Cops in Sonoyta


El Pescador
Heading home this morning, I just rounded the bend by the Mexicali turn and a cop was coming the opposite direction. I checked my speed and was barely over 30 mph (no one was on the road). I slowed a little, he whipped a U and pulled me over. He wanted me to follow him to the police station and pay 1000 peso fine for speeding and showed me the radar. He hadn't even begun to write the ticket yet and said we could pay him $40.00 usd and be on our way. We paid and were on our way. Been going down to RP and San Carlos for years and this is the first time EVER being pulled over. Crooked cops out and about so watch your speed in Mexico!!!


Junior Member
Next time call his bluff. If it happens again, tell him you'd like to just go to the police station so you can get a receipt for the ticket. He will simply send you on your way without a fine. It's happened to me many times going through Sonoyta...


Well Known Member
I tend to be a slowly moving road block all the way through Sonoyta. So many time I have other vehicles with American plates pass me even on the shoulder, usually with horn going and rude gestures from them. Most of this happens the last couple of klicks before the US border. I keep hoping to see them pulled over before I get to the border but that never happens either.
I was pulled over in Sonoyta last month going about 45 mph in a 40km/hr zone, clearly exceeding the posted speed. I was pulled over by a super friendly policeman, he was smiling so big, I was convinced that he was going to let me off with a friendly warning. I acknowledged that I was probably going a little fast, after showing me the speed gun (72 km/hr) he told me it was a 1,000 peso fine, or $90. He said that I could follow him to the station to pay. When I asked where the station was, he said I could just pay him to avoid the hastle. I offered $80 and suddenly understood why he was so happy.

At any rate, clearly corrupt officer and in retrospect, I was happy to have avoided the hassle. I was on the wrong side of the law and we parted ways happy.

Did I contribute to corruption? Probably.

Did my actions encourage it? Okay, sure.

Am I a little ashamed of myself? Yeah, a little.


Well Known Member
Only pay $40.00 if you are in Hurry or tell them to take you to see the Judge and yes you made his day.

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Terry C

Well Known Member
Forum Supporter
If you do the Speed Limit in the town of Sonoyta , you have nothing to worry about. In Sonoyta they are over the place just waiting on YOU!
IMO, what is the problem doing the speed limit in town of Sonoyta? It may you get to the beach 10 minutes earlier or later depending how long they hold you and you want to corrupt the cops at the same time? This has been talked about for a long time now. Just ask Rosy! We have never been stopped and do the speed posted. Just look out because the speed limits do change coming in and out.
On the open road just be careful.
Just out of curiosity, has anyone on the site agreed to go to the judge with the cop?

I'm curious as to whether he said ok let's go or he just let you go.


Well Known Member
The below is from an old Baja site. I had Sindicatura and the TJ office # on the back of my license from 2000-2012 when I was frequently in Baja and it worked 1 out of 2 times. I knew the director of the Sindicatura in Penasco a few years ago and used his card the last time I got popped in Mexicali and it worked but I still ponied up 20 bucks and got his name and facebook page in case he pulls me over again for a phantom violation.

There is a public worker's union office specifically charged with investigating police matters, and firing corrupt officials. It is called the "Sindicatura," and it is a name you should remember. It is pronounced "seen-dee-kah-too-ra."
It does not matter if the officer speaks English, or understands anything of what you are saying. When he hears that word, the game is usually over. It has been said by a Mexican observer, "Sindicatura to a police officer is like a gold cross to a vampire." They are the "untouchables" of the local government.

Sindicatura del Gobierno Municipal
Tijuana (664) 688-2810, 973-7770, 973-7759, 683-4095
Ensenada (646) 617,1561, 176-2222, 617-1561
Mexicali (686) 558-1600 x1661
( Note: these phone numbers are unverified. )
It might be useful to have a small sheet taped to the back of your drivers license with these phone numbers written below the words Sindicatura del Gobierno Municipal.

If you have a phone number for the Sindicatura in another Baja city, please send the information to me by email: ftm @

The Sindicatura organization in Tijuana has a website at I find this website difficult to navigate, but you might give it try. There is a complaints form - I'll provide a separate link here to avoid the navagations problems with the website:
Another useful website is the Tourist Legal Guide maintained by the city government of Tijuana:
A personal experience (Jan. 30, 2003):

With over 200,000 miles of driving in Mexico, I'd never been stopped by a Highway Patrol officer . . . until Jan. 30 of 2003. I won't go into all the details, but just to the north of Loreto, while heading south, I was stopped and informed I'd be facing a "passing in a no-passing zone" infraction (which was not a factual assertion). Mixed in the first few sentences was the fact that I'd have to pay the fine in Santa Rosalia, now 115 miles to the north. This was the obvious "mordida" come-on, but I continued playing dumb.

Next I handed over my CA drivers license and the car registration. The officer began filling out the large form he had on a clipboard while looking at my license. He then turned over the license to see what was on the back and found a small piece of paper I'd taped there. He looked at this paper, fingered it, looked off into space, pondered it some more, and then slowly seemed to be scratching out what he'd written on the form.

I was then handed back my drivers license and car registration, and warned to be more careful when passing, all as he walked back to his patrol car.

The small piece of paper was exactly the one I suggested above to tape to the back of your drivers license. While this patrolman was out of the Santa Rosalia office, far from TJ and Ensenada, he was probably reasoning that if I was aware of the function of the Sindicatura up north, I might well be savvy enough to cause him some problems in his own district.

Should you be charged with a traffic infraction and would like to discuss the matter (probably in Spanish), the person to speak with at the Police Station is the Juez Calificador (an office judge who makes "on the spot" determinations of justice and often sets the fine). The correct approach with the "Juez" (pronounced "Whez") would be to act as politely as possible. The Juez is the person in control in this situation - don't make the Juez an adversary!​


Well Known Member
Just out of curiosity, has anyone on the site agreed to go to the judge with the cop?
I'm curious as to whether he said ok let's go or he just let you go.
Yes, when we've told them let's go see the judge, usually they let you go, only once have we had to pay the judge. We've gotten pulled over rear lights out.
Hey, Estero, where were you when I needed you. Actually I was guilty as hell and willing to pay whatever it was.

Is Juez at the Centro station? If so I met him and he speaks very good English and is a good guy. He actually lived
in Tucson for a few years on Miracle Mile. I asked him if he was a pimp there because there are many in that area.
He laughed and said no, but agreed it was loaded with them. We shook hands and parted and he agreed signage in
Mexico is a whole lot different than in the states.

Hope I don't meet him again.
Jack, you asked a JUDGE if he was a pimp in Tucson? Do you clang when you walk? LOL!
Yeah...We had concluded our business and were having a very friendly chat as he walked me out to my car. We were kidding each other
about Tucson, Green Valley, etc and I asked him that, with a smile on my face. He laughed loudly and we shook hands and off I went. I really
felt like he was more a friend than a "Judge". Oh, I did ask him if he knew Roberto and he said he had met him many times.