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Security stepped up in Riviera Maya after criminal gang shootout

Tulum, Q.R. — Military and police have increased their presence in Tulum after a dispute between drug groups left two tourists dead. Head of the Ministry of Public Security (SSP) in Quintana Roo, Lucio Hernandez said it was a dispute over a central area of Tulum that caused the Wednesday night shooting.

“What happened here, which is reprehensible, is that these guys are fighting against each other (…), as I understand it, they are fighting for the area. They wanted to deprive (a man) of his life, but they repelled that aggression and unfortunately, we all know the result,” he said in an interview.

He added that they will proceed in accordance with the law and with all rigor against the “subjects who believe themselves more important, so-to-speak, than the authorities themselves.

“Things cannot stay this way. They will not win the fight,” he added. “We have been carrying out operations to recover the beaches, to snatch them (the beaches) from this group of criminals and free them for the enjoyment of our tourists and our families,” he explained.

Lucio Hernández said that these operations will continue, and that in Tulum, the Single Police Command, coordinated by the state government, prevails.

His words come around the same time as a travel recommendation was updated by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While some local media outlets have referred to it as a travel alert, governor Carlos Joaquin says it is not a warning, only a comment.

“It seems to me that this alert has not been given, there was a comment made about it, but it has not been given as an alert,” Joaquin remarked.

According to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, travel advice has been updated specifically for the towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum. The Ministry suggests vising nationals avoid leaving their hotels.

“In the Riviera Maya, particularly in Tulum and Playa del Carmen, there have been violent incidents that also affected German travelers, including deaths. These incidents take place in restaurants, clubs and discos frequented by tourists.

“If you are currently in the Tulum or the Playa del Carmen area, do not leave the secure facilities of your hotel.”

The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs also recommends using transport services with official sites at the airport and hotels, or those recommended by staff at accommodation centers. It also warns about violent robberies that have occurred aboard taxis.