[Fulano’s comment: The woman who who wrote this story on TripAdvisor is a 25-year old registered nurse from Amarillo, Texas.]
Police Shakedown!!!-long story
May 29, 2013, 4:23 PM
Just returned to the states from Cabo, we were there May 23-27, 2013. I’m writing to inform, to warn, and hopefully get some valuable advice on any action I can take, if any. I went down with 6 other friends, ages 24-25, we stayed in 3 seperate rooms at Estancia Real de Los Cabos which is conveniently located a short walking distance from downtown area. We had a great trip overall really, we snorkeled, parasailed, and had a good ol’ time.
Our last night there, my boyfriend and I were walking back to our hotel, our first mistake was not waiting for the rest of our friends but we were ready to call it a night and our hotel is literally around the corner. The street is well populated with people just like us walking around, we didn’t feel in any immediate danger. We stopped by a taco stand on that main street there that was on the way to our hotel, I’m hoping one of you cabo experts can help me figure out the name of it, I know its to the left of that club Fahrenheit, and it has purple benches in front of it to sit and eat your food. We were approached by a bald mexican guy, shiny bald head, black facial hair in a goatee, stocky build, spoke perfect english but had a “vato loco” vibe, claimed he was from Tijuana. He actually approached while we were in line for the tacos and was making small talk about how good the tacos are and recommended a certain way to have them made, all was good.
We sat down at the bench to eat, as we were finishing up, he walks up and asks if we enjoyed the tacos, then follows with an offer to sell drugs. We decline and start walking away, he continues to pursue us trying to basically intimidate us into buying drugs, we continue walking away, he gets pissed, pulls out his cell phone and is following us. Well, there is construction going on down the street our hotel is on, so it is very dark with no cars going up and down it. So we try and play it safe and walk into club Fahrenheit where more people will be around, hoping he would lose us in the crowd. We went in the bathroom one at a time, just so we know he doesn’t try to come in and follow one of us into the bathroom, and then promptly walk out the doors hoping he’s found someone else to harass by now.
Soon as we walk out the front door, a police officer puts his hand on my boyfriends back and leads him towards a four door police truck that has a back door open waiting for him. My boyfriend, who is white but speaks a little bit of spanish, asks in spanish ‘what is going on’, and the police officers (2 of them) just keep repeating to “get in the truck”. I speak pretty good Spanish, my first language is English, but I am definitely able to communicate effectively. I begin asking the policemen the same questions and they are getting more and more impatient and louder, repeating to “get in the truck NOW”.
My dad is from Mexico, I’ve been to Mexico several times throughout my life, even lived there before, so believe me I KNOW what these Mexican police are capable of doing, and it is not pretty. Since these policemen didn’t identify themselves, ask for our identification, or even state their reasoning to “get in their truck”, we had a horrible feeling. They finally start claiming that we bought drugs, and they “have it on camera”. We told them what really happened, and that we are GLAD its on camera, so that we can prove it to them. They tried taking my boyfriend only, and I would not let go of him, for all I knew it would be the last time I saw him, or they were probably going to beat the crap out of him for his money.
I told my boyfriend NOT to get in the truck and I told the policemen, he will not go with him, this is wrong, and they know its wrong. They slapped handcuffs on him, I’ve never seen my boyfriend so terrified, it was so sad. I insisted they take me with them, I told them they couldn’t leave me alone here with that drug dealer, and wherever he goes, I’m going. So we both got in the truck, one cop sat to the right of me in the backseat, and the other was driving. Then, out of nowhere, the wildcard pops up. Some man, that speaks both english and spanish, light complected, pops his head in the drivers side window and tells the cop he saw everything, we are innocent, we didn’t buy any drugs, etc.
He’s going back and forth with the cop, then the cop starts driving off, and that guy yells “don’t worry! I’ll be at the police station, I witnessed everything!”. Thank the good Lord, the police station was only a couple blocks away, I feared they would take us to some isolated place instead. Then that guy that claims he witnessed comes running up, and continues telling the policemen what happened. The policemen are still intimidating us, saying we are lying, saying they can detain us for however long they want. The wildcard asked us “are you being 100% honest, you didnt’ buy a single thing?? I’m putting myself on the line here for you guys, you need to be honest”, we assure him, and the policeman tells him if they find anything on us, he will go to jail with us.
