The hotel zone in Cancun has been rocked by the homicide of 4 people in what authorities have described as a clash between criminal groups.
The normally very safe tourism center, which boasts a fantastic security record, is not used to seeing this level of conflict. And travelers are naturally worried about seeing actions like this spill over into the hotel zone.
What We Know
Although the investigation by authorities is still in the early stages, it has been confirmed that none of the deceased are foreign tourists or resort staff, and all are believed to be connected to the distribution of narcotics.
Two suspects were quickly apprehended after the incident was reported, and police immediately began a search operation for the culprits.
The suspects in question never made it out of the hotel zone; the police noticed a speeding vehicle weaving through traffic and quickly apprehended it. Upon completing a traffic stop, the officers recovered a large amount of narcotics as well as firearms.
The identities of these suspects were quickly confirmed by public video surveillance cameras, which allowed the authorities to confirm the threat to the public and tourists had been removed.
Why This Happened
The exact reasoning for this very public daylight attack isn’t confirmed yet, although the authorities have confidently speculated that it was the result of rival narcotics distributors coming into contact.
It’s, unfortunately, a sad reality that even in the extremely safe hotel zone, crime can still occur. Like the recent conflicts in the beautiful beachfront town of Tulum, these incidents are almost exclusively linked to the sale of narcotics.
Furthermore, incidents such as this are a stark reminder to tourists not to engage in the consumption of narcotics.
The framework around which they are sold in Cancun is regularly accompanied by violence, and encouraging the operation of these organized crime groups in tourist zones puts everyone at risk, including families visiting the area for a relaxing beach vacation.
The Response From The Authorities
The lightning-fast and brave response by police in Cancun is to be praised. The authorities work hard to make the hotel zone the safest area in all of Mexico, and even with rare events such as this, that is still the case.
Normally criminals avoid the hotel zone due to the geographical nature of the area. There are only two roads in and out of this thin strip of land, and both are well-guarded. This entry and exit control is also boosted by regular patrols into the hotel zone and extensive surveillance cameras throughout.
Additionally, while the security presence is already extremely strong, the Cancun authorities are working fast to step-up operations in the area and send a message that the area is not open to criminal gangs.
Details on the exact operation aren’t readily available, presumably to maintain operational security for the law enforcement elements involved.
But with the presence of the National Guard as well as the Marines in Cancun already, it’s assumed that law enforcement will be drafting some of these elements in as support.
What This Means For Tourists
The thought of a large public security operation happening during vacation can be a worry for travelers, but it’s worth noting that this increased presence of law enforcement is a huge deterrent for criminals.
Furthermore, the security services in Cancun are used to running operations with minimal disruption to visitors.
So, for the most part, travelers will only see what looks like standard patrols as usual only at a much more regular frequency.
As far as this regrettable incident goes, it’s important to remember just how rare it is for a situation such as this to take place in the hotel zone.
Although easier said than done, travelers shouldn’t allow this incident to stop them from exploring the area and enjoying their vacation to the max.
Tourists are almost never the focus of serious crime in Cancun, and while it’s unsettling to know these types of incidents have happened in tourism areas, their rarity in the hotel zone means that the chances of this happening again in the near future are extremely slim.
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