The Mexican government sent five thousand police officers into key tourist cities following outbreaks of violence from gangs, including a brutal shootout in the coastal city of La Paz in the state of Baja.
Mexican national security commissioner Renato Sales assigned the additional officers to “key cities” that attract tourism including La Paz, Cancun, Los Cabos, Manzanillo, and Colima, according to a VOA News report.
Mexico officials made the announcement after Federales engaged in a shootout with suspected criminals in Baja. No one was killed, but five were injured and several illegal firearms were seized. Baja California Sur now has the second-highest murder rate in the country.
Tourism cities in Mexico have also faced a rise in violent crime recently. The resort island of Cozumel was the target of a drug bust on Tuesday where authorities seized over fifty pounds of cocaine.
The same day, authorities discovered the remains of at least seven bodies in the city of Chilapa, where rival gangs have engaged in several violent skirmishes.
Earlier this month, state and local Mexican police officers engage in series of violent clashes with suspected gang members in La Concepcion, Guerrero state. A local official confirmed that eight people were killed when gunmen ambushed local police officers, VOA News reports. Two of the casualties were community police.
Many have accused local and state police of contributing to the violence thanks to corruption. Associated Press Photojournalist Bernandino Hernandez alleges that he was dragged and beaten by law enforcement while trying to cover the violence, claiming that several other reporters have been victims of intimidation. Hernandez was not on assignment by the AP at the time of the alleged incident.