Cancun Cartel - Gun Violence Ambush at Cancun Airport
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Mexico Meyhem: Airports Closed Amid Cancun Drug Cartel Violence
On January 5th, a horrific fight exploded between cartel members and security forces in Culiacan following the detention of El Chapo‘s son. This violence rapidly spread across Sinoloa state as cartels barricaded roads, burned vehicles and even fired bullets into two planes at an airport! The tragic consequences are still felt today all over Mexico.
The turbulence in the region forced several airports to shut down, including MMCL/Culiacan. At this airport, an Aeroméxico E190 was shot at on take-off and had to abort its flight. Unfortunately, one bullet managed to penetrate the tail of the aircraft – a testament that tensions are high throughout the area.
On January 6th, many Sinaloa airports –– MMMZ/Mazatlan, MMCN/Ciudad Obregon, and MMLM/Los Michos–– remained closed. Fortunately, all have now re-opened; however it is still advised to take special precautions when traveling in the area. Book arrangements ahead of time and ensure routes are not affected by any airspace closures for optimal safety during your journey!
High Alert on all Major Tourist Cities and Towns after Cancun Cartel Violence
Mexico has been a safe and secure destination for travelers until recently, but there are currently several precautionary alerts by Mexican authorities in effect as of January 2023:
GA operators traveling to Cancun should exercise increased caution! A0064/23 and A0065/22 are currently in effect, which mean certain restriction will be enforced on 7th and 8th January. Make sure you adhear to the notams issued on 4th of Janurary 2023 for a smooth entry into Cancun International Airport airspace.
Attention all passengers and crew members flying to MMTO/Toluca! Beginning January 2, 2023, you are now required to fill outa new health screening form upon arrival. Don’t worry – it’s simple information that should only take a few minutes of your time!
Mexican airports are expected to undergo more rigorous ramp checks through January 20th, according to MMZZ/Mexico’s local agents. To be prepared for any such checkpoints during your travels in Mexico, make sure you check out our article on what essential documents and items should always travel with you! This information is accurate as of December 22nd 2022.
Mexico recently abolished Daylight Saving Time (DST) in most regions of the country, abandoning any clock adjustments from April onward. Standard time will be applied throughout Mexico every year except for certain municipalities that neighbor the United States — these areas remain DST compliant. This decision was put into effect on December 6th, 2022.
On March 2022, fifteen of Mexico’s airports made the switch from Jet A1 to Jet A fuel. These large international hub locations include MMMY/Monterrey, MMPR/Puerto Vallarta and MMCL/Culiacan. It is essential to ensure that your jet has proper freeze-level resistance – minus 40 degrees Celsius in this case – as using a fuel with an inadequate freezing point could cause major issues for planes flying through particularly cold atmospheres. Be mindful when filling up your jets; issued October 20th 2022!
On May 7th, an alarming near-miss at MMMX/Mexico City airport caused heightened concerns surrounding safety standards. This followed a chain of other incidents that have been linked to the Felipe Angeles Airport opening and resulting airspace complexity. To rectify this, the government will be decreasing capacity at MMMX/Mexico City over subsequent months in order to revive security conditions – as issued on May 11 2022.
Until recently, Cancun city’s hotel zone and other resorts were considered safe places to travel. However, due to the increased conflict between drug cartels fighting for control of the Caribbean coast and its drug trade, bodies of victims have been found in clandestine body dumping grounds.
According to the state of Quintana Roo on the Caribbean coast state, Hector Flores Aceves, a leader of a drug gang known as “Pantera” or “The Panther,” was involved in the recent killings of several men found near the beach in the city’s hotel zone on Monday. These killings occurred during the busy Easter Week vacations in Cancun.
Five bodies were found at an abandoned construction site. Last month, there was a shooting near Cancun’s beach which resulted in the death of two suspected drug dealers. Tourists in swimsuits were frightened and fled the scene in panic.