“They know all the tricks”: a Quebecer who survived his kidnapping testifies to this scourge in Mexico

Like many other Canadians in recent years in Mexico, Patrick Larochelle has been the victim of one of the greatest scourges affecting this popular travel destination: petty crime.

• Read also: Robbed, raped and left for dead: Puerto Vallarta has become a Quebecer’s hell

“They know all the stuff, it’s made like a business there, he notes. Quebecers need to understand the risks involved when traveling outside of all-inclusives.”

Having survived his kidnapping himself, the man who worked in the field of artificial intelligence recommends that all travelers turn off biometric recognition features when traveling to another country.

“They want your money, your information and your data. It’s important not to make it easy for them to simply scan your face or use your fingerprint to open your device. After that, they can do whatever they want with your stuff, blackmail you with a compromising video or empty your bank accounts.”

The second thing that was fatal for Mr. Larochelle in the events he suffered in March 2023 was to develop a routine.

“Mexicans who turn to crime to survive must not know where to find you,” he says, based on his own terrifying experience.

Wrong place at the wrong time

During his first interview with The newspaper Last May, Patrick Larochelle was devastated by what had just happened to young Saguenean Victor Masson, who was killed in Puerto Escondido while he was on vacation with his girlfriend.

“It’s such a terrible story, he lamented, visibly moved. He’s a 27-year-old guy who had his whole life ahead of him and ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes I blame myself for surviving when I see that others weren’t so lucky.”

According to retired history professor specializing in Latin America Claude Morin, bad encounters are most of the time the cause of misfortune for tourists.

“Unlike cartels, petty crime is everywhere,” he says. […] It can result in extortion, theft and, in some cases, murder. We must be aware of the dangers and the injustice that reigns in Mexico.”

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