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Two Americans Arrested In Tulum For Possession Of Weapons

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The Pair Was Arrested After Their Vehicle Was Reported Stolen

Two American citizens were arrested in Tulum this week after they were discovered to be in possession of multiple firearms and other illegal items. Both have been transferred to Cancun for processing.

car tulum

The two citizens, a male and female from Arizona and California respectively, were stopped by transit police when their Jeep Compass was flagged as stolen. The plates of the vehicle were registered in Guerrero. It is unclear to whom the Jeep belonged. 

Upon inspection of the vehicle, police found a small arsenal of weapons as well as other tools useful for committing crimes. Among the weapons were two 9mm Glock handguns and a .22 caliber long rifle. Along with the firearms, several rounds of ammunition and a device that indicates the presence of working security cameras were also found. 

tulum street

Although unconfirmed, the pair have been linked to a string of crimes, the most serious of which is the disappearance of another American. The missing US citizen has not been identified in this case, but interestingly, a passport belonging to a man named Lien Zeitz. Whether Zeitz is the missing person in the investigation is also unclear, but it is assumed they may also face charges for the possession of the passport regardless.

tulum nice street

Currently, no charges have officially been pressed as the police put together all possible scenarios, and no court dates have been estimated. The seriousness of the potential link to the missing American could make the process much more complicated.

Their arrest comes at a troubled time in Quintana Roo, where the local governments are currently embroiled in a battle against organized crime. A recent spate of violent incidents in popular tourist areas has put a cloud over what has been another wise massively successful year for Cancun and the rest of the state.

tulum sign

Just last week, two men were assassinated in the middle of a beach restaurant in Tulum, days after the FBI and DEA had been in Cancun to discuss protecting the tourist spots. Several other instances before that including the shocking double murder of two members of a Canadian-Vietnamese crime syndicate drew global headlines questioning Quintana Roo’s safety and even saw the US and Canada place a travel advisory warning visitors to be careful.

Although it is unclear if the two Americans have any links to organized crime or if they are standalone criminals, Quintana Roo is unlikely to look kindly upon the situation. Illegal possession of a firearm potentially carries years in prison, and if any of the other charges are laid against them, it could be a long sentence.

xcaret hotel

Two tourists were killed back in 2021 in a similar situation. Although they were not the intended target, the American and German residents were caught in the crossfire at a popular restaurant, also in Tulum. Statistically, tourists are still very safe in the region, and these instances are most definitely the exception and not the rule. But the justifiable concern of many tourists has the potential to impact visiting numbers to the region, especially as Mexico’s biggest advantage during the pandemic is getting smaller.

police tulum

Mexico has kept an extremely relaxed stance on the pandemic, refusing to bar anyone from entering the country regardless of vaccination status or test results. But now, other countries, including Caribbean rivals, are dropping their restrictions. Events like Tulum and Xcaret could be the tipping point for many when making a decision.

military police

Any tourists hoping to visit Cancun in the near future should continue to keep on top of any restrictions both at home and in Mexico. Contacting hotels prior to departure is a good idea to ensure there are no possible changes to trips.

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