Thursday, January 25, 2018

Secretary of tourism proposes recreational marijuana for BCS and QRoo, states with increase in homicides

Translated by El Profe for Borderland Beat from Animal Politico

The tourism official said that legalizing marijuana would help not to lose these centers for the fight against drug trafficking.

Legalizing marijuana in Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo in order to prevent violence driving away tourism, was the idea launched Thursday by the Secretary of Tourism, Enrique de la Madrid.

"It is absurd that as a country we do not already take that step. I would like to see that, what could be done in Baja California Sur and Quintana Roo, the two main tourist destinations in Mexico that do not have to be victims of violence," the official told reporters in Mexico City.

De la Madrid gives examples of what was done in California, where the recreational use of the substance is legal, although at the federal level, the United States maintains the prohibition.

"It would be a huge damage to lose those destinations due to drug trafficking issues. I believe that making legal not only the consumption but the production and sale of marijuana would contribute, along with other actions, to have more secure destinations," he said.

Mexico has already taken a first step, after the medical and scientific use of marijuana was approved in April of last year.

Uncontrollable Violence

In 2017 there were 25,339 murders in Mexico, and although it is not known how many of these are related to drug trafficking, the increase of this crime in these tourist centers is notable.

With a rate of 50.5 malicious homicides, the level of violence in the state already exceeds that of Sinaloa, Chihuahua and Baja California.

Between 2013 and 2017, intentional homicides in Baja California Sur increased 1,000%, going from 56 to 560. Each year the figure grew, being 56 in 2013, 70 in 2014, 151 in 2015, 192 in 2016 and 560 in 2017

In Quintana Roo there were 214 murders of this type in 2013, 172 in 2014, 228 in 2015, 165 in 2016 and 359 in 2017, according to the criminal statistics of the National Security Executive Secretariat.

According to the National Survey of Victimization and Perception of Public Safety (ENVIPE) 2017, in Baja California Sur 60.3% of the population aged 18 and over considers insecurity as the most important problem that afflicts the state today, followed by drug trafficking and corruption.

And the situation has not changed at the beginning of the year, since on the night of January 6, a clash between gunmen and federal and state armed forces left seven dead in San José del Cabo. While on December 20, six bodies were found hanging from three bridges, an unprecedented event in this state.

Businessmen have already demanded security

Meanwhile, last June businessmen and hoteliers in Cancun demanded that the state and federal governments reinforce the security program, through coordination, to avoid confrontations.

Eloy Peniche, president of the Business Coordinating Council of Cancun, explained that the area represents one of the largest tourist revenues for the country and 35 percent of the remittances that Mexico receives.

The businessmen requested that federal and state authorities work in coordination to prevent organized crime cells from taking over the area.