Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Video: Cartels threaten tourism in Cancun, locals fear same fate as Acapulco

by El Profe for Borderland Beat      
              
                

Cancun, known as the safest place to visit in Mexico, saw at least 205 people murdered in 2017—more than double from the year before. With continuing extortion of businesses, locals fear it could go the way of Acapulco: a city once equated with glamorous beach getaways for celebrities that has for years possessed the nefarious title of the most murderous city in Mexico. (In the first six months of 2017 alone, statistics range from 412 to 466 murders in Acapulco.)

Government-tracking hackers hide out in the woods to keep surveillance on what they see as government collusion with cartels. This is just one of the ways in which people are trying to put an end to this devolution of Cancun before it truly starts.

The group was formed by Carlos Mimenza, a real estate developer recently turned 21st-century vigilante leader, in the Mayan Riviera tourist city of Playa Del Carmen, about an hour's drive from Cancun in the state of Quintana Roo. 

He started the group after "thieves held a gun to his sister’s head" and stole $46,000 USD from his safe. He offers free iPhones to those who record corruption on camera and is keeping the current Governor of Cancun, Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez, and other officials, under ''24-hour surveillance."

He views the issues facing Cancun as “a problem that the government itself has permitted, and the same government is the only one that can resolve it.” It is through this surveillance that he seeks to hold them accountable.

Mimenza is concerned for his city and rightly so, as "the state of Quintana Roo gets 10 million tourists a year, a third of the national total." However, sales in some of the major stores on Cancun's main boulevard are declining and a major nightclub in Playa del Carmen has been closed for good since five people were shot during a music festival.

A former Cancun policemen, interviewed under anonymity for PBS News Hour states, "that it's practically impossible to be an honest policemen [in Cancun]" and the police are told to "ignore all evidence."

He goes on to say, "the criminals insure that the police cannot behave professionally. The police officers who don't respond to the criminals' demands are laid off. The police make a deal with the criminals that insures disobedient officers will be fired."

The toxic combination of intensifying drug wars with what locals see as government impunity has created this spike in murder rates in the resort cities of Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. 

Once thought to be a safe spot amidst Mexico's violence, business owners and developers now are having to decide whether to pay extortion money to the cartels or create ways to address the violence themselves.

The video below is the news program Unreported World, produced by Quicksilver Media Productions. During the segment, the crew travels to the white sand beaches of Cancun where a hushed-up murder, unnoticed by passersby, has just taken place.

A local business owner and land developer, Hernán Cordero, is interviewed. He says that the Zetas try to extort him and that ''he hasn't paid but many others do.'' Cordero laments, ''Acapulco had the same problem a few years ago and it wasn't stopped." He adds that "[Cancun] could turn into another ghost town, just like Acapulco."

The reporter then travels to Acapulco and on the way from the airport, receives word of a homicide in the surrounding area of the city. They investigate and afterwards, visit the once luxurious Hotel Mirador. 

This hotel was once famous for visitors packing its rooms, wanting a view of the famous cliff divers plunging into the blue Pacific from the rocks a hundred feet above. It is now host to an abandoned terrace with empty seats overlooking ''one of the most beautiful views in the world'' and the highest homicide rate in the country. 

The parallels drawn between these two beach cities is an alarming glimpse into how a booming tourism industry can be easily dissolved by extortion and murder, hastened by government impunity.

The video  is an excellent on the ground reporting from Cancun and Acapulco.  It is a must see to get an up close and personal view of what is happening.  In one vignette, a Taxi driver is executed.   His family comes to the site of the shooting, his wife screams at the sight of her husband’s corpse.  The sister in law approaches the journalist and angrily tells him they want everyone to know what is occurring.  That not only do taxi drivers have to pay piso, they are ordered to collect piso.  To refuse, means death.
 
                      


Sources:


Cancun beach violence sends shock waves far and wide

The Cancun that tourists don’t often see: soaring murders amid a bloody drug war

Acapulco is now Mexico’s murder capital

43 comments:

  1. well isn't that great...I am on my way to Cancun in less then 3 weeks.

