. They feed her and her brother 3 tiimes a day. no shower but the use of airport bathrooms. she has been there 8 days now. She told me she has met many people as in the day she is in the airport waiting room. I saw her the other night and she was very emotional. We are getting married in San Andreas on the way back to Panama. We want to get back to Panama ASAP Winds today are blowing very very strong but it is supposed to calm down later in the week.. We had the choice of leaving the country immediately after we arrived but I refused because after sailing in 10-20 seas and over 24 knots winds I was exhausted. I think the gun charges would have been filed anyway and the Adwana customs would have kept us. This should never have happened. I have checked my gun in many countries without problems. Mexico is at war with itself and everyone is in danger here. On the good side many Mexicans have helped me including the warden of the prison and the American Consular. I put everything in Gods hands and he guided me through all this. I am free and Lily and her brother will be free on Monday. Thanks God.

The lesson learned here was to understand the country's law better before you enter the country. This is a very violent country and you are guilty until proven innocent. My attorney worked the system well and had friends in different levels of the government. The problem in being in jail is that you do not have access to your bank account or money or even western union. You have to have friends on the outside. You may have $10k in the bank and a debit card but you can not get to it. My lawyer liked me and said we could worry about the money later after I was free. That is itself was unbelievable as that does not happen often. Plus the attorney were top flight and real winners. That persona was immpecable. That in itself was a miracle and gift from God. It was purely an accident that I met them. If I would have been in the main part of the prison. 15 yards away I would not have met them A couple of prisoners said not to use them as they were too expensive.. I told them up front I did not have much money. They said it would not be pro bono but I would work it out with them later.. It was not a difficult case cause I had the proof of innocence which I showed the court. I had a gun permit and I tried to declare my gun but was not provided the proper paperwork. None of this was my fault except I was there in Mexico. The wrong attorney in this case could have really screwed things up and I could have been in jail for a long time. Really, it was truly a gift from God.

Best to everyone Jim

I have never seen so many tatoos in my life...but you won't find one on me. Its a good feeling to be free but I wont feel real good until Lily and her brother are free too.. Monday.


http://riotporn.blogspot.com/2006/12...ison-riot.html
__________________

__________________
Sailing is 80% boredom and 20% sheer terror so FIRSTMATE then go sailing. Life is a journey, not a destination.
Panamajames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 09:32   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
unbusted67's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Islesboro, ME
Boat: Looking for a new boat
Posts: 2,196
Images: 24
Well James that sounds horrible. We are all very glad you and your fiance are safe.
__________________

__________________
unbusted67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 10:13   #3
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
It has always been illegal to bring a weapon to Mexico. Do your homework first is the rule. To think the liberals worry about illegals here in this country being incarcerated for committing a crime, it's a joke. Mods I am not turning this political, but a comparison needs to be made, so thoise travelling to foriegn countries will keep thier noses clean & out of trouble.......................i2f
__________________
SAILING is not always a slick magazine cover!
BORROWED..No single one of is as smart as all of us!
http://sailingwithcancer.blogspot.com/
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 10:21   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Panama City, Panama
Boat: Hunter 42 Passage
Posts: 318
Send a message via Skype™ to Panamajames
Weapon in Mexico

Actually it is not illegal to bring a weapon on a boat if you declare it. No 45 caliber allowed and that is what I have. It is reserved for Military and police. They were much more loose about it before 9/11. Mexico is a war zone and tourists best be careful. The police actually beat people here. I believe they will return my gun to me before I leave. They have a new director of customs in Mexico and they are no nonsense ... Best advise is if you carry a gun avoid Mexico. I carry a gun to protect my fiance and myself. I will give my life to protect her and it wont be with a machete stabbed in my stomach. I will not allow the bad guys to rape my girl. The Caribbean is much more dangerous than you can ever know. Do not be naive. Protect your loved one. Because you only get one shot with a flare gun and then they cut you up while your love ones watch. Good luck.
__________________
Sailing is 80% boredom and 20% sheer terror so FIRSTMATE then go sailing. Life is a journey, not a destination.
Panamajames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 10:35   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,577
Images: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
It has always been illegal to bring a weapon to Mexico. Do your homework first is the rule. ...i2f
Excerpted from
Firearms Regulations by Country

“... Mexico: travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_970.html

U.S. Department of State ➥ Mexico

Vessels entering Mexican waters with firearms or ammunition on board must have a permit previously issued by the Mexican Embassy, or a Mexican consulate.
Mariners do NOT avoid prosecution by declaring their weapons at the port of entry.
Before traveling, mariners who have obtained a Mexican firearms permit should contact Mexican port officials to receive guidance on the specific procedures used to report and secure weapons and ammunition. Entering Mexico with a firearm, some kinds of knives or even a single round of ammunition is illegal, even if the firearm or ammunition is taken into Mexico unintentionally. The Mexican government strictly enforces its laws restricting the entry of firearms and ammunition along all land borders and at air and seaports. Violations have resulted in arrests, convictions, and long prison sentences for U.S. citizens...”

See also:
Rules & Regulations on bringing firearms and guns to Mexico - MEXonline.com

From the NRA ➥
"MEXICO
Bringing firearms into Mexico is severely restricted. Mexico allows two sporting rifles or shotguns of an acceptable caliber and 50 rounds for each for hunting. First, a tourist permit must be obtained from the Mexican Consulate having jurisdiction over the area where the visitor resides. Mexican immigration officials will place a firearms stamp on this permit at the point of entry. A certificate of good conduct issued by the prospective hunter`s local police department, proof of citizenship, a passport, five passport size photos, a hunting services agreement with the Mexican Secretary of Urban Development and Ecology (issued by the Mexican Forestry and Wildlife office), and a military permit (issued by the Military Post and valid for only 90 days) are all required to be in the hunter`s possession while carrying the firearms. For additional information, contact the Mexican Embassy or Consular Office.

