Cancun is a safer destination than Paris and Las Vegas according to the statistics it was announced by the Quintana Roo state Government. The statement was made while speaking to journalists about some of the recent violence that has occurred in the state.
Fernando Mora, who is the head of Quintana Roo’s Government Social Communication Coordination, made the claims based on the number of violent crimes, accidents, and deaths that have occurred in the state, and in particular Cancun.
The graph he presented highlighted that there were over 13 million tourists passing through the area in 2021, while only three reported deaths and 5 reported injuries were registered for the year. It is unclear as to what requirements were needed to be met to make this list. It is assumed that they must only involve violent crime, as there have most certainly been more fatalities and injuries due to other causes.
He was also quoted as saying the official number of complaints about violent or high-level crime among tourists was only 34. When put into a percentage, if the figures are correct, less than 0.1% of tourists are affected by the type of crime being discussed, making it safer on the whole than cities like Paris and Las Vegas.
The problem the Quintana Roo government is facing is the PR issues that come with the high visibility violent incidents. Gang violence and organized crime grab headlines, and several tragic events over the past year have put Cancun and the state as a whole under intense scrutiny from abroad in regards to tourist safety. Two tourists were killed in Tulum last year after being caught in the crossfire between two rival gangs. The deaths prompted an immediate reaction in the form of the national guard creating its new Tourist Security Battalion to patrol Quintana Roo and help lessen the chance of gang violence surfacing in tourist areas again.
Mora pointed out that despite the shocking nature of the event, the fact that two men involved were both members of an international organized crime group who were functioning in Mexico at the time. They were not just tourists like many of the initial headlines showed, and in fact, many of the larger outlets did not follow up with the same scrutiny once it was made clear that the men were partaking in organized crime. The event prompted do not travel warnings from the US and Canada, stating that violence is a high risk for tourists in the area. He even pointed out apparent hypocrisy from the Canadian government, who were quick to show concern for citizens in the area and warn Canadians about going to Mexico, while not acknowledging that those involved were members of a Canadian crime syndicate.
Whether the numbers Mora used are skewed or handpicked for the purpose of making a point, he does have some basis in the argument. The shocking nature of organized crime-related violence has a justifiable effect on people’s views of Quintana Roo. But the vast majority of any violence is confined to those circles and the tourists are rarely touched by the problems it produces.
The comparison to Paris and Vegas is very deliberate. Petty crime happens in these cities, just as it does in almost any other major urban settlement, but most tourists wouldn’t think twice about spending a week in Paris. Vegas actually has a high degree of tourist-related issues, partly due to the high use of drugs and the nightlife, but it still finds itself comfortably at the top of the most visited destinations in the US on a regular basis.
Cancun is surviving the bad press, and the numbers are still good. But if it hopes to continue its success long after the pandemic had gone, it’s going to have to do what it can to keep its image as crime-free as possible.
Source: The Cancun Sun
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