Borderlandbeat.com has a letter online today from an American lady who was beaten and raped in Ixtapa. Her husband was stabbed and almost bled out. About 25 years ago my wife and I crossed into Tijuana and went to some dive restaurant that someone (a San Diego college kid?) recommended as 'authentic.' I knew one or two words of Spanish, cerveza one of them, and we were in a joint where the locals knew less English than I knew Spanish. The food was chunks of pork deep fried in fat in open cauldrons just off the street, where the exhaust fumes and dust and God knows what else could flavor the grease. When we got back to the border the cab driver dropped us off about 100 yards from the bridge. It was like walking in a downtown park at night in a big city. I was incredibly foolish to get my wife into that place. We got out with no problem. Today we'd both be dead. One reason I won't go there is the good people can't carry guns. All the drug dealers, kidnappers, sicarios and street punks have them, but let a gringo get caught with a pistol and it's off to prison. Anyway, here is another story that just resolves my mind to never go back:
The following are the contents of a letter received at Borderland Beat from a couple that until recently resided in the tourist destination of Ixtapa in the state of Guerrero, Mexico.
Names and addresses have been deleted for obvious reasons.
I feel that you should be made aware of an incident that occurred early in the morning of May 9 2011 and about the treatment we received after.
My husband and I were sleeping at our home on Calle ____________ in Res. _________, Ixtapa. At about 2.30 AM I saw 3 men approaching from the back area of the house. We jumped out of bed and managed to keep them from entering the house for at least 5 minutes. We turned on the alarm in our car and during this whole time we were yelling Ayudar Ayudar as loudly as we could. The robbers were also screaming and yelling because they were not at first able to get in. The leader of the bad guys picked up a brick and threw it at our glass door, shattering the glass. They were then able to get inside by smashing all the glass out of the door. The entire time this was going on, our car alarm was still sounding off.
Once inside our house the robbers beat both my husband (very severely) and myself and also at one point in the battle they shot a gun at my husband but thankfully did not hit him. They then tore our house apart and found our bank and credit cards. After they held a gun to my head and saying they would kill my husband I gave them the passwords. The leader of the gang left to go to the bank to check that I gave them the right numbers. While he was gone the other 2 men were kicking us and hitting us and putting guns and knives in our faces. When their leader returned they loaded up our TV, computer, camera, jewelry, etc. into our Honda CRV and then the main gang leader raped me and stabbed my husband. They told us that if we called the police or made a report they would come back and cut off our heads. I believe them. They terrorized us for almost 3 hours. In that entire time nobody called the Police or came to help us even though we had made a lot of noise for at least the first 15 minutes and then there had also been a gunshot. There are veladors and security guards all around our neighborhood starting within 30 meters away.
We have already done our duty and reported the crime to the proper authorities even though we are very frightened.
But even more than the crime itself which you may already have heard about I think that you should know about the things that have happened to us afterwards.
First, we went to the guard house at Condominium ________. We asked the security guard there to please call the ambulance because my husband had lost a lot of blood and was still loosing more blood. The guard did not have a telephone number. Why is he not trained to call his company and ask for help. I then asked him to call us a taxi. He had to call twice before anyone came. We waited for 20 minutes as my husband was bleeding and throwing up and going into shock. Finally a very nice taxista came and picked us up and took us to the Naval Hospital. They would not admit us because I had been raped and they said they did not have the personnel there to deal with that. They told our taxi driver to take us to Zihuatanejo. I can not believe that a Hospital turned away a man that had been beaten and stabbed and needed immediate medical attention. He then took us to Red Cross where there was also no one there to help us so we then had to go to Hospital General. When we arrived there we saw homeless people and people sleeping on the sidewalk. They let us in and started to very slowly take care of my husband who at this time had been bleeding for 3 hours. The people in this place had no compassion or sympathy for our situation. I was crying and pleading with them to let me use a phone to call my friend Snra. _________ but they kept telling me I had to use the pay phone. I explained that I had just been robbed and raped and nearly killed and did not have any money. They still would not help me to call my friend. Finally, after 40 minutes, one of the nurses let me use her personal cel phone.
That Hospital is not a place that I wanted my husband to stay in. There were flies all over and no privacy for any of the patients. The staff seemed to have almost no interest in helping us there. They did take X rays and put in some stitches to stop the bleeding and also gave him some fluids intravenously and then we were able to take him away from there.
As bad as things were at the Hospital they only got worse in the next few days. We asked _______ to help us to report the crime and if possible, to keep it out of the papers because we were afraid but also because we know that news like this happening to gringos will do extreme damage to the economy here.
It took 2 and a half days to get our report so that we could then register to the PFP (Federal Preventive Police) that our car was stolen. By now the car could be in Guatamala !! Nobody tried tracking the criminals by using our cell phone even though we gave them the number and told them that the bad guys have been answering it. When the prosecutors came to our house they did not have any bags for collecting evidence but had to borrow some from me, one of the victims of the crime. We had told them that there would be fingerprints all over including on our refrigerator but nobody brought the equipment necessary to dust for them. No one has interviewed the security guard. He must have seen the car that they arrived in or seen them driving around our street just before the break in. We feel that we have done everything possible to help the authorities to find and then prosecute these criminals but nobody is doing anything to catch them.
My husband had been very badly injured and I had been terribly traumatized by what happened but the government departments just seemed to not care at all that they kept us waiting in office after office for hours at each time, day after day. And we are very dismayed that no one was even trying to catch the criminals or look for our stolen car for almost 3 days!
I have been coming to Mexico my entire life and coming to Ixtapa Zihuatanejo since 1982. My husband and I have been living here full time for 6 years, sharing this time between Michoacan and here. We have given good jobs and much work to many, many people in that time. I have told hundreds of people about what a nice destination this is. After this terrible experience we will be leaving Mexico forever and I could not possibly recommend anyone to visit here.
While at the American Consulate office where I went to get a new passport, I learned that there were 4 carjackings of American citizens THIS WEEK ALONE on the road near Troncones and Saladita. This type of news is going to kill the tourism that this area has come to depend on.
We have been very careful to keep all of this out of the papers and off the message board that the tourists read. I honestly don´t know why we should care so much for Zihuatanejo. Zihuatanejo does not care for us.
Regards,_____________ , _____________
I feel this story should be heard.
It made me so mad when I saw Calderon in Las Vegas saying that the only "shots" that the Spring Break tourists needed to be afraid of is tequila shots.
Mexico is trying to minimize (for obvious reasons) the impact that the violence is taking on their country and economy.
The ineptitude of some of the police and prosecutors is just appalling. You would not believe the way that we were treated in Zihuatanejo. And to be refused at 2 "hospitals" when my husband was bleeding from a stab wound and had his head split open. It was a nightmare that just went on and on.
A lot of people go to Mexico and things are fine until god forbid you get caught up in something like this.
My husband and I could not have been less likely to have something like this come our way. We stayed at home, treated everyone very fairly, know the ropes down there and never did anything at all that would have put us on the radar of these criminals.
We never stayed out late or had any involvement whatsoever with drugs or anyone that did drugs. Nada. If it could happen to us, it could happen to ANYONE.
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