Alleged 'gang-rape' may stain Mexico for Canadian tourists
If you’ve traveled to Mexico over the years, chances are, you had a wonderful time.
The beaches are beautiful. The resorts, for the most part, are clean. The food … well, the beaches are beautiful.
Yet every year there seems to be a rash of anti-Mexico stories making news, many of them involving Canadians. The latest, perhaps, is a black eye the nation might not so easily recover from.
According to the CBC, a Canadian woman was allegedly gang-raped by Mexican police in a Playa del Carmen jail on New Year’s Eve.
Rebecca Rutland, a 41-year-old from Thunder Bay, Ont., told the Canadian outlet she and her fiancé were jailed on Dec. 31 after a confrontation between him and local cops. There, after the pair were said to have been robbed by the police, as well, Rutland says two officers took turns raping her, while other authorities stood watching in Kevlar vests holding machine guns.
Mexican authorities, for their part, have since denied the attack, and a rape kit test on Rutland turned up negative, notes the CBC.
Still, whether any conclusion is drawn from the allegations, it’s safe to say: damage done for Mexico.
This latest stain on the country’s safety rep for tourists certainly isn’t isolated – tales of drink druggings and being left to die come in no small dose online – and it’s fit to wonder how much more the strained Mexican tourism biz can handle.
If you believe Mexican officials, there’s nothing to worry about. And, surely, these instances may just be a drop in the ocean, all told: one Embassy of Mexico in Canada official tells the Calgary Sun Canadians traveling to Mexico is still a “thriving” industry. From January to October, 2010, for example, the number of Canadian tourists visiting Mexico was 22.9 per cent higher than it was for the same period a year earlier.
Though, the headlines are no less damning. Following 30 dead bodies being strewn about Acapulco this year – 15 of them having been decapitated by drug assassins, no less – the city’s tourism is already taking a dive, according to the L.A. Times.
Will the rest of Mexico follow suit? What is your worst Mexico travel story?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
Posted by: Anne | Jan 19, 2022 3:35:40 PM
With so many other options for winter vacations in much safer locales, it puzzles me as to why anyone would even choose to go to Mexico in the first place. People tell me there are great deals to be had, but at least here, in Canada, the levels of violence in Mexico, including against unsuspecting tourists are out there in the media for all to see. With the obvious risk factors of being drugged, robbed, assaulted, raped or murdered, NO kind of "vacation package deal of the century" could entice me to visit Mexico.
Posted by: Hazel | Jan 19, 2022 9:01:53 PM
So many canadians say just stay in your hotel area and you'll be safe or you can have something bad happen in any country. I just want to say DA! Too many things gone wrong in Mexico not only do they not treat there children right for example rape on 14 year olds and younger, young women being cut into pieces on a pile or young boys being picked up by police and shot in a field excution style. Yet Canadians support this country I think it is a shame and it tells you that Mexico vacantioners canadians have to be stupid. What does it take for canadians to wise up and wake up is a holiday in Mexico so important there are other places to visit that don't have bad police. Remember a visit to Mexico is supporting a place where children are victimized.
Posted by: marina | Jan 20, 2022 4:04:02 AM
Last winter my family and I went to Mexico. We stayed at the Moon Palace Resort just outside of Cancun. The day before we were leaving we rented a Hertz rent a car from the resort. We went to Tulum for the day and on the way back to our resort, just ouside of Playa del Carman, we were stopped by a dark blue police car for apparent speeding. We were not speeding. The officer made us open the trunk of the vehicle, he said if we left 1500 pesos (about $150 US) in the trunk and walked away, he would not detain us and we would be able to catch our flight home the following day, if not he told us that we should call the airline and rebook our flight. Scared and not wanting any trouble we left the money in the trunk, My husband got back in the car, the offiicer took the money, closed the trunk and we were able to leave. Upon returning to the resort we told Hertz and the Moon Palace about it, both said there was nothing they could do. With this kind of attitude, bad police and a government that seems to care not, it will be a very long time before any of my hard earned money is spendt in the Mexican economy. This winter we went elsewhere and had a wonderful time. We are Canadians.
Posted by: Rae | Jan 20, 2022 4:52:45 AM
Hey Canadians dying to go to Mexico, their just dying in Mexico to kill you. Go to Mexico and have a killer time, die in a 3 rd world shit hole of a country.I've been to Mexico and I would never go back I can see lots of poor people right here in Canada and maybe feel unsafe but at least I'm home in my own counrty. You go to Mexico you'll probably get the shits because their water is pitiful. It's very hot and not really alot to see unless you like dirty, run down places with poor people. I wouldn't even do a Mexican woman because I wouldn't want to catch anything. Besides all this it's expensive to go to Mexico for what you get if you have money to through away go someplace really exotic like somewhere in Europe or China. China has some beautiful cities and Country to see and it's safe.
