Dilemma explained

by anneh, Monday, January 24, 2011, 23:49 (2513 days ago)

We are shocked and surprised by the response to our post, "a cautionary tale". Clearly this illustrates an underlying fear present in the community. It saddens us to have to raise this issue because the victims will be the hotel staff who looked after us so well, and the local tourist industry.

In response to Rob's question: my husband, with the help of a hotel receptionist, who witnessed the incident, called the police who arrived in approx 10 minutes. The receptionist translated our account but the police interface was disappointing as they had no means of documenting the event and no reporting mechanism.

The next day, the management at our hotel arranged for a taxi to take us to the "tourist office" in Zihuatanejo. We waited for 2 1/2 hrs, no official spoke to us during that time as they were busy with other cases and eventually we abandoned any hope of getting a response and left to enjoy the short remainder of our vacation.

The staff at our hotel were extremely embarrassed and apologetic; the guests very sympathetic. Another family, who have visied Zihuatanejo many times, offered to walk with us to El Centro on our last night. We took up their offer, had a wonderful time and returned safely to our hotel after a most enjoyable evening.

Our objective in raising this is simply a message of caution to alert those who are not aware of the risks, as we were.

Thank you Rob for a great forum and for all the supportive posts.

Dilemma explained

by jeff in n.j., Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 08:18 (2512 days ago) @ anneh

it sounds like the police officers who responded and the officials in the "tourist office" were just putting in their time.sadly,the criminals won't be doing theirs.
those of us who love zihua all suffer with you.

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Dilemma explained

by ZihuaRob ⌂ @, Zihuatanejo, México, Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 09:26 (2512 days ago) @ jeff in n.j.

You shouldn't be blaming the police. The police did what they were supposed to do: they responded to a call for assistance. It's the Ministerio Público al Atención de la Turista where the ball got dropped here. My experience with that office over the years, as well as with the regular Ministerio Público, has also been completely unsatisfactory, and I have found their performance far below the level of professionalism required for the circumstances and for our city.

The role of our police is to prevent crime and respond to calls for help. They do what they can under the conditions in which they work, but the problem is systemic and begins at the top of the political food chain.

The truth is most crimes here go unreported precisely because most folks here consider the process a waste of time, especially visitors on vacation with no time to be wasting in the first place. Ninety-nine percent of all crimes go unpunished in Mexico because of the inherent dysfunctionality of the system coupled with the everpresent corruption.

I don't know if any of you heard about the mother killed last month in Chihuahua, Marisela Escobedo Ortiz. The three judges responsible for freeing the confessed killer of her daughter claim they had to follow the letter of the law and release him because the Ministerio Público didn't make their case according to the requirements of the law. Although many people in Mexico are very upset over the affair and are calling for serious judicial reform, I don't expect anything to happen in the near future. Our lawmakers are more concerned with elections than doing what is right and necessary for the well-being of the country (sound familiar?).

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Dilemma explained

by DonInPennsylvania ⌂ @, Pennsylvania, USA, Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 12:31 (2512 days ago) @ ZihuaRob

I also was incensed, furious, and aghast when I read about Escobedo - a new low? I followed the story on the daily online Latin American Herald Tribune, http://www.laht.com/content.asp?CategoryId=14091 . Their news entries are arranged by country, with usually 4-6/day/country. They provide a range of articles, e.g., "Mexican Tequila Production Rises 3.37% in 2010"; but, alas, most of the Mexican ones are about violence and murders.

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Dilemma explained

by JeffMN ⌂ @, Minneapolis MN USA, Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 12:20 (2512 days ago) @ anneh

Thank you for the very thoughtful way you've shared this experience with this community. Such reports never fail to bring out people's underlying feelings and/or character: the cynics, the empaths, the fear mongers, the idealists. As usual, the answers swirl around somewhere in the mix, animated by our common love of that wonderful place.
I hope your sensitivity for the people and culture -- not fear or anger -- can be the foundation of eventual solutions. Ojala some combination of awareness, political intelligence, persistence and faith will chip away at this ugly growth on Zihua and restore the carefree mood that's such a big part of its appeal.
I'm sorry for the emotional wound this has inflicted on you, and hope we can all be part of helping to heal it.

One Man's Wonder

--
http://www.OneMansWonder.com

Dilemma explained

by clint, Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 13:11 (2512 days ago) @ JeffMN

I have been coming to Mexico since the 50s. Not just to resorts, but throughout the country.

Corruption still strongly exists in Mexico and will continue as long as 80%+ of the people live below poverty.

Let's not be Pollyannas about this, just use some common sense.

The Lack Of Judicial Effectiveness...

by michoacan, Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 19:19 (2512 days ago) @ anneh

...Is exactly what La Familia Michoacana is using to dig its way into and cement itself into the roots of Michoacan society. While it persues the production and delivery (and violence) of illegal drugs, LFM offers the poplace a sort of "Frontier Justice" that is quick, brutal, and effective. In this topsy turvy landscape we have civilians taking their grievances to the mob just like what Mario Puzo wrote about. But, that doesn't include areas outside of LFM influence, and Zihuatanejo is not LFM turf.

Mexico needs to reinvent itself both in law enforcement, and the judiciary. Many criminal cases end up with a defendant going to prison only to be released because of a later determination of wrongful due process. If other or new gangs adopt the process of LFM Mexico is going to face a lot tougher fight to rid the country of organized crime. We can only hope and pray.