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    1. Yes we decided to go to florida

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    2. Don't worry, you'll be fine. It's like any other city, if you were to check the crime stats for cities like Miami, Venice beach or Hollywood you'd be afraid to visit there also... If you have a chance, try making reservations at Peter's Restaurante. Reat service and the food is really good.

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    3. Ya just like any other city. Except u might see a few beheaded corpses, might get kidnapped, depending on how meth the locals did, for ransom, although if u agree to shove a kilo up ur butt and get it back in the US they let u go. Have a great trip!!

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    4. I was just there, stay in your lane and enjoy the beautiful sites that are available to you. I did not feel a single moment of insecurity. Playa del Carmen is definitely much calmer than Cancun, but both felt equally safe, and if you're able, head over to Isla Mujeres, you will not regret it.

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    5. I don't usually comment but when I was in Cancun many years ago, I was quite green on the subject. That was year the new mayor was tortured and killed. I presume because he didn't want to play ball. We knew something big happened because the Mexican navy had warhships in the ocean just off the coast and military patrolling the streets. After we arrived in Cancun on our way to our resort our taxi was pulled over by the local police. We were told to pay $10 usd each (the reason they gave as to why I forget) or we would be detained. So despite a huge Military presence that still happened. I am sure it is safe if you stick to major attractions/bars/resorts for the most part but don't think tourists are 100% safe like back home. I bet that is going to deteriorate as the cartels continue to fight for territory and money becomes tight. The legalization of marijuana is going to hurt the bottom line for them all.

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    6. Yes, don't worry, you'll be fine. You won't risk getting tortured and killed the same way in any other city in the U.S.A., and your perp will not go scott free from lack of forensic and investigative measures in any other city in the U.S.A.

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    7. KG, go ahead, listen to the fear mongers. I was there in November. I visited Tulum, Chitchen Itza,Coba, 3 different xenotes, a small town called Valladolid, playa del carmen. I had a great time. Anyone who is telling you otherwise is basing it off of what they read and not what they've experienced.

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    8. You'll be fine!!! Went to tulum/playa twice in the last year... a lot of federal / military presence in the playa / Cancun area...

      I feel safer in Cancun than high school parties back in the day in the hood lol!!

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    9. @January 23, 2018 at 8:51 PM

      Let me know if you need a spot, no need to spend trillons on a hotel, Isla Mujeres is beautiful and not very expensive. PDC is ugly AF and expensive, no idea why people like it. It's pretty safe out here, don't go flaunting cash, trade your currency in for pesos and you'll have no troubles, have fun! -kao

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    10. Just stay out of the downtown area, that where you will witness daytime gunfights or dead bodies on the street. You should be fine in the tourist zone

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    11. Go to Cancún and enjoy all the Carne Asadas, yummy!
      I only wish Hannibal Lecter had had a chance, he would be taking care of the worst and the most deserving.
      --That investigator of the PGR Acapulco looks real fat, never misses a meal.
      Private taxi companies are always fighting with chocolate taxis and ubers for "their business" and in Cancun former gobernador Roberto Borges left many mañosos that still want to be fed or else, and people fighting for "theirs" now that Borges is out of the scene, I guess a program of whistle blowers is out of consideration, how about people submit a name or two every week to be summarily executed?
      It could be a director of police or municipal security, he takes 2 or 3 lieutenants with him for good .easure.
      Of course, AutoDefensas are illegal by "federal law"

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  2. What gangs are disputing Cancun?

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  3. What a complete mess. Mexico is getting worse by the day. The Mexican government needs to reach out and ask for help like the Colombians did during Escobar’s reign of terror.

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    Replies
    1. Assistance requires a true / honest inattentive from government officials. Not the half attitude behavior and response that has attributed to the current situation!

      E42

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    2. The only way that happens is if the federal government officials start getting assassinated like Escobar attacked the Colombian government. At the moment its just the municipal and state officials that are getting knocked off. As long as that is the norm those assassinations will receive little attention.