We shouldn't even let any Mexicans into our country where were civilized
Posted by: Trixie | Jan 20, 2022 8:14:20 AM
First of all, from what this article says, it's been proven the woman wasn't raped. So, case closed. However, if you're going to travel anywhere, do your research first. I've been to Mexico and would not go there again. In my opinion, if I have to be on guard at all times, it's not a vacation. However, again, do your research, and if you run into trouble in a 3rd world country, your fault.
There are many safe places, choose one.
Posted by: Franc Gregorin | Jan 20, 2022 9:22:27 AM
Just wondering, is English a second language for Hazel and Rae? Does grammar mean anything to you? Learn to write, people!! It's embarrassing.
Posted by: Cale | Jan 20, 2022 10:25:53 AM
To the person that says that it has been PROVEN the woman wasn't raped. You should check your facts. The article above says the rape kit came back negative if you had read the original article you would know that there are many reasons for a rape kit to come back negative. One of those is that the offenders used condoms.
Posted by: brand loyalty | Jan 20, 2022 10:32:59 AM
I agree with some of the other commentators on this subject. Why go to Mexico when there are so many other places you can go to enjoy a vacation that are safer? Travel experts are telling us to be aware of our surroundings and keep an eye open for trouble,etc. when in Mexico. That's not my idea of a vacation. I want to go somewhere to have fun and relax, not keep an eye out for AK-47 weilding thugs that I might have to save my wife from.
Posted by: Mia | Jan 20, 2022 11:53:21 AM
Why are we feeding an economy that is corrupt in every way...spend your hard earned dollars elsewhere!!! why are we closing our eyes to the mess going on in Mexico...these thugs have taken over the country and nobody in government seems to have any control. Downgrade Mexico until their own government and people have the guts to clean up their own country. How many more Canadians need to die until we listen and do something about it. Mexico wil not see my hard earned cash until they clean up their act. So many other beautiful places in this world that would appreciate your dollars.
Posted by: Pat | Jan 20, 2022 1:08:35 PM
What is all this fuss about how dangerous a place Mexico is? I have been, literally, hundreds of times, without any problem. All you have to do is not get paralytic drunk, go out looking for drugs and don't insult the Mexicans, and then you will be safe. I have seen behaviour on the part of Canadian visitors to Mexico that made me so ashamed that I told everyone I wasn't a Canadian. Smarten up people. You have to behave as you would at home, and then you'll be okay. And the latest shooting of a Canadian in Mazatlan took place in a tough area where even Mexicans with any sense don't go.
If you are really afraid of getting gunned down in drug gang warfare, you'd better leave your own country - because it is not safe either. In Vancouver you can easily be shot and killed just walking down some of the fancier streets or while visiting in an upscale shopping mall.
Posted by: Ted C | Jan 20, 2022 1:13:03 PM
Puerto Vallarta is a very safe place, safer than most Canadian cities in fact, but I wouldnt want my loved ones anywhere else in the place. It is going to be a long time to clean up the corruption in that country. I personally avoid vacationing there as so many other places are available in the same price range or cheaper. But staying on-resort is fine no matter where you go in this world it seems. I personally love Jamaica but know of and have heard stories about how violent and dangerous it can be down there too. Stay on resort or take escorted tours when in some counties is the answer, and Mexico is sadly one of those countries.
Posted by: Jason Laule | Jan 20, 2022 10:19:26 PM
Mexico is and always will be a shithole. I went twice unfortunately, never again!!!. No history, no privacy, and the food sucks at both 5 star resorts I went to. After all of this news coming out, it makes me wundurr y anybody would want to go. Why go to a place where the Mexicans themselves dont even respect their own. Hey Frank Gregorin,you must be Mexicun, this isnt a fucking spelling bee. Go back to your purrrfict world you dipshiit. I left you a word or two to correct. Let me know how it gows.
Posted by: Dr. Lindon | Jan 21, 2022 12:23:12 AM
Interesting comments so far. I agree, stay away.There are many other nice places, and safer too.
Posted by: Troy Theodore | Jan 21, 2022 12:39:51 AM
I have been to Mexico about 12 times, someplaces are much better than others,
If you do you homework on the resorts you can weed out the bad ones and find ones that are great, Playa Del Carmen has some great resorts and as far as the Police harassement ,
If you say Write the ticket They won't ,They will say pay fine . you demand the ticket,
he says no pay fine , you then say Canadian Consulate and they know they have lost and will let you go., Get their Name and Badge Number that scares them,
They WILL get Fired for messing with the TOURISTS, 2 were just fired in Cabo San Lucas and now it has stopped There.
Posted by: Carl | Jan 21, 2022 1:39:26 AM
I have rarely read more clueless drivel than the posts here. If you weren't such a bunch of snivelling little whiners who have no clue in life other than to jump to brain-dead conclusions about a place filled with people 10 times than nicer than yourselves you might know that Mexico is perfectly safe. Go take a walk in the seedier parts of Canadian cities and see how safe you feel. It numbs the mind how flakey the people who believe Mexico is dangerous are. You live in a naive bubble world where you genuinely believe there's no corruption in a place like Canada because we just much more deceptive and hide it better.
