Crime and Violence · Organized Crime

Six Arrested in Cancun After Alleged Killing of Eight People

Source: Magazine Latino

02/29/2024 (written by cahtoong) – On February 12, six suspects were arrested in Cancun after killing and dismembering five people, and dumping three bodies in a shallow grave. According to Univision, the suspects were involved in acts of extortion, in which they were protected by motorcycle taxis and minors used as lookouts against police activity. At the time of arrest, various drugs and illegal firearms were seized, as well as taxis that were used to transport bodies. 

The five victims were found on January 29, and while investigating law enforcement officers were able to locate a clandestine grave. AP News reported these suspects operated a fake call center where they sold sports equipment and tour packages to tourists, but they failed to deliver them. The call center also had a drug trafficking operation on the second floor in which drug deals were made over the phone and delivered via motorcycle.

Effects of Drug Trafficking in Quintana Roo

Violence has become an ongoing issue in highly populated tourist areas in Quintana Roo. A week before the arrests of the six individuals, an American woman and Belizean man were shot at a beach club in Tulum. The woman was caught in the cross-fire, while the Belizean man was found carrying cocaine and unidentified pills leading police to assume he was a dealer. In 2021 two tourists, one German and a California blogger, were killed in a restaurant in which they were caught in the crossfire of a gang related shooting (Magazine Latino). 

Additionally, authorities fear how easily accessible drugs are in Quintana Roo, which is devastating to the tourist industry. AP news reported 23 pharmacies along Caribbean coast were found to be offering foreigners illegal narcotics such as oxycodone, Percocet, and Adderall with no prescription. 

Violence in QR and Tourism

Based on data from the National Public Security system of Mexico, in 2023 alone Cancun had  an alarming rate of homicides, with almost 500 deaths, mainly due to the increased organized criminal activity. The U.S.State Department issued a travel warning to “exercise heightened situational awareness” especially after dark in the resort areas of Cancun and Tulum. Even with these warnings Mexico’s Caribbean coastline still attracts tourists, and most foreign visitors will spend $31 billion in Mexico alone.

How is the Government Getting Involved?

According to the Cancun Sun, there has been an influx of National Guard and police force in Quintana Roo in order to protect tourists. Novedades reports that there are nearly 3.5 police officers per thousand in Quintana Roo alone which is higher than Mexico’s average of 2.8. Through the high influx of tourists, the police force aims to add surveillance systems throughout the city of Tulum. Government officials believe that the increase in police presence and technology will ensure tourists are generally safe (Cancun Sun).


“Detenidos seis sospechosos tras el hallazgo de cinco cuerpos desmembrados dentro de un taxi en Cancún.” Univision. February 14, 2024

Pena, Jose Rey. “Policía mexicana arresta a miembros de banda narco detrás del presunto asesinato de 8 personas en Cancún.” Magazine Latino. February 13, 2024

“Cancún: Cinco cuerpos desmembrados son encontrados en un taxi; hay 6 detenidos.” El Diario. February 13. 2024

“Mexican police arrest members of drug gang behind the alleged killing of 8 people in Cancun.” AP News. February 12, 2024

Thandi, Orisa. “Cancun Looks to Increase Its Police Force Permanently to Help Protect Tourists.” Cancun Sun. July 5, 2022.

Huerta, Enrique. “A Quintana Roo no le alcanza el número de agentes de la policía.” Novedades Quintana Roo. July 4, 2022.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *