Is Mexico Safe?


I’ve been watching the online firestorm brewing over supposed abuse and criminal behavior in Mexico and felt I needed to present another aspect of the story.

First and foremost let me say I cannot imagine the heartbreak of losing a child.  One of my dearest friends lost her son, and knowing her anguish only makes me even more sensitive to the pain and emotion the families who lost loved ones are dealing with.

At my agency we send thousands of customers to Mexico every year, to the Cancun area as well as Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas.  We literally sell millions of dollars in travel to Mexico annually.  In almost 13 years of business, booking this huge volume of business to Mexico, I have never had a customer say there were drugged or given tainted alcohol anywhere in Mexico, or anywhere else in the world for that matter.

I don’t know how familiar you are with the way the tourism economy works in Mexico, but please allow me give you some insight.  A bartending job in a Mexican resort is a good job, and it’s very hard to come by.  A good job, by the way, that pays $7 a day.  A day.  This person tending the bar is totally dependent on coming to that resort 6 days a week, for 12 hour shifts, and feeding their families from the tips they are given.  

I can’t imagine what would induce this bartender to drug or give a tainted product to a tourist.  First and foremost, they would lose their job and in Mexico there’s no unemployment or welfare system.  No job equals no money equals hungry family.  

Secondly, if the parents of the young adults in question, as well as multiple other guests of the resort were all drinking from the same bar, shooting the same shots, why were the two kids the only people who became ill?  That’s just not logical to me.

I have no doubt the kids suffered ill effects, harrowing effects from the alcohol they consumed, however has no one questioned what some of the other guests might have done?  I am much more inclined to think another guest at the resort drugged that beautiful young girl or encouraged her to exceed her alcohol limit simply to take advantage of her.  Men have been drugging women for centuries, has no one considered that idea?

About that beautiful young lady-did you notice that she was not only young, she was also very small?  Her ability to indulge in alcohol consumption at the rate that has been reported is cause for concern as well.  Small, young women cannot drink at the rate she was reportedly drinking and not become dangerously, even lethally intoxicated. 

I know there are instances on cruise ships where staff reportedly drugged guests, and I’m much more likely to believe that story simply because the guest would be taken to their cabin, where the staff member might have access to their belongings or indeed their person.  At a resort a bartender just would not gain that kind of access, so what’s the motivation?  To ruin the reputation of the resort would result in loss of employment, and as previously mentioned that’s a very bad situation in Mexico. 

Our customers have occasionally reported instances where they personally got knee wobbling drunk simply because they were in a place where alcoholic beverages were free, where they exceeded their limits, and they suffered the consequences.  They never blamed the resort or the staff. 

I eagerly await the toxicology report on the sweet girl who lost her life.  But even if foul play is proven, the idea that a resort employee was the culprit just isn’t reasonable to me.  

I just returned from a weeklong vacation in Mexico with my family (including my beautiful young daughter and my grandson).  If I thought for one minute that Mexico was unsafe I would not be taking my family there.

With deepest respect and sincere grief over the recent loss of life,

Joy Gawf-Crutchfield

President, Founder and owner/operator of The Joy of Travel LLC.