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New Tourist Protection Army Announced For Cancun, Playa Del Carmen and Tulum

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Governor Carlos Joaquín announced that Quintana Roo will be home to over 1400 permanent soldiers who primary purpose will be to protect tourists From Cancun to Tulum. The new army security battalion has been provided by the Mexican Federal Government and will be setting up an army base on a strip of land provided by the state of Quintana Roo.

Mexico President, Andrés Manuel López Obrador accompanied Quintana Roo Governor, Carlos Joaquín at a morning press conference on November 17th, 2021.

New Tourist Protection Army Will Be Deployed December 1

Carlos Joaquín stated that the new army battalion will be deployed on December 1st, 2021 primarily in the tourism hotspots of Cancun, Riviera Maya (Playa Del Carmen) and Tulum but will also be patrolling other destinations including Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Puerto Morelos and Grand Costa Maya. The national guard tourist arms will be made up of 1445 soldiers including 126 Special Operations Soldiers from the Navy.


Army Protection Battalion Is The First of Its Kind In Quintana Roo

Secretariat of National Defense of Mexico, Luis Cresencio Sandoval proudly announced that the new unit will begin operations for the first time in Quintana Roo and was created to reinforce security in the state. The soldiers will be on duty to help protect tourists, hospitality businesses and residents.

“The first priority of the soldiers will be protecting the municipalities of Benito Juárez (Cancun), Solidaridad (Playa Del Carmen) and Tulum,” explained Luis Cresencio Sandoval.

Military soliders on beach in Tulum

“This battalion will provide security to the entire tourist area and as 2022 progresses, new tools and army equipment will strengthen this new mission of tourist security,” said the Secretary of Defense.

“The tourist protection army that we use here for the first time will work with the National Guard to become specialized in all fields of protecting tourism and maintaining peace,” stated Luis Cresencio Sandoval.

“Once all systems are in places, we will be replicating the program in other tourism areas of Mexico.”

National Guard in Tulum

The announcement of the new tourist protection army comes after the tragic deaths of two tourists who were shot dead at a restaurant in Tulum. The two women were caught in the cross fire of a gang related shooting. A San Jose, California woman was one of two foreign tourists killed. A second woman, Jennifer Henzold, a tourist from Germany was also killed.

Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised at the time he would send the National Guard into Tulum to protect tourism in the Riviera Maya. Troops immediately began arriving within the week but were only temporary until a more permanent solution was put into place. The new army battalion that deploys on December 1st will be in place permanently at a new army base in Quintana Roo.


A second shooting made headlines when tourists had to flee at a luxury hotel near Cancun only 2 weeks later. A group of armed individuals arrived on the beach just outside of the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun hotel and opened fire. Two of the people were killed on the scene but no tourists were injured. State officials are reporting it to be a confrontation between rival gangs.

Security Secretariat of Mexico’s Quintana Roo state took to Twitter to quickly share updates on today’s events. “No tourists were seriously hurt or kidnapped,” they stated.

“There were no serious injuries” the Quintana Roo state prosecutor’s office said in a tweet following the events in the Riviera Maya.


While violence in Quintana Roo has made internationalheadlines, Cancun tourism has showed no signs of slowing.

“In economic recovery, we are on a very good path,” said the Quintana Roo governor.

“We have 400 daily flights and last Saturday we recorded 520 flights at the Cancun International Airport. Over 95,000 tourists went through the airport that day,” explained the Governor.

“We have a hotel occupancy of 73 percent at the moment, enjoyed a summer with more than three million tourists, and our winter is expected to average at 95% hotel occupancy.”


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