The government of Quintana Roo and the hotel associations demand visitors sign a drug “awareness” document stating that they understand that the consumption and transport of illicit substances is punishable by law.
Earlier this month, the governor of Quintana Roo, Carlos Joaquin González, tweeted about the campaign, saying that “on the occasion of the next high holiday season, together with businessmen, we launched an awareness campaign to alert tourists about the risks and consequences from drug use during your stay in Quintana Roo.”
The state government and the Department of Tourism approved the document, which is part of the anti-drug campaign for the “Spring Breakers” season.
Tourists must sign it on arrival at hotels in Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Tulum, Chetumal, Mahahual and Riviera Maya, where it has already been implemented.
The main objective is to combat the influx of holiday arrests that traditionally come with the Easter holiday.
“Upon arriving at Breathless Soul (local hotel), we were asked to sign some forms at check-in,” said Amy Frank of Elm Grove Travel. “The first form was a simple name, address, phone and email form. The second was a detailed no-drug policy on the property, along with the consequences outlined in the event of a violation. He stated that you would be removed from the resort and no refunds would be given.”
The document states that the traveler “has read and is aware of the legal consequences of buying drugs in Mexico.”
The campaign, aimed mainly at American tourists, generated controversy.
One of the most common ads shows a woman in prison with an English sentence that reads: “Don’t turn your vacation into a permanent stay.” Another ad reads, “Coolest activity might get you into a cooler (fridge)” with a picture of two feet sticking out of a forensic fridge.
Local hoteliers believe this is not the best publicity to welcome visitors, but Ken Salazar, the US ambassador to Mexico, supported the campaign “because many Americans believe that drug use is allowed in Mexico.”