U.S. issues travel alert for Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum

The United States government sends several recommendations to its citizens if they decide to travel to destinations in Quintana Roo.

U.S. issues travel alert for Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum
Riviera Maya, Mexico. Photo by Caleb George / Unsplash

The US government recommended its citizens take extreme precautions if they wish to travel to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, the three destinations located in the state of Quintana Roo. The US Consulate in Merida, Yucatan, issued a travel alert for US citizens planning to visit destinations in Quintana Roo, following the recent attacks at the Xcaret hotel in the Riviera Maya, where two Canadians died.

The statement reads: "criminal acts and violence may occur throughout the state, including in areas frequented by U.S. citizens". It called on its citizens to keep monitoring the local news so that if necessary they can call 911, and recommended them to obey state or municipal police officers.

It also asked to avoid crowds, to be aware of the surroundings of where they are, inside or outside the hotels. It is important to have a personal security plan to be able to contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate if necessary.

What happened at Xcaret Hotel?

One of the two Canadian tourists murdered inside the Xcaret Hotel in Cancun was wanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The victim has been identified as Robert James Dinh and has been linked to money laundering and drug trafficking crimes.

Information from Proceso indicates that the DEA was also investigating him for being a possible relative of the leader of the Vietnamese mafia, Cong Dinh. The money laundering for which he is accused would be equivalent to millions of dollars from a drug trafficking cell in Vietnam. In Canada, the DEA offered 50 thousand dollars from that country in 2019, although he was able to enter before the Prosecutor's Office filed charges against him.

A confrontation between guests provoked a shooting attack inside the Xcaret hotel, resulting in the death of two tourists and one injured, all of Canadian origin. The fight between guests occurred in the afternoon in a restaurant area inside the Xcaret hotel. In the conflict, one of the men pulled out a gun and shot three Canadians, one of whom died during the transfer of the ambulance, the second upon arrival at the hospital, and a third one received medical attention for various injuries.