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July 1999 Vol. 14, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Cozumel Ferry Robbed

from the July, 1999 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

It was a traveler’s worst nightmare: on May 31, a half-dozen hooded pirates waving grenades and firing assault rifles into the air attacked the ferry making its evening trip to Playa del Carmen from Cozumel. According to police, the privateers were targeting a money shipment from Cozumel’s businesses that was en route to mainland banks.

The incident did get passengers’ attention. Vacationer Tracy Miller, a 33-year-old Los Angeles postal clerk, reported hearing gunshots before the boat stopped and said “we didn’t know what the gunshots were; we didn’t know if they were shooting other passengers.” The ferry’s engineer was badly beaten, and two security guards who were transporting the cash were thrown overboard before the robbers sped off in a speedboat. One guard drowned, but his companion was rescued the following morning. Local reports said that the surviving guard, who, unlike his deceased partner, was given a life jacket before being thrown overboard, has been detained by police. While the police have detained suspects in the robbery, at last report they had not recovered the missing funds.

The episode appears to be an isolated incident, but shows once again that when you travel, you should be prepared for anything.

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