International travel can be a scary thing for folks who don’t travel much. I’ve traveled extensively and don’t get concerned about traveling to many new destinations. For those who might not travel as much, they might try something as simple as a trip to the Caribbean or Mexico so they can feel a bit more comfortable. Those are generally safe destinations, right?
I came across a pretty disturbing article about a fairly popular hotel chain in Mexico (and a few others) who reportedly have had numerous reported incidents with guests that don’t seem to add up. Thanks to Stefan for sending this article along.
The article is filled with stories of seemingly normal folks who don’t appear to abuse alcohol or drugs. The stories end with such outcomes as blackouts, sexual assaults and even death. It’s a sobering read about the lack of regulation around alcohol in Mexico. Just a few samples from the article:
A 2015 report from Mexico’s Tax Administration Service found that 43% of all the alcohol consumed in the nationis illegal, produced under unregulated circumstances resulting in potentially dangerous concoctions.
The national health authority in Mexico has seized more than 1.4 million gallons of adulterated alcohol since 2010 — not just from small local establishments, but from hotels and other entertainment areas, according to a 2017 report by the country’s Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks.
Kathy and Jeff Daley and their neighbors in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, took their teenage children to the Iberostar Cancun in March 2016 for a little spring getaway. They were all in the pool around the swim-up bar.
The group had a round of tequila shots, the first drink of the day for Kathy.
She had been careful to stick with water throughout the day to stay hydrated. She didn’t care much for the shot, so when everyone else had another, she declined. The bartender offered her something else. Something special, he said. It was a mixed drink of some kind — she wasn’t sure what. She took a few sips.
She lost consciousness. The next thing she remembers is being in a hospital. Vomiting and disoriented.
Valeri and her husband of 13 years were not conscious. They were in their hotel room at Iberostar’s Paraiso Maya, in the same array of resorts where Abbey and Austin Conner would wind up in a pool two years later.
It was 2015 and the Valeris were there to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Over the course of a couple hours, they had a few drinks on the beach — three each, to be exact.
Then they blacked out.
Jamie Valeri recalls vomiting and being on a cold tile floor. And she remembers being sexually assaulted. She couldn’t see or hear anything. But she could feel what was happening. She was in pain and wanted to fight, but her body was paralyzed.
A Sobering Reminder
I’ll admit, the stories in this article come as a bit of a shock to me. I’m not naive enough to think things like this can’t happen. But, the stories are horrible. And, the numbers are pretty surprising as well. 1.4 million gallons of adulterated booze? If you figure 1.5 ounces of booze per drink, that’s well over 100 million potentially tainted drinks that didn’t get served. When the quantities are that big, you have to assume the government didn’t catch it all. So, how much bad booze is really getting served?
All-inclusive resorts in Mexico are extremely popular with Americans. There are plenty of numbers floating out there. This article cites 25 million trips taken by US residents to Mexico for leisure purposes. People choose Mexico at least in part because it’s close and safe. It sounds like we might need to think twice about the latter.
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