Turmoil in Lacandon Jungle Halts Tour Operations

Turmoil in Lacandon Jungle Forces Tour Operators to Suspend Operations
The Laguna Miramar in the Lacandon Jungle
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Written by Binayak Karki

The Lacandon Jungle, known for its archaeological sites, rivers, and lagoons, has become a hotspot for cartel activity, particularly in the municipality of Ocosingo.

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Tourism service providers from France, England, Belgium, and Mexico have halted tours to the Lacandon Jungle due to escalating violence between rival cartels. The Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel’s clashes have made the area unsafe for tourists, prompting companies to reroute trips and prioritize safety over exploration.

In response to heightened insecurity plaguing the Lacandon Jungle region, tourism service providers from several countries have made the difficult decision to suspend their operations. Companies from France, England, Belgium, and Mexico, which previously facilitated tours to this picturesque destination, have cited the escalating violence between the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel as a significant deterrent to tourism.

The Lacandon Jungle, known for its archaeological sites, rivers, and lagoons, has become a hotspot for cartel activity, particularly in the municipality of Ocosingo. With control over access routes and communities, the cartels have effectively barred entry to this once-thriving tourist destination, instilling fear among both local inhabitants and visitors alike.

Mexican tourism company ATC Touroperadores has announced a revised itinerary, restricting access for European and Mexican tourists solely to Palenque. Trips to the Nahá lagoon and the archaeological zones of Bonampak and Yaxchilán, nestled deep within the Lacandon Jungle, have been suspended due to the presence of armed groups along the route.

Operators within the tourism industry have long grappled with navigating the complexities of the region’s instability. For years, they have adeptly maneuvered around roadblocks and inter-community conflicts to shield tourists from the harsh realities of the area. However, recent events have posed unprecedented challenges, with armed confrontations between local factions and security forces rendering traditional routes impassable.

The decision to suspend tours underscores the gravity of the situation, as tour operators prioritize the safety and well-being of their clients above all else. While negotiations and alternative routes have previously mitigated risks, the emergence of armed conflicts that rival even the Mexican Army and National Guard have deemed tourism ventures in the Lacandon Jungle untenable.

As the Lacandon Jungle grapples with the fallout of cartel violence, the suspension of tourism operations serves as a stark reminder of the human cost of insecurity. Until stability is restored, the once-thriving tourist hub remains off-limits, leaving its archaeological wonders and natural beauty inaccessible to eager travelers.

WHAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS ARTICLE:

  • Trips to the Nahá lagoon and the archaeological zones of Bonampak and Yaxchilán, nestled deep within the Lacandon Jungle, have been suspended due to the presence of armed groups along the route.
  • Companies from France, England, Belgium, and Mexico, which previously facilitated tours to this picturesque destination, have cited the escalating violence between the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel as a significant deterrent to tourism.
  • As the Lacandon Jungle grapples with the fallout of cartel violence, the suspension of tourism operations serves as a stark reminder of the human cost of insecurity.

About the author

Avatar of Binayak Karki

Binayak Karki

Binayak - based in Kathmandu - is an editor and author writing for eTurboNews.

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