The last time that I wrote about Mexico I'm sure that I angered the tourism representatives there: Three Cruise Lines Plan to Return to Mazatlan: Will They Provide Bullet-Proof Jackets to Passengers?
Taking your family to a place like Mazatlan, Acapulco or most any port in Mexico seems unnecessarily risky to me. Admittedly, the majority of cruise tourists have an enjoyable time in Mexican ports like Cabo or Cozumel. I have received more than my fair share of hate emails after writing articles about my view of Acapulco: Seven Tourists Raped in Acapulco: What is the Cruise Industry's Spin? and Mexican Violence: Does Anyone Cruise to Acapulco Anymore?
It never ceases to amaze me that people vacation in destinations where the local tourism officials try to convince you that it's safe when the city is filled with the federal police riding around in armored personnel carriers with machine guns.
I have been watching CNN lately and reading articles about the abduction and apparent murder of forty-three students in Mexico. The latest news is that the mayor of southern Mexican city of Iguala, José Luis Abarca, was arrested. It seems that Mr. Abarca was angered that the students interrupted an event that his wife, Maria de los Angeles Pineda, was giving in an effort to succeed him as mayor. So the mayor reportedly instructed the local police to apprehend the students. Then the local cops turned the students over to a drug cartel who slaughtered the kids, burned their bodies, and dumped them in a river.
There are violent protests now in Acapulco (and other locations) about the corrupt mayor and police department being in cahoots with a murderous drug gang. I make it a point never to cross a picket line and I certainly won't cross a protest line formed by the parents of abducted children and their supporters.
The Washington Post discusses this dreadful story in Mexico: Violent Protests Hit Acapulco’s Tourism. The Post says that "three years ago, 180 cruise ships docked in the city. So far in 2014, just five have made port calls . . . "
In my opinion that's five port calls too many.
Mexico seems like a lawless country where there is considerable collusion between Mexican officials, the local police and organized crime. I don't see the point of risking your family's lives by sailing south of the border.
Photograph Credit: Eduardo Verdugo / AP