Referring to any one place as “Paradise” diminishes the word. One person’s paradise is another’s hell.
Note to self: I have to stop referring to Puerto Escondido as paradise; stopped referring to Xico as that long ago. Mexico – never started that.
Found on the Puerto Forum:
[last] Sunday Night Beach Robbery
Two American girls, who were walking from the Point to Zicatela were accosted and robbed near Hotel Blater on Sunday night, shortly after dark, by two men armed with machetes, who relieved them of all their possessions but did not harm them otherwise. Cops called and responded. (This info was provided by our gardener, who is a night watchman in the area, and responded to the girls’ pleas for help.)
A discussion ensued about the dangers of walking our local beaches at night.
IMAGO (A local journalist) replied for example: Do not, do not, do not ever walk on the beach after dark. Robberies like that are way too common. Even walking on a deserted beach during the day can be dangerous.
Anita and I have defied this sage advice on numerous occasions. Simply casting fate to the wind I suppose.
Then there is always one of these persons that KNOW a safer place. DOODAH chimed in with:
[I] Recently was in Cuba….could walk anywhere, anytime and not have any problems. Quite enjoyable relative to my experiences in Mexico where I have had a stiletto at my throat in Puerto Vallarta and never felt comfortable walking at dusk on the beach in PE [Puerto Escondido] Just sayin’….
So I guess, what, we should all relocate to a communist country?
Usually during these discussions someone brings out statistics. “Yes, but there are more muggings and robberies at Disneyland in Anaheim, California than here.” Does this give us peace of mind here in Puerto?
Of course there are the optimists that believe this could not happen to them. There are the ‘believers’ – “Must have been Karma.” or “The Lord will protect me.”
And the pessimists. “It is no longer safe anywhere in the world.”
Pick a platitude.
It is a fact that there is little police presence here. And slim chances that much help will be forth coming should such a horrible event occur here. To whom much freedom is given, much danger looms. It is a fact – it is freer here.
The other day this occurred and was bandied about on the local forum:
“Tuna fishermen from Sinaloa kill a local fisherman”
Again IMAGO: Some big tuna trawlers from Sinaloa [have] been “stationed” just off of Playa Marinero [one of Puerto’s local beaches] for the last few days. It’s always bad news for the local fisherman when they are here. Early this morning a group of drunk fishermen from the trawler beat to death a 65-year-old member of the local fishing community when he was setting out some beach chairs. The police, reportedly, did not respond in a timely manner and allowed the presumed attackers to return to their boat, The local fishermen are incensed and are threatening to burn the ship. The beach was closed off for part of the morning. According to various reports the killing took place in front of the restaurant “Olas”. (I’m not familiar with this place.) Apparently the drunk Sinaloan [sailors] wanted to buy beer, and the victim, Hilario Juarez, better known as Don Layeto, told them that the place wasn’t open yet.
We all were greatly saddened by this senseless killing on our local beach.
Truly how does one prepare and defend themselves for such possibilities? One local forum member writes, “Don’t show any excess in wealth here, keep in lighted areas, travel in 2s never alone, beware when your drunk, The big holiday is coming up, also the biggest for crime.. So be on your toes”.
Here is some of the typical advice (not promoting any one):
Do not dress provocatively
No wearing flashy Jewelry or carrying expensive cameras.
Always carry and have readily available pepper spray
Just give them what they want – things can always be replaced.
Always carry a baseball bat and be willing to use it (train for such an occasion)
There is too much violence on television and in films.
Never put yourself in dangerous locations such as the beach at night.
To sum it up, I believe it is not any more dangerous in Puerto Escondido than in most other places not even counting what is known to be classified more dangerous such as several border towns here in Mexico. At the same time pick a few cautionary measures from the lists above and make them a habit.
I also believe here in Puerto there is little to no assurance of any police support if an event occurs. There is a certain element of lawlessness (recall our recent experience with our car being hit before our eyes – read that here). Perhaps as Mexico matures this will get better – only time will tell. In the meantime we are rubbing elbows with paradise here in Puerto Escondido (there I go using that word!). We are not about to give up on this place any time soon. Stay Tuned!