Officials in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean have announced the deployment of over a thousand law enforcement personnel to busy tourist hotspots to protect visitors over the holidays. The move is part of a wider effort to enhance tourists’ safety in one of the world’s most visited destinations this winter.
According to public security officials, the operation’s goal is to guarantee public safety and human rights whilst ensuring smooth sailing for millions of visitors over the busy vacation period. The large-scale effort will benefit from the participation of several stakeholders, including the National Guard and state and local police.
The operation, known as Guadalupe-Reyes, will take place from now until the end of December, coinciding with the busiest period in international travel to the Mexican Caribbean. Officials regularly launch special safety and security operations during peak travel periods, such as summer and winter, in an attempt to deter criminals from wreaking havoc in popular tourist destinations.
According to Rubén Oyarvide Pedrero, Quintana Roo’s Secretary for Public Security, the Guadalupe-Reyes undertaking will also see more canine units deployed – a total of 93 – as well as highly specialized equipment. Meanwhile, up to 7 different law enforcement and public security institutions are expected to partake in the operation, from the Navy to the National Institute for Migration.
“We will deploy more units to patrol, inspect, and provide assistance with the use of different units, ambulances, cranes, and tactical vehicles,” the state’s Secretary for Public Security said in a statement. Preventive action is also one of the major focuses of the new undertaking, officials say, and travelers can expect to see more police officers and first aid personnel in places like beaches and busy downtown streets.
More units are also being deployed to critical ports and airports around the state, including Cancun International Airport, as well as roads and highways, where authorities want to tackle driving under the influence.
Although over a thousand offers are to be deployed across the Mexican Caribbean, Cancun will host the lion’s share of all law enforcement units. More than 100 units were already sent previously to Cancun from Semar, and more than 200 will be mobilized under the new deployment. Meanwhile, Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and other Riviera Maya hotspots will also see more troops.
Crime rates in the Mexican Caribbean state of Quintan Roo are above-average compared to other states in Mexico, prompting authorities to take immediate action to prevent organized crime from affecting tourism. While the most serious forms of crime – kidnappings and violent crime – rarely affect tourists, issues like pickpocketing and fraud remain a serious issue for the region.
This year, Cancun is expected to break its all-time record for international arrivals, and more than 26 million passengers are projected to travel through its airport by the end of the year. With destinations like Playa del Carmen and Tulum reporting hotel occupancy rates well above 85% this December, the season looks to be the busiest in history.
According to the U.S. Department of State, Quintan Roo is currently under a Level 2 Travel Advisory, meaning travelers to the sun-soaked destination should exercise increased precaution. Compared to other Mexican states, Quintan Roo is one of the safest for international travelers, and authorities have been proactive in ensuring optimal safety for visitors.
Although organized crime rarely affects tourist destinations, visitors are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings at all times and to avoid walking alone at night. Authorities have also stressed the importance of sticking to resort areas and avoiding venturing into unknown neighborhoods.
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