Birdwatching Tourists in Mexico Get Stopped by Gunmen on Back Road
Aaron Payzant and Logan Howard were driving nearly 3,000 miles from Indiana to Cancun, Mexico. They were on a back road looking for birds to photograph, when out of nowhere, a truck raced past. What happened next gave them the scare of their lives.
Two birdwatchers expected a quiet vacation taking photos of tropical wildlife, so nothing prepared them for the nightmare they experienced in Mexico.
It started when Aaron Payzant and Logan Howard were driving nearly 3,000 miles from Indiana to Cancun.
They were on a back road looking for birds to photograph, when out of nowhere, a truck raced past. The gunmen leaped out and surrounded the duo’s car.
“I still remember seeing down the barrel of one guy's gun, thinking, this is it,” Payzant said.
Howard did his best to hide his terror while Payzant spoke to the gunmen as best he could. The gunmen reassured the Americans that they were not in danger.
“No problem, no problem,” one of them said. They even shook hands.
But Payzant was not convinced the danger had passed. “Please don't kill us,” he said.
They explained why they were so far off the beaten path — to find birds to photograph.
“Believe it or not, they didn't demand anything from us other than — get out of there. They told us that there was more people further up the road, and if we stayed on that road and didn't get out of there, they literally signaled [throat-slitting gesture],” Howard said.
The nightmare spooked them for the rest of the trip.
“We were really scared from that point on, like putting chairs against the hotel door at night. I couldn't sleep at night,” Payzant said.
The drama happened in 2020, but the video has just gone viral.
Perhaps the gunmen could have been a civilian patrol keeping a lid on the drug cartels, but the mystery may never be solved.
Just last month, the State Department reiterated its travel warning on Mexico, saying violent crime is widespread and common in the country.
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