28 June 2006

Mint knocks out Canadian traveler

Story by : DAVID AGREN

‘I should have listened to my mother. She told me not to take candy from a stranger.’

Colin Godwin thought nothing of accepting candy from a stranger after boarding a Michoacan-bound bus in Guadalajara. The complimentary mint, however, knocked him out for 30 hours, more than enough time for the supposedly-generous man, who had given the candy and helped Godwin stow a bag in the overhead rack, to steal the Canadian’s laptop computer, money and passport.

“I should have listened to my mother,” Godwin, 67, said in an interview from his home in Coquitlam, British Columbia.

“She told me not to take candy from a stranger.”

Godwin, a prospector, climbed aboard an Omnibus de Occidente bus in Guadalajara on June 2 for a six-hour trip towards Cuatro Caminos, Michoacan, where he and a Mexican partner have been scouting for copper deposits. A frequent traveler to Mexico, who had just arrived in Guadalajara the night before from Vancouver, Godwin, swallowed the mint, which he now believes was laced with Rohypnol – the infamous date rape drug – at the beginning of his trip to Michoacan. He awoke in a hospital bed 30 hours later in Apatzingan, remembering nothing of his journey.

Fortunately, Godwin left an itinerary – something he recommends all travelers do – which allowed his Mexican partner to track him down. He also backed up his laptop data, losing only a day’s work. Securing a replacement passport for his trip home proved difficult as he said Michoacan authorities wouldn’t issue a police report.

Despite his misfortune, Godwin plans on returning to Mexico to extract drilling samples after the rainy season ends.

“I’m not down on Mexico at all,” he said. “I think this could have happened anywhere.

“Just be a little more intelligent than me,” he advised.

From the Guadalajara Reporter

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