All firearms must be declared and registered with United States Customs on form 4457 or any other registration document available for the purpose of facilitating reentry into the United States with the same firearms."


__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 10:55   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 5,826
I'm glad you found that lawyer !

Gord,

The Mexican government is totally two faced. They have tough laws for anyone coming INTO Mexico, but actually ENCOURAGE illegal entry into the USA.

GRRR!!!!!!!
__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 11:23   #7
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
If you do get the permit. You need to use the weapon for hunting. Declare where & whom you will hunt with, and what you will hunt. They don't make it easy........i2f
__________________
SAILING is not always a slick magazine cover!
BORROWED..No single one of is as smart as all of us!
http://sailingwithcancer.blogspot.com/
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 11:32   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Panama City, Panama
Boat: Hunter 42 Passage
Posts: 318
Send a message via Skype™ to Panamajames
Weapon in Mexico

They told me that bringing a pistol to Mexico was okay if I had a permit from my originating country. I did not have to apply in advance they told me. If the weapon is for personal defense, it is declared, that I have proof of ownership which was my concealed weapons permit from Panama, and a receipt for the purchase of the gun. I had all of those but 45 caliber is prohibited. But I think they will return the gun as I did all the correct things. It was the Customs officials that screwed up my entry and send the information to the DA.
All and all everyone was very nice to me from the police, Navy, guards and prisoners. I guess I am a likeable person, thank God.

The customs boat hit my sailboat in the dark and crunched the fiberglass in 4 feet above the waterline.. A softball sized hole or crunch in. I wonder if they are going to pay for that.. Should be less than $500 to repair.
__________________
Sailing is 80% boredom and 20% sheer terror so FIRSTMATE then go sailing. Life is a journey, not a destination.
Panamajames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 11:52   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Vancouver
Boat: Stephens, MY, 70 ft,Vancouver and 43 ft Hatteras in Florida
Posts: 33
guns in foreign Countries

It's not much different than not reading the charts before entering unknown harbours, hit the rock, not the harbours fault.
__________________
canuck dennis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 12:06   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
SkiprJohn's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kea'au, Big Island, Hawaii
Boat: Cascade, Sloop, 42 - "Casual"
Posts: 14,192
Aloha James,
It would be interesting to know what your attornies cost after it is all said and done. Please keep us updated.
regards,
__________________
John
SkiprJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 12:45   #11
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,577
Images: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Panamajames View Post
They told me ...
... I had all of those but 45 caliber is prohibited...
Who are "they", that so missinformed you?
I believe that anything 9mm & above is reserved for the Mexican police & military.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 14:24   #12
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
in the interest of accuracy...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panamajames View Post
I had all of those but 45 caliber is prohibited.
...it should be clear that in Mexico, anything larger than a .38 Special, including a .357 Magnum, is considered a "Military Firearm" and is not permissible even with a permit.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 14:43   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Panama City, Panama
Boat: Hunter 42 Passage
Posts: 318
Send a message via Skype™ to Panamajames
firearm mexico

Yes it is true 9mm and above reserved for police and military and bad guys and drug dealers.

I have been to over 20 countries in the Caribbean and never had a problem.. I am to blame as I did not do my homework.

I plan to move on with my life and vacation. A big lesson learned the hard way.

I am very lucky, but they say you create your own luck. hmmmm
__________________
Sailing is 80% boredom and 20% sheer terror so FIRSTMATE then go sailing. Life is a journey, not a destination.
Panamajames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 15:24   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
Ocean Girl's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: In transit ( Texas to wherever the wind blows us)
Boat: Pacific Seacraft a Crealock 34
Posts: 4,115
Images: 2
Glad you are OK, I think a few years ago this would of not been the nightmare it was. Mexico IS at war, just as you say James, there is a lot of violence right now because of the terrible drug cartel war, you'd be amazed how many people are being killed , Mexicans, Americans, women, children, police , everyone.. a staggering amount. So yes, the Mexican people are in a terrible spot right now, not a good time to be there. As it happens I am going there this week but only for a day in Cozumel, and I will stay on the tourist path, very dangerous right now.
I pray for Mexico a lot because of the violence, they are amazing beautiful people, they deserve better. James, will keep you all in my prayers for a speedy reunion with your family and a speedy departure!Again, glad you are OK.
Erika
__________________
Mrs. Rain Dog~Ocean Girl
https://raindogps34.wordpress.com
Ocean Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2010, 16:03   #15
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
hmm... 9mm is smaller than .38

Anyway, handguns are always trouble, even with permits. Reason being that they can be easily concealed, which they don't like.

Get the h8&k out of there James and do some relaxing in Roatan or so before beating up east.

hope to see you back in Panama soon!

cheers,
Nick.
__________________

__________________
s/v Jedi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
Mexico

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cruising Days 'Lost' Relative to Length of Vessel Fewpossesions General Sailing Forum 21 24-04-2010 13:29
Hola, from a Cruising Family Currently in Mexico hotspur Meets & Greets 7 18-04-2010 12:20
Happy Cruising in Mexico rocinante Meets & Greets 2 16-12-2009 07:28
365 Days of Living the Cruising Dream SV THIRD DAY Off Topic Forum 11 28-09-2009 23:43
Smuggling Your Boat Out of Jail TaoJones The Library 3 02-07-2009 08:29



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 17:44.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.