So at this point, I ask them why they haven’t attempted to search us for anything, so one cop gets out the car, goes to the side my bf is on, and searches ONE SIDE of his body only, and proceeds to start searching a black plastic bag that is on the seat next to my boyfriend, and my boyfriend starts telling him that was here when we got in, its not ours. But the cop continues to search the plastic bag, and I saw something was in there, but couldn’t make it out, and realized we’re screwed, they’re going to frame us if we don’t pay them. My boyfriend asks them what they want from us, they know this is wrong, do they want money?? They ask how much we have, and we had $100 each, one cop starts shaking his head “no”, implying that wasn’t enough. I said that’s all we have left, we leave in the morning, we don’t have any more money. The cop nods his head no. So I figure, they’re going to either beat him up, rape me, or just kill us and be done with us.
So I begin to pray, I’ve lost all hope, that’s all we have to offer and they’re not taking it. Then out of nowhere, the cop that’s sitting next to me, that hasn’t said a word this whole time, tells the other cop “lets just take the money, and leave them. They don’t have any more, they’re young”. So that’s exactly what happened. They drove off. Leaving us with that wildcard guy, on the dark street that the police station is located on. That guy walked us back to our hotel, talking the whole way about how its a shame this happened, blahblah, and even said “was it that guy from Tijuana?? the bald one?? gahhh I can’t believe it”, I don’t know, but a big part of me feels this guy was in on the whole thing as well. He asked if we were traveling alone or had friends, I didn’t trust him so I wasn’t going to answer, my boyfriend tells him we have friends. He walks us up to the front of our hotel, I ask his name, he gives us a business card. It says “Hector Aguilar captain-dock master Best fishing Charters”, has some phone numbers, and an email on it, and a picture that looks similar to him. He walks off into the night, and we walk in our hotel, we are crying/shaking, and the front desk guy just watches us walk by.
As we were walking to our room, I had the feeling we were being watched, turned around, sure enough the front desk guy came out from behind the desk and was watching us. Which is understandable, he saw two people walk by like they saw a ghost afterall. We open the door to our room, I look back again, and he puts his phone up to his ear. We’re paranoid, we already don’t trust anybody, and seeing that was unsettling. I ran to our room phone, and began attempting to call the states to get ahold of my parents so we can call the U.S. Consulate, we didn’t know what was going to happen next. After many failed attempts, I had no other option but to dial “0” which led to the front desk guy. I told him I need to call to the U.S., and I gave him the phone number, we were put on hold, then he comes back on the line “sorry, that phone number does not exist”, I asked him to repeat it back, he had correct, and I said its my dad’s number I know it exists, but try my mom now.
So we wait, same thing. This man is telling me my parent’s numbers do not exist. I hang up, and call our friends that are staying 3 doors down from us, tell them to get in our room asap. Thank God, my friend had an international plan on her iphone, I was able to use her phone to call my Dad, and tell him everything that’s happening. While I’m on the phone, my friend gets up to look out the peephole and says “there’s 4 big guys out there, they’re all facing this way”, there was nobody out there before, and at this time it is now 5:20a.m. While its possible that maybe these 4 big guys are workers showing up for day shift or something, we still are going to assume the worst, and be prepared for the worst.
So, my dad calls a couple taxi services in town, and they all insist that the hotel concierge call for us for some reason. So my dad calls the front desk guy at our hotel, and strangely enough, he assumes my dad is somebody named “Jose” and starts talking to him about something, my dad wishes he would have played along now that he thinks about it, but he told him who he was and straightened him out. My dad calls us back and says for all of us to stay in the room together, until the sun comes out and more people are out, then we all leave together.
That’s what we did. I’ve never been more scared in my life, you think of all these things you would do if you were in a certain situation, but when it comes down to it, its totally different. Now I wish we would have requested to go inside the police station, but to me at the time, all I saw the station as was some closed doors and walls for them to do stuff to us behind. I wish we could have done so many things differently, but you live and you learn. While I do not expect to get our money back, I’m wondering what can be done about this, if anything, so that the cops are reprimanded or at least to open up an investigation. While most of the Mexican police are dirty scumbags, I understand there ARE real and honest cops that want to get rid of these bad cops that give them such a bad name.