8 bodies found at Cancun resort

The authorities in Cancun, Mexico are working to identify eight bodies that were found dumped in the Caribbean resort. Oscar Montes de Oca, the head prosecutor for Quintana Roo, has promised to do additional searches and identifications in response to the families of missing people.

Over the weekend, the police searched wooded areas and cenotes (sinkhole ponds) to locate the corpses.

With over 112,000 people missing in Mexico, the search for clandestine gravesites is becoming commonplace. Unusual, however, is the fact that the searches are now occurring in Cancun, a popular tourist destination.

It is believed the bodies were dumped by drug cartels to get rid of victims, as many gangs are currently competing for control of the coast and its profitable drug trade.

Five of the bodies were found at an abandoned building site, having been dumped between one week and two months ago. Three have already been identified as people reported missing. At another site, three sets of skeletal remains have been located, but not identified. These bodies were found in a poorer neighborhood fifteen kilometers from the beach and hotel zone of Cancun, but much closer to the airport.

Searches were also conducted in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, south of Tulum. Volunteers and specially trained dogs were involved in the searches, alongside investigators.

Drug cartel rivalries have triggered violence in Cancun and the resorts along the coast. Recently, four men were slain in the hotel zone near the beach due to cartel conflicts. In March, a U.S. tourist was shot in the leg in Puerto Morelos.

The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert that warned people to take caution at resorts such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

In 2022, two Canadians were killed in Playa del Carmen because of debts between international drug and weapons trafficking gangs.

Lastly, in 2021, two tourists, from California and Germany, were killed in Tulum when they were caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between drug dealers.