An American traveler has been detained at Cancun International Airport by immigration authorities since Sunday 26th. There is little information currently available on why the American was detained or why he has been kept in custody.
What is known is the American arrived in Cancun on a flight from Vienna, Austria.
Reports indicate the family of the detained man hasn’t been provided with any further information from authorities, and many questions about the situation remain currently unanswered.
A Lack Of Coverage
Only one Mexican news source in the state of Quintana Roo has so far reported on this situation. Additionally, reports have only been made through their official Twitter and Facebook feeds with no article on this incident having been published on their website so far.
The lack of coverage is raising eyebrows on social media amongst locals as incidents at Cancun International Airport including foreign travelers are often thoroughly reported.
Locals Criticise The Immigration Department
The locals of Quintana Roo have been quick to question the actions of the Instituto Nacional de Migración (National Institute of Migration), with one commenter saying the immigration officials’ favorite sport is to “scare away tourism”.
Another commenter that was negative in their description of the Cancun International Airport immigration authorities claimed Mexican citizens also frequently have issues at the airport, and that the attitude of the airport authorities can leave a lot to desire.
But not every view was negative, one American commenter made the case on behalf of the immigration authorities, stating that they have flown into Cancun many times and “never had any problems”.
This echoes the experience of most American travelers that arrive at the destination, with millions touching down at the airport each year the vast majority of travelers pass through immigration with no problems and are quickly on their way to their resort.
Why Travelers Get Detained
There are many reasons why a traveler may be detained by immigration authorities at the airport in Cancun, these range from relatively innocent oversight right up to international arrest warrants.
Amazingly the most common reason for detention that makes it into the news is the illegal importation of firearms. Mexico does not allow travelers from foreign countries to enter the country with firearms or ammunition.
The reason for bringing a firearm into the country, whether for personal protection or hunting, is irrelevant in the eyes of the authorities. And doing so results in immediate detention, potential prosecution, and then eventual deportation.
Furthermore, questions around why travelers are allowed to check-in firearms in the U.S. by airlines that are aware of the differing legislation in Mexico are gaining traction. A question being asked is whether or not the airlines themselves should be more thorough in their advising of travelers on this topic.
It is worth noting that airport authorities in Cancun actively monitor for firearms, after passing through immigration control and collecting their luggage travelers are greeted by a large team of national guard officers.
These officers perform spot checks on travelers exiting the airport, as well as detaining and searching any traveler whose luggage has been flagged upon entering the country. This control measure isn’t only for firearms, but it is one of their biggest concerns.
How Immigration Works In Cancun
After landing in Cancun and exiting the plane, travelers will immediately need to pass through immigration control. This process is normally trouble-free and without incident, although authorities may request proof of accommodation and onward travel.
Almost all American travelers have been granted a standard 6-month tourist visa upon entering Mexico, although this is changing.
Many travelers have reported that they are now receiving a visa that lasts only for the duration of their planned trip. Immigration has become a bigger talking point amongst Mexicans in recent years, and this stricter attitude towards tourist visas is believed to be a result of this changing public opinion.
With that being said, travelers who want to make use of the whole 6-month tourist visa needn’t worry. It is still relatively simple to receive the full 6-month term, so long as proof of onward travel can be produced and an honest explanation of the intentions while in the country can be given.
Mexico is still welcoming to foreign travelers, and while this incident is raising questions it’s an exception and not the rule.
Plan Your Next Cancun Vacation:
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
Choose From Thousands of Cancun and Riviera Maya Hotels, Resorts and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
↓ Join the community ↓
The Cancun Sun Community FB group has all the latest travel news, conversations and tourism Q&A’s for the Mexican Caribbean
Subscribe to our Latest Posts
Enter your email address to subscribe to The Cancun Sun’s latest breaking news affecting travelers, straight to your inbox.