Winter isn’t so far away and soon we will see all of the families traveling to Mexico to avoid the cold weather. Then it will be Spring Break and college kids from across the country will flock to Cancun and Puerto Vallarta to escape from the rigors of second semester.
These people will probably want to change their plans after reading this story.
Abbey Conner was the latest person to feel the effects of a Mexico Vacation when she drowned within a couple of hours of arriving at her Cancun resort, Iberostar Hotel & Resorts’ Paraiso del Mar. The family attorney arrived at the resort within a few days to do a little investigating and found that the swim up bar where she drowned was already full of tourists.
The attorney drafted a four-page report on his findings but the real truth lied in a single paragraph buried at the end of the report.
They serve alcoholic drinks with alcohol of bad quality and in great amounts, mixing different types of drinks.
This attorney seems to be suggesting that an unhealthy mix of alcohol provided by the resort was the cause of Conner’s sudden death. A 2015 Mexico Tax Administration Service report would seem to suggest the same. They found that 43% of all the alcohol consumed in Mexico is illegal.
However, Conner isn’t the only victim of this dangerous practice. And the victims who survived say that it does not feel like they are just getting drunk. The interviewees said that they felt like they had been drugged, a substantially different feeling from being drunk.
The question of if it was an unhealthy combination of illegal drinks or being drugged does not absolve the Resort of responsibility. The real question is why did they do it. That question is much harder to answer.
Was it robbery? In one case, two teenage brothers from Minnesota on vacation with their parents woke up covered in mud, with no shirts or shoes and their wallets and cellphones missing. They had gotten separated during the night. One had a severe rash all over his legs. Neither could remember what happened.
Sexual assault? One Wisconsin woman interviewed by the Journal Sentinel said she was assaulted while both she and her husband were unconscious — something supported by an exam done by her OB-GYN when she returned to Neenah. Her husband woke up with a broken hand — a “boxer’s break” that his doctor said likely resulted from hitting someone — but also no memory of what had happened.
Extortion? In at least three cases, travelers reported that local hospitals, part of the Hospiten chain, appeared to be gouging them, demanding large sums of cash. One man was told to take a cab to an ATM. The vacationers suspected Iberostar might be in cahoots with the medical company. The resort contracts with Hospiten and refers sick and injured guests to Hospiten’s facilities. Abbey Conner’s family paid about $17,000 to a small medical clinic south of Playa del Carmen and within several hours paid tens of thousands more to a hospital in Cancun, north of the resort, where Abbey and her brother were transferred.
This story is not meant to scare you away from visiting Mexico. Just be aware of what is going on around you because you do not want to end up like Abbey Conner.