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    3. @9:47
      The assassinations of municipal officials, politicians and policemen aren’t sufficient enough for action?
      And this is a clear understatement to all those other professions who have become victims of such violence ( journalists, teachers, business owners, taxi drivers, Human Rights activists, ordinary civilians).

      Need i say more!

      E42

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    4. The assassinations of students, journalists, teachers, housewives and their children, the feminicides, kidnappings for ransom or just to murder for the hell of it, taxi drivers,
      Human rights activists, and ordinary citizens is all blood on the government''s hands, because they have abrogated themselves the billions of dollars from the US, the weapons, the manpower, and the ill conceived plans for exploitation of the hijacked country of Mexico.
      The cartels and their sicarios will never be as thoroughly evil and corrupt as the Mexican Meretricious Politicians.

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  4. Free El Chapo to take care of all the roaches.kill all the thugs starting with Los Zetas

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  5. KG Enjoy your holiday.I'm sure you will have a great time.Wish I could trade places with you.

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  6. Kinda hard to launder money w no tourists..it seems obvious the cartel's end game is a complete narco state..u can't give away a Mexican timeshare.

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  7. nicely written and put together. thank you profe. just wondering-are you a profe in mexico?
    or estados unidos?

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  8. Failed State.

    They can no longer keep the wolves at bay in Cancun, they will lose it with in a year of two.

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  9. The video was very honest and realistic. I'm supposed to go to Acapulco next week and what sucks is that I carry in the back of my mind that bullets don't stop until they hit something. wrong place wrong time is my fear, not kidnapping or robbery, but it really has either become a ghost town or a lower class vacation ground. I honestly don't see how it can get better in Acapulco so I hope they straighten shit up fast in Cancun.

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    Replies
    1. Beautiful place written and reported B.B..
      When will it take the government to do what’s necessary?
      Ghost towns are becoming more apparent in Mexico than ever before!

      Great story again B.B.

      E42

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  10. Good on Señor Mimenza; may more join the fight. that is what is needed, a fight brought by the business people that are affected the most, not only do they bring in tourists dollars but provide jobs......it will be brutally hard but every town needs to start from the ground up. More Free Phones !!

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    Replies
    1. Free phones have lighted up revolutions like the Arab Spring, Egypt, Ukraine, but nobody expected to see their cities bombed back to the stone age or to see so many casualties of a war that just rains fire from above...revolutions are much worse than evolution in Peace and in the end worse people always come and take over to sink the progresistas back in the mud.

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  11. The only good extortionist is a dead one.

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  12. Cancun is done. Next year it will be obvious with the drop in tourist.Cabo had 30K in reservations this year. Dumb 'cartels'don't realize, no tourists = no money for extortion etc.

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    Replies
    1. It's deeper than extortion.

      No resorts=no money laundering

      You can't launder money through all-inclusive resorts if it's obvious to the naked eye that there's nobody staying in your hotel

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  13. I remember going to Cancun in the early eighties and the mantra I remember hearing was Cancun will not be turned into another Acapulco (meaning not to overdevelop), Playa del Carmen was still advertised as a fishing village with just a few hotels. We used to vacation in Mexico often as a kid (both caribbean and pacific). Discovered Mexico again with my family over the last 6 years with frequent visits to Tulum and the yucatan (lake bacalar, palenque) Had wonderful times with my infant,toddler girls and wife driving around the yucatan. Never felt unsafe. 2016 we decided to try the Pacific/Mazunte. Looking for the "new Tulum" / laid back eco place with bohemian vibe. Tulum lost that a few years ago. Long story short 2nd night in Mazunte my tells me she is picking up a weird vibe from this place (my wife works for an NGO and is an experienced traveller/ she has been to Liberia/ was in Bangladesh during the riots a few years ago ect.. and so on). But we were ignorant for the most part about Mexico. Again long story short, we (including 2 girls under 5) end up in a cab that ends up driving us out into the Mexican countryside. I looked at my wife and we know what's up. Panic, nausea and that cold chill that engulfs your body when you know something is not right. Thank god the let us go. I don't know why. We don't speak spanish/maybe that helped us. Maybe they confused us with someone else (my wife is Indian/India and thought she was mexican). I remember her telling the woman who got in the cab later on in the drive(there was another man that got in when we got in) that she was not Mexican and does not speak Spanish. I don't know but they let us out. Still f*cks with me. That's how I found this website. Confused, trying to figure out what happened. We have theories. Anyway, I don't ever see us going back to Mexico. Too bad, because we really loved Mexico. Stunningly beautiful. No place in the world like it.

