Headlines splashed across the world over the weekend about the latest shooting at a Mexican beach resort. But peel back the onion and you’ll find that the victims were buying drugs. That does not justify the death of two Canadians, but it does help put the story into context.
Mexican drug cartels exist in large part because many Americans and Canadians love illicit drugs. You need a buyer to have a seller and if I can grossly simplify the matter, it is this: cartels seem to be thriving in Mexico because they have customers for their product.
While much of the business is shipping drugs north, there’s also a nice side hustle at posh all-inclusive resorts in places like Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, or in this case, Playa del Carmen. Travelers come to Mexico not only for the beautiful beaches and all-you-can-drink tequila, but to get drugs…it is apparently much easier than up north.
I’m not really interested in researching if there is a Postmates for drugs in Mexico, but cartels fight over turf, specifically over which resorts they can sell drugs to guests at it.
And then, like in this case, there are drug buys that go wrong. We don’t have all the details here, but we knew that three Canadians were buying drugs at Hotel Xcaret, something went wrong, two of them were shot and died on the scene, and one was seriously injured. The gunman is at large.
Este es el huésped que disparó ocasionando las lesiones que posteriormente provocaran la muerte a uno de ellos, las autoridades del grupo de coordinacion despliegan fuerte operativo para su captura, cualquier información para pronta detención estaremos profundamente agradecidos. pic.twitter.com/PRDC0hhBBe
— Lucio Hernández Gutiérrez (@Lucio_HG) January 21, 2022
Solution? Don’t buy drugs in Mexico. It’s a dangerous game. Just stick to chilaquiles.
And really, this probably isn’t even about buying drugs for recreational use. The Canadians who were killed had criminal records, including for using fake IDs and drug trafficking. It seems more likely they were buying larger quantities with the intent to distribute.
That’s not to say that unsuspecting tourists are 100% safe. Last year, a German and Indian tourists were caught in a crossfire in Tulum and died. But that’s called life. And you face that risk in Chicago or Los Angeles too if you happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Mexico depends heavily on tourism and will send in more troops to make resorts safer. But the best way to protect yourself is simply not to do business with the cartels…
There is no justification for the death of two Canadians at a Mexican resort last week. But we can understand why it occurred and it helps us to put this incident into context. Mexico is not particularly unsafe if you stay in your resort or in tourists areas. But it does become more dangerous when you try to buy drugs. That should not come as a surprise…
image: Hotel Xcaret
Matthew is an avid traveler who calls Los Angeles home. Each year he travels more than 200,000 miles by air and has visited more than 135 countries. Working both in the aviation industry and as a travel consultant, Matthew has been featured in major media outlets around the world and uses his Live and Let’s Fly blog to share the latest news in the airline industry, commentary on frequent flyer programs, and detailed reports of his worldwide travel.
As always, the Drive By Media doesn’t want the entire story, just a sensational headline.
Your point stands, look for trouble and it often finds you.
It’s uncanny. Every time I don’t know what to plan for dinner you publish something mentioning food. I’ll definitely follow your chilaquiles suggestion. What cheese do you use? Requeson, cotija,crema,Chihuahua,Oaxaca,panela,Asadero,anejo or fresco?
Drugs should be legalized. War on drugs is a way for corrupt US officials ( by that i mean white Republican males) to make money. All wars are some way to move money from taxpayers to corrupt politician-businessmen- religious charlatans nexus. They don’t care about people. They care about the excuses they can use to steal money.
To be fair government assistance programs are the way liberal politicians steal money. So i am not being partisan. They are both corrupt.
I think it’s time for UBTI. Ever citizen should get basic income and if you can’t make it on that income you should move to a country where you can. And if you have more than two kids and you are relying on the government assistance you should be immediately castrated. A loser like that shouldn’t be allowed to have more than 2 kids.
I disagree and think credit card use is better.
People have terrible medical judgment. We’ve seen this in the pandemic. Likewise, people cannot be trusted to make decisions such as to buy cocaine along with pizza and bread. They must not be allowed to buy cocaine.
I’ve been informed that the mega resorts in Baja are actually owned by the cartels. I hope My source is wrong.
