After experiencing a vertiginous increase in the number of homicides, the municipality of Los Cabos, in Mexico, topped the ranking as the most violent city in the world; a fact that, in addition to having a negative impact on the business sector, contrasts with the privileged position that this destination holds in national tourism.
According to a report by the Citizen’s Council for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, this municipality of Baja California Sur ranks first in the list of the 50 most violent cities, with a rate of 111.33 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
It is followed by Caracas (Venezuela), with a vaguely lower figure (111.19 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants) and Acapulco (106.63), another one of the twelve Mexican cities included in the ranking.
Across the country, there was an increase in violence in 2017 (18.91% more homicides than in the previous year), but the case of Los Cabos is especially alarming.
The municipality went from 61 murders in 2016 to 365 in 2017, which represents an increase of almost 500%. Besides, so far Los Cabos had not been included in the list of the Citizen’s Council.
The situation is particularly disturbing due to the importance of the region for national tourism, thanks to its natural attractions and its developed hotel industry.
The destination was visited by 1.4 million people in 2017, and it registered the highest growth throughout the year.
Despite this, it was the scene of violent episodes that show the increase in insecurity, such as the armed attack registered in the tourist beach of La Palmilla, which left three dead and two injured last August.
The case of Los Cabos is quite similar to the one experienced by another city next to the Pacific, Acapulco, which had its golden age years ago, but ended up declining due to its high levels of violence and insecurity.
Faced with this situation, the president of the Employers’ Confederation of the Mexican Republic (COPARMEX) in Baja California Sur, Miguel Angel Ochoa, hopes that the problem “won’t last” and that the security measures will lead the municipality “to a successful year”. “We want to call on the authorities to continue strengthening their security programs,” he emphasized.
According to Ochoa, violence has a negative impact on the economy: “Private investment slows down, and so does investment in companies,” and this ultimately leads to a lower perception of wages or unemployment.
Since January 29, 2018, the Los Cabos-La Paz corridor is one of the points in which the Secretariat of the Interior launched the so-called Titan operative, established in the most conflicting areas of the country with the deployment of 5,000 federal agents.
"We are combining everyone’s efforts (...) it is a great joint work force that makes up all the corporations,” said to a group of media the representative of the Secretariat of the Interior in Baja California Sur, José Ricardo Millán, alluding to state, municipal and federal security elements, and the Armed Forces.