Wednesday, December 8, 2021

"Tourist Battalion" – Mexico wants to protect beaches with soldiers

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After gangs attack tourists, Mexico sends the National Guard to popular beaches. A troop of 1,500 soldiers are supposed to protect travelers.

To protect tourists from organized crime, Mexico wants to deploy a protection force of 1,500 national guards on its popular Caribbean beaches in Cancun and Tulum. The “tourist battalion” is due to start its service on December 1st on the Riviera Maya, Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said on Wednesday. Most recently, fatal incidents focused on organized crime in the tourist region.

At the end of October, two young tourists from Germany and India died as random victims in a shooting in Tulum. In November, two suspected drug dealers were killed in a shooting in Puerto Morelos, near Cancun. The gunfire caused panic in a hotel full of tourists.

“This must not happen again,” said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at a press conference, adding that the battalion will “strengthen security”. The authorities plan to deploy similar troops in other tourist centers as well.

The Riviera Maya and the Yucatán Peninsula are the main tourist areas of Mexico, the seventh most visited country in the world. Tourism accounts for 8.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

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