Cartel crime has been increasing in tourist areas of Cancun and Tulum. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the vacation hotspots have seen a “massive uptick” in cartel violence because they have become key revenue sources for the cartels to sell drugs.
The homicide rate has nearly quadrupled since 2016 due to drugs. “Our basic problem is drug demand by tourists” said Quintana Roo Attorney General Oscar Montes de Oca.
David Ortiz Mena, the head of the Tulum Hotel Association, said “We have to be careful what kind of tourism we ask for” reports the WSJ. “The kind of tourism we fostered creates drug demand, and where there is demand there will be supply. But the drug dealers don’t leave when the party’s over and the tourists go home.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation compiled a list of recent incidents demonstrating the new norm of violence:
In March, tourists in Cancun’s hotel zone found human remains that police said could be casualties of cartel crime. That same month, a British citizen, who lived in the area and was warned of being a target, was shot and killed by two men on a motorcycle while driving with his teenage daughter in the passenger seat, The Daily Beast reported…
…The manager of a bar on the beach in Quintana Roo was shot and killed in January, The Washington Post reported. Days before the incident, two Canadians were killed at a resort a few miles away as a result of an argument between guests.
Suspected rival cartel members engaged in a shootout near Cancun in November, sending beachgoers running to nearby resorts for safety, the Associated Press reported. Two drug dealers were killed in the incident, according to the WSJ.
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The first month of 2023 at the southern border is already looking bleak; just take a look at the numbers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in El Paso, Texas have seized over 500 pounds of hard drugs in January alone.
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