After the release of a video depicting Tulum police officers extorting money from tourists, local authorities have said that measures are being taken to combat corruption and safeguard visitors from mistreatment.
American tourists have been advised to be more cautious because of increased criminal activity on Riviera Maya’s top beach spots, but little has been said about what to do when that violence comes from their own police forces.
There have been documented cases of police officers escorting tourists to ATM machines in order to get them to pay bribes so visitors can get their driver’s licences back.
In a recent video, Police Chief Oscar Alberto Aparicio Avendao indicated that he would take legal action if members of his own police unit were caught extorting visitors.
He also urged citizens to report any acts of police corruption they have witnessed.
The police chief wrote on his Facebook page that he met with his team to confirm the officers’ commitment to tourists and locals alike.
Aparicio went on to say that the conversations he’s had with members of his police force have been positive. However, they do not seem to be enough to calm the public’s anger.
A few days ago, the US Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) issued a travel warning for Americans planning to visit Mexico for spring break.
OSAC officials told the Yucatan Times that Americans visiting south of the border should be aware of persistent crime in Mexico, including the possibility of robbery, sexual assault, and illegal drug usage, even in popular tourist areas.
As of today, the US Department of State recommends citizens to avoid all travel to Colima, Guerrero, Michoacan, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas due to crime and kidnapping.
And exercise increased caution when traveling to Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo and others also due to crime.