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Playa Del Carmen Ramping Up Security In Tourist Hotspots After Recent Crime Surge

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Authorities are reinforcing security in the touristic zones of Playa del Carmen, according to Municipal President Lili Campos Miranda.

According to President Campos Miranda, law enforcement will add 20 security elements to the existing security presence.

In addition, she said that she would ask that a Navy presence returns to the city and could sign a formal agreement to formalize their involvement in local law enforcement.

police in playa del carmen

While the Navy was previously involved in Playa del Carmen security, the forces left at the request of the Quintana Roo state government.

The request comes after an increase in violent acts that have affected tourist areas and resulted in the deaths and injuries of foreigners.

family sits in the water at the beach

President Campos Miranda said she met with hotel and restaurant owners affected by the wave of violence to find the best solution possible.

Violence has remained a high-profile issue throughout the Riviera Maya, and this is not the first time that authorities have taken steps to increase law enforcement and military presence in Playa del Carmen and elsewhere.

U.S. Travel Advisory

A United States Department of State travel advisory issued this spring recommends that tourists “exercise increased caution” throughout Quintana Roo, including Playa del Carmen, Cancun, and Tulum.

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playa del carmen bridge

The advisory said, “U.S. citizens should exercise increased caution in the downtown areas of popular spring break locations, including Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum, especially after dark.”

The advisory did not ask United States citizens to reconsider travel to Quintana Roo, as other it does with advisories for other Mexican states.

The State Department’s travel advisory system also warns U.S. citizens to “exercise increased caution” in France, the United Kingdom, and many other popular worldwide travel destinations.

Despite the reserved nature of the warning, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador rejected in full that Mexico, and Quintana Roo in particular, is not a safe destination for United States citizens.

Vendors Set Up Along 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, Mexico

“The State Department has forbidden 30 of the 32 [Mexican] states, but the country is full of Americans,” said President López Obrador. “Quintana Roo is full. Cancun is full of Americans.”

Recent Incidents Of Violence

Shortly after the advisory, Cancun saw several high-profile security incidents involving foreigners and making international headlines.

Amongst these incidents was a shooting outside a popular tourist hotel, resulting in the deaths of four Mexican nationals.

After the shooting, the Mexican National Tourism Business Council (CNET) demanded action, asking the government to “ensure that the country’s tourist destinations be spaces of personal, social, and patrimonial security so that the local population and the national and international tourists can visit.”

Aerial view of Playa del Carmen with busy beach

More recently, a woman with dual Italian-Mexican citizenship working in Playa del Carmen died after being attacked by a coworker. The attack occurred in the cafe where they worked, located in Playa del Carmen’s tourist zone.  

Most violence in the Rivera Maya is not directed at foreigners or tourists. However, tourists do get caught in the crossfire occasionally. In March, a teenager from the United States vacationing in Cancun was shot in the leg.

Nevertheless, the Governor of Quintana Roo Mara Lezama reminded the media that only 0.000002% of tourists are victims of criminal incidents in the state.

Playa del Carmen police

Still, the Mexican government took significant actions to address the security situation in the region.

Government Actions

After the violence this spring, the national government deployed national guard troops to beaches and tourist areas throughout the country.

Before the busy Easter holiday season began, Mexican Secretary of Defense, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, announced the plan to ensure stability.

While troops were initially sent to Playa del Carmen, they have since left the city to support operations in Cancun, leading Municipal President Campos Miranda to request their return.

Police and Narcotics Dog Patrolling Playa del Carmen

This is not the first time that the local government in Playa del Carmen has reinforced security since the major actions made by the Mexican federal government.

In April, local authorities announced they would reinforce tourist areas with police dogs, which are particularly effective at deterring drug trafficking and firearm use.

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Tuesday 20th of June 2023

The teenager was not a tourist, she was a foreign resident and was with her dad who was killed. He was having issues with a cartel. The media always portrays this hype for violence and scare tactics, which I think is political (tourist dollars).


Sunday 18th of June 2023

AMLO = A Man LOst

He should talk to Biden before the US State Department ruins Mexico with the exaggerated warnings.

Tamara Darlene

Sunday 18th of June 2023

Tourists are being worked off to travei memexico. It is prevalent world wide. Education coupled was the Education ullllll needed. Our country is not better then others. We are arogantbin thinking sso.