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Mexico to reinforce security at Caribbean ports after ferry explosion

Staff Writer |
Mexican authorities announced plans to reinforce security at the country’s Caribbean ports and docks after the explosion of a tourist ferry that left 24 injured in February.

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Alicia Ricalde Magaña, who heads the Integral Port Administration (API) in the state of Quintana Roo, said that all Caribbean ports will be rendered “ironclad” using security systems similar to the ones used in airports.

On Feb. 21, an explosion occurred on a tourist ferry in Playa del Carmen injuring 24 people – several from the United States – and spurring the US embassy to issue a travel alert.

A suspicious explosive device was found on board another ship on March 1, prompting authorities to increase the security level, Ricalde said after a tour of the Playa del Carmen docks.

She also said that the new security measures are expected to be put in place as soon as this weekend and will be reinforced with a permanent strategy by federal authorities.

The measures will include the monitoring of passenger lists and the installation of metal detectors, facial recognition technology and baggage handling facilities, as well as the deployment of 60 police officers from the federal security forces’ “Operation Titan” at the Cozumel and Playa del Carmen docks, according to the API manager in Quintana Roo, Guillermo Renteria Zuñiga.

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