A popular travel website describes Taxco, Mexico as a picturesque town where you can find open-air markets and high-end boutiques.
But a Port Alberni woman wants people to see past the hype after her brother was recently found bludgeoned to death and robbed there.
Former Port Alberni resident Pat Jordan was found dead in his hotel room by Taxco police on March 27. He was 64.
According to Jordan’s sister Dora Moen, Taxco officials reported that he died from blunt -force trauma to the head, and that he’d also been robbed, she said.
Jordan operated a small jewelry retail business on the Lower Mainland, where he also owned a home.
“He’d been on a jewelry-buying trip down there just like he had been a lot of times over the years,” Moen said. “People think it’s safe to go there. I’m sure Pat thought it would be safe to go too and what happened?”
Taxco is located in the Mexican state of Guerrero, and has a population of 50,000 people.
Silver mining, silversmithing drive the economy of teh seemingly idyllic tourist locale.
But news websites paint a darker picture.
In 2010, the Washington Post reported that Taxco was the site of a mass grave where the remains of 64 people were found. All were victims in Mexico’s narco war between feuding drug cartels.
The Canadian Foreign Affairs office reports that Canadians should think twice about travelling to areas of Mexico that are experiencing “…high levels of organized crime and urban violence.” Gurerrero is listed as one of those areas.
Moen has been working with the Canadian Foreign Affairs office in retrieving her brother’s remains. To make matters more difficult, the funeral home in Mexico is charging $6,000 to cremate Jordan and send his remains to Vancouver.
Jordan grew up in Port Alberni and was one of five children — three sisters and one brother. One sister and brother are dead now, as are both parents, Moen said.
Life-long friend Don Nichols remembers Jordan as a free spirit who liked to ride motor cycles. “He was in the CBC documentary called ‘Young In A Small Town’,” Nichols said.
Jordan left Port Alberni shortly after graduating from high school in 1967 or 1968 and never really came back, Nichols said. “He travelled to Europe, Istanbul, Mexico. He travelled the world like I wanted to,” he said.
The pair stayed in touch over the years but contact waned in the last decade. The last time Nichols saw him was five years ago in Vancouver.
“We went down to Commercial Drive, sipped coffee and talked old and new times. You’d think we saw each other last week,” he said. “He seemed a bit troubled, but that’s how it is for some people after they lose their last parent.”
Work is underway to secure a death certificate and find out if Jordan had a will, Moen said.
His remains will be laid to rest with his mother and father at a later date, she added.