Feds assisting Winnipeg family after man killed in Mexico

The federal government has been in touch with Mexican officials about the death of a Winnipeg man at a Mexican resort but will not say what steps or actions they may take in the aftermath of the man’s death.

Earlier this month, married couple and parents to three children, Stacey and Jesse Ropos left Winnipeg for a 10-day Caribbean vacation at the Puerto Aventuras resort in Mexico, a gated community located about 75 kilometres southwest of Cancun. The trip was planned as a belated honeymoon for the couple that married eight years ago, according to a post on Stacey’s Facebook page.

But Stacey returned home alone, as during the early morning hours of Jan. 13, just about 12 hours before the couple was supposed to return, 36-year-old Jessie died at a bar in the resort while Stacey was in their hotel room. A few hours after she went to her room, Stacey was awoken by staff at the resort and asked to come to the hotel lobby where she saw police tape, and was told that her husband was dead after an altercation.

A document from a state attorney general's office in Mexico said Jesse died as a result of choking from strangulation, and two men who both work at the resort have been arrested, although no formal charges had been laid against either of the men as of Thursday afternoon.

Both men are presumed innocent, and no allegations have been tested in court.

In an email to the Winnipeg Sun on Thursday, Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Charlotte MacLeod said that the federal government has been in touch with officials in Mexico regarding the incident, but would not be making any further comment or offering any additional information at this time.

“Global Affairs Canada is aware of the death of a Canadian citizen in Mexico,” MacLeod wrote in the email. “Consular officials in Mexico are in contact with local authorities and are providing consular assistance to the family.

“Due to privacy considerations, no further information can be disclosed.”

The Sun reached out to the Puerto Aventuras resort in Mexico seeking comment, but did not receive a response before Thursday’s press deadline.

Family and friends of the couple are now working to raise money to support Stacey and the couple’s three children with a GoFundMe page that had eclipsed $19,000 as of Thursday afternoon.

— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun