A scary time in Quintana Roo: violence rocks Cancun


As you surely know by now, back in November I was in sunny, plus-30 Celsius Cancun, Mexico on vacation. I did plenty of shopping, ate at a lot of good restaurants and watched countless football games on TV in the sports bars. All in all, a really good week. 

Unfortunately, it looks like I will not be going back for a while. This is all because of the narco-violence that has just broken out in the last few days in the state of Quintana Roo. 

First, there was a shooting attack on a nightclub in Playa del Carmen, about 50km to the south, during a music festival there. Five people were killed including at least one Canadian, and many others were injured. There were reports that it was actually two Canadians killed.

Then, just the other day, four people were killed in an attack on the state prosecutor’s office right in Cancun.

The mayhem even extended to the Plaza Las Americas mall where people were evacuated over gunfire fears, and that freaks me out because I was in that very same mall last fall! It’s a really big mall, too, with lots of American chain-stores and fast food joints. 

Anyway, this recent chaos is all worrisome. The drug war problems of the rest of Mexico seem to have finally hit the state of Quintana Roo, and that gives a lot of travellers pause.

This is worth keeping an eye on for the next while, to see if this is an isolated occurance or not. Part of the reason travellers like the Cancun area is because it’s been largely spared the mayhem of the rest of the country. If things do get bad there on a consistent basis, people will definitely be reassessing. Lots of other places have much the same things Cancun has, with the notable exception of drug cartels.

One example: if I ever feel the urge to browse the souvenir store at Señor Frog’s again, I could simply go to Las Vegas, because there’s a Señor Frog’s there, too! Right on the strip, at Treasure Island resort!

It’s also cheaper to fly to Vegas, come to think of it. I’ve said it before: tourists have options. 

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