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Narco violence in Mexico out of control disarmed people

Mexico has some beautiful beaches. Where the beach patrol sports now sports body armor and military rifles, to guard against drug cartel violence. One Mexican real estate developer – Carlos Mimenza – employs 200 men to keep his family safe in the Playa del Carmen resort area.

True story. Cartel violence has encroached on tourist areas, once thought safe. Of course, if a real estate developer needs a 200-man army to keep his family safe, what’s the ordinary Mexican to do in a nation with corrupt authorities and strict gun control laws?

Today, narco-violence risks Mexico’s $20 billion tourist industry. The protective bubbles surrounding popular tourist areas have shrunken, or in some places (e.g., Acapulco) evaporated completely. Cartel thugs simply don’t care who ends up dead as they pursue their enemies.

Our neighbors south of the Rio Grande have tallied over 12,000 homicides this year, including a record-breaking 2,234 in June. That makes Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods seem almost tranquil.

Bloomberg has the story on the increasing danger to visitors at Mexico’s popular vacation destinations – along with the locals.

The narco-traffickers already hold sway over swaths of Mexico, either co-opting state officials or openly defying them. Now they’re encroaching on the country’s spring-break meccas like never before, leaving bodies in suitcases outside exclusive condos, or shooting up nightclubs. The bubble that’s protected international beachgoers is threatening to burst.

…That’s because Guzman’s Sinaloa Cartel had been weakened, and its upstart rival, the Jalisco Nueva Generacion gang, emboldened. Their turf war intensified and spread to previously peaceful oases like Cancun and Playa del Carmen on the Caribbean, as well as west-coast destinations like Los Cabos. In Quintana Roo state, which includes the former two resorts, the murder rate has doubled this year; in Baja California Sur on the Pacific, it’s almost quadrupled.

Mexico drug cartel violence homicides

While Mexico’s tourist numbers continue to hold steady, other numbers show that prudent visitors stay on the resort properties.  After all, nobody wants to stumble into a gun battle between cartels or the authorities.

Just as in American cities plagued by violence, the local Mexican officials know that reports of violence drive down tourism. They try to keep the bloodshed out of the media, but anyone with internet access can read the news.

Of course, the locals working in the service industry feel the pinch as violence-leery tourists stay on the beaches and out of the surrounding towns. Also from Bloomberg:

… Tourists might still be in their rooms and on the beach, but fewer are coming into town. Sales at Victoria’s Secret on Quinta Avenida, Playa del Carmen’s main drag, have tumbled 50 percent. They’re down 24 percent at the Swatch store next door. Martin Perez, who waits tables at a nearby restaurant, said he makes a quarter of the tips he used to.

Many locals can pinpoint when things started to go wrong. In January, right off Quinta Avenida, five people were gunned down during an electronic music festival at the Blue Parrot. Perez’s voice trails off as he looks over at the now boarded-up nightclub.

“This is where the debacle of my people began,” he said.

Thankfully, here in America, we have the right to keep and bear arms. Over 6% of Americans have carry licenses today, and still more carry in Constitutional Carry states where permission slips aren’t required.

Unlike Mexico, Americans have the right to firearms for self defense. We use them to stop violent attacks millions of times each year. On those rare times when the authorities can’t or won’t stop violence, gun owners often step up to the plate.

Thanks goodness we live in America where the Founders had the foresight to enshrine that right.

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  1. Don’t go to that ads crack country. Their tourism will drop out and they’ll go broke leading to more Narco activity until it implodes on itself.

  2. My brothers and I walked all over Acapulco as kids in the ’70’s while my parents golfed. My father had done the same in the 50’s. That is long gone. No way would I let my kids walk around Acapulco. Too bad. It was a very nice place with friendly people.

    Now I watch cities in my own country following the same downward spiral….

    • Spend a week in Acpalulco in the 80’s Stayed at Acpalulco Princess Hotel. Very nice hotel, but tour of downtown on a bus, noticed police monitored the area in open top Jeeps with mounted machine guns and hotel had a high rock wall with embedded broken glass surrounded the grounds except for beaches.

      It’s a beautiful part of Mexico but the extreme security decided to not visit any where my LTC is not allowed

      • Dude, pretty sure your EDC is not going to help you in a cartel shootout, unless your EDC is full battle rattle.

        • Slightly different situation down there.

          Whip out your EDC (even just to protect yourself) as a civilian and you’ll be drawing fire from both sides, be it cartel on cartel, or cartel on cops.

    • Trump is on the right track to round up and deport every last illegal from this country. Now it’s up to us to make it clear to dumbassocrats and liberals if they interfere, they can be removed one way or another! They were responsible for this for 8 years along with the monkey! I would have no problem sending them south with no ID, phone, money, or passport!

      • Really ? You think there was no illegal immigration before Obama ? The height of the illegal immigration population in this country was in 2007. Who was President then ? By the way, it has declined almost every year since then.

        • Obama give the illegals jobs, voter IDs and freephones with a promise of citizenship
          Obama was the worst manmade disaster to ever strike the USA..

        • Actually most of the jobs given to them are by Republicans. If you don’t think republicans LOVE all that illegal immigrant cheap labor then you’re a gullible fool.

        • It is true that both Democrats and Republican politicians have favored illegal immigration one way or another. The major difference is that the Democrats have now officially made it their policy to embrace illegal alien activity and expand their presence in this country. Republicans have up until recently adopted a “quiet acceptance” of illegal alien activity.

          Illegal Aliens coming across the border declined in 2007 because of two major factors: One is the economic recession/depression that occurred (staring under a Republican President and Democrat controlled Congress) and the changing metrics in which the number of illegal aliens were caught and turned around at the border.

        • We invaded Vera Cruz in 1914, and went after Pancho Villa as late as 1917. We’ve been invaded since, and should return the favor, Mexico’s nice enough that they might not even want to vacation here.

        • Fbomb has almost drowned drinking the Kool Aid. Obama imported illegals by the trainload. Every disease that has been unknown in the US for fifty years has reappeared under Obama’s colonization program. You can’t be a demorat unless you import jihaddies, deviants, Africians, drug dealers, gang bangers, and the usual demorat voter.

          And we all know that illegals don’t vote; nor collect welfare; nor commit crimes. Why my best friends are illegal, transexual, jihaddies, who have monkeys on their back who earn a great living selling heroin to grade schoolers while attempting to join MS-13 or the crips. But hey it was much worse under Clinton, right?

          So tell us more fairey tales about what righteous citizens these people are. That’s why Mexico, El Salvador, Libya, Syria are such paradises.

        • @Yellow Devil — The 2007 recession actually started under a DumbassoKKKrat President and a Republican-controlled Congress (not a big surprise there), expanded under a Republican President and a DumbassoKKKrat-controlled Congress (also not a big surprise there), and burst under another DumbassoKKKrat President and a divided Congress who then deliberately did literally everything in their power to stagnate the economy and hamper its “recovery” (still no big surprise there).

          A “recovery” that still hasn’t even happened, by the way, and probably won’t. Not a full one even in a best-case scenario, anyway.

      • you do understand your talking now about American citizens. Who are you to deport a legal American citizen just because they may not agree with your politics. Thats not how democracy works.

  3. I’m going to mildly object to the picture painted by this article only because I travel to Mexico frequently for work (Guadalajara and DF/Mexico City). Much like certain parts of the US, say the near west-side of Chicago, there are definitely parts of Mexico that one would not want to be present in. However, the major business centers, Guadalajara specifically, are infinitely nicer to visit than ANY coastal US big city. Now, it is true that the average patrol officer in Mexico is almost always wearing a plate carrier (more on this in a moment) and a long gun, but this is much more a show of force than anything else, same reason why ‘squad trucks’ of officers in Mexico ALWAYS drive around with lights on. There’s also no standard issue of anything as far as I can tell, I’ve seen guys carrying FALs with 5.7 sidearms, to Remington 870s with a wheelgun of some kind (sorry I’m not a revolver guy and my dad wasn’t around to ID it for me) and those plate carriers I referenced earlier almost never have plates. I say all that to say that while Mexico definitely has a systemic narco issue, it is not nearly as pervasive as TTAG would make it out to be.

    • TTAG isn’t making anything out to be anything. Reporting on the reporting is not alarmism, fake news, or made-up junk. Reports are what they are. Have you anything to dispute the reports, other than your sole experience?

      When the army and police collaborate with the cartels do kill-off the “Autodefensas”, you have a failed nation, a rogue nation. One that is boiling over into the US.

    • Reggie, I agree with you. Mexico can’t accurately be painted with a single broad brush. There remain places where it is relatively safe to travel. That said, one must still know which places are safe; that’s not easy for a gringo to know.

    • ” However, the major business centers, Guadalajara specifically, are infinitely nicer to visit than ANY coastal US big city.”

      OK. But how many tourists want to visit business centers?

  4. Quintana Roo — including Cancun, Cozumel, Tulum and Playa del Carmen — were once the coolest places in the hemisphere. I used to take vacations and long weekends there, up to six times a year. I loved the food, the booze and the people.

    Now, things are out of hand. While those places aren’t as dangerous as some in Mexico, they’re getting there. I won’t be going back.

    Mexico is so corrupt that it makes Chicago seem well-governed.

  5. My wife and I honeymooned in Playa del Carmen 11 years ago. Even then, there were police armed with SMGs stationed on every corner of the main drag. Leaving the resort was like stepping into a different world.

  6. It might be well for Mexico to file criminal charges against Barack Obama, Eric Holder, and numerous BATF agents, and then file for extradition.

    This won’t happen because prominent leftists are apparently untouchable, but I can dream, can’t I?

    • Ok, Obama can be third in the line right after GW Bush and Dick Cheney for war crimes and Trump for treason. This won’t happen because prominent conservatives are apparently untouchable, but I can dream, can’t I?

  7. Legalize it. *ALL* of it. Every damn bit of poison. Make it legal, and the profit margin goes away.

    • And when the huge profits go away, so will the violence. No one is going to fight a running gun battle with police over a 15% markup. Now when the profit margin is in four digits, killing to protect that gravy train seems like the logical thing to do… at least for many of low conscience level.

      • And then the cartels and the gangs will … do what, exactly? Keep in mind these are ruthless and violent people who are used to bringing in large amounts of cash. Do you seriously think they will quietly go to work selling insurance and used cars? Or do you think they would look for other areas to move into, other “lines” that could turn a profit for them?

        No. While I agree with legalization of many drugs, I want to see that happen because I opposed criminalization of “victimless” crimes, not because I think it will instantly shut down the violence.

        • Mexico is the most affluent country south of our border. They have copious natural resources and a population that is industrious and productive. Maybe if they had a little revolution and got rid of the 200 families that are corruptly running the place things might improve.

          On the other hand I have noticed that there is a cultural issue with morals and ethics with countries that have been touched by the Spanish and Portuguese in the past. It seems that corruption is rampant in the countries, not sure why. Bolivar had to deal with it back in the day. He could never trust anyone to do anything right for long, always out for themselves.

        • To Desert Dave:

          It’s in the language. In English, it’s: “I dropped it.” In Spanish it’s: “It fell from me.” See the difference? In English one takes responsibility for one’s actions, and one wears the consequences, whereas in Spanish an inanimate object is responsible for its failure to stay within my grasp. And then there is the siesta. Working during the day is surrendered to the need to party at night.

          So basically, one culture is grown up, where the other is permanently adolescent and cannot be taken seriously. Treating Catholic Latin countries at the same level of development as Western countries is a big mistake, and only results in unnecessary subsidies from the West to Latin America. The Latins who are hard working are still subject to corrupt rulership, which undermines their efforts. Many idealistic Latins end up being massacred by murderous regimes. And thanks to its proximity to party hard USA, Mexico is now effectively a narco state where the most bloodthirsty killers have the most power. And yet we treat them like they matter. Maybe Trump has it right after all.

      • If all drugs were legalized, the cartels would turn to kidnapping, extortion, large scale robbery etc to generate income. The killing for sport will continue regardless of the legal status of drugs — they have become addicted to it. The violence is already here in the US and will get much worse. In my county a few years ago, two illegal aliens were caught driving around with a torso in the bed of their truck.

        Anyone who thinks legalization of drugs will make the violence go away is naive.

