Mexico Increases Law Enforcement in Cancun, Playa del Carmen
The Mexican government is beefing up its security in a bid to quell the violence that has engulfed two of its most popular tourist destinations.
Residents and vacationers looking to enjoy the sandy beaches of Cancun and Playa del Carmen off the Caribbean coast will see a notable law enforcement presence as 1,100 military agents will reinforce security around the clock.
The streets of the tourist hotspots have become a war zone as the New Jalisco Generation cartel has battled local gangs for turf dominance.
According to Miguel Ángel Huerta Ceballos, the general of the Mexican Army, the additional military force will bolster surveillance around commercial centers, which have been vulnerable to thefts, as well different locations that attract a high number of people on a regular basis.
At present, there are already 500 military police officers assigned to 'Operation Cancun' that are split into three, eight-hour patrol shifts. Another 600 from nearby regional bases will be added soon.
The news of the elevated police presence comes just three days after gunmen opened fire inside a strip club located four miles away from the pristine beaches of Cancun.
The shooting, which took place shortly after midnight Saturday, left five dead and 12 injured.
Government officials revealed in January that 774 people were assassinated in the state of Quintana Roo in 2018, surpassing the 359 murders that were reported in 2017.
However, the United States has not imposed any travel restrictions or advisories to alert American travelers of the dangerous climate.
Despite the alarming figures, international and domestic tourists turned Cancun's airport as the busiest in Mexico in 2018.
The Ministry of Tourism reported an increase of 12.4 percent in domestic passengers and a 6.8 percent rise in foreign visitors.