I’m replying to a comment Contessa made about my interaction with the Federales yesterday. In short, I described the in-depth and honest conversation we had with them and her comment implied that honesty is not the best policy with them. Hmm.
I took her comment to my two other Mexican experts, Chris, who has lived in Mexico a very, very long time, and Croft, who, thanks to a small RV, has spent many winters traveling through Mexico and getting close to the locals. In their reply, both advocated full disclosure in interactions with the Federales. Chris went so far as to remind me that if I get caught in a lie, I could have things confiscated, or worse, depending on the law being violated. He followed up with this :
Federales have a base salary of 36000 pesos a month and a university degree is required. They are only one step down from the military. Many of them speak English also, or at least to some degree. Here in the north I would bank on 75% that speak English well.My hat goes off to those guys, they take the bullets and are back up for military and state police in some pretty big stand offs.You’re in good shape with those guys. We have two safety nets in Mexico, our boys in green and our men in blue.
I’m happy to know that I was right in answering the officer’s questions correctly yesterday and did not put myself into any danger. I will continue to practice full honesty and knowledge of Spanish when interacting with all levels of Mexican authority unless, like today, something just feels ‘off.’