There have been numerous reports and international headlines about crime in different parts of Mexico recently, but in Los Cabos, they’re cracking down on criminal activity by deploying soldiers on the beaches to help prevent crime. While much of the crime that takes place doesn’t affect tourists it does happen sometimes and security officials want tourists to know that they are safe when visiting the area. Security officials will also be touring nightclubs and bars in order to watch out for illegal behavior.
Much of the crime that concerns security officials has to do with the sale of illegal substances, which is the crime that most often affects tourists. This is why the bulk of the soldiers deployed to protect tourists can be found in places like Medano Beach, the marina, nightclubs, and bars. These are some of the most popular areas among tourists who visit Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.
The decision to implement the use of soldiers comes after meetings between the different branches of government brought to light the persisting prevalence of drug trafficking crimes in the area. In addition to soldiers, canines will also be used to seek out illegal substances in those areas, and so far their efforts seem to be effective. Just on August 28th alone, 18 people were arrested as a result of the security operations for misconduct involving drug trafficking.
Additionally, between the months of July and August, there were more than 60 operations carried out by the Canine Binomial Operation of the Ministry of the Navy in Cabo San Lucas. These operations were an effort to work against drug trafficking on the Los Cabos coasts, a crime that is considered a federal offense. In the meetings between government and security officials, the numbers of arrests were analyzed and it was found that the possession of illegal substances was the most prevalent crime.
Despite the continuing presence of crime in Los Cabos, though, tourists have reported in exit surveys, given to them when leaving the country, that they feel safe when visiting the popular tourist destination. The number of tourists that visit further proves that travelers are not deterred by the headlines reporting crime in the area. Just in the first half of the year, approximately 2 million people visited Los Cabos and tourist officials are predicting that another million will vacation in the area by the end of the year.
This isn’t the first time that soldiers have been deployed to protect tourists in Los Cabos, and it is actually a common practice, particularly in the busy seasons. During the summer months, more than 100 soldiers were deployed to Los Cabos for exactly this reason. The program was called “Operation Lifeguard Summer 2022,” and during that time the soldiers would tour the beaches to not only watch for illegal activity on the beaches but to ensure the safety of tourists in the water too.
That operation ran from July 29th to August 28th, which is the date when the 18 arrests were made. This is one of the busiest seasons for Los Cabos, with thousands of tourists flocking to the area to enjoy the sun, sand, and warm weather the area is known for. It is not clear if the arrests were made as a result of that operation or if it was a separate effort that led to the arrests.
The popularity of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo has grown significantly over the last year and a half. This year more tourists visited Los Cabos than ever before, making it a priority to provide protection for the people who vacation in the popular area. And as long as the tourists keep visiting, security officials will likely continue to perform these types of operations so tourists can feel safe in the much-loved vacation destination.