The United States issued a travel advisory for the entire Quintana Roo, citing “crime and kidnapping” as potential threats in the state. However, according to Cancun officials, foreign governments and the media overstate their reports.
Jesus Almaguer Salazar, president of the Hotel Association of Cancun, Puerto Morelos and Isla Mujeres, one of the most important and politically significant organizations in the city, expressed his disappointment with the way the media exaggerates the cases, in response to the recent unfair classification of Quintana Roo as a dangerous state for kidnappings.
As he notes, crimes do happen, including the incredibly unusual occurrence of an abduction, but they mostly occur outside of Cancun, away from the heavily patrolled municipal beaches and Hotel Zone. Salazar observes how media outlets “manage” breaking news as if they had an impact on popular tourism destinations.
In order to prevent fearmongering, Salazar concludes, news must be “contextualized.”
Is Cancun safe to visit?
The Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System of Mexico has noted that between January and September of this year, only one kidnapping victim was reported in all of Quintana Roo, which is significantly less than previous estimates, which were already low.
The Mexican government requested the United States to be more “precise” in sending out warnings because they appear to no longer accurately reflect the situation on the ground. Although the country has asked for more transparency in conducting risk assessments, the request continues to be ignored.
Mexico, the most popular beach destination for Americans, is more tightly controlled than its competitors in Latin America or any other country abroad because each state in Mexico has a different risk rating, making tragic incidents easier and quicker to spot. In comparison, France as a whole has a national alert level.
With a Level 2 travel warning this fall, Cancun and Quintana Roo remain among the safest vacation destinations in Mexico. The four European nations sharing the same travel advisory are France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.