You may have seen the news that 22 Carnival cruise line passengers were robbed at gunpoint last Thursday while on a shore excursion in the Puerto Vallarta area.
Gunmen stopped the bus carrying the tourists at about 5 p.m. while they were returning from a ship-sponsored nature excursion in El Nogalito, a lush tropical area.
Carnival Cruises has issued an apology to the passengers and is reimbursing them for the money, passports, cameras, jewelry and watches stolen in the holdup. The Carnival Splendor returned to Long Beach, Calif., from the seven-day tour Sunday morning.
Puerto Vallarta has generally been considered a safe tourism destination (and it probably remains so). But organizing a holdup of an entire tourist bus requires logistical expertise – lookouts, escape routes, pre-robbery surveillance, possible cooperation from some authorities, etc. – so cruise lines are taking it seriously.
Also distressing is that police have made no arrests.
Puerto Vallarta is looking to avoid any of the distress facing Mazatlan, further to the north, over attacks on tourists. A Canadian woman from Calgary was beaten into a coma in an elevator at a five-star hotel in Mazatlan last month. Sheila Nabb, 37, was airlifted back home afterward, and Mazatlan authorities say they caught the culprit. But he later admitted he confessed due to torture and was not the real assailant. As far as I know, the Nabb case remains unsolved.
Another Mexico blog has a very interesting interview with Walter McKay, a Canadian security analyst resident in Mexico City, about the realities of security in resort hotels. How much can hotel security guards be trusted? Are they there to keep the guests safe or to protect hotels’ economic interests?