Tagged: Cancun

U.S. warns citizens about traveling to Cancun

(BLOOMBERG) — The U.S. State Department warned its citizens about traveling to parts of Mexico including Cancun and Playa del Carmen, as homicides rise at resorts popular with American tourists.

The advisory issued on Tuesday upgraded the warnings for two states, Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur, saying turf wars between crime gangs have led to a surge in violence. The only warning for Quintana Roo in a December statement was about lack of cellular and Internet service in some areas.

The expanded travel advisory hits at the heart of a tourism industry that brings in $20 billion a year for Mexico. The state of Quintana Roo, where the resorts of Tulum and Cozumel are also located, gets 10 million tourists a year, a third of the national total. The warnings come as homicides in Mexico are set to rise to their highest since at least the turn of the century. Quintana Roo alone has seen 169 murders this year.

“Shooting incidents, in which innocent bystanders have been injured or killed, have occurred” in both states, the U.S. warned. “While most of these homicides appeared to be targeted criminal organization assassinations, turf battles between criminal groups have resulted in violent crime in areas frequented by U.S. citizens.”

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Mexico captures Cancun Drug cartel boss

(OCCRP) — Mexican police arrested a woman suspected to be the leader of an organized crime group operating in the tourist resort areas of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, media reported Friday.

Leticia Rodriguez Lara, 48, known as “Dona Lety” or “La 40” is accused of running an independent criminal organization in Cancun that is affiliated with factions of the Sinaloa, Gulf, and Los Zetas cartels.

Her gang was involved in drug sales, extortion of bars and restaurants in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, and attacked those who refused to pay the fees demanded, according to Breitbart.

Dona Lety, a former federal police officer and an agent with Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office, bumped the powerful Los Zetas cartel out of the two resort cities in the last four years to start her own cartel, Mexico News Daily reported.

She did it by recruiting former members of the Zetas and Gulf cartel, as well as ex-convicts and presumably former police colleagues. Once in control of the cities, her criminal organization reigned over the sale of illegal drugs and began to expand into other illicit activities.

Dona Lety was arrested while traveling on the Puebla-Veracruz highway. She has been on Mexico’s wanted list since 2012.

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