More than 200 Officers from the Mexican Navy are being deployed to the Mexican Caribbean shortly to prevent crime and ensure the safety of millions of tourists and residents. High crime rates and macabre headlines this year have led many to wonder whether visiting the area is safe, but authorities have reassured visitors that much is being done to tackle the issue.
According to Mara Lezama, the state governor of Quintana Roo, home to tourist hotspots such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Isla Mujeres, more than 200 marines are being deployed in the area soon. The government has announced new troop deployments several times this year in an effort to guarantee the safety of millions of tourists. Over the summer, more than 4000 troops and law enforcement personnel were deployed across the region to prevent violent crime from tarnishing the area’s soaring popularity.
With places like Cancun and Playa del Carmen gearing up for what is looking to become a record-breaking winter season, officials are carefully devising plans to patrol busy touristy areas. Locals, too, are to benefit from the fresh troop deployment, which will bolster security and safety and address growing concerns over organized crime.
According to officials from the Mexican Navy, around 200 marines will be deployed in Quintana Roo shortly. The goal, officials say, is to contribute to intelligence efforts targeting organized crime groups and other sources of violent crime. Aside from the marines, other units, including the highly-technical Special Operations body, will also be deployed to help secure the region.
Safety has since long been one of the main concerns for visitors in the area. With cases of kidnappings, armed robberies, and drug-related crime occasionally making the headlines, the government is committed to protecting tourists. Authorities recently launched Guest Assist, a new online platform where travelers can contact the police and report crimes. More resources have also been poured into the region’s C5 security headquarters.
Last week, the federal government announced that it would be sending more troops from the National Guard – a specialized paramilitary body created in 2019 to fight soaring crime rates – to patrol some of the country’s top archaeological sites, including Chichen Itzá.
Mara Lezama, recently voted into office as governor of Quintana Roo, is prioritizing public security, sending more law enforcement personnel to patrol streets, and strengthening inter-institutional cooperation. The goal, she says, is to continue the previous government’s efforts to bring down crime rates, which are above the national average.
“The security strategy of this government has two main elements: improving technology and tackling the source of violent crime,” the governor said in a statement. The governor is expected to announce new measures later on in her term.
Altogether, the increased presence of both the Navy as well as the National Guard is expected to help deter criminal activity significantly. The move is especially important as the busy winter season kicks off, with millions of North American tourists headed to the Mexican Caribbean.
Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean are currently under a level 2 travel advisory, according to the most recent U.S Department of State travel update. This means that travel to the region is safe overall, but visitors should exercise increased precaution. This is especially true in less touristy areas, where police are less likely to be on duty.
There are also several important safety-related tips that travelers can follow to ensure a safe and pleasant holiday. Visitors should avoid walking alone at night, especially in dimly lit areas, and travelers should stick to vacationing in touristy areas, where organized crime groups rarely venture to.
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