I have many friends who have moved from Canada to the Yucatan peninsula because of the improved quality of life. If you believe simply having nicer material crap makes for a better life then just stay where you are.
Posted by: Be a Safe Canadian | Jan 21, 2022 5:14:49 AM
When you know better, you are supposed to do better. Canadians do not support crime of this nature in other countries and yet we 'choose' to ignore it for its financial value in Mexico. How much is your life really worth? I have travelled in prior years many times to Mexico. I cannot support the numerous crimes that have been reported (and not reported). I urge Canadians to read the victim impact stories on the website www.mexicovacationawareness.com. I am almost certain that you will seriously question ever vacationing there again. These real-life accounts of the mysterious deaths that happens at numerous 4 and 5 star resorts cannot be overlooked. Perhaps by not spending our dollars in Mexico, the government will be forced to deal with their corruption and abuse.
Posted by: Joyce | Jan 21, 2022 6:54:19 AM
I'm afraid I have a totally different impression of Mexico than most of the former writers. We spend the winter here and granted incidents happen but mainly we feel as safe as we would in most other places. We avoid areas where it may be dangerous just as we would in Canada and hope that these people with their negative comments manage to actually experience the warmth and friendliness that we receive from the Mexican people. The majority are not "out to get you".
Posted by: kennneth paul cadrain | Jan 21, 2022 7:53:25 AM
I just want to add too the resent negative influences while canadians holiday in mexico . while on a family holiday in Puerto Vallarta mexico i was hospitalized from my own doing and i received top care from ameri medica . What happened was i was very unaware of the dangers the ocean has and while i was body surfing in the wrong place a wave through me into the beach while i put my arm out to stop the impact my elbow was totally dislocated the muscles ,ligaments and tendins had to be reattached and i needed surgery .they had to fly in from cancun a sergeon to perform this surgery i am 99% healed today with no signs of any . i have to say my stay was fantastic very memorable. i guess i was very lucky to have such a great sergeon . i wil say this after my accident i walked up the beach and people ''tourist '' came to assist me which i am very thankful for there were two nuses one from calgary and one from montreal they were very helpful in my two and half hour wait for the ambulance to arrive i found this part very unorganized but once i was loaded up it didn,t take me long to get top notch care. in fact i have had surgery before in canada and have been left with chronic scaring twice i guess this is common, but on my elbow a week later you could bearly see where they made there incision . how ever they perform these surgery,s i was impressed and so was my sergeon here in canada. the doctors told me that i would never have full mobility again and i should consider new line of work . well two months later i able to work a hawk and trowel again and stucco my own home and rebuild all the muscles again. thankx again for reading my comment everything fine here in saskatchatoon sask. kenny cadrain.
i just wanted to comment on all the negativity about mexico so i had to tell my little story about our experience while in Puerto Vallarta the people are so friendly and so talented i enjoyed to see people flowing with so much talent to create something very beautiful out of nothing . my advise to any canadians visiting mexico is to treat them with great respect and in turn they will treat you back with great respect keep your eyes open and learn about the possiable dangers that are all around they have a different enviroment there and diffirent preditors and terrain we are not accustomed to and watch out for that ocean it looks fun and is but it is also very powerful aswell while on the beach learn about what the flags are all about aswell thankx again for reading my little blurt.
Posted by: Daniel | Jan 21, 2022 7:55:57 AM
I travel to Cancun 2-3 times a year for the last 8 years. I've never been an all-inclusive type and usually stayed at high-end resorts enjoying all of what Cancun has to offer for me an my family (some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, some of the finest restaurants that I've been to and wonderful excursions and activities). We liked it so much we ended up buying a condo there and have made quite a few Canadian, American and Mexican friends there (some of which are locals). I was a little scared coming back over the christmas vacation this year with all of these reports of violence happening.
I've talked to a lot of our local friends (for the most part middle class and wealthy Mexicans and retired upper class Americans now living in Cancun) and they have all confirmed that the media is glad to report and blow out of proportion any little incident that happens. They read the local papers and they live there day to day and their lives haven't changed.
I think the media is quick to take incidents and sensationalize them - it's what sells. In short, I can't vouch for all of Mexico and there are certain parts that are very dangerous - that's for sure (major cities and Acapulco)... but the Mexicans I've met in Cancun and other parts are very gentle, hospitable and hard-working people and the country has an incredible culture and diversity to offer. I would recommend it whole-heartedly and not only because of the great deals available right now...
Posted by: elizabeth | Jan 21, 2022 8:31:23 AM
I agree with the fact that no matter where you are, you have to be aware of your surroundings, especially in a foreign country. I have travelled to Mexico at least a dozen times over the years and have felt very safe. Stay in reputable places and do not venture into areas that are questionable and do not get intoxicated in public (rules you should apply wherever you are - even at home!) Take tours only with recommended operators and do not venture on your own unless you have done your homework. The Mexican people I have encountered are wonderful and warm and one just has to be aware of their surroundings.