Crime in Los Cabos has had little effect so far on the tourist industry, according to local officials, but there is growing concern that it may soon do so.
Security efforts have been reinforced in the municipality in Baja California Sur but violence fueled by cartel warfare continues.
This week in particular has been a bad one with 19 people assassinated, including a deputy prison warden.
But the biggest story has been the discovery of a mass grave near the highway between San José del Cabo and Cabo Pulmo. It was found Tuesday and six bodies, decomposed to the point they were unidentifiable, were located.
The body count rose steadily during the week as the digging continued. As of yesterday there were 18, 13 men and five women.
“Uncovering that grave has uncovered the reality that we are living in the state,” said Alberto Rentería, a hospitality workers’ union official who is also state president of the political party Morena.
He described it as “a terrible reality” and one the state government has tried to keep hidden.
Until now the violence has not affected tourism, he said, but caution is advised due to the sensitivity of the industry to problems of crime.
The president of the Public Security Commission of the federal Chamber of Deputies also said tourism remained unaffected but stressed the need for federal and state coordination to contain the violence before any damage was done.
Jorge Ramos, from the neighboring state of Baja California, believes that rather than large deployments of security personnel the situation needs intelligence work.
Those security personnel working in Los Cabos now consist of 900 soldiers, 250 marines, 300 Federal Police officers and 50 agents of the federal Attorney General.
Root of the violence is believed to ongoing turf wars between three cartels: Sinaloa, Jalisco Nueva Generación and what remains of Tijuana.
For one San Diego travel agent, Cabo San Lucas continues to be an attractive destination for United States travelers.
Many of her clients choose Cabo for being a simple and quick escape from southern California, said Aimee Leon in an interview with the newspaper Reforma.
Source: Reforma (sp)