The popular resort destination of Tulum experienced its most recent case of gang-related violence early Friday morning after an altercation resulted in the deaths of two individuals in a local hostel. The shocking case is a reminder that although Tulum is a safe destination, crime remains an issue that can strike anywhere at any time. Police and law enforcement personnel are currently investigating the tragedy and are expected to release more details about the gruesome incident later on.
Two people have died after a fight took place in Penca Blue, a local hostel in the popular resort town of Tulum. The destination, located some 80 miles south of Cancun, is a hotspot for history and culture lovers thanks to its ancient Mayan ruins – the most visited in the state – making it one of the most popular overall vacation spots.
According to preliminary police reports and key eyewitness statements, a fight broke out at around 2 A.M. on Friday in the hostel while a party was being held. Both Mexican tourists, as well as dozens of international travelers were on the property at the time of the incident. The most gruesome turn of events occurred when a presumed drug trafficker pulled out a gun and shot another rival – who is also thought to be involved in drug trafficking – who died on the spot due to his injuries.
A second victim was killed after receiving multiple gunshot wounds while attempting to flee the establishment, although authorities have been tight-lipped about his identity. Officials are also yet to release any detailed information concerning the identity of the perpetrator while official investigations are underway. It is currently thought that the second victim is a Mexican national with ties to organized crime, although this is yet to be confirmed by official sources.
While Tulum is a safe destination for travelers, the seaside resort city is no stranger to shocking cases of organized crime violence. In past occasions, authorities have uncovered bodies washed up on local beaches along other macabre occurrences. Fortunately, tourists are rarely the target of organized crime, although they may occasionally be caught in the crossfire.
Tulum is one of the most popular resort destinations in the Mexican Caribbean, alongside places like Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The resort town is mostly known for its historical Mayan ruins – The Tulum Archeological Site – as well as its laid-back tropical culture. That being said, Tulum’s once-prestigious reputation has taken a hit over the past year as crime rates rise, prompting authorities to deploy more troops and undercover police officers.
Travelers can find plenty of large, all-inclusive resorts and luxurious hotels in Tulum, but also a growing number of hostels that accommodate mostly young solo travelers. Compared to larger properties, smaller hostels lack around-the-clock security and sophisticated monitoring systems to deter criminals.
Safety has been one of the main issues for the local government, which has deployed more troops and law enforcement personnel to patrol busy touristy areas. And, while Tulum is certainly one of the more popular locations for travelers, police officers lack the means to realistically cover vast city streets, not to mention the city’s urban sprawl.
That’s why authorities have also issued their own safety recommendations for tourists, urging travelers to avoid venturing outside alone at night. Additionally, visitors should be extra cautious when enjoying a night out in the town, when alcohol and illegal drugs create the perfect storm for organized crime to take hold.
Over the coming months, millions of travelers will flock to the Mexican Caribbean for their annual winter holidays, and Spring Break is expected to break records this year. Places like Cancun, Isla Mujeres, and Puerto Morelos will be some of the most popular destinations for sun-seeking youngsters.
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