        • They’re already involved in all of those things. However, narcotics is the single largest black market industry by FAR, with arms trailing very far behind and prostitution/human trafficking slightly behind that (which, by the way, the cartels are already balls deep in both of).

          There is simply no other way to make up for that revenue source if it were to be lost. This exact same argument was used about ending Prohibition, and yet, those once powerful gangs no longer exist. At all.

          Legalize drugs and they lose a HUGE chunk of their income that simply cannot be made up in any other ways. If that were to happen tomorrow, a huge spike in violence would be inevitable, as they would suddenly be fighting over a MUCH smaller pie. But it would pass, and their power and influence would plummet.

          No, buddy, YOURE the naive one.

        • There was a shoot out this last week in Mexico City between the Federallies and some gang that evidently makes over a billion $$$ a year stealing fuel from government pipelines, among their other hobbies.

          It’s a shame too, San Miguel de Allende is such a cool city. Americans and Canadians still throwing money into houses there like Acapulco in the 70’s and Cancun in the 80’s, thinking the narco terrorist will leave it all alone and never bother the gringo’s.

        • Like the Mafia stopped killing after the repeal of the Volstead Act in 1933 ???
          The murder and crime rates in Colorado have gone UP drastically in the last two years, which is the opposite of what naive folks like YOU predicted after the legalization of marijuana there.
          Many folks cannot afford the exorbitant price of legal weed and will kill if necessary to get the money for it.
          Dope and alcohol screw up your brain and logical thought becomes difficult. It may make you feel smarter, but you’re not.

        • Bob Jones you are being very misleading with your “Like the Mafia stopped killing after the repeal of the Volstead Act in 1933 ???” The murder rate did rise during prohibition and did drop after it was repealed. The murder rate also went up after the Harrison Narcotic Act took effect in 1915. Also in Colorado the burglary as well as general property crime went down by about 9% in the year after legalization. The murder rate when down significantly in the first year of legalization and back up to what it had been in the second. The data for 2016 is unavailable yet as far as I know. With marijuana it is also usually the the traffickers that kill for reasons related to it, not the consumers. That spike in 2014 could be for any number of unrelated reasons. We can’t yet pin the tail on that one.

        • Red in CO: “Legalize drugs and they lose a HUGE chunk of their income that simply cannot be made up in any other ways. If that were to happen tomorrow, a huge spike in violence would be inevitable, as they would suddenly be fighting over a MUCH smaller pie. But it would pass, and their power and influence would plummet.”

          The drug cartels are in business for one thing: money.
          GM is in business for one thing: money.
          Any business is in business for one reason: to make money for the owners. While GM sells cars (and other things), they sell them to make money.
          That’s the same reason drug cartels sell drugs: to make money.
          If that avenue of money-making goes away, the cartels will not go away. Yes, they are already into other avenues of money-making. Yet, you seem to think these other avenues would not be enough, and the cartels would go away if drugs were made legal.
          If gasoline were made illegal, would Exxon go away? Of course, not, they would find another way to make money.
          Illegal enterprises exist to make money, pure and simple. If that way (drugs, for example) were to go away, there are plenty of other illegal money-making schemes around.

        • “Anyone who thinks legalization of drugs will make the violence go away is naive.”

          Can you come up with *ANY* reason not to try it?

          • If legalizing all drugs will result is less drug abuse, then do it. If legalizing all drugs will result in elimination of all drug-related crime, then do it. If legalizing all criminal behavior and enterprise will result in zero crime, then do it.

            I am all for “More of something means less of something” thinking.

    • Even if the U.S. legalizes drugs, it still retains the right to restrict trade coming into the country. I doubt the politicians (or even many citizens) will favor importing recreational drugs from Mexico if it can be produced legally in the country. Not to mention the other side of the coin is that all those laws saying “it is a federal offense to use this in a manner not consistent with its original purpose” will have to be repealed as well, because now you are saying legal drugs such as heroin is legal but not huffing paint is.

      Personally, although I favor eliminating many of the drug laws on the books, we will have to re-institute personal responsibility into this country, or at the very least make it so I’m not the one paying the bill for everyone going to ER for overdosing.

