Tourists staying in the Cancun hotel zone this week may have witnessed a protest by a group called “Madres Busadoras Quintana Roo A.C.” or “Searching Mothers of Quintana Roo.”
The group of family members of missing people in Quintana Roo demands answers regarding their loved one’s cases.
As part of the protest, Madres Buscadoras shut down traffic on kilometer 9 of the hotel zone and blocked access to the beach on Monday.
Over 30 people participated in the protests, chanting “where are my children” in Spanish.
Local police arrived to ask protesters to allow freedom of movement throughout the hotel zone. The group complied with the request and continued their peaceful demonstration.
How Did The Demonstration Affect Tourists?
The protest’s most significant impact on tourists was heavy traffic in downtown Cancun after cars were stopped on kilometer 9.
Police soon opened one traffic lane for vehicles while allowing protesters to remain on the street. They remained on the scene to protect the protestors and avoid an accident.
Tourists also saw their access to the beach blocked by the protesters for a short time.
Will The Protests In Continue In The Tourist Zone?
Visitors to Cancun can expect to see protesters in the tourist zone in the future.
Madres Buscadoras announced they intend to continue protesting in tourist zones until they feel authorities have taken the proper steps to find their relatives.
After previously targeting government buildings, the group is moving its protests to tourist areas.
Since the tourism industry is vital to the economy of Quintana Roo, local authorities are likely to feel additional pressure to take action if they fear that tourists will see the state in a negative light.
What Is Madres Buscadoras Protesting?
Nine months ago, 12-year-old Fernanda Cayetana went missing in Isla Mujeres. Police captured the main suspect, Marco Antonio “N,” in November 2022.
The police did not notify Fernanda’s mother, who only learned of the arrest through social media.
Additionally, Fernanda’s family is upset about how police handled the beginning of the investigation when the suspect was able to move furniture from his house even after police were informed that he had been acting suspiciously around Fernanda.
Today, there is still no information about the whereabouts of Fernanda.
Missing persons cases are common in Mexico, and Searching Mother’s groups throughout the country hold authorities accountable for investigations.
How Are Authorities Responding?
Quintana Roo Attorney General Óscar Montes de Oca arrived at the protest scene to address Madres Buscadoras.
The family members demanded the truth from the Attorney General who promised to meet with the group every two weeks. Once they signed a letter of agreement, the protesters left the street.
Have Protests Of This Magnitude Happened Before?
This is not the first time tourists have been affected by protests in Cancun.
This January, tourists struggled to reach the airport after taxi drivers blocked access by road. The drivers were protesting Uber’s growth in Quintana Roo.
During the blockade, police had to escort tourists to the airport to make their flights. ‘
Afterward, government officials promised, “the State Government and the Coordination Group of the City Council respect the free demonstration of the citizens of Quintana Roo, as long as it does not violate or harm the rights of third parties.”
Last year, Cancun was one of many cities affected by the nationwide protests by truckers, who deliberately parked their trucks to block freeways to protest government regulations.
Tourists traveling between major cities in the Riviera Maya were part of massive traffic jams due to the protest.
What Should Tourists Do If They Come Across A Protest?
The most important thing to do if you come across Madres Buscadoras during your vacation is to remain patient and respectful.
The group seeks a platform to pressure authorities and bring attention to Fernanda’s missing person’s case. They have remained peaceful and pose no threat to tourists.
If protesters block you, authorities will soon arrive to allow freedom of movement. In the meantime, try to be patient with the families during this difficult time.
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