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    1. Interesting story!So did they just let you go out in the countryside, then? Did they say much to you?

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    2. Roberto Borges, the star governor EPN gave as an example of new priistas along Cesar Duarte "El Capulina", Javier Duarte DE Ochoa "la marrana", guillermo Padrés, etc, instituted mega-corruption of a magnitude never seen, he let gangs of narcos set their feet in Quintana Roo, but a the Yucatan peninsula is full of anti-environment investors and greedy mother fakers ready to murder for a set of taxI license plates, that is what tourism brings after a while, better stay on your branch on your own tree than feed the monkeys of Mexican politics.

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  14. They should take a special ops group and Start taking out cartel leaders and their soldiers! That would work

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    Replies
    1. Special Operations groups are all after an easy buck the government does not pay them anymore, 5hey get it from I stigating crime wherever they go, including the Middle East,
      and mexico, creating IED squads in Iraq and Afghanistan to make the war last, until the last billion dollar is extorted, hijacking police departments on the US and around the world for private contract on the US, and bemoaning the lack of balls of Obama that won't engage in more war somewhere in the world for their benefit, they also did benghazi and ISIS, THEY IS MONEY THERE IN CREATING THOSE CONFLICTS, and more in selling out your country, let's talk, beer on the Seychelles anybody?

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  15. Violence in Mexico will never stop until criminals start paying for their actions. It's as simple as that. No one is scared to kill someone because they know there is no punishment and if there is, prison is one huge party full of privileges (drugs, alcohol, bandas, and oh yeah, prostitutes)

    Hate to say this but Mexico needs a Dictator who will clean the whole country up from top to bottom. Look at history (China, Singapore, Columbia, etc) or the present situation in the Philippines. People call it inhumane, but eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth.
    (and yes i'm Mexican, born in Guadalajara and raised in the U.S.)

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    1. 4:51 prostitutes LOOVED "admiral" Emilio eduard massera, he murdered citizens, his people raped prisoners and sold their children, massera paid his prostitute models with jewelry and expensive apartments acquiet from his victims or with money's his MONTONEROS paid him as his moche, all while "cleaning Argentina" for his master puppeteers with the other junta members, only his pinchis putas loved dictator admiral massera.

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  16. I first went to Acapulco in l960s and remember our bus stopping abruptly and people got on the floor. We were naïve but did what everyone else did. There was shooting in front of the bus and men with guns trying to kill ea other. This was my intro to Acapulco. Our driver started the bus when they had passed and we made it to our hotel safely. I asked him what it was about,,he said a Family feud. Mexico has always been quite lawless. The "Mordida" has always been the law of the land. Cartels and their blood money rule Mexico. Sadly. I will not go there anymore.

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    1. 9:18 the "family feud" where the copreros were demanding a pay rise of $0.15 cents of a peso per kilo of coconut, equal to 1 cent USD, got them assassinated and persecuted by the federal mexican government and their military, it led to the creation of the Poor People's Party and the guerrillas of Lucio Cabanas and Genaro Vazquez Rojas, used by Ruben Figueroa Figueroa to become senator and governor of the state of guerrero and earn a permanent place in Mexican politics, his son and his friends keep murdering gherrerenses, they own the caciques and they have the military, state and federal police and hundreds of dozens of sicarios at their beck and call, only an ignorant person would believe in narcos and family feuds as the source of guerrero' problems, that won't be me...

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  17. When i was working for a short time in Cancun about 10 years ago, i asked a shop owner who was selling weed, how they keep the police away.

    He said.. "oh thats easy, we just pay them 2000$ every year to leave us alone"

    So obviously there is a mututally beneficial relationship with police and cartel.

    The end

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