Skip to Content

Cancun Launches New Frightening Campaign Against Drug Use Targeted At U.S. Travelers

Share The Article

Last Updated

There is a new controversy in Cancun. Local authorities have decided to launch a new campaign against drugs, in consensus with the General Communication Coordination (CGC), on April 1st addressed to international tourists called “Be part of the solution”. 

lonely bank at beautiful beach in the riviera maya in cancun mexico

Many banners have already been installed at the airports and touristic locations in the Quintana Roo region. The intention is to dissuade travelers from buying drugs and raise awareness. However, local businesses and tourism companies have found the campaign too scary and worry about a negative impact.

Even though the campaign addresses international travelers in general and has been published in Spanish, English, French, and German, according to what’s been reported by Reportur, it addressed US citizens in particular.

One of the main banners shows a woman behind bars and features this message: “Don’t turn your vacation… into a permanent stay”. Another banner shows young tourists partying and states “Don’t turn the party & vacation… into eternal rest”.

Perhaps, the most “macabre” —as some people have described it— is the one showing feet in a forensic freezer with the message: “The coolest rave… can put you in a cooler”. 

The US Ambassador in Mexico, Ken Salazar, is in favor of this campaign launched by the Mexican government and said that he finds it relevant considering that many Americans don’t understand that using drugs in Mexico is illegal. 

More About The “Be Part Of The Solution” Campaign

The “Be part of the solution” campaign against drugs has been launched right before the Easter vacation. The Mexican government expects 3 million tourists next week and is taking precautions to protect tourists and fight organized crime in the region. 

Quintana Roo governor, Carlos Joaquín, said on Twitter: “Considering the next vacation peak season, together, with businessmen, we launched an outreach campaign to warn tourists about the risks and consequences of drug use during their stay in Quintana Roo.”

The new campaign has also been presented to the Security and Justice Board de Cancún in Isla Mujeres, where the government and businessmen of the region participated. 

isla mujeres

The banners of the campaign have already been installed in the International airports of Cancun and Chetumal, and also points of touristic interest. And it will also be featured on screens and areas of the airport, ferries, hotels, beaches, and tourist establishments. 

According to the information published by La Jornada Maya, Fernando Mora Guillén, a member of the CGC in charge of the campaign, explained that they expect more actors to participate. 

Tourists at Cancun Airport

Mora also said that hotels in Cancun, Riviera Maya, and other destinations are expected to present a letter of commitment in which guests and clients state that they are aware that possessing and trafficking prohibited substances and drugs is a crime and understand the local laws.

Fight Against Drugs In Cancun

Local authorities have been executing intelligence plans and strategies to guarantee travelers a good experience and protect citizens. They recently dismantled and removed massage and jet ski tents that were being used for drug trafficking on popular beaches like Playa del Carmen and across Isla Mujeres. 

quad bike police

The Mexican government believes international tourists need to be educated and understand that they are part of the problem when they buy drugs and illegal products from locals. 

The US government has also warned citizens visiting Cancun beaches that they must understand and follow local laws and avoid risky situations, and insisted that travelers must understand that marijuana isn’t legal in this country and can result in jail. The US Embassy in Mexico has also informed that American citizens have reported feeling seriously ill or even dying after consuming drugs in Cancun. 

walking to beach

At this point, it is impossible to know if the new “Be part of the solution” campaign will help raise awareness and make tourists avoid drug consumption in Cancun or frighten and discourage tourism. Only time will tell, but what is certain is that local institutions expect a positive outcome from this aggressive campaign.

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.


Tuesday 15th of November 2022

Mexico, just as America did, is realizing there is huge money and lots of jobs to be had in creating an unwinnable drug war. All it does is bring prices, competition, and violence up. But never fear, this just creates more jobs. It's excellent business. And an easy "justifiable" campaign to get people to rally behind.

scooter liby

Monday 6th of February 2023



Tuesday 12th of April 2022

They need campaigns warning tourists of death by cartel drug war shootouts on the beaches… but also good for them for trying to mitigate the reason why drug lords fight over the area in the first place.


Friday 8th of April 2022

Just returned from Cancun, last night. We stayed at Royalton resorts. Frankly the drug dealing was Jon stop. The guys selling cigars...uh huh. "Sir would you like cigars? No thank you. OK would usually like weed? No thank you. OK how about cocaine?" Non stop all day, every day. The police riding the beach on ATVs were completely fact I witnessed the municipal police high fiving the "cigar guys". When the paramilitary troops came walking by, the dealers disappeared, then reappeared after they walked by....clearly they had spotters. It's crazy


Thursday 7th of April 2022

We were tourists at the Fiesta Americana Condessa, although we loved this resort, our home away from home, we won't return there until Cancun is safe. We have alternative vacation plans until then. Good luck, and can't wait to come back home.