Nothing Can Be More Expensive Than A Cheap Vacation to a Hellhole

Death Van

Fears are growing for two Australian surfers travelling through Mexico who have been missing since 20 November.

Dean Lucas and Adam Coleman, both 33, were living in Edmonton, Canada and had driven down to Mexico for a surfing trip.

Their families say they will be going to Mexico amid media reports that two unidentified bodies were found inside a burnt-out van resembling theirs.

A family statement said they hold “deep fears” but police did not comment.

“Dean and Adam were travelling in a van, departing from Topolobampa on Friday 20 November to Guadalajara but did not arrive on their scheduled date,” a joint statement said.

Canadian travel advisory for Mexico

U.S. State Department travel advisory

Australian travel advisory

  • Clink9

    I went on a cheap vacation to that hellhole 30 years ago. Never again.

  • ntt1

    To much anarchy and corruption. I guess they saw something they shouldn’t have

  • Mr_bigstuff

    Why go to Mexico? We have a bunch of thieves running the government and our very own corrupt federales (OPP provinciales!) right here in good old ontariojuana!

    • The Liberal Party of Canada reminds me of the old Mexican PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional — Institutional Revolutionary Party) which had a stranglehold on Mexico for so many years and responsible for all the corruption. Under the Liberals, Canada has become the “Banana Republic of the North”.

  • terrence

    I know a number of people who regularly go to Mexico for vacations, but they describe the places they stay as armed prison camps – no locals get in at all (other than very well vetted employees). And all visitors are required to stay in the compound. They also say they are very nice places to stay – great food, big swimming pools, nice guests. Oh, well, NOT for me.

    Mind you they went three of four years ago – so things may have gotten worse.

  • UCSPanther

    There was the old Hippie trail that snaked from Europe, through Turkey, parts of Central Asia, through Afghanistan, through Pakistan and ultimately to Nepal. It used to be frequented by Western tourists during the Hippie era, but since the collapse of order in many regions along the way, only a fool would try to take the Hippie Trail today.

    We’re starting to see the same thing in Egypt, and Mexico and other former tourist Meccas will surely follow as the 21st century drags on. It will be a long time before many of those areas see some degree of stability again.

  • Topolobampa, Sinaloa — the heart of the Sinaloa drug cartel. The entire State under control of the Narcos. Highways to Guadalajara probably the most dangerous in Mexico.

    I hitchhiked and hopped freight trains through there over 40 years ago as a teenage hippie and it was absolutely gorgeous, the people the best in the world, slept alone on the beaches — no security issues. There were no cartels back then. I made it all the way to Mazatlan without incident. Then inland to Durango where local Indigenous people hosted me simply because I was a stranger — because that’s the way Mexicans treated strangers back in the day. They protected them. Not any more folks — the whole world is going to hell in a hand-basket.

    • UCSPanther

      It is parallel to the years leading up to the First Great War in the early 1900s: A period of increasing world instability.

      • History seems to work that way — 100 year cycles. We’re probably due for another world war. Because people forget.

        • Exile1981

          I suspect we’ll look back and realize that some factions already knew we were in a world war by 2015…. and the west …. were slow learners as a society.

        • Brett_McS

          It may be more that the world is returning to type after a period of relative stability under the eye of the USA.

  • The people of Sinaloa (where these tourists were ostensibly killed) have surrendered to the Narcos. They romanticize them in popular folk songs called “corridos”. This corrido is actually pretty cool musically and visually — makes the Narcos look like “Bandidos” or revolutionaries from the old days. But that’s precisely the problem — the Narcos are actually as brutal and cruel as ISIS, with torture and beheadings of innocent people and the whole works:

    • UCSPanther

      Why am I reminded of Pablo Escobar and his little “publicity campaign” back in the 1980s?

      • After Escobar was bumped off, that’s when the cartels moved North to Mexico. They need to do the same thing in Mexico as they did in Colombia — send in the military and wipe these buggers out. But less likely to occur today thanks to Politically Correct constraints which always favour criminals.

  • canminuteman

    I have a few friends who were in the navy and made port calls in Mexico. Never get off the boat…

    • Clink9
    • I’ve taken road trips through Mexico numerous times since my hippie days — from one end of the country to the other. Never a problem. On one occasion with my former wife and kids, at least twice with my small son alone, and once with my son and his grand-dad. Never a problem. The problem started with the Cartels — a relatively recent phenomenon. I would never consider doing that today. Although I’m considering a motorcycle trip to Central America — carefully planned and mapped out because it would require going through Mexico. Haven’t decided yet.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      Almost all of Mexico is prohibited for travel for active duty members of the U.S. Military.

  • bargogx1

    Judging from what I’ve seen in various media reports over the years, it’s a great place to go if you want to get murdered or accused of murder.

  • tamale

    Good grief – not even my Mexican friends would consider road tripping thru Mex anymore. Banditos everywhere.

    It’s not the 60s anymore, where my uncle would roadtrip with family numerous times to Guatemala & back & just camp out on the side of the road….

    • Everywhere in Latin America is getting bad. Met a Chilean guy over the summer hung out and drank with him for the evening. He said Chile was terrible for bandidos. Chile was supposed to be one of the few countries without a travel warning, but when you get it “from the horse’s mouth” like that it makes you pay attention. It’s all due to the drug cartels and the “spin-off” crime being created everywhere. Seems like there’s nowhere to go anymore. Meanwhile, the biggest threat to humanity is apparently Global Warming.

      • Latin America is quite corrupt because they are not big on the rule of law. The laws are mere suggestions, they are poorly defined gray areas. If someone has money, they are above the law. If someone wants money from you, they could kidnap you and most likely get away with it.

        The cops are all former military and come from connected families, and so there is basically a police state in many parts of Latin America. If the police don’t like someone, they won’t do anything if that person is a victim of a crime. They will also cover it up if one of their own causes trouble.

        • It’s easier if you know the language and the nuances of the local culture (both good and bad) — it can make the difference between life and death. It’s also good if you know people. Tourists don’t have that advantage. And a six-week “Spanish immersion” course only scratches the surface.

          • I agree, it’s generally not a good idea to visit a Spanish speaking country in Latin America if you don’t understand and speak basic Spanish.

            However that will not save you from local politics and corruption, or gang violence. It doesn’t help that Latin Americans are not “politically correct” and will yell out your race and nationality on the street to alert everyone else that a foreigner is present. It’s always good to have friends you actually trust, although that can be dicey too. Trust is very hard to earn in Latin countries, because culturally, lying is not seen as a bad thing.

          • Local politics and corruption was the least of my worries — it’s institutionalized and you learn how to negotiate it. Been that way forever. But International organized crime/drug syndicates and the recent gang phenomenon are a whole different animal.