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Violent crime is significantly up year-over-year in Tulum—including a stark 80.5% increase in murder—and some say increased tourism from dance music enthusiasts is to blame. 

Year-to-date 65 murders have occurred in the popular tourist hotspot, up from just 36 the year prior. Organized crime is believed to be responsible. 

According to David Ortiz Mena, President of the Tulum Hotels Association, tourism among ravers—who were eager to avoid lockdowns in nearby countries—is playing a critical role. Ortiz Mena believes that an increase of local electronic dance music parties is creating a rise in demand for drugs, Business Insider reports.

Bad actors are being drawn to the area given the increase in demand. An anecdotal increase in reported extortion attempts on tourists and local business owners is another tell-tale sign organized crime is mobilizing in the area. 

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Tulum was persistent in avoiding any meaningful lockdown measures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the lack of restrictions, it became a popular hotspot for tourists looking to attend music festivals, of which there were several including Art With Me, which was later interpreted by many as a super-spreader event. Overall, Mexico's virus fatality rate has remained high, and currently sits at a staggering 7.6%.

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