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Messages - Westinghouse

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Ciudad Juarez according to Wikipedia.

[edit] Drug cartel violence
Main article: Mexican Drug War
Recent violence among rival drug cartels has resulted in almost half of Mexico's 8330 drug related murders reported to have taken place since January 2007; Juarez now has by far the highest murder rate in Mexico.[12] Recent murders in the city have grown not only in numbers, but also in barbarity. In late 2008, one murder victim was found near a school hanging from a fence with a pig's mask on his face, and another one was found beheaded hanging from a bridge in one of the busier streets of the city.[13] Journalist Charles Bowden, in an August 2008 GQ article, wrote that multiple factors, including drug violence, government corruption, and poverty have unleashed a disordered violence that now permeates the city.[14] [8]

In January 2004, Ciudad Juarez police unearthed a mass grave containing 12 bodies in a backyard. Mexican investigators found 19 more bodies buried in the backyard of a house in Ciudad Juarez, increasing the tally of corpses found there to 36, officials said March 15, 2008. Federal agents began digging in the yard on March 1, 2008, initially finding six dismembered bodies. Ciudad Juárez has been plagued by violence as Mexico's crackdown on powerful drug cartels stokes turf wars among traffickers who have been linked to thousands of killings in the years 2006, 2007 and 2008. The body count in Mexico stands at 5,400 slayings in 2008, more than double the 2,477 reported in 2007, officials said, with over 1400 in Ciudad Juárez alone.[15] [16] The population of Ciudad Juarez had to change their daily routine and many try to stay home in the evening hours. Public life is almost paralyzed out of fear of being kidnapped or hit by a stray bullet. On 20 February 2009, the U.S. State Department announced in an updated travel alert that "Mexican authorities report that more than 1,800 people have been killed in the city since January 2008." [17]

After being widely considered the most violent city in Mexico, "Nearly 2,000 Mexican soldiers and armed federal police poured into the border town of Ciudad Juarez" in late February. This move by the military came after it was reported that "250 people were killed there by hitmen fighting for lucrative smuggling routes" in the city.[18]

On 12 March 2009, police found "at least seven" partially buried bodies in the outskirts of the city, close to the mexican border. Five severed heads were discovered in ice boxes, along with notes to rivals in the drug-wars. Beheadings, attacks on the police and shootings are common in some regions.[19]

[edit] Female sexual homicides
Main article: Female homicides in Ciudad Juárez
Over the past 10 years Juárez has seen over 400 women fall victims to sexual homicides, their bodies often dumped in ditches or vacant lots. In addition, grassroots organizations in the region report that 40 remain missing. Despite pressure to catch the killers and a roundup of some suspects, few believe the true culprits have been found. A 2007 book called The Daughters of Juarez, by Teresa Rodriguez,[20] implicates high-level police and prominent Juárez citizens in the crimes. This topic is also discussed in the 2006 book "The Harvest of Women" by journalist Diana Washington Valdez,[21] as well as in the novel 2666 by Roberto Bolaño, in which Ciudad Juarez is veiled as Santa Teresa. The sheer number of murders overwhelmed the local authorities which led to the construction of a US$6-million, high-tech laboratory complex that is a legacy of those killings. After an outcry over what was widely viewed as a slipshod investigation, international donors chipped in to help the State of Chihuahua build an unusually well-equipped forensics operation. It boasts a ballistics lab, chemical and genetic testing, DNA analysis and a morgue capable of storing nearly 100 bodies. But the murder rate of 2008 even overwhelmed this top of the line facility and during the peak of the murder spree refrigerated containers have to make do with the record numbers of murder victims.

Front Page March 15, 2009.

CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico – Police acting on a tip found seven bodies partially buried in the desert on the outskirts of the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, an official said Saturday.

Investigators are searching the desert site south of the city to see whether there are any more bodies.

An official with the state prosecutor's office who declined to be named in line with department policy says a police officer's badge was found at the site. Authorities were working to identify the bodies.

Ciudad Juarez, a city of 1.3 million people across the border from El Paso, Texas, has been hit by a wave of drug-fueled violence, prompting federal authorities to dispatch thousands of soldiers.

There is more to this story.

