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Locals Say Puerto Vallarta Remains Safe As Military Increases Presence

the agency real estate

With Puerto Vallarta recently in the news from two very high-profile incidents, it’s important to know that it continues to be one of the safest places to visit. 

The two incidents – Suspected drug cartel gunmen abducted two off-duty female soldiers at gunpoint for several hours. The army said in a statement that the two were freed after about 15 hours in captivity. The statement did not say how the release took place.

The other high-profile incident – the recent slaying of Saúl “N” ‘El Chopas’, leader of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG) and accused of being involved in the murder of former Governor Jorge Aristóteles Sandoval, who died after being hospitalized by gunshots when the Army went after him.

Additionally, the city has increased police presence in tourist areas to help lower the crime rate, as well as reduce administrative offenses. You’ll see an increased police presence in the colonies: December 5, Central Zone, Emiliano Zapata, Amapas, Conchas Chinas, Mismaloya, and Boca de Tomatlán. More than 200,000 people visited Puerto Vallarta during the recent Holy Week. 

A recent post in the Facebook group, Puerto Vallarta Gays: Everything Gay You Need to Know or Want to Know on the arrival of the 400 military troops created some 41 responses, many of which pointed out the amount of violence in other North American cities. None of the posters shared anything about feeling unsafe in Puerto Vallarta.

While there are no restrictions on travel for U.S government employees to: Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, Puerto Vallarta (including neighboring Riviera Nayarit), Chapala, and Ajijic, the United States has issued a security alert for those traveling to Puerto Vallarta. 

“There is increased presence of Mexican security forces in the Puerto Vallarta area and the potential for confrontations between criminal groups and security forces in the Puerto Vallarta area and in the Guadalajara metropolitan area. Past shooting incidents between criminal groups and authorities have occurred in public places and bystanders have been injured,” said the alert, issued by the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico.

The alert said for tourists and visitors to:

  • Monitor local media for updates and in case of emergency, call 911.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Review your personal security plans. 

After the confrontation between cartel members and government forces in Puerto Vallarta on April 22, some 400 military troops were dispatched to help with security.

Eeva Ruuska, head of Americas operations at Riskline, a global travel risk intelligence company that provides independent country and city risk assessments, recently told Forbes Magazine that while some gang violence may affect foreigners, and that some tourist destinations, including Puerto Vallarta, have increased security measures to protect the public.  She went on to say that in the tourist areas, petty theft was the most common security theft.

Puerto Vallarta was recently cited as a place that most people feel secure in and remains a safe place for the LGBTQ community. Just use your common sense and keep an awareness of your surroundings. 

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