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Caribbean resorts now 'opening up shop' to drug cartels as tourists become collateral damage: 'The rules have changed'

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The tropical resorts that Americans used to flock to for vacations are no longer “holes” for vicious cartels as tourists become collateral damage in a “war zone.”

Four Mexican drug cartels fighting for turf in an 80-mile stretch of resorts along the Caribbean coast are leaving vacationers dead in their wake. The cartels want to control the area because of the $30 billion in tourism revenue that flows through the area according to Jay Armes III, who spoke to Fox News Digital.

“In the process, Americans, and visitors from around the world, have become collateral damage, seen gruesome violence, or “simply disappeared, wiped off the face of the earth Armes told the media.

“During the last two weeks, members of the cartel dismembered members of rival gangs with machetes in the tourist hotspot of Cancun; a California woman died in the crossfire near a popular Tulum beach; and a kidnapped New York man was left in an isolated jungle with his eyes closed,” the press reported.

(Video credit: Fox News Digital)

These two high-profile stories make the news, but there are many, many more that never get air time.

“Everything is horrible for us, but for the people of Mexico, it's just a Tuesday. This happens all the time all over the country,” Armes said. “But now it's happening in areas that were previously off limits.” .

The private investigator explained that 15 or 20 years ago, the cartels lived by a “code similar to the Italian mafia”. Those days are long gone and things have changed for the worse.

“In the past, you weren't allowed to target women or children. You were not allowed to invade another cartel's territory. And complexes were off limits. … The cartels wanted to fly under the radar as much as they could,” Armes explained.

He noted that if a foreigner died at a tourist site, especially an American, there would be too much heat as a result of unwanted attention and “mandatory and prompt” action by the government, military and law enforcement. the Mexican order.

However, the money flowing through the resorts is too much of a temptation for the cartels these days. Tourists have long believed that they are protected from violence in Cancun and other tourist centers, but this is no longer the case. Now, for all intents and purposes, they are entering a war zone.

“The rules have changed,” Armes said. “All that old guard code is out the window. Resorts are open shop.”

“What we see as tourists are potential customers or potential victims of the cartels,” he said. “Even if it's 1% or 5% (of tourists in tourist areas), that's millions of customers and a big part of the business.”

Cartels seeking dominance in the area include “the old Chapo cartel, the Sinaloa cartel; the Gulf Cartel; the Jalisco New Generation Cartel; and Grupo Regional, a 'minor' cartel created by former Zetas, brutally violent leaders of the cartel”, according to Armes.

“With all these little kids (through the ranks of the cartel), there's no respect for anything,” he claimed. “It's become a free-for-all.”

Tourists become victims of violence, such as theft and sex trafficking. Many are in the wrong place at the wrong time with deadly consequences. Kidnapping is also big business for the cartels.

Some bystanders die near drug deals where a message is being sent. Machetes are used to decapitate and hack people to death. Public uploads are not uncommon either.

(Video credit: KTLA 5)

The Mayan ruins in the Mexican state of Chiapas are now virtually inaccessible due to cartel violence.

“The government and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador have been downplaying gang violence, but as of December, tourists have canceled about 5 percent of booked trips to the area,” Fox News reported.

“Politicians pretending people aren't killing themselves at an exponential rate or downplaying the violence is an important component of Mexico's complex and tangled web that “basically gives the cartels immunity,” Armes said.


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Caribbean resorts now 'opening up shop' to drug cartels as tourists become collateral damage: 'The rules have changed'
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