What purpose does this type of violence serve? | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

Here is one more sad ending story. Why are so many tourists being attacked at 5 star resorts in the Mayan Riviera. Shame on the Mexican authorities for thinking we are so gullible as to not know the difference between injuries sustained when a person falls to those produced from a beating.Here is the story from the Toronto Star today:Canadian PressMexican officials are saying the case of a Canadian man severely injured on the grounds of a resort was an accident but his family is accusing authorities of covering up a horrific beating.Jeff Toews, 34, of Grande Prairie, Alta. was found early Monday morning by security guards on the grounds of the Moon Palace Golf and Spa Resort in Cancun. From his bedside at a local hospital, Toews’ brother Murray said he is on life support and is not expected to survive.He is surrounded by his brothers — including twin Gregg — and his parents who had flown down Monday night.“He received serious head injuries, four blows to the head and he’s been beat very bad on his back,” said Murray Toews in a telephone interview.Jeff Toews was on a seven-day vacation with his wife, Natalie, and nine other couples from northern Alberta.On Sunday night, the group had been at the resort’s Andromeda nightclub into the wee hours. Jeff Toews was going back and forth between his room and the club over the course of the evening, but after one pit stop, he didn’t return. A security guard alerted his wife that something had gone wrong.Twin brother Gregg rushed to the scene and administered CPR until an ambulance arrived. Jeff is now in a medically induced coma to reduce swelling of the brain.“It’s unthinkable how somebody could do this to somebody,” his brother, Murray, said. Jeff has a 3-year-old son who was staying with family in Grande Prairie.But while the family says Jeff was the victim of a beating, possibly by the security guards who claimed to have found him, the top prosecutor for the state of Quintana Roo says there is no evidence of foul play.Bello Melchor Rodriguez y Carrillo — the same man who has been overseeing the controversial case of a Toronto couple murdered at a resort last year — said the incident was an accident.“He wasn’t beaten. He fell from a second storey of the hotel where he was staying,” Rodriguez y Carrillo said in an interview. “That’s the report that we have from the security guard from the hotel, and the report we’re getting from the hospital too.”The prosecutor later said that Jeff was “running to a second floor, lost control and fell.” He said he did not know if the hotel had video surveillance of its grounds.Murray Toews said his brother had never been on the second floor and the family believes Jeff was being pursued by security guards at the time of incident.“It’s all a big coverup,” said Murray Toews. He added that staff at the hotel had been of no assistance to the family but that they had received help from Canadian officials at the consulate in Cancun.An RCMP officer stationed in Mexico City is also scheduled to visit the family.In Ottawa, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said the government is waiting for the results of a local police investigation before deciding its next move.“It’s business as usual at this Moon Palace. They’re, you know, playing typical tourism crap,” Toews said. “It happened not long ago here to some other Canadians. Nobody seen nothing; no witnesses, of course. There’s been no co-operation with my family — my parents are here now — no one’s been down to check with my family.”Toews is yet another high profile case of a Canadian injured or killed in violent acts in Mexico.Last February, Domenic and Nancy Ianiero of Woodbridge were found with their throats slit at a resort near Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The murder has still not been solved and the family lawyer has accused Rodriguez y Carrillo of botching the case and outright lying about the details.In January, Adam DePrisco, 19, also of Woodbridge, was killed outside an Acapulco nightclub. A Mexican doctor blamed the teen’s death on a hit-and-run driver, but his family and friends believe he was beaten to death.Last month, two Canadians were injured when a gunman fired into the lobby of a hotel in Acapulco, Mexico.A million Canadians visit Mexico every year, which has seen a surge in drug-related violence.
wossa Guest Wow, some very horrific stories of violence Trillium, always sad to hear of people being attacked and beaten to death whilst on vacation.I don’t think this kind of violence in anyway differs from what can be found anywhere else in the world unfortunately…….gun crime and violent robbery / assault are almost a common daily event even here in London. I guess we are an easy target when on holiday, and need to be aware of what can happen to any of us when travelling. Interesting but sad article !

