Friday, February 7, 2014

México: Vancouver Island Resident Returns to Canada Early After Assault, Robbery, See Security Tips Below

According to the Victoria, BC-based Times Colonist, a severe beating at the hands of Mexican assailants and robbery ended a Nanaimo retiree's first and potentially last trip to México. 

Canadian retiree Dave Griff booked a three weeks at a beachfront resort in the picturesque town of Ricon de Guayabitos to find out for himself whether it would live up to the  image portrayed  by his snowbird friends. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

Dave Griff spent most of his days combing the long, sandy shoreline, spent evenings enjoying the nightlife with his musician friends and soon got used to the laid-back pace of México's Pacific coast. 

COMMENT: All of that regrettably changed on January 19, 2014, when the sun had just set and Mr. Griff was walking solo to catch up with Nanaimo  friends the latter of whom spend their winters in Puerto Vallarta.  

Unfortunately, Griff observed two local men ahead of him that were approaching from the opposite direction where there were few buildings.

As the men approached, one walked off to the side and circled behind him and the other engaged him in conversation.

The Canadian visitor attempted to understand what the the man was saying in Spanish, yet suddenly he was struck on the left side of his head from a severe blow.

The next thing that happened was that one of his assailants, both of whom were in their 20s, was on top of him with the blows from fists continuing to hit him. 

As Griff was attempting to deflect the pummeling blows he felt the hand of one of his assailants pulling his wallet from his pocket.

When the two men fled, he realized that he had been robbed of some $85 in pesos and all of his credit cards.

The British Columbian then contacted local police and was taken to a private hospital where was given pain killers, had his head x-rayed and treated for cuts and abrasions.

Like so many foreign visitors to México, Mr. Griff was unaware that the criminal threat is very high nationwide.

Would he return to México? "Right now, I'd say no," Mr. Griff told THE TIMES COLONIST.

TIPS FOR FOREIGNERS TO MEXICO:

1. BEFORE initiating your travel to México, take ONLY the following financial instruments:

a. One check or debit card;

b. One credit card; and

c. One debit or credit card that you NEVER use in México, so that if your other two cards are declined because of credit card fraud, you will always be able to fulfill your financial obligations before leaving México;

2. NEVER carry your credit cards on your person unless you plan to use them;

3. ALWAYS register your itinerary through your appropriate foreign affairs agency. For Canadians, see: 

http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration

4. ALWAYS subscribe to international medical treatment and evacuation coverage whenever you travel abroad:

See http://www.insuremytrip.com

5. If you are taking a laptop, tablet, smartphone or digital camera to México, insure them with international coverage through:

http://www.safeware.com;

6. NEVER use a street-installed ATM ANYWHERE in México;

7. ALWAYS purchase Mexican pesos in advance, as criminals often lurk around foreign exchange booths at airports;

If you need a reputable source from which to purchase foreign currency while in Canada, please email me @:

ed@sbrisksolutions.com

8. ALWAYS take reputable taxi services at NIGHT while in México. Call your nearest embassy or consulate for the numbers of reputable taxi services;

9. NEVER carry more than $100 in cash;

10. ALWAYS stay at a reputable and secure hotel or aparthotel that has a safe deposit box system that includes a two-key access system;

11. NEVER use an in-room safe, as they ALWAYS have a "back-door" for hotel staff;

12. AGAIN, always travel by reputable taxi at NIGHT; and

13. Be PREDICTABLY unpredictable at all times and be observant of those watching you!   

Note: I'm not superstitious!