Going Anarchist In A Mexican Danger Zone

Acapulco Anarchapulco

It is a level 4 danger zone.

“Armed groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and may use violence towards travelers,” the U.S. State Department says.

The U.S. government instructs its citizens not to visit the Mexican state of Guerrero, the location of the once-popular resort city of Acapulco. In fact, U.S. government employees are banned from entering the state of Guerrero, including Acapulco.

That makes for a perfect place to hold a libertarian conference — or, better yet, an anarchist conference.

Acapulco Mexico

I attended the very first Anarchapulco three years ago. Back in 2015, the event was disorganized. Random people got up and gave speeches about how bad government is.

Three years later, at Anarchapuclo #4, the event is still fairly unorganized. But something has changed…. the price of Bitcoin. In February 2015, Bitcoin was $250. Three years later, Bitcoin is $10,000, and it was recently as high as $20,000.

Anarchapulco 2018 sold out in advance. In the days leading up to the event, anarchocapitalists were scalping tickets online for more than $1,000 a piece. That’s kind of funny because, in reality, at this anarchist-run event, anyone can show up and walk right in.

Nonetheless, apparently a lot of libertarians and anarchsits now have the money, or cryptocurrency, to travel internationally. 1,500 people or more showed up for the conference at the 5-star Princess Mundo Imperial resort along the Pacific Ocean in Acapulco. They did not all stay at the hotel, though I did — in a luxury suite, which made for a great work environment (more on that in future blog posts).

Acapulco Mexico

Anarchapulco draws an eclectic crowd. There are of course in attendance many anarchists and anarchocapitalists, some of whom have big businesses and/or large investment portfolios and net worths. Additionally, there are plenty of conspiracy theorists, hippies, expats and perpetual travelers. Lots of people have products or “seminars” or “bootcamps” to sell. Some come across as a bit scammy, but this is an anarchocapitalist event, so there’s nothing wrong with some sales.

This year, Anarchapulco drew some surprise guests. Ron Paul, the former U.S. congressman and libertarian icon, showed up and was the keynote speaker. I attended his speech, in part so that I could cross off another speaker on my now-nearly complete libertarian bucket list.

More of a surprise was the appearance of the Wu-Tang clan, or at least two sort of members of the clan, Kilah Priest and Prodigal Sunn. They performed live to a crowd of dancing anarchists at the Paladium nightclub, a venue with a beautiful view overlooking the bay in downtown Anarchapulco. The club was accepting multiple cyrptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Ethereum and Litecoin.

Acapulco Mexico

During the day, Mexican horse-drawn carriage operators were also accepting cryptocurrencies. Why wouldn’t they, when the other option is the peso?

Fittingly, there was a big earthquake right in the middle of Anarchapulco. It shook the hotel and caused frightened people to go running outside in the middle of someone’s speech. I was in the shower at the time. There were some spooky sounds, and the water did some things that are otherwise physically impossible. Not a big deal, though. Earthquakes are part of life in this part of the world.

Still, the conspiracy theorists immediately began questioning the circumstances of the quake. Why would a large earthquake occur in Mexico when all the men and women who are going to save the world from governments are assembled in Acapulco?? I don’t know. Do you? 😉

Acapulco Mexico

No anarchists died in the earthquake. Nor were any killed in cartel shootouts in Acapulco. I ventured into downtown Acapulco on more than one occasion. The city itself is not as dangerous as the media sometimes hypes it to be. But it’s not the safest place in the world either. I know someone who was lucky to make it out of there alive after witnessing some drug-related violence, and you can see heavily armed police cruising around town with large guns pointed out of the back of trucks. But, there are no U.S. government officials in Acapulco, so that’s a plus.

I can’t complete this post without mentioning that Mexico is one of my favorite countries in the world. The people are friendly and warm. The weather is also warm. The government is incompetent, so there is a lot of freedom. The peso is constantly devaluing against the euro, so everything is cheap. Oh, and the chicas are bonita. Can’t forget about that. Audios, Mexico — for now. I will surely be back.

 

 

Stay: Rent a hillside villa or stay in a luxury resort. Both ways you will survive in dangerous Acapulco. I chose the 5 star Princesa Mundo Imperial this time. Considering it is just 120$, it is a good standard with big swimming pools and the beach just in front. Even a golf course right there. Unfortunately, it is on the other side of town, separated from Acapulco Bay by some hills. This makes its location secure, but lacks atmosphere.

 

Eat: Hotel food not particularly mentionable. Our evening in Acapulco downtown however was very enjoyable. The Restaurant Los Metates  was a great choice. Try their Michelada – a rather unusual mix of clam juice, tomato mark, beer, lemon juice, chilly powder and the fruit juice of your choice pictured below. Sounds disgusting, but is actually quite enjoyable. As were the sizzling fajitas served in  a clay pot with lots of vegetables.

 

Drink: Mexico is Margarita time. Need I say more? Acapulco also has very well known nightclubs. A visit to the club Palladium with a great view of Acapulco by night is almost obligatory. But dont approach the wrong lady – narcos are known to relax here…

 

See: Acapulco is defined by its beaches – and the cliff jumpers. Still a big attraction, but without the crowds. See the cliff jumpers jump into the Pacific Ocean from over 50m – they would die if they hit the wrong spot at the wrong time. Impressive spectacle.

 

Do: Go to the war zone. Just kidding. Even if you see heavy armored vehicles with dozens of soldiers driving along the main street almost every minute, the tourist zone of Acapulco Bay is actually quite safe. Just do not enter unregistered taxis and stay in the 3 streets closest to the beach. And beware of the beach – the danger is not sharks, but rather jetski assasins

 

Date: Tinder is the way to go and many girls speak English rather well. Curious stares on the street in Acapulco Bay what tourists still do there are common. Be careful of local ladies though – a friend was almost slayed with a statue on his forehead (true story).

 

Go there: You can either fly to Acapulco directly from some US cities like Houston or connect over Mexico City. Rather than flying, I recommend the excellent Cruz del Sur buses needing 5h from Mexico City to Acapulco. They travel through the beautiful countryside of desert and mountains and provide luxury – like in a plane – business class – paying the premium is well worth it (around 40$).

 

Go next: It was not my first visit to Acapulco – on past adventures I traveled north to the other known beach town in Guerrero called Zihuatenejo. It is great for visiting the crumbling villa of the former police president of Mexico City. Kind of spooky, take a flash light. Then go northeast to even more dangerous areas every local warns you from. On the way, you will even see tanks rolling over the highway. Michoacan state however is the most beautiful of Mexico in my eyes. Hike the youngest volcanoe of the world Paricutin and see Mexico’s Pompeii, discover millions of monarch butterflies in the cloudy mountains and see the stunning panorama of Lake Patzcuaro before you relax in the colonial center of the capital Morelia.

Acapulco Mexico