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Vacation in Mexico - Maybe not Acapulco

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#1 Wetcoaster


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 07:54 PM

Travel Canada has issued a travel advisory for Mexico:

MEXICO - Exercise a high degree of caution

There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Mexico. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution, especially in those parts of the country experiencing a deteriorating security situation. Most major tourist areas have not been affected by the extreme levels of violence in the northern region. It is highly advisable to travel to Mexico by air in order to avoid land border crossings through potentially dangerous regions. High levels of criminal activity, as well as occasional illegal roadblocks, demonstrations and protests remain a concern throughout the country. For these reasons, you are strongly advised to sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service if travelling to or residing in Mexico.

Due to high levels of organized crime and urban violence, Canadians should exercise extreme caution in the states of Baja California (North), Guerrero (including Acapulco), Nayarit, Michoacán, San Luis Potosi, Veracruz, Zacatecas and the areas in the state of Jalisco bordering the states of Michoacán and Zacatecas. The coastal area of Southern Nayarit, a popular destination among Canadians, remains relatively safe from Nuevo Vallarta to La Peñita de Jaltemba, as do the capital cities of San Luis Potosi, Veracruz and Zacatecas. You should however exercise extreme caution when travelling outside the urban tourist areas.

Regional Advisory for the Northern states

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against non-essential travel to the following northern states: Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Durango and Sinaloa (excluding Mazatlán), due to continuously high levels of violence linked to organized crime. Consult the Security tab for more information.


There has now been a vicious attack on a group of Spanish tourists in Acapulco with the six woman being gang raped.

Six Spanish tourists were raped by a gang of armed, masked men in the Mexican resort of Acapulco, the latest chapter of violence that has tarnished the once-glamorous Pacific coast resort.

The vicious, hours-long attack occurred before dawn Monday at a house that six Spanish men, six Spanish women and a Mexican woman had rented on a quiet, idyllic stretch of beach on the outskirts of Acapulco.

The attackers gained access to the house because two of the Spaniards were in the yard and apparently were forced to open the door, said Acapulco Mayor Luis Walton at a news conference late Monday.

The five attackers burst into the house and held the group at gunpoint, he said. They tied up the six men with phone cords and bathing suit straps and then raped the six Spanish women. The Mexican woman was not raped.

The attack began about two hours after midnight Monday and the victims were only able to report the crime five hours later, at nearly seven in the morning.

"This is a regrettable situation, and of course it is going to damage Acapulco," Walton said.

Attackers wore masks

The once-glittering resort that attracted movie stars and celebrities in the 1950s and 60s has already been battered by years of drug gang killings and extortions, but except for very few incidents, the violence has not touched tourists.

Walton said he believed, but wasn't sure, that the assailants in Monday's attack didn't belong to a drug gang. Guerrero state Attorney General Martha Garzon Guzman said witness descriptions of the attackers were more difficult to obtain because they wore masks.

"From what the attorney general has told me, I don't think this was organized crime," Walton said. "But that will have to be investigated, we don't know."

Mexico's Foreign Relations Department issued a statement saying it regretted the attack, and suggesting it was not drug-cartel related.

"Up to now, the investigations are being carried out by local authorities and they will be the ones to provide information," the statement said.

In Mexico, federal authorities investigate drug-related crimes.

Security and drug analyst Jorge Chabat said that, after years of drug gang activity in Acapulco, the distinction may be merely semantic.

"At this point, the line between common and organized crime is very tenuous, there are a lot of these gangs that take advantage of the unsafe situation that currently exists, they know the government can't keep up," Chabat said. "Everything points to this being organized crime, because several gangs have operated there for years ... it's probably not the big cartels, but there are smaller groups that carry out crimes on a permanent basis."

The Spanish Embassy in Mexico City said the victims were receiving consular assistance.

The victims were "psychologically affected" by the attack and received treatment, the mayor said.

Travellers advisory

Spain's Foreign Ministry had already issued a travellers advisory on its website for Acapulco before the Monday attack, listing the resort as one of Mexico's "risk zone," though not the worst.

"In Acapulco, organized crime gangs have carried out violence, though up to now that has not affected tourists or the areas they visit," the advisory states. "At any rate, heightened caution is advised."

A travel advisory from Canada's Foreign Affairs department tells Canadians to "exercise extreme caution" in the state of Guerrero, including Acapulco, "due to high levels of organized crime and urban violence."

The attack came just three days after a pair of Mexican tourists returning from a beach east of Acapulco were shot at and slightly wounded by members of a masked rural self-defence squad that has set up roadblocks in areas north of Acapulco, to defend their communities against drug gang violence.

