Authorities in the Mexican beach hotspot of Cancun will investigate social media posts that spread false information about violence in the region that scares away tourists.
Quintana Roo Attorney General Oscar Montes de Oca said last week that a series of social media posts claiming a group of 15 gunmen kidnapped multiple people in a resort area was false, the local news outlet Noticaribe reported. Authorities responded to the tourist resort area in Cancun soon after the posts went up and determined that the information was false.
“The rumors were spread with malice, we will be attentive to the rumors because it damages the image of the destination, it affects the economy and consequently employment in the area,” he told the local publication.
Authorities have since begun investigating the matter. Through a social media message, the attorney general’s office warned that individuals responsible for spreading fake news could face a two-year prison term if convicted.
La #FGEQuintanaRoo informa que inició carpeta de investigación con motivo de los avisos falsos a los servicios de emergencia que han provocado la movilización de las instituciones de seguridad pública y en los que se reporta falsamente la presencia de personas armadas (1/2) pic.twitter.com/nKt0xX3g5f
— Fiscalía General QR (@FGEQuintanaRoo) July 19, 2022
A second social media post that sparked more controversy was a video that showed when authorities found a Brazilian tourist who had been reported missing on July 10 when he went out on a motorcycle, La Silla Rota reported. Authorities found the man on July 13 during a search operation. Initial social media posts claimed that the tourist had been killed. Authorities report the autopsy revealed the tourist died from a heart attack while practicing motocross on a trail.
The attempts to protect the image of Cancun come at a time when the tourist destination is being fought over by various drug cartels who seek control of the lucrative local drug market as well as human trafficking.
As Breitbart Texas reported earlier this year, Cancun is considered one of the 40 most dangerous cities in the world and in recent months has seen several high-profile shootouts and murders in the once quiet beach resort areas.
Luisana Moreno is a contributing writer for Breitbart Texas.