Mexico to deploy 1,500 National Guard troops to Cancun resorts after shooting

Move comes after killings in 2 shootouts

Laura Gamba Fadul   | 18.11.2021
Mexico to deploy 1,500 National Guard troops to Cancun resorts after shooting

BOGOTA, Colombia 

Mexico will create a battalion of almost 1,500 National Guard troops that will be stationed in Cancun and surrounding areas where organized crime attacks have recently increased, the government announced Wednesday. 

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said during a morning press conference that the troops will be mobilized in the state of Quintana Roo to increase security, “with particular emphasis on the touristic areas.”

The move follows a shooting on a beach Nov. 5 in Puerto Morelos, south of Cancun, during an encounter with alleged members of rival drug gangs.

The increase in violence has sparked concerns about the security of the Riviera Maya region, the country's top tourist hotspot.

Authorities reported that a group of about 15 armed men arrived on the beaches connecting the Azul Beach Resort and Hyatt Ziva Riviera hotels near Cancun, shooting at those identified as drug dealers by the Attorney General's Office. Two suspected members of rival gangs were killed.

Another shooting at a restaurant in the resort of Tulum near Cancun left two foreign tourists dead and three wounded in October.

“You are already aware of these unfortunate events that took place. They are painful events because the lives of human beings, nationals and foreigners, are lost and this cannot happen again,” said Lopez Obrador.

The battalion will start operating on Dec. 1 in Cancun, Tulum and the Riviera Maya, and later the model will be replicated at other resorts around the country, according to Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval.

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