Wossa…………… ;D

Count me out for Mexico. A large group of us travel every year and had planned to do Mexico next year but that is out for sure now. I always felt if I booked an all inclusive resort that I was safe. No longer, you are not safe anywhere. It was only a matter of time before this great all inclusive thing got targeted. I think the tourism industry needs to suffer first before anything will be done about this. Hopefully travellers will pick other locations next year and Mexico will feel that punch. Mexican officials can’t trusted and I’m not willing to take a chance.

I would like to send my sincere hope to this family that all will be well. Please, fellow forum users, lets not let this thread get out of hand. We should not deal in speculation and it is so hard to know the real facts.We as tourists are all guilty of assuming when we are in other countries, including the grand US., that laws and officials and people with authority will protect your rights as you believe them. Unfortunately that is very naive. Unfortunately the people in Mexico who where clothes of authority in many cases are the liars and thieves themselves, and we fall prey to them. We need to step up our travel wise awareness.

I will continue to travel to Mexico. Be careful on how you act, be mindful and respectful to all those around you. I will not rent a car there because of all the other situations that can arise from that. It does not matter what you think your rights may be, they just don’t help when you walk into a bad situation. I have been known to travel with two wallets. So give the wallet away and live to talk about it. May this all have a happy ending.

caper13, just my own personal opinion, but it can happen to you at your corner store, your next door neighbours, etc. Toronto has just as much crime as any other place…the Dominican Republic and Jamaica seem to have high rates of crime against tourists as well. It seems that Mexico is having this surge lately against Canadians and I for one think the Canadian gov’t should do something about this or will this be just another unsolved crime. Just always, always be aware of your surroundings and we never travel alone, always in a group, so we don’t walk around the resort just on our own. We have alot of rules and everyone abides by them.Unfortunately it happened at yet another lovely resort…

I feel horrible for the family. They are in our thoughts and prayers.

Very sad story indeed. W-5 reported on the Ianiero murders just recently and they interviewed Rodriguez y Carrillo who, of course, denies any wrongdoing. Even after showing him footage of maintenance workers outside the Ianieros’ room mopping up blood before police ever showed up. They also reported that the police force in the Yucatan have only about 4-6 weeks’ training before sporting badges and guns and they’re paid a pittance. They interviewed a former Yucatan cop who’s in hiding because he arrested a "crime boss" and wouldn’t accept a bribe. This report also led us to believe that there’s nobody representing Canadians in the Yucatan. In other words, if something happens to you, you’re on your own.

I’ve been to both Cancun and Riviera Maya and after this latest incident, I can’t say I’m tempted to go back.

The worst part of this story is that the security guards are rumoured to be the ones who assaulted Toews in the first place!Sure, this could happen anywhere. Toronto has its own shady neighbourhoods. But it’s sad when the ones doing the killing are the people you look to for protection. Isn’t it a security guard that’s the prime suspect in the Ianiero murders now too?

To have the police and the provincial prosecutor agree with and perpetuate laugable theories is a double slap in the face. How stupid do they think we are?

The news update last night was that this young father from Alberta was not expected to survive his injuries. Its a very grave state of affairs that the Manager of a 5-star resort that depends on tourist dollars to exist in his line of work so easily jumps to the conclusion that everything is an accident and takes no responsibility for screening their employees, if indeed it was the evil doing of a security guard under his employ in this case. I have been to the Mayan Riviera several times on vacation and thoroughly enjoyed my vacation time there but in light of these reported incidents, I will now make vacation plans to other, safer Caribbean destinations that I haven’t read about guests being murdered within the walls of their resorts. I know it can happen anywhere and we have to practice due diligence all the time, both at home and abroad but when I choose a vacation destination, I do it with more than a reasonable expectation that I won’t be beaten to death or my throat slit while within the resort I’m staying at. I have only good memories of my Mexico vacations but this has happened too many times in the last year to keep me comfortably choosing to go back.