  8. Mexico, like England is a failed state. Mexico will implode into barbarism. England will accept sharia law.

  9. It’s just a matter of time before a decent size group of American kids go missing or are killed, the tourism industry will disappear shortly thereafter.

  10. Today, narco-violence risks Mexico’s $20 billion tourist industry.

    At risk today? Mexico’s narco-violence put their tourist industry at risk 15 years ago when I decided to never enter Mexico again.

    And I really mourn the loss, which is a HUGE loss. Mexico has some of the finest scenery, hiking, beaches, fishing, food, and people in the world. Mexico would be my ONLY vacation destination if they had low crime/corruption levels and I could be armed as I would be in Arizona or Texas.

    Instead, I go to Florida or Arizona for the past 15 years.

  11. You’re missing one thing, John. Mexico’s ‘founding fathers’ also gave the nation a ‘2nd amendment’ to protect their rights to the lawful means of self defense and removal of tyranny. The only difference between us and our brethren in the south is that they foolishly let themselves be convinced by the lies of politicians who swore that they were ‘enlightened’ and no longer needed such a thing because the government would be there to protect them. Mexico’s descent into barbarism is a lesson for us here. If we don’t fight tooth and na, our rights WILL be taken, sacrificed on the altar of socialism and ‘feelings’.

  12. Mexico is on the way to surpassing Syria as the most dangerous place in the world.
    Americans with illegal drug habits are primarily to blame and should bear the cost.

  13. I lived there, mostly Baja Sur and Bahía de Banderas for 2009 – 20014. It wasn’t the violence, corruption, or inability to legally have a firearm on my boat that persuaded me to leave, but they played a large part in the decision. I never directly witnessed cartel violence and I roamed all over small towns and cities, day and night. Corruption and it’s effects, however I witnessed directly every day. It was completely pervasive. I was also indeed trepidated when I was 50 miles off shore and a power boat would approach my sail boat. I had improvised weapons that utilized gasoline readied in case the worst should happen. I was almost always a little afraid when I saw even a panga that was apparently a fishing boat headed our way. I knew more than one person who was murdered in those years. I don’t know how many because a few deaths were not obviously murder, even if they were suspicious.

  14. I used to vacation in Mexico
    I took my sailboat down there twice
    (With firearms on board)
    Loved Baja and the Sea of Cortez
    I will not go there now
    The political situation is just too unstable
    Keep coming to Florida!
    We love our tourists
    Uncommon sense, message me and I will take you out to my secret shooting spot out by the Everglades next time you are in South Florida
    We can blast away with my new CZ Scorpion with Bair Arms bumpfire device
    It’s guaranteed to make you smile to shoot 9 mm full auto!

    • We were boarded by the Mexican Navy, Marines, and other government agents so often that I would have had a heart attack had I had a firearm on board. They never searched us thoroughly at all though. Once in PV they brought dogs to the marina and even without a firearm hidden and only a legal amount of dubage aboard I about went catatonic from a panic attack. I didn’t even know the Marines and agents were there until some sound made me pop my head out the companion way and see four marines surrounding docked boat with rifles at the load ready. My dog may be pretty smart, she didn’t bark at them at all even though she did mildly at other people she didn’t know. She was in the cockpit just watching them quietly.

    • Docduracoat,

      I’ll take you up on your offer the next time I am in Florida. (I was in south Florida this past December … sorry I missed you.) Until I make it over your way, enjoy that CZ Scorpion and make sure it is properly broken-in!

    • Docduracoat I too live in south Florida tell me more about this secret spot because I don’t like to go to the range with all their rules

  15. Mexico’s population is 127.5M. Chicago’s is 2.7M. Chicago had 804 homicides last year. According to this article, Mexico had 2,234 murders in June. That means Chicago still has a higher murder rate than Mexico. Chicago murder rate = ~29.8, Mexico = 21.0. 42% higher murder rate in Chicago than in Mexico. Mexico is safer than Chicago. Yikes.

    • “A: 950/1,000 murders occured in Chicago last year. That would give it a murder rate of just over 10 in a city of 9.5m.

      B: Mexico’s rate is several times higher than it’s official number.

      Nice try.

