The commitment to the security of travelers visiting Cancun has been publicly solidified by the commander of the Mexican military in the destination.
In a statement, the commander of the Cancun military garrison, Luis Valentín Iglesias Solórzano, sought to ensure travelers of his and the local military’s readiness.
Mexico Does Things Differently
It can sound alarming at first to hear the military giving statements about public security. In the United States, the military, apart from the National Guard and certain Naval/Air Force elements, are reserved for humanitarian relief and guard duties inside the country.
In Mexico, the story is a little different, here the military has taken a highly active role in national security.
The thinking behind this is that if the military takes on patrol and search duties, it frees up a huge wealth of law enforcement resources to focus on community policing.
Travelers who have been visiting Cancun for a while will be used to this difference, it’s not uncommon to see Mexican Soldiers and Marines patrolling the beaches and shopping districts while heavily armed.
With that being said, it’s completely understandable for travelers to feel anxious over this quirk of Mexican security.
But it’s important to remember that this is being done to secure the destination and also to deter any would-be criminals from operating in Cancun.
Is The Relationship Working?
This is a question that doesn’t have an easy answer.
Cancun has seen a rise in crime rates in the past 3-4 years. Although to be fair, this is a picture seen across the world since the pandemic.
Admittedly, crime has an extra dimension in Mexico, one that no doubt all travelers are aware of. This extra layer of danger brings complications that other destinations don’t need to compete against.
Additionally, crime is relatively stable in Cancun. Several high-profile incidents have made the headlines in recent months, but they are far from the everyday norm and instead are incidents that even shock local residents.
Overall the use of the military to lighten the load on law enforcement is working for Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean. Although it is still to be seen what the long-term solution will be and if that includes the military.
Cancun Is Safe For Vacation
When booking a vacation, safety is always a concern. Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean don’t shy away from this issue, and the local government regularly releases statements on the current situation so that both travelers and the tourism industry have a clear picture.
This may be a side effect of the Mexican tendency towards honesty. Anyone who has spent enough time in Mexico will know that people here are honest, whether it’s telling you a pair of jeans are a little too tight for you or that you dance like a wooden pole screwed into the ground.
Equally, they don’t shy away from the problems in their country.
So back to the question….Is Cancun safe for a vacation?
Yes, it is safe. As safe as many American cities and safer than many of its rival destinations.
Travelers need to be aware of the potential issues they may face in Cancun, but overall, it’s highly unlikely that they will come into contact with petty crime, never mind crime of an organized nature.
How To Stay Safe
The main way to stay safe in Cancun, and something that should be obvious to travelers, is to stay away from all narcotics. This single activity is what will put travelers in danger fastest and with the most certainly negative outcome.
Aside from that, there are several other situations for travelers to be aware of:
- ATM theft – Never use on-street ATMs, always use those in resorts, banks, or malls. This type of predatory theft is common all over Mexico.
- Beware of timeshares – Timeshare scams are common in Cancun. Although travelers should be aware, they have a legal 5-day cooling off period to cancel if they are caught out.
- Fuel scam – If travelers rent a vehicle, always double check the card returned is yours, and ask for a receipt to check against the tank price.
- The stranded tourist – A classic in Cancun, beware of other foreigners who claim to have been robbed and stranded. Some of these people are now decade-long veterans of this scam.
Common sense and a little cynicism are travelers’ best routes to having a trouble-free vacation in Cancun. Exercise the same caution as at home, and don’t forget to enjoy everything this amazing destination has to offer.
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