"Panic and uncertainty": Canadian stuck in Mexico amid drug cartel violence (PHOTOS)

Jan 6 2023, 10:15 pm

A Canadian woman is stuck in a Mexican resort town after her flight back to Winnipeg was delayed due to drug cartel violence.

Sheila North, former Grand Chief of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and Cree journalist, told Daily Hive over the phone that Sunwing pushed back her flight from Mazatlán, which was originally supposed to leave Friday morning, to Sunday.

She detailed her experience on Twitter, saying she saw “plumes of smoke and black helicopters” while on an excursion to an island nearby the Mexican city.

She said she definitely knew something was up but that none of the staff alerted them to anything.

“It wasn’t until we got back to the hotel, and then also people messaging us from home, and our friends and family asking us if we were okay that we started looking into it ourselves on social media and finding out what was going on,” North told Daily Hive.

“There’s a sense of panic and uncertainty at the moment at our resort,” she tweeted Thursday night. “But thank God we are okay.”

In an email to Daily Hive, Sunwing confirmed that its northbound return flights “have been impacted by further delays” in light of Canada’s travel advisory for Mazatlán.

North describes the busy scene at her hotel with guests waiting around in the lobby, kids sleeping on chairs and the floor, and an increased security presence.

She says people felt better on Friday, updating their families back home of the situation.

The hotel staff hasn’t given any guidance on whether guests are allowed to leave the resort or not, adds North.

“But at some point, we’ll have to because we’re travelling with my grandson,” she explained. “He’s a two-year-old, so we need stuff for him. So, we will have to assess the situation in the next few hours.”

North says she wants more clear and direct communication from the Canadian government on the situation.

“There are a lot of families here, lots of little ones, and we need to hear that every effort is being made to get us all home safely,” she said.

The federal government issued an updated travel advisory for Mexico this week as widespread violence erupted in Sinaloa State since the arrest of a drug cartel leader.

According to the travel advisory, Mazatlán airports are closed, and all flights are suspended.

Isabelle DoctoIsabelle Docto

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