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Cancun Tourist Attack Leads To Arrest Of 51 Street Vendors

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Tourist Was Threatened At Gun Point By A Street Vendor

A tourist reporting they had been threatened by a street vendor in Cancun prompted an absurd police operation that resulted in the arrest of fifty-one vendors. The operation was completed jointly by the police and national guard.

night scene in cancun

According to multiple reports, a tourist was threatened at gun point by a vendor in the Cancun hotel zone. After the tourist reported the incident to the Tourist Police force, a perimeter was installed by both the police and the National guard.

The exact situation involving the firearm has not been fully explained other than the tourist suggesting the vendor threatened to “kill them”.

vendor selling on beach

Oddly, after installing the perimeter, the culprit was not found. In lieu of an armed individual, however, the police detained fifty-one other street vendors for a variety of complaints. Apparently, multiple issues have been raised by tourists in the area regarding abuse from vendors including physical and verbal threats.

Although many outlets have already reported on the events, there is very little information regarding how so many individuals could be taken at one time and for what crimes. The police and national guard were quick to state that the incident did not take any officers or soldiers away from their typically assigned patrols and that no safety protocols were neglected.

tourist police patrol

All fifty-one vendors have been taken to appear in front of a judge for “administrative offenses”. It is hoped that more information will soon come to light on the strange case.

The aggressive statement is part of an increased reaction by the local security forces in an attempt to safeguard the popular Mexican Caribbean coast. A severe uptick in violent crime has plagued Cancun and the rest of Quintana Roo since the pandemic thrust them into the global spotlight for tourism.

The national guard has been patrolling the beaches since November in an effort to put off any potential organized criminal activity on the beaches and in the hotel zones in Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen. 

cancun skyline

Local police forces have been given special access to private establishment’s security cameras to help with tactical responses to any potentially threatening activity.

Tensions may have been heightened this week after five bars in downtown Cancun were attacked by organized gangs in relation to extortion and other disconcerting issues. Three people were killed when gunmen opened fire on one of the bars. At least eight others were injured in the chaos. Three other bars received damage or were the scene of premeditated arson.

street vendors

Whether the heightened response to the street vendor threat was in retaliation for what happened this week, there is no doubt that it was designed to make a statement to the people working and living in Cancun: Don’t take advantage of tourists and don’t harm them.

Quintana Roo relies heavily on tourism and its current image problem puts its reputation as a world-beating beach town at threat. For every shocking act of violence and every tourist that’s put in harm’s way, there could be a hundred who choose to vacation elsewhere. 

cancun hotel zone

The government is focused on safeguarding the state, but the sad reality is that tourists are more in control of the outcome than many of the politicians or local forces. Drug consumption fuels the violence in the area, and tourists continue to be the most important aspect of that market.

street vendor selling fruit

Tourists visiting the area should categorically avoid looking for, buying, selling, or consuming drugs of any kind while in Quintana Roo. Being part of the solution helps make the future of the state secure and safe for everyone.

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