Another Sad Story: Canadian Snowbirds Murdered in Mexico

Mexican police have arrested one man, and launched a manhunt for another, in connection with the murder of two Canadian snowbirds whose bodies were found February 9 in their home in Ajijic, a community favoured by North American retirees.

The victims were 84-year-old Edward Kular, a retired printer from Scarborough, Ontario; and 72-year-old Nina Discombe of Ottawa, a writer who recently had a novel published.

Police spokesmen said Mr. Kular appeared to have been beaten on the head with a small statue and Ms. Discombe had been stabbed in the abdomen during a burglary of their home.

Related: Growing Concern About Travel to Mexico

Jalisco State Attorney General Luis Najera alleged that the two men had broken into the couple’s home expecting to find them asleep. But they were still awake and might have recognized one of burglars, a construction labourer working near their home.

Police arrested Julio Cesar Castillo and are expected to charge him with murder. Najera told media that police were searching for Julio’s brother in an adjoining state.

To date, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development has been warning Canadians to “exercise a high degree of caution” when travelling to and throughout Mexico. It has also issued “avoid all non-essential travel” warnings for the northern border states and the southwestern states, but has kept the tourism centres such as Acapulco, Taxco, and Chapala (which includes Ajiji) at the lower “high degree of caution” warning.

Related: Mexico Still Under Security Warnings

We strongly recommend that before you travel to Mexico, you first check out the Canadian government’s warning levels. And, if you have purchased travel insurance, be aware that if you travel to an area in Mexico that has been flagged “avoid all non-essential travel” or “avoid all travel” prior to the effective date of coverage, your insurance might be invalidated. In such cases, it is best for you to contact your insurer’s emergency assistance service for the latest advisories.

We also urge you to stay close to your destination hotel, and if you want to take tours or short trips to other sites, travel only with drivers or guides approved by your hotel.


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