The presence of federal security forces in Quintana Roo has been reduced despite high levels of violent crime in the tourism-dependent state.
Governor Carlos Joaquín González confirmed that Federal Police officers and members of the armed forces have been withdrawn.
There are only 100 federal security personnel currently deployed to security operations in the north of the state, where Cancún is located, while 150 more are engaged in active operational tasks in other parts of Quintana Roo.
A further 400 federal officers are carrying out intelligence work across the state.
But Joaquín hopes that once the national guard has been created, the numbers will significantly increase.
Most state congresses, including that in Quintana Roo, have now ratified the national guard proposal, meaning that the federal government can proceed with the process to create the new security force, which President López Obrador has pledged will reduce crime rates across the country.
The president acknowledged last week that the government hasn’t yet managed to reduce violence in Cancún but said that crime figures have fallen in other parts of Mexico such as Acapulco and Tijuana.
The homicide rate in Quintana Roo more than doubled last year to 44.63 per 100,000 inhabitants compared to 21.57 in 2017.
Joaquín last month announced a new 10-point strategy to combat insecurity in the state, which included the creation of a statewide mando único, or single command, policing system.
The governor expects that the homogenized force will collaborate with the national guard on security operations.
Insecurity in Cancún was cited as one reason why international arrivals at the city’s airport declined by 2% in January, the first year-over-year decrease for any month in almost seven years.
Among locals, perceptions of insecurity are also on the rise.
More than 90% of Cancún residents who responded to the National Survey on Urban Public Security late last year said that their city was an unsafe place to live.
Another indicator of resident’s concern manifested yesterday in the form of a 300-person-strong human chain for peace and security that stretched along Cancún’s Bonampak Avenue.
There have been 95 homicides in the resort city so far this year, according to the news site Infoqroo.