America is filled with numerous incredible beaches and vacations resorts, yet there are those U.S. citizens with a fascination to travel across the border to Mexico for a spicy adventure filled vacation onto it’s once upon a time beautiful resorts and beaches which in the past two decades have morphed into hotbed killing zones for drug cartels.
Simultaneously, a large number of the Mexican population are trying to escape this corrupt and crime ridden culture for a more secure lifestyle in the United States of America. Hence the important reminder of building the wall across the border states to protect Americans from the migrating crime agents.
Many of the Mexican states are anything but a vacation, so where is the disconnect? Many Mexican coastal resort areas better known for their beautiful beaches also depend on their port facilities, and these have come to play a strategic role in the country’s drug trade.
Drug trafficking organizations use legitimate commercial ships as well as fishing boats and other small surface vessels to carry cocaine from South America to Mexico, and many cartels often rely on hotels and resorts to launder drug proceeds. Because of the importance of these facilities, the assumption has been that drug trafficking organizations seek to limit violence in such areas not only to protect existing infrastructure but also to avoid the attention that violence affecting wealthy foreign tourists would draw.
The US State Department’s latest travel advisory for Mexico cautions Americans to avoid five of Mexico’s 32 states because of crime and violence — a designation often given to war-torn countries like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Yet, the main stream media seldom reports on the tragic stories and incidents of Americans being kidnapped, beaten, rapped and robbed while vacationing in Mexico.
The most recent advisory gives both states a level-two warning, advising travelers to exercise increased caution, and says there are no restrictions on travel in tourist areas there. Cancun has a high murder rate. From 2016 to 2017, Baja California Sur saw the biggest year-to-year increase in homicide victims, 223%, while Quintana Roo saw a 108% increase.
The violence in Baja California Sur doesn’t appear to have affected the state’s tourism industry.
The managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board told The Associated Press that tourism arrivals rose 16% and hotel occupancy rose 18% last year, adding that officials and tourism operators in the state were investing in more security.
Mexico’s tourism secretary, Enrique De La Madrid, said earlier this week that Mexico’s most significant challenge in the tourism sector was “crime events occurring where they didn’t before — for example, in Cancun, La Paz, and Los Cabos.”
Though De La Madrid also called tourism “one of the most important sectors of our economy” — representing more of the country’s gross domestic product than construction as well as mining and petroleum put together — he called for reducing Mexican tourism’s dependence on US travelers, saying Mexico should aim to reduce the US’s share of foreign arrivals to no more than 50% from 60%.
Located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, things are so bad in Cancun that the murder rate has doubled in the past year with 169 killings in the first half of 2017.
There are five dangerous States in Mexico that extra caution needs warranting. They are Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Tampaulipas. Four of these five-Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, and Sinaloa, are Pacific coast states where violence related to drugs and organized crime is rampant.
Each has been subject to travel warnings before, but the latest designation is level four, the State Department’s highest. Travelers are urged to reconsider travel when visiting the border states of Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, Sonora, Coahuila, as they are rendered as level-three warnings.
Mexico state which is the country’s most populated, received a level three warning as well as Jalisco, home to resorts in Puerto Vallarta and expatriate communities in Ajijic, and Chapala.
The fallout of Mexico’s drug cartel leaders are fighting for territorial control….heavily armed Police patrol the famous beach destinations that put vacationers in danger.
Mexican Beaches are becoming “NO GO ZONES”
Amid a thriving drug trade and widespread extortion, fear is everywhere and most murders go unsolved by corrupt police.
This multibillion-dollar tourism industry has become held hostage to a new weaponized threat. Cancun was once known as a spectacular vacation hotspot with white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, is now tainted by the rise in crime and brutal growing gang wars…leaving these once held fantasy vacations nothing more than remnants of ghost towns.
“Violent crime, such as murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault, is common,” the State Department’s notice said. “Gang activity, including gun battles, is widespread.”
“While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens,” the notice says of both states.
Security Alert: U.S. Embassy Mexico City, Mexico (March 8, 2018)
Location: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Event: Due to an ongoing security threat, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City is revising its travel restrictions to Playa del Carmen for U.S. government personnel. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from travel to Centro, Calica, Gonzalo Guerrero, Quintas del Carmen, and Villas del Carmen neighborhoods of Playa del Carmen. These neighborhoods are bordered by Avenida Benito Juarez, 50 Avenida Sur (Highway 307), and Calle 34 Norte. U.S. citizens should avoid those neighborhoods until further notice. U.S. government personnel are authorized to travel to resort areas in Riviera Maya including those near Playa del Carmen that are outside the restricted neighborhoods of this Alert.
Absent additional changes in the security situation, the U.S. Consular Agency in Playa del Carmen will reopen for normal operations on Monday, March 12.
The circumstances surrounding the security threat affecting the above neighborhoods is separate from the threat against ferries operating between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. U.S. government personnel are still prohibited from using ferry services between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel until further notice. U.S. citizens should not use ferry services operating between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel.
ACTIONS TO TAKE:
Be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution.
Purchase travel insurance that specifically covers you in Mexico and includes medical evacuation insurance.
Contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if you need assistance.
U.S. Embassy Mexico City, Mexico