At least 1,500 troops have been deployed to tourist destinations in Quintana Roo and Baja California Sur ahead of the upcoming Easter vacation.
In Quintana Roo, 600 soldiers will be stationed at 18 bases in the Riviera Maya, a tourist corridor that extends between the resort cities of Cancún and Playa del Carmen.
Governor Carlos Joaquín González said the security operation did not represent the militarization of the state, or that state and municipal police forces are incapable of containing organized crime.
Army commander Gustavo Nieto Navarro added that “military personnel have been positioned in the municipalities of Benito Juárez [Cancún] and Solidaridad [Playa del Carmen] with the objective of backing the civilian authorities, and with the firm intent of increasing the perspective and quality of security and social well-being.”
Neither state nor Sedena officials specified how long the soldiers will remain in the state, or what results are expected from their deployment.
With 75 homicides recorded in the state so far this year, Baja California Sur is one of 12 states that have seen historic levels of violence.
“An important contingent of Sedena officials, fully equipped and [supported by] intelligence units, will implement more forcefully the security strategies put forth by the [state’s Security] Coordination Group,” said the secretariat in a prepared statement.
This recent deployment of troops reinforces a group of at least 200 members of the Gendarmerie, who arrived to the state last January to support special operations.
The Holy Week vacation period starts officially on Sunday, April 9 and ends on Saturday, April 15, although some students get an extra week off.
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