The vigilantes say the Mexican tourists failed to stop at their improvised roadblock.

Walton said the city was already contemplating ways to revive the city's image.

"We have to look at an advertising campaign to say that not everything in Acapulco is like that," Walton said. "This happens everywhere in the world, not just in Acapulco or in Mexico."

The attack was particularly embarrassing for Mexico, because it came just four days after Tourism Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu visited the International Tourism Fair held in Madrid to launch a "promotional offensive" depicting Mexico as a safe and attractive destination.

"This is Mexico's moment," Massieu said, describing it as "a safe country."

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#2 Xbox


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:11 PM

My parents just got back from Mexico. Scary stuff
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#3 Special Ed

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:32 PM

I want to travel there but seems like it's just not worth it. You go on vacation to relax and not have all these terrible things in the back of your mind.
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#4 greenbean30


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:36 PM

I want to travel there but seems like it's just not worth it. You go on vacation to relax and not have all these terrible things in the back of your mind.

Can't say I've ever felt scared/had anything in the back of my mind the two times I've been to Mexico and don't foresee it being in my mind in March when I go for the 3rd time.
Though I go to the state of Quintana Roo, which is where Cancun/Playa Del Carmen are located.
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#5 Dazzle


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:23 PM

I've known a couple of people that came back from there and turned okay.

That being said, I've known about their problems a long time ago. And despite giving them warnings about how dangerous it is, even in the touristy areas, people still go regardless.

Mexico used to be a lovely country, from all accounts that I've heard and read, as well as seen, but that is not reality anymore.
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#6 nucklehead


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:30 PM

My internal travel advisory system issued this warning to me several years ago. In light of recent events I am not eager to travel stateside these days either.
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#7 inane


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:33 PM

I go to Puerto Vallarta at least once a year, never had a single problem.
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#8 Kass9


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:34 PM

Never understood the hype of going to Mexico.
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#9 Dellins


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 10:53 PM

I've never had a problem when I go visit there, then again I AM Mexican and even without looking like one am fluent in Spanish ;).

Just exercise good judgment and avoid areas that don't have at least decent tourist traffic. Only place I went to without a tour group was a Walmart to buy a crap ton of Mexican candy I cannot get here.

That reminds me though, when I was taking the shuttle to my hotel I had been reassuring my friends we'd be fine. Lo and behold we ended up taking over an hour to get there because the army was in the middle of the highway, ski masks and all, taking an SUV apart piece by piece.
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#10 :D


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Posted 05 February 2013 - 11:48 PM

Yeah, I'll probably stay away. The last thing I need is a bunch of Machete-looking guys running train on me.
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#11 Horny Manatee

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:53 AM

Yea, let's make it seem like its dangerous all over Mexico.
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#12 Armada


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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:09 AM

This isn't news to me.

I went to Cancun 2 years ago and it was an awesome time but its way to sketchy.

Until Mexico can clean up its act I won't be going again.

Edited by Armada, 06 February 2013 - 01:10 AM.

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#13 The Bookie

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:35 AM

On a backpacking trip around southern Mex. a few years ago, both guys I was traveling with were mugged separately - one late-night in Oaxaca, the other in broad daylight on a beach in Puerto Escondido.

That being said, San Cristobal de las Casas was magnificent and the only place that I could see my self living in. Oddly enough it felt like a small town on the BC coast with its temperate rainforest weather and spontaneous hippie gatherings in the park. There's something to be said for having armed, balaclava'd zapatistas patrolling the streets with automatic weapons.
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#14 Salmonberries


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Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:12 AM

It's not your parents Acapulco!

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#15 aeromotacanucks


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Posted 06 February 2013 - 05:18 AM

Violence is everywhere not just in Mexico...

if you go to USA you must be carefull about some crazy guy with a gun shooting everybody on a school, mall or supermarket...

if you go to Europe you must be carefull with terrorism coming from Africa (Al-Qaeda cells)...

if you go to Canada you must be carefull with the Big foot or with Toronto Maple Stupid Nerds (since they donīt reach the net the puck may hit your eye)...

if you go to Asia you must be carefull because you may eat something like a bug or be confused with some terrorist...

if you go to India you must be carefull because Drive there is a nightmare, you may be crashed by a car, a truck and a train at the same time...

if you go to South America you may be punched by soccer fans on anoher "soccer night" where the looser team destroy everything around the stadium...

just be carefull where you go. donīt wear yourself like a pokemon with zillions of hats, cameras and wierd colours, how recognise a bad guy far away and where you can find help if you need...
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Posted 06 February 2013 - 07:35 AM

I just went to Cancun back in December. It was great.
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