This is ridiculous. I should be able to buy coke without fear of getting shot or the cops when I go to Mexico. Luckily, we’ve never had this problem in Mexico City or Colombia. Main rule: don’t be cheap when buying drugs.
Unrelated to Mexico, but is the United Polaris lounge LAX still reopening today? I know back in December you reported that an elite was told at an event that the SFO lounge would reopen Jan 4 and LAX Jan 24, and the SFO lounge date was correct, however, I find it hard to believe they are opening LAX with only 2 flights, especially when the NRT flight is averaging 10 people in biz and the SYD one only 25 or so. Doesn’t seem like that justifies a reopening.
I also saw they cut the LAX-LHR that was scheduled to resume on March 4, now it’s off the schedule until March 26. Very disappointing. Any insight on this?
I have a fight booked LAX-LHR end of May so really hoping the lounge is open by then!
LAX Polaris Lounge re-opening delayed until March.
Will coincide with resumption of LAX-LHR.
Makes sense, thanks for the update!
Still unfortunate, though.
That’s a nice picture of you Matthew!
Did someone do a line drawing of you?
The one next to your name when you respond. Same one in the “about the author”
That was done for me – styled in the manner of a Wall Street Jouunal Hedcut.
They done good!
There is no such thing as a “drug pusher.” The drug sellers have people come to them, not the other way around. Look for this to get bad as the Covid situation gets worse and many cannot handle the new normal, so its drugs and or booze.
You cannot pay me enough to take my family to Mexico on vacation. And I am Latino.
I fully agree with you 100%! I avoid Mexa like the plague. I have family (although never met them), friends, and my American Latino (Spanish-Euro-Estadounidense) ancestry does include Mexa heritage, entry through Veracruz-Mexico City-Sonora, one will not find me or my family traveling to or through Mexa. Love the food not the country.
This is a moronic statement. If you’re avoiding all of Mexico it’s your loss. Mexico is a beautiful country full of wonderful people. I’ve been all over the world and it’s one of my favorite countries. There is crime in every country. If you aren’t being an idiot, practicing good common sense, not doing illegal activities then your chances of something bad happening to you are very low there.
It could be my loss but they won’t see my money. There are way too many countries ahead of Mexico in my list to visit.
Very well put. Now, to be fair, there are enclaves within Mexico that are controlled by cartels and anything can happen (to anyone) in those places. And, Mexico has long been a country where it’s inadvisable to take long journeys at night. And none of that disagrees with the content of your blog this afternoon, As is the case here at home, the majority of violent crimes involve people who put themselves in a position where they’re dealing with violent criminals. If you do your own thing and mind your own business (and take reasonable precautions), the odds are in your favor every time.
Ehhh that’s a rather simplistic conclusion.
I’ve been to Xcaret — based on the video that was uploaded, the shooting happened at the casual restaurant / swim-up bar (the rectangular thing on the left side of the main photo) adjacent to some of the pools.
It is a particularly busy part of the resort. That area is constantly packed with people, be it diners, swimmers, and foot traffic. Tons of kids as well, since that is not an adult-only pool.
Point being, me minding my own business and not seeking out drugs isn’t going to do much to prevent an incident like this from potentially occurring in my immediate vicinity. It’s not like this happened in some back alley — this was in the busiest, most central part of the resort.
If this is the new reality in that region, then the resorts need to beef up their security accordingly.
Portugal decriminalized all drugs in 2001. Drug use, overdose deaths, HIV infections, violence…all fell. I went there in 2002.
Democrats like Bill Clinton facilitated the importation of cocaine to the US. Politicians and police of both political parties prefer keeping drugs illegal so they can commit civil asset forfeiture, invade homes without warrants, stop drivers on a whiff, and stick their fingers in our body cavities.
Latin American cartels are more than happy to share some of their wealth with US politicians and police.
I don’t see the point in visiting Mexico. (As a child I went there with family many times, including many places along the border now considered fairly dangerous.) The safest places there are the resorts where you never leave the resort. I think those are boring, and there are many better such places to visit throughout the Caribbean, not to mention the rest of the world.
Was in Tulum last week. Felt very safe.
Lots of federales and soldiers on the streets at night though. All places had security and frisks upon entering.
If you wanted drugs though…you can get them anywhere.
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