THE BAJA SITUATION: An Op/Ed from A Reader

As one who enjoyed surfing in Northern Baja in my youth here in San Diego I have been dismayed by sporadic reports of robberies perpetrated on US campers and surfers by Mexican Nationals the last few years. Evidently they are prevalent enough now to warrant this front page

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Violence and threats of violence are certainly something I disdain.

I am, however, not surprised this has occurred. Indeed, I am surprised these crimes did not begin sooner, given the bad behaviors I have witnessed by American surfers, campers, fishermen and off-road enthusiasts over the years in Baja.

Not uncommon have been drunk and drugged American recreants using their time in Baja to act out badly. Piggishly, to be more pointed.

In over forty years of travel along the Northern Baja coastal areas – the ones most easily accessible over a weekend for US players – I have commonly witnessed flagrant nudity, drunken and drugged vulgarity, destruction of open land, extensive littering and a general attitude of misbehavior begotten by a perverted common philosophy that Mexico is a place to let not just inhibitions go free, but civility, too.

Americans – the ugly ones so ingrained in the international psyche – exploit Baja for their organized surf schools, fishing trips, and motorcycle and dune-buggy driving and riding with general disregard for the local Baja residents.

How long could you take it if you were they subjected to obviously wealthy (by any standard – especially theirs) Americans, young and allegedly mature, doing this to your neighborhood and natural environment before you decided to take some for yourself?

Wrong? Sure.

Understandable? Absolutely.