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Fight Against Crime In Tulum Continues As 9 Dealers Arrested In Hotel Zone

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Latest Bust In Tulum Hauls Significant Amount Of Narcotics From The Street

Nine drug dealers have been arrested in the latest sweep of the popular Tulum Hotel Zone. The bust is good news but signifies the consistent market for illegal substances.

police car in tulum

According to reports, the arrests were made as part of a wider intelligence operation initiated by the Tulum Police force and National Guard. The events took place over the week after extended surveillance of the suspects.

All nine are now in custody and awaiting trial for the crimes of possession with intent to sell narcotics and selling narcotics. It is unknown if the suspects were in possession of firearms, although it is not uncommon for this to be the case.

tulum sunset

The nine suspects were arrested across three separate operations that took place on Saturday night. One of the group arrests took place at a well-known but unannounced restaurant in the area, where the suspects were most likely targeting tourists. Another batch of the arrests took place at a place named La Paz. Online searches only provide one restaurant in Tulum with such a name and very little information. For this reason, the location of this arrest will also remain unverified. 

Along with the arrests, police seized large quantities of sale-ready drugs. Multiple drugs were in the haul, with the majority being identified as marijuana and cocaine. The drugs were found in pre-measured bags designed for quick sales to tourists. 

drug haul in mexico

The operation is part of a wider program to combat the increasing impacts of drugs on the region. Organized crime is having a brutal impact on Tulum and the rest of Quintana Roo. Although tourists are generally unaffected, violence in the region has skyrocketed. The homicide rate is growing steadily with few days going by without reports of new death.

The violence stems from the state’s value to the drug gangs. The surging popularity of Cancun and Tulum and the drug market the tourists bring means that opposing criminal groups are willing to fight over the territory, placing those in between in grave danger. Although the tourists do usually remain untouched, the escalation has placed them in the crossfire on multiple occasions.

policeman in tulum

One particular harrowing night just weeks ago saw multiple bars and restaurants in the Cancun downtown area attacked by armed assailants. CCTV footage saw a security guard being executed at point-blank range by the attackers, highlighting the brutally cold nature with which some of the groups operate.

The Quintana Roo government is trying to stem the problems as it has the potential to disrupt the region’s growth in the new future. Tulum has already drawn comparisons to Acapulco, a once-thriving tourist town that’s unchecked growth saw it descend under the control of violent gangs. It’s now a permanent fixture at the top of the most dangerous cities in the world with utterly terrifying homicide rates.

empty street in tulum

Tourism seems unaffected by the violence at the moment, but there is always the concern that the violence will intensify and begin scaring away visitors.

Sadly tourists hold the power in the situation. The problems are fueled by visitors seeking out drugs for recreational use on their trips. Many are apparently unaware that Mexican drug laws are much like anywhere in the United States and beyond and carry a significant jail sentence.

tulum at night

Still, stories continue to emerge of drugs being sold in restaurants, clubs, and even hotels, with some even as sophisticated as having digital menus available for tourists to buy drugs without even speaking directly to someone.

solider on beach

With the demand so high, organized crime is unlikely to dissipate anytime soon. The Government is trying to make tourists aware of the dangers of engaging in the drug trade to help scare off interest. Whether it will work remains to be seen, but it is one of the hopes that the state will cling to in the future.

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