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January 19, 2022

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.

1322570_tulum_ 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



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...