OE Watch Commentary: An explosion on a tourist ferry in Playa del Carmen in February 2018 and the discovery of a bomb on a tourist vessel in early March 2018 have some authorities in Mexico claiming that these may not be coincidental accidents, but instead, terrorist attacks of some type as discussed in the excerpted article from El Universal. However, the article also notes that not everyone drew the same conclusion, particularly Alberto Elias Beltran, the Deputy Attorney General for International Affairs in Mexico. Expounding on this statement, Elias Beltran indicated that it is not in the interest of criminal organizations (drug cartels) to conduct terrorist attacks of any kind as these types of actions would certainly lead to increased levels of security and increased scrutiny by authorities.
On 21 February 2018, five explosive devices were detonated on a ferry known as the Caribe 3 (owned by Barcos Caribe) while docked at Playa del Carmen, a popular tourist destination in Mexico. The excerpted article from Milenio provides details regarding these devices, but indicated they were not professional grade. A total of 24 people were injured as a result of the explosions. On 1 March 2018 two separate explosive devices were discovered on another vessel owned by Barcos Caribe after it was searched at the Port of Cozumel. Representatives from the company reported that the explosive devices found had been in place for 10 months, but that they represented no harm to travelers.
Foreign governments are taking these incidents very seriously and the US State Department issued a travel warning on 7 March for ferry travel to Playa del Carmen. The excerpted article from Noticaribe shows that Mexico is taking these incidents seriously and authorities are actively looking to discard and/or corroborate information regarding these incidents. They are also looking to identify, arrest, and bring to justice the probable perpetrators of these acts. End OE Watch Commentary (Fiegel)