Security Precautions for Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The resort towns of Cabo San Lucas (MMSL) and San Jose del Cabo (MMSD), both located in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur, are an ever increasing tourist destination. With the recent increase in visitors to the area comes an increase of crime like any major other major city.
Since the beginning of 2017, crime rates in Baja California Sur have increased over 10 times versus the year prior. Although the region does not have the highest crime rate, it does have the greatest increase, which results in a false state of security especially for those that frequent the region.
Here are some ways to mitigate any threats the may present themselves:
1. Current status in the area
The two cities are about 20 miles (35 km) apart, with just under a population of 70,000 for each city allowing for easy comparison of the two. An increase of the Sinaloa gang, once under the notorious El Chapo presence has shown a larger footprint in the area resulting in an influence of drugs and vicious murders throughout the wealthy resort towns. Unfortunately most victims of the crimes are Mexican nationals, but the criminal acts have caught an innocent bystander with an American being shot as well as shootings during daylight hours near the resort areas and city centers.
2. City briefing
If traveling to MMSL or MMSD for the first time or revisiting the area, it is always recommended to get the latest information for the city. A city briefing will provide the overall assessment for the city, along with any updated information or events that could increase your overall threat rating. This will allow you to asses and adapt your operating procedures within your tolerated limits of risk.
3. Secure transportation
The highest risk locations for any tourist are always away from the airport or the hotel they are staying at. If you take a taxi or other un-vetted hired transportation service, the legitimacy of their operation or even their intentions are completely unknown. When a secure service is arranged through a vetted transportation vendor, you can assure that they have audited the local and trusted driver to take you or your passengers to their destination without worry.
4. Hotel stays
Operators use different parameters to determine the hotel that the crew or passengers will stay at. We find that many will pick the hotel based on a loyalty program, but this may not be the best option for security purposes. The safest overall option is choosing a location that has all amenities so you won’t have to leave the hotel premises. Fortunately, both MMSL and MMSD are home to several top notch resorts. A hotel briefing can also be arranged to provide you with the security measures the hotel takes in order to keep their guests safe. This will allow you to assess the best option for your crew and/or passengers.
Most resorts in the area provide an outside barrier with a guard in order to minimize any local traffic and/or threats from reaching to close. Despite this, most incidents in these areas still happen and have resulted in people being wounded.
For more information on tips and best practices for picking hotels, please see our articles:
- Hotel Security for Business Aviation Travel – Part 1: General Considerations
- Hotel Security for Business Aviation Travel – Part 2: Room Considerations & Tips
- Hotel Security for Business Aviation Travel – Part 3: Security Briefs
The most efficient and cost effective measure is to be aware of your surroundings. When traveling through and touring the area ensure you travel in groups and if possible let someone know where you are going and when you plan on returning. Don’t venture off the beaten path and keep a low profile to not attract any unwanted attention. If secure transportation isn’t arranged for a time you want to leave the hotel, ask the hotel if they have a shuttle you can take to and from your destination. As a last resort, ask the reception to call for a taxi and get an estimate of the cost. Keep the front desks number in case communication goes astray enroute.
As with any location, the security situation can change at a moment’s notice. It’s always recommended to get a city security briefing to gain the latest data as it pertains to incidents that have transpired recently. Also, when determining hotels and transportation, seek the assistance of your security company who will be able to provide you with insight as to ensure the safest options when in Cabo San Lucas.
If you have any questions regarding this article or would like assistance making security arrangements for your next trip, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.