Hubby and I were talking about this on the way home from work today. The family has pointed the blame at the Security Guards who supposedly found the injured man. What I would like to know is what made them suspect the guard? Somewhere the truth is out there, we will probably never find out what it is. I will be looking at things a little differently on my next vacation. Regardless of which country I am in, I will be a lot more cautious when moving around the resort, especially at night. And forget about knocking at my door I won’t be opening it if I don’t know you. Crime is everywhere now, there are places in my city I won’t travel to at night anymore. If I start deleting vacation destinations off my list because of crime, I think I will be spending my vacations at home. It is unsettling that the managers of these resorts want to pass everything off as an accident, but they are all the same. They are too concerned about the almight tourist dollar, wouldn’t want to do anything to jeopardize that. Sad truth is that they are. Safe travels everyone.

Re the Ianiero case, if I remember correctly, W-5 reported that the family is blaming a security guard who took a strange interest in Mr. Ianiero on the afternoon of the murder. It’s reported that Mr. Ianiero was suffering with a sore foot and making his way back to his hotel room when the security guard in question offered him a ride on his "golf cart". He drove him back to his room. One of the Ianiero daughters said that the whole family went to a resort show that night and they all parted ways afterwards. Mr. or Mrs. Ianiero called their daughter to say that they found it really weird when the same security guard knocked on their door that night to see how Mr. Ianiero was feeling.

W-5 found out from hotel management that the security guard was on his day off the day of the murders and had since disappeared. When confronted with this info, Rodriguez y Carrillo stated that the two Thunder Bay women who were originally accused are still the prime suspects and that there’s no evidence against the security guard. Mexican authorities haven’t even pursued that lead.

I still believe in the end it comes down to using your travel smarts..WHERE EVER you travel, it doesn’t just have to be in the caribbean. HolaI echo what Deputy has posted!!!!!!!!!!!!!It does come down to using our "Traveling Smarts"We need to be aware of our surroundings at all times and remember that just because we are at an AI or we are Tourists, does not necessarily safe guard us from any hazards while on vacation.Wossa and I are heading to Mexico in the next week and this latest story just makes me think a little deeper and makes me realize it can happen to anyone anywhere in the world at any time.Having said that, I will certainly not be wondering around the streets or the resort alone as I usually do. I will be sticking very close to my dear friend and making sure neither of us are out of each others site at all.There is nothing wrong with being over cautious while away from home and our normal comfortable surroundings.

Freedom Ryder 8-)……………….

This is yet another sad story for the family involved and the lack of response by our Canadian Government to get to the bottom of it again……WHERE IS OUR GOVERNMENT – TiME TO AUDIT THEM…I concur with all on the board as to being ‘streetwise/travel savvy’ – this is not your country no matter where you travel – this is not your legal system – you must always have a buddy(s) system in place – When you travel you probably partake in all the resort has to offer be it booze/sun/food/partying – etc…but don’t partake til you lose your wits – as ‘it’ happens to the best and at the ‘best’- a little ‘common sense’ and you will be safe especially with a buddy or two/three/four….It’s so easy to forget ‘sometimes’ where you are especially if you’ve gone on vacation just to escape from it ‘all’. I know many who have and have been ‘saved’ by their significant other(s)…No matter what country you travel or live in have a buddy system – just in case – and if something does happen maybe someone will speak for you – and with any luck your true story will be known…and maybe your government will get the ‘balls’ to do something about it other than bask in the monetary benefits!!!

God Bless Mrs. Toews and the little guy – my heart is with them…and the families….

And to Debbies forums – BRAVO for not censoring what the travellers have to say to and on behalf of their fellow travellers… CUDOS TO YOU – your forum(s) are the best…People rely on people – and your forum helps/aids people in their choices. Others censor based on support – this board helps all based on travellers opinions – and isn’t that what it should be all about..

Thank you for our opportunity to do that Debbie!!!

I agree that travelling smart and being aware of your surroundings are important no matter where you go… but these cases in Mexico are far out of control. It’s one thing for a murder to take place off the resort, in a situation that might be dangerous anywhere in the world. It’s a completely different issue when people are being killed at the resort, by people employed by the resort. Wanting to feel safe in that environment is a very reasonable expectation.The Ianieros were killed in their room! Toews was assaulted and essentially murdered walking from the bar back to his room! Those are completely unacceptable situations.Coincidentally I’m also a 34-year-old man. I wouldn’t think twice about my safety walking around the resort, even if it was 3 o’clock in the morning. Do I need to re-evaluate my thinking?The real joke here is the lack of accountability. Are these Mexican officials mentally handicapped? Even a royally stupid keystone cop should know enough to apologize and work hard at addressing the real problem. It’s the Mexican law enforcement and prosecutors that are the real joke here. Somebody needs to purge those offices and install some reasonably intelligent simpletons… I’m sure they’d do a much better job.

