What's going on in Cancun?

For some time, we've heard that Mexico is violent but tourist spots are okay. In other words, Culiacan is a mess but Cancun is nice.  Guerrero is deadly but the beaches of Acapulco are just fine.  And it goes on.

Unfortunately, the story is clashing with reality.  This is the latest from Cancun:    

The bodies of eight people were found dumped in the Mexican resort of Cancun, one of the country’s most popular tourism destinations, authorities said Tuesday.

The bodies were discovered over the weekend about 10 miles from Cancun's beach and hotel zone after police launched a coordinated effort to search for missing people in wooded lots and even sinkhole ponds, also known as cenotes, Mexican authorities said.

Oscar Montes de Oca, the head prosecutor of the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo said five of the bodies were found at an abandoned construction site. Three were subsequently identified as previously reported missing people.

Talk about spoiling the narrative.  

It's fair to say that the Mexican government has gone out of its way to protect tourists.  We should add that Cancun is still generally safe for vacations, honeymoons, weddings, and business meetings.  I know people who have gone to Cancun recently for personal and business reasons. They are happy and did not see any violence.

What's the risk?  The risk is that Cancun is a beach resort on the Caribbean and several cartels are fighting for control of the Caribbean coast and its drug trade.  The risk is being in the wrong place when drug gang rivalries play out in the restaurant or disco where you happen to be one night.

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Image: Pedro Szekely

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