Mazatlan Bolsters Tourism Security

Just one week after three cruise lines canceled their Mazatlan calls due to criminal incidents in the area, Mazatlan tourism officials released a statement reassuring potential visitors of the port's safety.

Mazatlan, located on Mexico's Pacific Coast, hosts Crystal Cruises, Princess, Oceania Cruises, Holland America Line and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, among others. Disney cancelled all Mazatlan port calls for Disney Wonder through April, while Princess and Holland America took less drastic precautionary steps.

State and local officials and Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association executives met earlier this week with Mexico tourism minister Gloria Guevara Manzo and governor Mario Lopez Valdez to develop a plan to boost cruise safety in the region. They decided to take the following steps:

• The State Department of Public Safety will bolster its tourism police force with a special unit of plain-clothes security personnel in the main tourist areas, including shore excursion sites.

• The Office of the State Attorney will add more bilingual agents to assist all  visitors to the destination.

"These agents will make the safety of all visitors their priority," said Marco Antonio Higuera, the state attorney. "Should any concerns arise among cruise passengers, we will notify cruise line  officials immediately."

• In an effort to assure a speedy and accurate  communication, the State Secretary of Tourism will notify cruise officials  directly should any concerns arise.

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