And as Canadians, we need to stop spending money in Mexico until someone higher up the food chain decides to address the problem.

From the Globe & Mail link above….

Mr. Toews’s wife found out he was in hospital the next morning when police contacted her.

That is very odd when other reports state that his brother administered CPR on him. Why wouldn’t someone from the party tell his wife themselves????

This is very strange, I hope that the truth comes out for the family’s sake.

Careful! The wind changes daily and so do the supposed facts and or rumors. You can not make or form your opinion today on what you have heard when tomorrow something new enters into the picture. These people will hopefully find out what really happened and will pass this on to the interested public. Until then we can all come up with reasons why we are angry. We will have to adjust this thought as facts become available. Something tells me there will be far more disclosure in this case then ever before. So lets be patient and see what comes forth.

Every country has these same issues that the Mexican government has. It disturbs me that we don’t seem to take issue with the short comings in our own goverments, and we go attacking other countries governments. I do believe its easy to get all caught up in what the press is telling us. Since when has any press every been 100% truthful about what they are reporting?Yes, I agree what has happened to tourists all over, is quite tragic and sad. However to boycott a country is nonsense, those same things happen in our own countries to our own citizens and the tourists that come to visit our countries.


In 2005 there were 2.04 murders for every 100,000 people… in Canada. In 2005, there were 2.13 murders per 100,000 people… In Nova Scotia. We’re not that safe here either, folks.Terrible incident, feel sorry for the family.

Deputy, you said it all and were bang on with your ideas (IMO), we don’t have to stray far from our own backyards to find crime, so why do we have to nail Mexico to the cross every time something happens there, when we are so willing to overlook all the crimes that are committed on a daily basis at home?

Yes my friend Jake, why do we have to nail Mexico…it is happening too often…kind of scary, don’t you think? I think it is the cover up they keep doing and our gov’t allows it to happen. Yes it happening in our own backyards, far too often than we like, but having said that, holy smokes, it is happening far too often in Mexico as well. We have 2 very special birthdays next year and a 25th anniversary, I will be hard pressed to get everyone to go there next year…yes memories fade, but the reality doesn’t…I would go back tomorrow to the Bahia myself because we are all really careful, but I think he was too, but we might have to rethink next year’s trip. I am already getting grief from family members, not to mention friends…we shall see, yes it is a very unfortunate incident, but this was a man that had family, not some young buck out for a fun time…that’s unfair for me to say that, but that’s what happens when you leave the resort, he didn’t…my thoughts and prayers are with his family.

I too am a little wary now, but the Bahia will always rock in my heard and my mind!!!!

Hi,I really hope this was an accident, if it was not I don’t believe I’ll return to Mexico. I know bad things can happen anywhere, but I don’t want to support the industry and country that seemingly lets this happen over and over again – though the Canadian gov’t isn’t seeming to do much either to pursue justice for its citizens. I hope this family gets the truth in the end, I want them to have peace.


Don’t shoot the messenger DdF and the rest of the Bahia nuts, but while we were there, a couple we met, said on two separate occasions, when they were returning to their room, a security guard in the white uniform, was trying to enter their room. When questioned about it the first time, he said he was sorry, he had the wrong room. The second time he tried to run away, but this guy managed to grap and hold the little guard and got some help to take this guy up to the front desk. Nothing ever came of it, as far as they knew, although they did get a lovely fruit bowl in their room. I too would return, but I would certainly be "on guard" more than ever. It really is too bad that things seem to be getting so bad in such a beautiful place. I just heard on the radio, we had another murder last night and a woman was assaulted and stabbed inside her own appartment. That’s just in Halifax, what else happened across Canada and the US last night? It happens everywhere folks.

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