Chicago Sun-Times
With Lori Rackl

Bitten by the mordida in Mexico

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Today's Travel story is about a suburban Chicago couple who were shaken down last month for a bribe by a crooked traffic cop -- or someone impersonating a traffic cop -- in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

This kind of thing happened to me many moons ago in what is now the Czech Republic.

Have you ever been shaken down by unscrupulous authorities in a foreign country? What happened? Any advice to give others?

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Mordita! Ah, so that is what one calls that mystifying experience! While traveling by cab in the countryside from Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza the first week in December, my driver was hailed by a gun-bearing uniformed young man. We immediately pulled over and my driver ran back to the small group of officials. A short while later he returned to the cab, grabbed some cash, and ran back to them. As we left I asked if their was a problem. He replied with a rather bitter little smile that they required 50 pesos. With my lack of Spanish and his nonexistent English, that is as far as our discussion went. When he delivered me back to the Royal Hideaway, I could discern that he was telling the bellhop of his encounter.

Thanks, Lori, for your ever interesting and edifying reports.


Ya, don't travel. Stay home and enjoy what we have while we can.

Mordidia is fading but unfortunately still happens in Mexico.

When this happens and the threat is you will have to follow the officer to the police station if you do not pay a "fine" on the spot. Insist on going to the station at which their will be a municipal judge that can hear your case in person usually right away.. Do not pay the Mordida "The Bite" instead do the right thing and follow the officer to the station you will find if you truly did nothing wrong you will soon be on your way.

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This page contains a single entry by Lori Rackl published on December 16, 2009 10:41 AM.

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