Authorities in Cancun are ramping up security after a shooting that resulted in the death of one person in the Cancun Hotel Zone on Tuesday.
The shooting, which took place inside a hotel, was a targeted attack involving organized crime.
Authorities clarified that no hotel employees were involved in the shooting, and no tourists were harmed.
After the shooting, the Governor of Quintana Roo Mara Lezama met with the State Attorney General and Secretary of Citizen Security to discuss the security situation in Cancun.
In addition, Governor Lezama announced she would be meeting with members of the Navy to create a working plan to combat violence in the state.
The Mexican military has been involved in domestic security in Mexico under the administration of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
This spring marked the beginning of a significant military presence in Cancun and throughout the Riviera Maya.
National Guard Called To The Maya Riviera
Concerns about the security situation in the Maya Riviera reached a new peak this Spring when the United States Department of State released a travel authority suggesting United States citizens traveling to Mexico should “exercise increased caution” while in the state of Quintana Roo.
“U.S. citizens should exercise increased caution in the downtown areas of popular spring break locations including Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum, especially after dark,” according to the advisory.
While the advisory acknowledged the risks associated with Maya Riviera travel, it did not suggest that United States Citizens should not travel to Cancun or other popular Mexican beach destinations.
The State Department releases travel advisories for destinations across the globe. Tourists are encouraged to “exercise increased caution” in popular locations such as France and the United Kingdom as well.
Around this time, high-profile instances of violence in Cancun caught the attention of international media.
In particular, a shooting in the Cancun Hotel Zone resulting in the deaths of four Mexican nationals shocked many observers both inside and outside of Mexico.
Like the shooting this week, this act of violence troubled many in the tourism industry as it indicated an increase in violence in Cancun’s hotel zone.
The Mexican National Tourism Business Council (CNET) took notice, demanding government action.
CNET formally asked the Mexican government to “ensure that the tourist destinations of the country be spaces of personal, social, and patrimonial security, so that the local population and the national and international tourists can visit.”
Tourists are rarely the targets of violent acts, but there are occasions when they are affected by violence.
This March, an American teenager vacationing in Cancun was shot in the leg.
The Mexican government took significant action ahead of the Easter holiday season, traditionally one of the busiest times for Cancun tourism.
Mexican Secretary of Defense, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, announced the government’s plan to send over 8,000 National Guard troops to tourist areas in beach cities nationwide. The largest grouping of these troops was sent to Cancun.
Security Across The Maya Riviera
Cancun is not the only city affected by violence in the Maya Riviera.
In July, Playa del Carmen Municipal President Lili Campos Miranda asked for additional Navy reinforcements after troops deployed to Playa del Carmen went to Cancun.
The request came as Playa del Carmen faced a surge in illegal and violent acts, affecting locals and foreigners.
At the time, President Campos Miranda announced an additional 20 local security elements to be added to the existing security in the city.
National Guard troops were also recently sent to the Tulum Archaeological Zone after reports of harassment and fraud of tourists entering the historical park.
The troops guarded tourists against jaladores, or “pullers,” who wanted to sell fraudulent tickets or tour packages to tourists hoping to see ancient Mayan ruins.
Troops are still stationed throughout the Riviera Maya, but this week’s shooting indicates that there is still work to be done to curb violence in the area.
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