There are a lot of stories out there about perfectly beautiful, relaxing, and life-changing vacations. This is not one of them. Well, it is a story about a life-changing vacation. Unfortunately, it’s the type of vacation that might have you reconsidering where you choose to take your next tropical getaway.
Canadians Karen Newton and her 22-year-old daughter were taking a much-needed break from their lives in “The Great White North” and living it up at Mexico’s BlueBay Grand Esmeralda resort. Things were going swimmingly until the night Karen’s daughter appeared to get a little too drunk, or so it seemed…
It was 1:30 in the morning and Karen Newton was furious. Her daughter had been literally dragged into their hotel room by her friend in the middle of the night. They had been hanging out at the beach bar and now it seemed the 22-year-old couldn’t walk, could barely speak coherently. Hell, she could barely stand on her own.
Drunk or Drugged
A few minutes of careful observation revealed that she was made for no reason. She could see that her daughter wasn’t vomiting, despite their best efforts. She had no muscle control at all and could barely hold her head up. Karen’s daughter wasn’t drunk, she had been drugged. They had just been lucky that her friend had gotten her back to the room; or so she believed…
Karen was understandably concerned. She had no idea what kind of drugs they had slipped her daughter. At least she was in the room and could try to sleep it off. Karen tucked her into bed beside her and kept watch over her through the night. After a few hours, however, even Karen couldn’t stay awake and drifted off to sleep.
She awoke around 4:30 a.m. She wasn’t sure what stirred her from her slumber. It could have been the noise from the fan, the bathroom light shifting into view as she turned over, whatever it was, she awoke with a start. She looked over to check on her previously unconscious daughter to find that she had miraculously vanished from the room…
Karen worried that her daughter might have gotten up and wandered off in a daze. She jumped out of bed and headed out of their luxury hotel room at the Riviera Maya and ran down to the lobby. As she made her way down there, the truth occurred to her. There was no way her daughter could have walked out on her own steam; no way in Hell.
She races down the hall and down the stairs, shouting her daughter’s name as she ran. As she made it past the pool, she could see light coming up over the horizon. By the time she had reached the office at the end of the sprawling property, it was nearly dawn. Luckily for her, she ran into a security guard along the way…
The security guard saw that she was in distress and had heard her calling for her daughter. He spoke English and asked if he could help. Karen filled him in and he took her to the security desk nearby, where he made a call. After several minutes of speaking to someone else in Spanish, he hung up the phone.
The guard then asked something peculiar. He asked Karen if she understood any Spanish. She told him not much, as she had been unable to understand anything that he’d said on the phone. But why had he wanted to know that? And more importantly, what had he said on the phone that she might be interested to know?
After that, the guard told Karen to follow him. They walked back along the same path until they heard a golf cart come speeding up behind them. It slowed as it approached but only enough for the guard to run up to it and hop onto the back. The cart careened down the path ahead of her, leaving Karen standing alone in the still dark light of dawn.
Alone in the Night
The guards offered Karen no word of explanation and no more discussion. They simply disappeared and went on, she hoped, to search for her missing daughter. Karen continued to search in her own way, crying out into the night and praying that her daughter would eventually hear her. Unfortunately, that would not be the case…
Dragging Her Daughter
Exhausted, Karen soon had no other choice but to give up the search. She needed sleep and any hope of finding her daughter had ebbed away with the coming dawn. On her way back, she saw two different security guards carrying her daughter. She dressed in only her underwear, bare feet, and a towel wrapped around her naked top.
Who Took Her
Following behind them was an angry man who appeared to be chasing her. According to Karen, he seemed more than just irritated, he seemed incredulous. To her, it seemed as though the man was flabbergasted and enraged at the aspect of someone “taking his girl.” Could this have been the man that took her from their room?
Rushing to Her Side
Karen Newton rushed to her daughter’s side. She grabbed her and held her up. When she turned back to speak to the men who had found her, they were gone. Also gone was the irate little man who’d been so suspiciously interested in her daughter. She quickly got her daughter back to their suite.
Paid for Her
She lay her daughter down on the bed and washed her off. After a few minutes, the girl began muttering something about “nine-hundred-fifty dollars.” Karen didn’t know what she was talking about but she was beginning to piece things together. As far as she could surmise, someone had allegedly bought and paid for her daughter…
Piecing it Together
The two flew back to Canada as soon as they were able. Two months after the terrifying ordeal Nearly two months later, Karen was still trying to put together the sinister pieces of their encounter. She contacted the hotel about the issue, but the hotel offered barely an apology, and a half-hearted assurance they were looking into the matter.
Reluctant to Help
Karen had actually confronted the resort’s manager the morning they left, but because her daughter could remember nothing of the night’s events, they were pretty reluctant to help. One could hardly blame them for not wanting to take responsibility, of course, especially considering this is only one incidental part of an epidemic sweeping many Mexican resorts…
Deep, Dark Story
There existed few avenues in Mexico for Karen to report the crime, especially since her daughter didn’t want to go to the police. They have since decided not to return to Mexico and have made it their business to warn others of the dangers posed by such vacations. dangers. “There’s more to this deeper, darker story than we know,” Newton said in an interview.
A Series of Tragedies
This is only one of the dozens and dozens of stories being told by tourists vacationing in Mexico. Many of these are related to drug and alcohol-related tragedies that resulted in vacationers who blacked out after only a few “normal” drinks. There are more than 140 previously reported incidents and they all end up the same…
Must be Stopped
Nearly all the victims regained consciousness hours later. Only then learning that they had been robbed, sexually assaulted, or injured during their timeout. Since the incident, Karen Newton has been determined to make moves to stop this. Especially since many victims have no way legal avenues for justice or recompense.
Today, many organizations including the U.S. State Department, Canada’s department of global affairs, along with Republican and Democratic members of Congress, are all working together to make changes. Travel websites and some Mexican authorities are also working in tandem with this initiative, but progress is slowed by bureaucracy and many travelers may suffer in the meantime.