The local government in Tulum is making sure that tourists are well taken care of in the beach city. To ensure this, they are starting with lecturing their own police force. This is not the first time that police corruption in general is acknowledged by local authorities. A main concern for the local police department is precisely trying to find a way to get its own forces to stop extorting tourists. Tuesday morning police commissioner Óscar Alberto Aparicio Avendaño gathered most of the Tulum police force in his office to go over the potential penalties for crimes committed by police officers.
It’s understood that officers that are caught extorting tourists will immediately be relieved of their duties, and processed before the relevant authorities. In a recent video the police commissioner mentioned that he was open to pressing charges against members of his own police force that were caught extorting tourists. He also called on the people to report the acts of corruption that they’ve suffered at the hands of the police.
Through his own Facebook page the police commissioner informed of the meeting while sharing pictures of the event. He mentioned that the intention of the meeting was to ratify the commitment of these officers to help tourists, and locals alike. Aparicio Avendaño would go on to mention that he is pleased with the dialog that he had with members of his police force. However, this meeting still doesn’t seem to be enough to calm the storm.
Penalties For The Latest Police Officer Extortion Case Yet To Be Revealed
At the beginning of February videos of an alleged police extortion incident in Tulum made the rounds on social media. In that particular instance local traffic cops had stopped some french tourists. From what can be seen in the video the officers would proceed to escort the tourists to an ATM machine. This of course, after an extended verbal altercation. The tourists paid a bribe, and were ultimately let go. With the video going viral though, police commissioner Aparicio had to act.
Just a couple of days after the video made the rounds on social media the commissioner mentioned that the police officers involved had been relieved from their duties, and turned over to internal affairs. When the videos were made public the mayor of Tulum also confirmed that the police officers would be adequately processed. Two months after the incident though, there have been no updates on the legal status of these officers.
Tulum Forces Will Get Help From Military Personnel During The Next Few Weeks
Since the end of March there has been an increased military presence in and around Tulum. With members of the military, and the police force setting up unified checkpoints along the roads that lead into Tulum. These military members that are currently patrolling the streets of Tulum are part of the 1500 service men and women that were sent into Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen, to protect main tourist spots throughout the Spring peak season.
The soldiers are set to stay in the area until at least April 11. From then onward though, local security efforts will fall back into the control of the local police. Ironically, the checkpoints that have been set up in the roads leading into Tulum are serving more as medical checkpoints than security ones.
Tulum Mayor Victor Mas Tah wanted to create a “COVID free bubble” within Tulum. Gilberto Gomez Mora of Civil Protection mentioned that he was tasked by the mayor to coordinate efforts to ensure that Tulum stayed a healthy and safe place for locals, and tourists throughout the peak season. For people who travel to and from Tulum often that means you can expect to continue to be stopped by these checkpoints until April 11.
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