Not mentioned with story above.

Another word to those planning to visit Ciudad Juarez during a stopover in El Paso. Hundreds of women have been murdered there in a relatively short space of time. Some killers have been caught, and others are still roaming free, but the fact is hundreds have been murdered with their bodies dumped in many different areas. There should be information about this on the web. The watchword is caution.

Routes / Re: cross-country WITHOUT ACA Maps
« on: March 14, 2009, 09:09:52 am »
]The weirdest thing I have found over and over is that locals usually know ver little about the geography and especially the topography of their own area.  I have received bogus info over and over from locals and, often, an "I don't know" in response to very basic queries about the local area.  Anyone else have this same experience?

You are not the only one. I am not sure what it is about people and their seemingly habitual misdirection giving. I have experienced this many times. I do understand part of the problem, but not all of it. For example, you ask about some stretch of road and territory between Podunk and Hicksville; the information giver tells you it is flat; there are two cafe-restaurants at the second intersection, and Hicksville is 15 miles distant. You set out. The road is rolling to hilly. There are no cafes at all. Hicksville is 21 miles down the road. And the information came from a lifelong resident of Podunk. Now, I have come to understand the errors in topography. Most people have traversed those roads only in modern, powerful, automobiles; hills required no personal effort to overcome; therefore, the terrain is flat in their "experience" even if it is rolling or a bit hilly. Going that way on a bicycle would be unthinkable. Most people just do not know distances. As for their telling me there were services where there were not any, I am still stumped on that one. I do not want to be unduly critical of others, or harsh. That is not the purpose here. The fact is some of the attitudes I have encountered cycling cross country, coast to coast, were deplorable and irrationally hateful.

In answer to your observation, I have experienced what you mention more times than I care to remember, and it sometimes takes the joy out of it when it is plainly deliberate and spiteful.

If you read about trips on, it might do well to keep in mind they are cyclists on a well known and mapped route for bicycling. They are keeping journals on a well known site. Many of the people they meet along the way serve them out of commercial-financial interests, and they know they and their businesses will be mentioned on that web site. People in general who meet the cyclists along the way are aware of the publicity. It can be a very different matter if you are just out cycling across the USA, and coming into towns where cycling and cyclists are not well known. Sure, some people are quite nice, but I have come across some downright hateful malicious people too.

Routes / Re: East to West
« on: March 14, 2009, 01:56:52 am »
I took Amtrak once after a bike tour of some New England states. I went from Penn Station in NYC to West Palm Beach, Florida. It was not bad at all. The extra charge for the bike was quite reasonable. The ticket was reasonable too.

Routes / Re: cross-country WITHOUT ACA Maps
« on: March 14, 2009, 01:50:29 am »
I have bicycled across the USA six times. I used ACA maps on only one trip. If you don't want to pay out for maps, here is what you can do.

1. Go to the library, and get Donna Ikenberry's book on the TA. Copy the maps and put in your own notes for services available. If it is a violation of copyright to copy the maps, draw them out yourself. Make strip maps for less weight.

2. Carry Ikienberry's book with you. It is much less expensive than maps.

3. Follow Ikenberry's route and mark it out on maps. Copy maps in a library, and they cost you only 10 cents each.

4. Look at ACA's route on their web page. You can figure out for yourself which routes they follow. Plot it on your own maps or copies of maps.

5. Make copies of maps in a library, and make your own route.

Gear Talk / Re: Considering New Handlebar Setup
« on: March 11, 2009, 02:54:31 am »
I  used the straight MB style handlebars on two long tours. On all the others I used the drrop bars. I definitely prefer the drop style handlebars, more hand positions. In fact, I would not use the straight handlebars ever again. I don't like them. The twist style shifting was cool, yes, but not the straight style handlebar.

Gear Talk / Re: Four gears in hub.
« on: March 10, 2009, 08:46:27 am »
From my own non-technical point of view, if I can get an undished rear wheel and use the deraileur system, all I need is a better quality rear wheel, and my transcontinental touring problems would be greatly reduced. Considering the extremely high costs of some of the internally geared hubs, and the loss of pedaling efficiency, I think I would go with a cheap reliable front wheel, and a better quality undished rear wheel.

