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Author: Subject: Strange request - seeking help with research
clubfred
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[*] posted on 3-8-2018 at 12:44 PM
Strange request - seeking help with research


Hi Nomads,

I'm starting research for a novel that will be set at a (fictional) military checkpoint in Baja. I'd like to connect with someone who could provide details on the day-to-day lives of the folks who are posted at those checkpoints, or someone who could connect me with someone, etc. Too many questions to list here. Also, my Spanish is pretty basic, at best, just BTW.

Any help would be most appreciated (and likely get you a credit in the acknowledgements)!

Thanks in advance.

And before the inevitable trolling, lol...

I've been going down to Baja since 1998 and so have passed through my fair share of military checkpoints. I know them well from the *outside*. I need to know them well from the inside. As for my writing creds, I have been writing professionally since 2005. Currently have four novels (SF) out and the fifth will be out this May, plus a bunch of short stories, awards, yadda yadda yadda. You can Google "Kristene Perron" if you need to fact check. tl;dr = "This ain't my first rodeo"
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nandopedal
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[*] posted on 3-8-2018 at 02:20 PM


Good luck with that kind of digging, I was born and raise in Baja did a year of military service (Only one because I was a student at the time) and in those days that was the law. The Mexican military is super tight with divulging any kind of info unlike for example US where you can get advisers for Hollywood or other endeavors pertaining to military activities.



\"There are many dangers in Baja. The most serious of which is not going.\" Christophe Noel (EXPO)
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sancho
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[*] posted on 3-8-2018 at 03:32 PM


Quote: Originally posted by nandopedal  
The Mexican military is super tight with divulging any kind of info











I think that correct, it is said to even be illegal to photograph Govt. buildings. Short of finding a Mex Army guy that had been
stationed at a checkpoint, don't know where you could find info.
I imagine it is pure boredom sitting at checkpoint, save the
occasional weed find. Before they had real barracks, the guys
no. of San Felipe would literally sleep on the ground, under a blanket, under
blue plastic tarps
hung from Ocitillo's. Had a guy wanting to buy my sleeping bag,
as it gets cold in the winter. Went thru the checkpoint so. of Ensenada,
had a glue plunger used to repair an inflatable, Army guy pulls
it out of the glove compartment demanding to know what it was,
thought went thru my mind he mistook it for some sort of
hypodermic





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clubfred
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[*] posted on 3-8-2018 at 04:09 PM


Thanks. Yes, I realize this will be difficult, hence why I'm starting my search early. I've found one connection but would love to get other input.

I've long pitied those poor guys stuck out there in the wind and cold, not to mention the boredom. Things seem a wee bit better now but...still a tough gig.
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BajaBlanca
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[*] posted on 3-8-2018 at 04:28 PM


good luck and I will ask around cause you never know.



Blanca and Les
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http://www.labocanahotel.com
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Paco Facullo
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[*] posted on 3-8-2018 at 04:37 PM


Heck about six months ago going through the checkpoint before Guerrero Negro one of the Guy's inspecting my car noticed a bottle of Don Julio plata that I had.
They commented on it and I then offered them a un traga ( a shot ) they immediately replied si claro ( of course )

Well I broke out my special shot glasses that I always carry and proceeded to pour shots all around, Salute, Salute !

It was quite a fun and unexpected time .....

I was hoping that the same guy's were there the last time I went through with my pot smoking friend but no buddy recognized me, darn !

[Edited on 3-8-2018 by Paco Facullo]
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TMW
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[*] posted on 3-8-2018 at 04:50 PM


Have you asked the officer in charge of a check point? He might give you a contact to call upon. Have you tried going thru the military channels in Mexico?
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David K
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[*] posted on 3-8-2018 at 05:09 PM
Ask Ken Bondy!





Ken has a pretty good relationship with the desert troops of Baja!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Many years ago, when Nomad was young, we had a Nomad named 'SeaTwill' and he gave me a photo to share on VivaBaja.com: http://www.vivabaja.com/checkpoints.html




[Edited on 3-9-2018 by David K]




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Maderita
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[*] posted on 3-8-2018 at 05:44 PM


A few of my observations that might add interest/excitement for novel writing:
Temporary checkpoints and campsites on dirt roads in the Sierra de Juarez, a trafficking route going north to avoid paved highways.
Open meadows and fields trenched and brush covered to "trip" and crash drug-smuggling aircraft.
Sandbagged small bunkers at/near highway checkpoints. Rope (pull cord) leading from the bunker across the road to deploy spike strips.
Cartels known to have heavy firepower, incl. RPGs.
Age of some of the soldiers appear to be young; look 16 or 17.
Dirt road temp checkpoints, my offer of cold beer on hot days declined. Leave the beer on the side of the road anyway. Watch the mad scramble in my rear view mirror seconds later!
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shari
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[*] posted on 3-9-2018 at 07:05 AM


I have the perfect fellow for you to interview....he is now a tourism guide and speaks english and is very helpful and loves to spread knowledge. He is an ex military captain here in GN. Look up Zihul Martinez on facebook and tell him I sent you! He is a wealth of information on alot of subjects including natural history



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micah202
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[*] posted on 3-9-2018 at 07:47 AM


Quote: Originally posted by sancho  

.....imagine it is pure boredom sitting at checkpoint, save the
occasional weed find. ...


Yah, that's why I occasionally hand out playing cards,, sometimes before, sometimes after an inspection.
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clubfred
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[*] posted on 3-9-2018 at 08:45 AM


Quote: Originally posted by shari  
I have the perfect fellow for you to interview....he is now a tourism guide and speaks english and is very helpful and loves to spread knowledge. He is an ex military captain here in GN. Look up Zihul Martinez on facebook and tell him I sent you! He is a wealth of information on alot of subjects including natural history


Fantastic! Thanks so much, Shari. I will look him up!
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clubfred
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[*] posted on 3-9-2018 at 08:56 AM


Quote: Originally posted by BajaBlanca  
good luck and I will ask around cause you never know.


Thanks, Blanca!
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clubfred
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[*] posted on 3-9-2018 at 09:04 AM


Quote: Originally posted by David K  



Ken has a pretty good relationship with the desert troops of Baja!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Many years ago, when Nomad was young, we had a Nomad named 'SeaTwill' and he gave me a photo to share on VivaBaja.com: http://www.vivabaja.com/checkpoints.html




[Edited on 3-9-2018 by David K]


Will do, thanks!
Will do!
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BajaTed
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[*] posted on 3-9-2018 at 09:14 AM


The other common way to end up interacting with the military is at election time. Checkpoints are very animated then, lotsa guns on display
No booze, everyone edgy with glum faces expect for the politicos




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pacificobob
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[*] posted on 3-10-2018 at 10:55 AM


then there are the checkpoints in chihuahua and Durango that are staffed by heavily armed plainclothes fellows. sometimes friendly sometimes scary. got to be a story there.
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Juanita
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[*] posted on 3-11-2018 at 08:46 AM
life at a checkpoint


Good idea for a book. I'd like to know more about life at a checkpoint. One spring day here in San Ignacio I was pruning the roses up in the mission garden and one of the military came up and asked me to save the cuttings for the rose garden at the checkpoint west of town. I don't know if they had success with the roses, but they have created a very respectable display of native cactus in the highway divider barrier.
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BajaNomad
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