Tourists in the Caribbean port of Limón now have additional police watching over them as they disembark from their cruise ships.
This week, the increased security measures announced by Public Security Minister Fernando Berrocal in the wake of a recent violent incident went into effect, according to a statement from the Public Security Ministry.
A spotlight was shone on tourist security Feb. 21 when three assailants, one carrying a handgun, approached 12 tourists in the Limón neighborhood of Cieneguita.
One of the tourists, in Limón during a stop on his Carnival cruise, killed one of the assailants in self-defense, while the other would be robbers fled the scene (TT, Feb. 23).
Following the incident, Berrocal and Tourism Minister Carlos Benavides announced plans for an expanded police force in the Caribbean port (TT, March 2).
Limón has 16 special Tourism Police officers, and every time a cruise ship arrives it gains an additional 14 officers, Vice-Minister of Public Security Rafael Gutiérrez told the daily Al Día.
The arrival of “thousands of tourists has kept Tourism Police and National Police patrolling Limón on foot, motorcycles and bikes,” said Limón Police chief Luis Hernández, according to the statement.
Additionally, a police helicopter circles overhead when tourists disembark.
According to the statement, both residents and Limón artisans who sell their wares at the port are benefiting from this stepped-up security.
However, a couple of cruise ship tourists interviewed recently by Al Día said that though they were enjoying Limón, they didn’t see many police.
“I like this place and the beaches, but I don’t see any police officers. This could be a problem for all of us,” said José Soyusa, from Portugal.