Routes / Re: Gen. impressions of Washington coast and Mt. Hood, OR?
« on: March 10, 2009, 08:18:51 am »
I have cycled the PCBR from Ana Cortes to San Diego. Expect rain in Washington. It is a bit hilly. It is a very good ride. I am not sure about traffic density in summer. Washington and Oregon DOTs might be able to give you some explicit information on that.

General Discussion / Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« on: March 10, 2009, 07:53:16 am »
Camping may or may not be a necessity depending on who is taking the tour, how much money he / she has to expend on the project, and preferences. However, the question was---Is camping necessary to bike tour? There is no simple answer. For some people camping and stealth camping might be necessary for financial reasons. For some people, paying for motels every day might be pocket change; for others it might be an ubearable drain. As for myself, sometimes I use motels, but the vast majority of the time in the past several years I free camped.

Routes / Re: NYC to Atlantic City
« on: March 09, 2009, 11:15:40 pm »
It definitely was not safe to cycle over the Goethels bridge; in fact, it looked like a suicide mission to try to do so. There is a narrow walkway on the bridge that I used. It was so narrow the panniers kept scratching against the guard rails. There was a lot of traffic, and no room for a bike at all that I could see.

General Discussion / Re: What book would you recommend to read?
« on: March 09, 2009, 11:06:57 pm »

Routes / Re: NYC to Atlantic City
« on: March 08, 2009, 08:47:50 am »
I went south out of NYC one time, and made it to South Florida which was my destination. I remember going through New Jersey. I don't remember the road, but it goes past Lake Manahawken near a road that goes out to Long Beach Island. The road went through Smithville. South of here was Atlantic City. AC was practically deserted. I rode along the boardwalk, and then south by roadway to the Cape May-Lewes ferry.

Leaving Manhattan by way of the Statan Island ferry, I walked over the Goethels Bridge which lets out onto US highway 1, or thereabouts. In that area, if you go west a little you will find a very long road that runs roughly near and parallel to US 1 for a long way south. Just ask around. South of there was a Naval Station Earl. My route went by there. I got out onto LBI and exited around Toms River NJ. It was a pretty good ride. then

Routes / Re: How much to save to do the TA
« on: March 08, 2009, 08:37:36 am »
I am working now. One of these days I believe I will again be free to take a long tour on my touring bike. Right now it looks like a toss up between the pacific coast bike route and the TA. People have said many good things about the TA . I consider it an excellent possibility. I have already done the PCBR. If I do the TA I will probably begin in the east. I went over Donna Ikenberry's book on the TA. I saw that many small towns had municipal parks where camping was cheap or free; they also had showers and municipal pools which would be a godsend in summer. There seemed to be many opportunities for stealth camping too. It is a long route, and a tough one in some places, but what to heck; if one cannot take some hardships in life, he/she shouldn't be out there doing that in the first place. If the route can be covered for $1500.00---$2000.00 that is pretty good, though I would expect to pay more than that, but not necessarily. I would be frugal, but not to the point of being stingy and a scrooge with myself. I definitely like to hit Starbucks, have a beer at night, eat in restaurants, and stay in an occasional motel. I will just have to wait and see.

General Discussion / Re: Living on my bike
« on: March 08, 2009, 07:55:46 am »

Yes,  there are services that will take mail for you. I think they will also hold and forward. If you are traveling the USA, and you know where you will be in so many days, you can have the mail forwarded to general delivery, main post office in some town where you will be.  Have it sent in a package with your name on it, of course, and have the sender write "Please hold for transcontinental bicyclist," or something like that. As for picking up odd jobs, that would be between you and the people with the work that has to be done.

General Discussion / Re: Living on my bike
« on: March 07, 2009, 08:42:53 am »
That would be difficult choosing between a full life of charitable social work, and exploring the world on two wheels. If you ever choose the latter opportunity, be sure to keep a very good journal of all your experiences to make a book, or at least a well bound record you can pass on to succeeding generations. I don't know how much experience you have with writing. You might want to get boned up on it, or even take courses in it if you ever do set out on a record keeping project like that. Remember, books are not written; they are rewritten. Revise.

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