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2300 Security Forces Sent To Cancun For The Protection Of Tourists

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Cancun is the number one destination not only in Mexico but in Latin America, and needless to say, when it comes to visitors' safety, local authorities take no chances.

They have consistently kept crime low in the resort city despite recent travel alerts.

Troops walking along a beach in Cancun

Safety continues to be a concern for some Americans heading south of the border, but if the latest update from authorities is anything to go by, they'll probably be safer in the Caribbean hotspot than they are back home in the States, as Mexican President once stated himself.

Though Cancun is already well-guarded, a more robust security force is being brought in to help keep guests safe.

Not a few dozen, nor a couple hundred, but a whopping 2,300 officers.

A Record Number Of Officers Deployed To Cancun To Keep Tourists Safe

Police Officer In Mexico Pictured From The Back, Latin America

According to local authorities, as Cancun braces for yet another surge in tourist numbers, the Secretariat of Citizen Security will maintain a security force of 2,395 officers for the time being, distributed around key areas in the state of Quintana Roo.

Other than the Citizen Security service, the Secretariat of National Defense, the Secretariat of the Navy, the ‘Green Angels', and the National Guard are also participating in the new large-scale operation.

Mexican Police Officers Patrolling A Beach In The Mexican Caribbean, Mexico, Latin America

As the largest city in the state and its main tourist destination, Cancun is set to benefit the most from the ramp-up, especially as it heads into the summer period when bookings increase significantly as Americans contemplate their next sunny getaway abroad.

Police officers, marine guards, and big guns are no strange sight in Cancun, even on beaches, where patrolling has intensified year after year to keep zones frequented by tourists crime-free, and as unsettling a sight as they may be at times, it works.

Cancun Police Patroling Beach, Mexico

For years now, Cancun has retained its Level 2 status, according to the U.S. State Department.

This means it is one of the safest resort cities in Mexico, where crime still exists, but remains ‘moderate‘, instead of somewhere Americans should avoid going altogether.

You may wonder, then, why over 2,300 officers are needed if Cancun is so safe and why they're being deployed now.

Why Is Security Being Added To Cancun?

resorts on beach in cancun

While specifics have not been given as to why such police numbers are increasing this significantly, it may have something to do with the ongoing scrutiny Mexico faces from U.S. authorities, who are tougher on their southern neighbor than any other international destination.

Mexico is the only country to which Washington assigns safety levels based on states individually, as opposed to the entire territory, resulting in some parts of Mexico being classed as safe, such as Quintana Roo, and others not so safe, like Jalisco or Sinaloa.

aerial view of cancun hotel zone

This scrutiny has led to some criticism on Mexico's part numerous times, as they feel the advisories are sometimes harsher than warranted, but there's no denying it's helped American travelers better understand safety risks when visiting different states in their favorite holiday destination.

A couple of weeks ago, the U.S. issued one of its infamous alerts pointing to potential safety risks Americans are exposed to vacationing in Cancun, including violent crime (however sporadic it may be), petty theft, and scamming.

Beach Resorts In Cancun, Mexican Caribbean, Mexico

That being said, there's not been a single noteworthy incident involving American visitors in several months, if not years, excluding rare occasions where U.S. citizens involved in drug trafficking are targeted: once again, they're involved in crime.

Cancun Is Extremely Safe Already

As the State Department's advice for Cancun (and Quintana Roo) states, there's currently no warning against travel to the region, and Americans should simply exercise greater caution when visiting, mostly due to pickpocketing and other forms of non-violent crime.

A Pickpocket Reaching For A Person's Bag As They Sleep On The Beach Unaware, Pickpocketing, Crime

In general, if you're staying in the Hotel Zone, where all of the most famous resorts, best-frequented beaches, and entertainment zones are centered, you have little, if anything, to worry about, as the so-dubbed Tourism Batallion is known to surveil these sites thoroughly.

Similarly, the latest force will provide permanent surveillance not only by land but also by sea and air, guaranteeing tourists are unharmed during their visit to the Mexican Caribbean, from hotel areas to beaches to cenotes to bus terminals to ferry terminals to bar districts.

Mexican Police Officers Patrolling Playa Del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Naturally, when walking the streets of Cancun, use common sense: don't flash valuable items in public, keep large amounts of money you may have in a safe at your hotel, and don't explore untouristy peripheral barrios by yourself.

Cancun is pretty safe, but it's best not to push it as crime can occur, as in any big city, including in the U.S.

However, with the latest security boost, it will likely feel even safer.

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Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Friday 29th of March 2024

I remember back in 1994 my first trip to Cancun -- after landing and upon leaving Cancun's airport, sandbag bunkers along the road with Mexican Army troops with M-16 rifles on tripods aimed at passing cars. My first thought was "where in the hell have I come and what have I gotten myself into?" Unbeknownst to me there had been a protest at the airport 3-days before and the government sent troops to quell it. The other destination that was patrolled was the island of Isla Mujeres. The Mexican Navy had troops walking around with guns. It was very unsettling to me, not comforting.


Wednesday 27th of March 2024

Interesting. Considering most of the robberies I've heard of in the region were perpetrated by police I wonder if this will actually increase the amount of crime. Although I doubt this will be reported.

Tony N

Tuesday 26th of March 2024

That's good! Here in America have you recently seen a police car around?