Last updateTue, 22 Apr 2014 12pm

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Car importation process back on track

One lakeside business seems to have found a way to bypass the problems that have plagued other firms and individuals that have tried to help expats nationalize their foreign-plated vehicles.   

Consumer survey - May 25, 2013

Consumer survey - January 26, 2013

Free safe return program for illegal cars suddenly gets a lot more popular

Officials at Guadalajara area tax offices have expressed surprise at the sudden rise in the number of requests for permits to ensure the “safe return” of illegal foreign-plated vehicles to their home countries.


There’s a fiesta, fair or major happening going on somewhere in Mexico every day of the year. The Reporter has compiled a month-by-month run down of major dates to mark on the 2013 calendar.

Car import scammers run riot

Expats looking to nationalize their foreign-plated vehicles are being targeted in a series of scams that have involved fake paperwork, stolen license plates and basic out-and-out theft.

The situation has prompted Aduana (Mexican Customs) to seize the cars of several unsuspecting foreigners in recent weeks.

The con artists have even duped well-established and respected firms in the Lake Chapala area, including insurance brokers TioCorp.

Consumer survey - December 22, 2012

Consumer survey - April 27, 2013

Holiday closings & other useful information

With Christmas Day falling on a Tuesday this year, routines will not be put out of kilter significantly over the holidays.  Apart from most supermarkets and convenience stores, shops will be closed on December 25, as will all banks, government offices, post offices and diplomatic missions (including the U.S. and Canadian consulates). Hospitals will maintain skeleton staffs and will only attend to emergencies.  Both Red Cross and fire services will be operational.

Customer survey - March 23, 2013

Old scams never die

The popular Plaza Galerias area in the western fringes of Guadalajara, with its adjacent Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Costco and myriad stores and restaurants, continues to be a favored site for elaborately choreographed petty crimes. Despite reports in the Guadalajara Reporter and other media exposing them over the years, these rip-offs live on and claim new victims, some of them middle-aged and elderly foreigners.

Crooks do not take vacations

As the country prepares to go on vacation to celebrate Semana Santa, remember the droves of people at public plazas, beaches and other areas is a paradise for enterprising thieves. Crooks do not go on vacation.

Have safer holidays at home, in your car

Grinches are always extra active during the this season, looking for unsecured houses and even cars, and aiming to make off with some loot. Mexico is surely safer than many U.S. cities, but wise and wary expats should be prepared to foil grinches with heightened awareness of their modus operandi.

How to properly prepare a check in Spanish in Mexico

Recently, I went to a casa de cambio (money exchange house) in downtown Guadalajara and started to write out a personal check to cash. Before I realized what I was doing, I had written the date and amount in Spanish. The clerk said, “No problem. The U.S. banks accept checks written in Spanish.”

Deciphering INM rules: What immigration status suits your lifestyle?

Following up on the Reporter’s ongoing consultations with Chapala immigration office chief Juan Carlos Galvan, this week we delve into the different permit categories, referred to in the law as Condiciones de Estancia.

Consumer survey - Feb. 23, 2013

Immigration chief opens up on confusing new rules

As promised, Chapala’s National Immigration Institute (INM) office chief Juan Carlos Galvan sat down late last week for a Reporter interview to help clarify key points of confusion.

Season of abstinence begins on February 13

Lent is the season of penance and prayer for Christians before Easter.

Consumer survey - November 17, 2012

Love & friendship abounds on February 14

Few people in Mexico refer to Valentine’s Day as Dia de San Valentin; most prefer the commonly used Dia del Amor y la Amistad (Love and Friendship Day), which is popular throughout Latin America.

New immigration law prompts fear but ‘don’t panic,’ says INM chief

As Mexico’s new immigration law finally takes effect this month, confusion and consternation has spread like wildfire through expat enclaves across the nation.

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