President Peña Nieto inaugurated a new military police base just north of Cancún, Quintana Roo, yesterday in which about 3,000 military police and their families will be housed.
Called Ciudad Militar (Military City), the facility is located in the municipality of Isla Mujeres opposite the island of the same name and is one of the measures adopted to address a growing crime problem.
Peña Nieto said that the location of the new base was chosen because of the importance of the area as a tourism destination.
Cancún and surrounding areas “should offer optimal security conditions for the millions of visitors who come here each year,” he said.
It is unclear whether the military police will patrol beaches in Cancún and other parts of Quintana Roo as they do in some parts of Mexico.
State Governor Carlos Joaquín González said he hoped that the new base would help authorities to get on top of the violent crime that has plagued Cancún in recent years.
“Criminals . . . have taken away our peace, have broken our social fabric, weakened our institutions and broken our family values,” he said at the inauguration.
The opening of Ciudad Military was well received by local hotel industry representatives.
Roberto Cintrón Gómez, president of the Hotel Association of Cancún and Puerto Morelos, said that he was confident that the deployment of military police to the base would help authorities to combat rising insecurity.
“We’re sure that things are going to work out well with the arrival of the military police,” he said.
José Chapur Zahoul, president of the Palace Hotel group, also applauded the initiative, declaring that “it’s always a good time to invest in security,” which he described as “the main ingredient of tourism success.”
Violent crime continues to rise in Cancún, forcing business owners to increase expenditure on security measures.
There were 342 homicides in the Caribbean coast resort city in the first eight months of 2018, according to statistics from the National Public Security System (SNSP), more than double the 148 murders recorded in the same period last year.