Last week law enforcement personnel carried out a raid in Benito Juárez and seized 200 kilograms of illegal substances as well as weapons and other material potentially used by organized crime groups. The operation, which was conducted by various police and military bodies, was aimed at preventing criminal activity in the area. Quintana Roo has been stepping up its game in the fight against crime, with more military units deployed in tourist hotspots including Cancun.
Police forces in Quintana Roo and Cancun have been on alert due to criminal activity in the area, and as a result, law enforcement agencies are strengthening their presence across the state. As part of a new strategy of enhanced collaboration between authorities, local police carried out a raid in the Santa Fe III district in Benito Juárez. The operation targeted properties that are suspected of being involved in illegal activities including drug trafficking and violent crime.
During the raid, police officers uncovered both drugs and weapons which could potentially be used by organized crime groups. In total, around 200 kilograms of marijuana were found, in addition to several packages of a white powdery substance – most likely cocaine – as well as tactical gear and ammunition. The attorney general later released a Tweet in which various law enforcement agencies including police and marines are seen seizing a considerable amount of drug packages.
After the initial raid in Sante Fe III, police officers later discovered and captured an armored vehicle in nearby Santa Cecilia. Similar vehicles are typically used by organized crime groups and are a major target for police officers.
Despite the seizure of a significant quantity of drugs & arms, no suspects were detained in the operation. According to officials, the operation is part of the authorities’ commitment to investigate, identify, and capture illicit materials which compromise the safety of locals and visitors. The raid was authorized by a local judge, who gave permission to go forward with the operation due to the risk posed by organized crime. Various stakeholders took part in the operation. Aside from the public attorney, the State Coordination Group for Building Safety and Security helped organize and carry out the joint effort.
According to officials, the raid is an example of the recently improved coordination between different law enforcement agencies at the national, regional, and local levels. Government sources say that the ultimate goal is to keep locals and tourists safe and prevent violent crime from further escalating. Despite the alarming headlines in recent times, the government says that tourists are rarely targeted by such groups and that travel to Cancun and other sites in Quintana Roo remains safe.
One of the main results of the heightened police efforts includes the launching of a new specialized unit dedicated to searching suspected properties. According to officials, a considerable amount of intelligence work goes into uncovering the illegal materials. The operation involved scanning properties and identifying previous crimes associated with the location. Authorities must first properly evaluate potential illegal activity before conducting a raid.
Meanwhile, the regional government launched a new awareness campaign back in April warning tourists about the health and legal dangers of drug use. Visitors to Cancún are being warned to stay away from potentially illegal activities, noting that the purchase of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited and penalized by Mexican law. Extra caution should be exercised when visiting local clubs and nightlife, for example. With the recent efforts in bolstering security around the region, authorities hope to see a significant reduction in organized crime.
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