In Mexico, a new murder mystery -

In Mexico, a new murder mystery

Wathelet moved last May. She was found dead in her condo last week.


In Mexico, a new murder mysteryRenee Wathelet quit her job as an investment counsellor and moved to the island paradise of her dreams—Isla Mujeres, Mexico—last May. Every morning, she would sit on the sandy beach, listening to waves and thinking about her friends back home in Montreal. It was exactly how the 60-year-old grandmother wanted to spend her twilight years.

Last week, she was found dead in her condo, her throat slit and her body stabbed multiple times.

Wathelet is the latest victim in a string of violent crimes committed against Canadians in Mexico. Three B.C. men were shot, one fatally, in Cabo San Lucas this year. In 2006, Ontario couple Domenic and Nancy Ianiero were murdered at a luxury resort near Playa del Carmen. At least two other Canadians have died under suspicious circumstances in the country in the last three years.

Mexico is in the middle of a massive drug war that has led to mass murders, decapitations of police officers, and shootings that have spilled into tourist destinations. But travel operators and the Canadian government still say the country is a safe place for tourists. Denise Brown, director of the Latin American Studies program at the University of Calgary, agrees. She says over a million Canadians travel to Mexico every year—so while any death is terrible, six aren’t very frightening, statistically speaking.

Still, there are steps you can take to stay safe. Brown says that Canadians tend to let their guard down in Mexico, something people should avoid in any foreign country. “We feel kind of like it’s home. What happens when you’re at home is that you may be a little bit less wary, a little bit less careful, a little bit more trusting.”

Sometimes tragedy simply can’t be avoided, says Brown, but the best way to stay safe is to simply be cautious. “When you’re in a foreign country, you have to be extra careful—with who you’re talking to, with who you’re drinking with, because you’re not a local.”


In Mexico, a new murder mystery

  1. Just one more reason not to visit Mexico, a backward, drug infested filthy third world country that I wouldn't visit if they put a gun to my head.

    • Good, stay away – we don't need your ignorant, uninformed presence in beautiful Mexico -home to thousands of Canadian expats ! Its uneducated people like you who really make my blood boil. You sound like an idiot!

    • If somone put a gun to your head and made a hole . . . . there would not be any problem with brains coming out ! Been here 10 years and glad we got away from the likes of you.

  2. From what I can read off of the internet Toronto has about 2.8 million people and 40 murders so far in 2009. WASP better stay away from Toronto. And much of Canada for that matter because of the worse murder rates.

    Having been to the tourist mayan riviera area my experience has shown that it is wonderful.

    You need to be careful anywhere you travel, and live, for that matter.

    My condolences to the family of Renee Wathelet on the tragedy.

  3. i go to mexico, 3 times a year (fall to late spring), 2 to 3 weeks at a time, ….live in the downtown area. i do not drink in bars, i drink in the room or at places (homes) i know. for over 38years, i've been safe. cheers, wayno….

  4. Mexico is a dangerous country to travel to period! According to U.S. Gov't statistics a shocking 32% of ALL non natural deaths of U.S. citizens outside our country occur in Mexico. I realize that it is the number one destination for our citizens but a close 2nd is Canada. The number of U.S. citizens dieing in Canada is not even close. To read tragic Mexico vacation DEATH stories, many written by heartbroken family members as well as stories written by victims that "survived" their Mexico vacation go to :

  5. My husband and I have been travelling to different parts of Mexico once or twice a year for about a decade now. We never stay at AI hotels, and wander around freely- but we do use common sense, Frankly I feel far safer in a Mexican resort town or city than I do in downtown Saskatoon. The crime rate is likely higher here, too.

    The Mexican people are generally warm and welcoming people. In general, tourists have to be more worried about too much booze or sun, and the ocean, rather than the Mexican people.

    The ignorance in these comments astounds me. YES, it is true, there is a drug war going on-but unless you are involved in that trade, you really have little to fear.

    • And here is another case:

      and how many Canadians will hear that 'two more Canadians killed in Mexico' and jump to the erroneous conclusion that wow, Mexico is so dangerous…..not really, just don't get involved in the drug trade!

  6. mexico aint that bad….unless u mess with the wrong ppl then thats wen ur screwd

    the best thing to do wen u go is not show ur money and dont talk to stangers…duh