Why the United States issued a travel alert for the Riviera Maya

Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) – Playa del Carmen, the tourist jewel of Quintana Roo, is suffering from a violent wave that torments its businessmen, merchants, tourists, and ordinary citizens.

In 2022 Playa del Carmen registered 20% of the 1,472 homicides that were committed in the state. Intelligence reports point to municipal police officers and officials of the current government as cogs in the corrupting machinery that suffocates the popular tourist destination.

Names and faces have also been given to those responsible for violence, drug sales, land charges, and extortion. Those indicated are factions of the Gulf Cartel, the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG), Los Rojos, La Barredora, Los Pelones, Zetas Vieja Escuela, and the Sinaloa Cartel.

Among the most recent acts of violence is the discovery of four bodies inside a Treasury vehicle. The victims were inspectors from the Directorate of Collection and Inspection, in charge of verifying that the entertainment centers had their papers in order.

According to the investigations, they were kidnapped and murdered with bladed weapons by employees of the La Cueva bar, located on Avenida Sur, who kidnapped them from the bar.

Around the same time, another violent incident was recorded in the tourist area of ​​Playa del Carmen. It involved the arrest of 15 alleged extortionists, armed with large-caliber rifles, in a restaurant on Fifth Avenue, by members of the Municipal Police.

In the first days of March, at the La Cosecha bar, a few blocks from Fifth Avenue, the crew of a motorcycle injured two customers and a waiter.

In mid-January, a man who was also traveling on a motorcycle entered a house in the La Guadalupana subdivision, very close to the Mayakoba tourist development and there executed a father, mother, daughter, and a fourth person who was in the place.

There were also other attacks outside the La Martina restaurant (February 24) and on Avenida 10, where a taxi driver from the Lázaro Cárdenas union was shot several times in the abdomen.

Likewise, on February 26, two corpses with neck injuries were abandoned inside a car in the residential area of ​​Santa Fe. The authorities learned the facts because the abandoned car caused a traffic disturbance.

You may be interested in: Tulum reduces hours of bars and clubs in attempt to control violence

In addition, the Playa del Carmen business association recently denounced its members living as “prisoners in their homes” due to the extortion demands by local criminal groups, since they are victims of extortion of up to $50,000 pesos by organized crime.

Cartels and other organized crime groups control most commercial areas in Mexico and threaten business owners on a regular basis and demand money or risk harm to their business and family. This is a growing problem in Puerto Vallarta and other tourist areas where the flow of money is greater.

The United States published a travel alert for all its citizens interested in the popular tourist destination of the Riviera Maya, as well as other areas such as Tulum and Cancun, ahead of Spring Break 2023.

The alert asked tourists to exercise caution when visiting the center of these three places, especially at night; They also reminded them that American citizens have died or become seriously ill while using synthetic drugs or adulterated pills purchased even by prescription.

In the same way, they reminded them that there is the sale of adulterated alcohol and that many Americans have lost consciousness or received serious injuries when consuming alcohol that “was possibly contaminated.” The alert also warned Americans of sexual assault reports and petty crime.

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