Written by: Emgie Anderson

Los Cabos security action plan

It’s concerning to have noticed the two cities that make up the small municipality of Los Cabos listed by the United States Department of State Travel Warning suggesting to “Exercise caution” in Baja California Sur, last August.

Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of Los Cabos Tourism Board, later clarified what many foreign expatriates and Los Cabos residents already know, “while most of these homicides appeared to be targeted, criminal-organization assassinations; it is important to put that in context. Even though the murder rate has increased, it hasn’t been part of the tourism community. Most incidents haven’t happened that close; they’re on the outskirts of both Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, and they’re not impacting tourists.” These areas are not even places that a tourist, or even a majority of residents would even find themselves – or accidentally get lost in.  And quite frankly, if you are not involved in large drug trading or trafficking, then you are simply not of interest to these criminal organizations targeting one another in their close encounter homicides, more often happening in their own residences.

Meanwhile, a list of U.S. Cities have also been included on warnings to other Country’s citizens.  Cities such as Dallas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Boston and Las Vegas have been named with caution and to “stay on guard when visiting.”  Violence in the form of protests, police shootings, racial crimes and a string of terroristic acts have been some of these warnings and to “be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places when possible.”  Embassies urged people to stay away from any U.S. demonstrations and “exercise particular caution during large festivals or events, be alert and stay safe.”

It is with no doubt that no matter where we travel in the world; whether it is down the street to your local grocery market or movie theatre to the distances of work in foreign countries or family vacation destinations, security is now a topic to be aware of everywhere.  But doesn’t it bring you even more comfort when the citizens and leaders come together to provide safety and security, allowing you those freedoms of travel, exploration and life experience?

That is why residents and frequent travelers are proud of the community leaders of Los Cabos who have been “unstoppable” stepping up with quick responses and solutions to their security.  So far, in 2017, the public and private sector have invested more than $47 million to increase security personnel, equipment and infrastructure for Los Cabos. Additionally, the private sector has invested more than $7 million to fund supplemental police training, provide equipment and operate security cameras in the destination.

Just a few weeks after the U.S. Department of State Travel warnings, the Los Cabos Tourism Board announced details about it’s newly launched security action plan.  

  1. Creating a “Rapid Response Network,”consisting of real-time communications amoung hoteliers, business owners and law enforcement to share information about suspicious activity or reported incidents — and to ensure the authorities and law-enforcement officers know about the activity.
  2. Accelerating the expansion of a security surveillance system, with the goal of installing more than 200 new cameras, especially in high-traffic tourist areas.  There are currently 40 cameras in place; with a goal to have 250.
  3. Building a new marine base, which will significantly increase the presence of the Mexican marine corps, who will manage the expanded surveillance system and beef up the law-enforcement presence. The base is scheduled to open in 2018.
  4. Organizing a hotel-security committee, which will work with the hotel association and meet biweekly to address concerns, share best practices and update security protocols.
  5. Setting new training and security protocols for local hoteliers and businesses, aligned with standards developed by the Overseas Security Advisory Council, a Federal Advisory Committee established under the authority of the U.S. Secretary of State and in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act to promote security cooperation between American private sector interests worldwide and the U.S. Department of State comprised of 34 private and public sector member organizations that represent specific industries or agencies operating abroad.  

Despite all of this, Los Cabos has continued to experience a 20% increase year over year from International Tourist arrivals. Even recently, tourism results from the first half of 2017 were reported with more than a 20% growth over each month.  Historically, the summer’s “low season” have evolved to look like past years’ higher seasonal results. 

Many explain that rush of mostly international brands, such as Ritz-Carlton, Nobu, Four Seasons, St. Regis, Starwood, Rosewood, Montage, Hard Rock, Auberge Resorts, among others, have helped to bring more consistent visitors throughout the year, changing the scenery to what was once noticeable between the “high” and “low” season of Los Cabos tourism.  Not only are millions of dollars being invested in security, but more than 20 new hotel projects are investing in luxury development because, as Esponda explains, “they are confident in the future of Los Cabos”.”

With continued public and private sector support, driven action plans, luxury resort development, progressive investors and the increase of demand from International travelers; Los Cabos still remains safe, inviting and a close destination that you’ll want to book that next vacation deal on!