Government officials on the magical island of Isla Mujeres have announced that the destination will receive extensive new police and military patrols across the entire island.
Announcements such as this naturally raise some questions from travelers.
Is Isla Mujeres safe?
Why are they doing this?
Are the authorities expecting new dangers?
Thankfully for travelers, this latest initiative is preventative, not reactive. Security is being given a boost across the whole state of Quintana Roo, which includes Cancun, Playa del Carmen, the Riviera Maya, as well as the island destinations.
Is Isla Mujeres Safe?
The short answer is yes, but to go into more detail, Isla Mujeres is an extremely safe destination for travelers.
With that being said, this doesn’t mean the island is crime free. Wherever there is tourism, no matter where in the world, there will always be a negative minority who see it as an opportunity for criminal enterprise.
One of the most common forms of crime on the island is the dealing of narcotics. This is an issue seen anywhere young people go to party, although the rates of this particular crime are still extremely low on the island.
Additionally, petty theft can also rear its ugly head on the island. Pickpockets have been known to make the short 20-minute ferry trip here to prey on relaxing travelers.
These crimes of opportunity can be easily avoided by travelers if they take some simple precautions:
- Do not wear/carry expensive jewelry or watches on your person.
- Do not flash large amounts of cash or leave cash on show.
- Wear purses/backpacks on your front so they are always under watch.
- Don’t leave valuables unattended when entering the water.
Armed robbery is almost non-existent on the Island; if a traveler is robbed, they almost always won’t even realize it until after the crime has happened.
Why These Patrols Are Being Implemented
In the past, the whole of the Mexican Caribbean has been a haven for travelers; the crime rates here were traditionally extremely low compared to the rest of Mexico.
Unfortunately, there have been signs of trouble over the past 10 years. Crime rates have been rising, and for a long time, the authorities have been playing catch up.
But, as of the last 2-3 years, the authorities have switched to a much more proactive stance on law enforcement, security, and crime prevention.
The current Mexican President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (affectionately known as AMLO), has shaken up how Mexico deals with crime.
Like any President, no matter the country, he isn’t universally loved. But his willingness to provide the military for the protection of tourism destinations in the country to help free up police resources has been a huge boost to security.
Therefore, while announcements such as this may alarm travelers at first, it’s important to note this is part of a new strategy to ensure safety and security in the Mexican Caribbean.
Are the authorities expecting new dangers?
So far, there have been zero indications given by the authorities that they are expecting new threats on Isla Mujeres.
Of course, that doesn’t mean this initiative isn’t from some new intelligence, but more often than not, when these initiatives are reactive to an expected threat, it is publicized by the local government.
A Snapshot Of Isla Mujeres Crime Stats
For travelers feeling uneasy about some of the content in this article regarding crime present in Isla Mujeres, it should be noted that the statistics are spectacularly low.
The statistics site Numbeo is most often seen as a reliable measure of crime; from the data published there, the following can be understood:
- Worries about being mugged or robbed – Very Low
- Worries about being attacked – Very Low
- Worries about being subject to a physical attack because of your skin color, ethnic origin, gender, or religion – Very Low
- Problem people using or dealing drugs – Very Low
- Safety walking alone during daylight – Very High
- Safety walking alone during night – Very High
As travelers can see, the overall security situation on Isla Mujeres is fantastic. In fact, it rates as one of the safest places in all of North America for a vacation.
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