One of the hottest and most famed vacation spots is now getting too hot even for the most intrepid of vacationers: Cancun, Mexico, is now experiencing a murderous crime wave that could reduce it to the status of former hot spot Acapulco, which suffered a similar fate and is now a ghost town for visitors.
In the first half of 2017, the murder rate doubled from the year before, as 169 killings were recorded. 205 people were murdered in the entire year, a record 38 in the month of August.
That bodes ill for Mexico, which makes $20 billion annually from visitors, but saw over 23,000 people killed in 2017, as PBS noted.
Officer Alejandro Rodriguez, who commands a heavily-armed unit of Cancun’s municipal police, told PBS, “We want to prevent any crimes like homicide or theft. We also want to detect and identify people who carry weapons and drugs.”
British journalist Krishnan Guru-Murthy visited Mexico to see why the murder rate had skyrocketed. After finding himself in the middle of a crime scene where a man had been gunned down in Cancun, he commented on the paucity of police, saying, “It’s as if the police don’t want anyone to notice. There’s minimum fuss and hardly any officers here.” He added, “We’ve been told that local politicians here have put the press under pressure not to report violence in this area, because if the tourists are scared away from here, it will be an economic disaster not only for Cancun, but for Mexico.”