Organized crime is destroying cultural tourism in Chiapas

San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. —On January 12, a guide who had taken tourists from Europe to Lacandona was scared when he saw armed men from the Sinaloa Cartel at the entrance to Lacanjá. “I’m already in Lacanjá and it’s very badass here. You cannot go to Yaxchilán or Bonampak. Prices are already rising. “Those who are charging here at the entrance are those of the Sinaloa Cartel,” said the guide. “The cartel stopped us there and they are at the entrance to Bonampak,” he explained.

The guide added that “by force” they were forced to move from the hotel to the archaeological zone, a 19-kilometer journey, in cartel vehicles, at 150 pesos per person, added to the payment of a guide and the payment of the entrance to the archaeological zone, where for several months there has been no presence of personnel from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

From that moment on, the tourist agencies that brought visitors from France, England, Belgium, and Mexico to the Lacandona Jungle announced that they would stop visiting the area, given the upsurge in violence between criminal organizations.

The archaeological zone of Palenque has been one of those affected since there are fewer and fewer visitors and guides who take them to other tours because in some sections there are armed men from the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel, who request payments to allow them to access the cultural attractions. 

In 2019, the archaeological zone of Palenque was visited by a million tourists, mostly from Spain, Germany, France, and Italy, but with the pandemic there was the worst drop in memory in several years, however, The service providers planned to recover in 2023, but the violence generated by the presence of the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) once again played tricks.

While President Lopez Obrador keeps saying that the country is doing better than ever, that the people are happy, and that his administration is combating corruption, high levels of insecurity prevail in many parts of the national territory.

Source: El Universal

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