Anaximandro and Sully Amable were all set to enjoy a night watching a pirate show on a boat in the waters off of Cancun two weeks ago.
Then a group of American spring breakers did their best to ruin the night.
Some U.S. vacationers aboard the ship started chanting “build the wall,” in an obvious reference to U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, Anaximandro wrote on Facebook in Spanish two weeks ago.
The chanting didn’t stop even after it clearly made Mexican workers and tourists aboard the ship uncomfortable, said a Friday editorial by The Yucatan Times, an English-language newspaper that covers the Yucatan Peninsula, where Cancun is located.
Anaximandro, a Peruvian whose wife is Mexican, wrote that he has tried to stay out of the conversation around Trump’s wall, and that he wants to believe that stupidity only extends to a “small group of people.”
But he said that this type of behaviour should not be tolerated; and the Yucatan Times agreed with him.
“This is just one of the many blameworthy behaviours that young spring breakers have shown recently in Cancun and that are described as acts of xenophobia and discrimination within their own country, which is (or should be) totally unacceptable,” its editorial said.
The incident adds to a “growing number of complaints” from tourism workers who say that spring breakers have been “offensive, rude and haughty towards Mexican people.”
The incident comes months after the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) reported a spike in reports of threats, vandalism and intimidation following Trump’s election, USA Today reported.
The growth in the number of attacks looks to be worse than it was after 9/11, Richard Cohen, president of the SPLC in Montgomery Ala., told the newspaper.
Anaximandro said that hearing Americans chant “build the wall” filled him with “rage” and “sadness.”
He implored Latin Americans not to tolerate these kinds of attitudes — not to make fun of people who are victimized by this rhetoric, or to partake in it.
“Never again let them laugh in our face,” he wrote.