      • @Gaz — I’ll take the liberty of adding to your response to FlamencoD here.

        C. You compared the total number of homicides in one city over a whole year to the total number of homicides committed across an entire country over one month and then tried to infer — erroneously, mind you — that said city is somehow more violent than a failed state. That’s not how statistics works.

        D. You also failed to notice, or conveniently ignored, the fact that this article also correctly stated that Mexico has seen over 12,000 homicides this year as of June. Ceteris paribus, as they say in economics, Mexico is on track to witness 24,000 homicides by years’ end — far and away a great many more, per-capita, than Chicago. Oh, and that’s just the “official” count, which we all know by now can’t be trusted because of rampant corruption at all levels.

  16. My wife and I have enjoyed the cruises out of Houston and Galveston for years. We don’t sail on those with western Caribbean itineraries, anymore, though, not even to Belize or Honduras, let alone Mexico. Their ports of call don’t have much that the eastern Caribbean ports don’t have.

    This year we’ll likely sail out of Miami for Atlantic or East Coast destinations. I know, it’s only a fraction of Mexico’s population that is involved in trafficking or the corrupt government that allows it. Still, there’s nothing I can do about it. They need to civilize their own country. Then maybe we’ll consider returning.

    • Everybody talks about Chicago as the poster child for high murder cities. Actually Chicago is not even in the top 10 murder rates in the USA.

    • Old goofy open carry obsessed Dean Weingarten actually wrote one of his goofy TTAG articles about “international reciprocity” in which he fantasizes about the Trump administration pushing through an international reciprocity law that would allow Americans to carry firearms in Mexico. Too funny!

      I fully support the national reciprocity effort even though it’s a long shot, but only a delusional dumb@$$ waste their time and keystrokes babbling on about international reciprocity with Canada or Mexico. Ain’t gonna happen.

  17. My wife and I honeymooned in Playa del Carman 5 years ago… sadly I would never go back now. There’s plenty of safer beaches in the States that are almost as beautiful.

  18. Until the police and the military can pay more than the drug cartels, it is just going to get worse.

  19. Couple things dears friends.
    Mexico provide the drugs that gringos consume, stop consuming and the cartels will disapear.
    Where the cartel get the firepower? You answer that with honesty…
    About getting those alliens out of American Land, that will be the best thing to. American people!
    Americans then will have to learn to plant they own food, to cut they own grass, to wash their cars and to do all those ugly jobs they do not want to do.
    They will become cleaners, gardeners, and will discover that being honest or dishonest is not about a culture or a country, but about every single individual.
    Also is my believe the the wall that protect American Land from people who only want to put food in their table also can protect Mexicans from outlaws runing
    Away from justice to Mexico and incorporating in to carteles.
    For the ones that want to go for vacations to Mexico is my advise to find others horizonts, no because the humble people but because the people in charge of the power conected with cartels, police, politicians,army,whealty corrupted familys, and if you decide to go anyways, then stay in the resort only.
    The resort has paid the protection cuote so people in leaved alone in there.
    Walk away from the resor and you will become the prey, not because the Mexicans, they have the same problem… But because the cartels

  20. If someone offered me a free vacation in Mexico and $10,000 for spending I’d probably laugh too hard to say “no” as I walked away. I had some friends who went to Cancun on their honeymoon in the late 90’s and they said almost the entire complex was surrounded by a big wall. They were asked to stay inside the compound at all times unless on an escorted visit outside it. They were told to never leave the rooms after a set time (I think it was 9 or 10PM). My friends said they decided to take a late night walk on the beach and were quickly met (on the beach) by a well dressed hotel security officer armed with an AK who firmly but politely told them to return to their room and not to leave it after the curfew again during their visit.

    They never saw any kind of violence but were told by some other people there that the wall and the request to stay inside it was to keep guests was to protect them more from seeing the violence occurring out there than protecting them from it because it was basically impossible to protect them if the cartels decided to attack the place. Made sense, instill a sense of security, hide the violence from them altogether and they keep coming back until it’s too public to hide.

    That was the late 90’s, it’s far worse now. I can’t imagine anyone thinking it’s actually safe to stay in these resorts. You’d have a safer vacation in Baghdad.

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