Or, I sat in an abandoned luncheonette, sipping imaginary cola, drawing faces in the tabletop dust… a follow up on an earlier story.
”Is it safe, Is it safe”, the human mental horror experience of the dental drill torture scene of 1976’s Marathon Man featuring Dustin Hoffman has come to mind recently when talking Cancun. For those unaware, last week, the new police chief of Cancun along with two others were abducted, tortured and murdered in the non tourist downtown area of Cancun with their bodies being subsequently dumped miles away from the city. Since then, most of us following the Cancun scene have witnessed numerous reports and heard questions from tourists and the generally inquisitive regarding whether Cancun is safe or not, typically starting out with, “is it safe”.
The question is becoming the equivalent of the Marathon Man treatment for those of us trying to answer amidst the flurry of recent reports on the situation. One Cancun local paper last week claimed to have access to a U.S. Travel industry daily report of some type saying that secretly, travel agents were being told not to recommend Cancun after the incident, but the press in Cancun like elsewhere in the world has been known to have their own agendas, this was followed by numerous articles and international reports on the situation.
The triple homicide was followed by the movement of the Mexican Army into various parts of the downtown and the establishments of security checkpoints along roadways in an attempt to block exit routes for the assassins while adding heightened security for the tourist zones and the downtown area where most of the locals have their homes. Below is a BBC Youtube Video of the International take on the situation and the road checkpoints courtesy of a virtual amigo, “Rayder”
Well, you say, Is it safe, Is Cancun Safe? Yes, Cancun is safe for tourists, particularly those that stay in the Hotel Zone enclave on Isla Cancun and travel along the Caribbean coastal highway 307 that runs along the Riviera Maya, which is exactly what most tourists do. In fact some tourists never even leave the hotel zone, so yes, Cancun in this writer’s opinion is quite safe for a destination that welcomes three million visitors a year. As per local press reports, the roadside checkpoints were also coming down as of Saturday, arrests have been made, an investigation is ongoing and a new Police Chief has been installed.
Personally, in the not so distant future, I’ll be in Cancun, visiting the downtown, the Hotel Zone, Isla Blanca, Isla Mujeres, Coba and whatever other area I can sneak off to, so yes, I consider Cancun safe.
Keep in mind, Cancun is a modern Mexican City built for tourism that has an urban center, often unnoticed by tourists, that over half a million hard working Mexican men, women and children call home. This is the area known as the Downtown, the mainland, attached to the sliver of land known as Isla Cancun where one finds the Hotel Resorts, Tourist Malls, Nightclubs and a variety of other dining and entertainment options for the discerning adult and family tourist alike. Cancun, downtown or otherwise is not filled with 1940’s movie stereotypes riding burros, wearing sombreros and Mexican women wearing huipals. Cancun city is a thriving urban environment with the same issues and problems facing most North American cities and is a melting pot of people and regional cultures from all over Mexico.
In the end though, Cancun is a modern world tourism city based on sun, sea and sand that caters to millions of visitors, national and international that is safe for tourists despite the recent critiques contrary to the nature.
Is it safe?… Is it safe?
You’re talking to me?
Is it safe?
Is what safe?
Is it safe?
I don’t know what you mean. I can’t tell you something’s safe or not, unless I know specifically what you’re talking about.
Is it safe?
Tell me what the “it” refers to.
Is it safe?
Yes, it’s safe, it’s very safe, it’s so safe you wouldn’t believe it…
Old news was blowing across the filthy floor, And the sign on the door, read this way out, thats all it read, Thats all it said… (Hall and Oates, The Abandoned Luncheonette)