Gunmen on water scooters caused horror on a popular tourist beach in Cancún on Thursday April 19 as they shot at a street vendor.
The incident, which took place in the city’s hotel zone, is believed to be unprecedented for the Caribbean city which has been protected from the cartel violence rife elsewhere in Mexico.
According to a police report, the shooting occurred in the afternoon in front of a hotel in the heart of Cancún’s resort-studded party strip.
The target of the shooting was a roving vendor working on the beach, who escaped by running into a nearby restaurant for safety, reports The New York Post.
Tourist police cordoned off the area and recovered four bullets but were not able to locate the intended target.
The shooting epidemic has been explored by SBS‘s Dateline with Krishnan Guru-Murthy:
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Interviewing tourists who seemed unaware of the problem, he said:
We’ve been told that local politicians here have put the press under pressure not to report violence in this area, because if the tourists are scared away from here, it will be an economic disaster not only for Cancún, but for Mexico.
Thankfully, no one was injured in the latest waterborne firearms attack, but the city has registered 130 murders so far this year.
On the same day, local authorities reported three people were slain outside a bar located in another area of the city away from the hotel zone. Just two weeks ago, 14 people were murdered in 36 hours in Cancún.
Cancún is in the state of Quintana Roo, where there were 169 killings in the first half of 2017, more than double the previous year’s figure.
On Sunday April 15, just less than a week ago, tourists at another Mexican beach resort were shocked to find the body of a murdered man floating ashore on what was once a family friendly holiday destination where the Kennedy’s and Clinton’s honeymooned.
The body was found on a beach in Acapulco, Guerrero state, after a suspected shooting.
According to the Dateline report, ten murder scenes are investigated every day in Acapulco, a formerly glamorous Mexican resort. Last year alone the state of Guerrero registered a record 25,000 murders – more than 68 per day.
It is becoming one of the most notorious crime spots in the world:
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Laura Caballero, a businesswoman from Acapulco told SBS:
It’s not nice to walk in the street and find someone’s head. It’s very sad to know that your friends have been executed. Medics, taxi drivers, doctors, business people – no social class is exempt.
Speaking of the extortion and murder which is forcing local businesses like hers to close, she added:
They arrived one day and asked for between 15,000 and 20,000 pesos a month. Probably around 30 or 40 per cent of our turnover.
All the same, the office of Civil Protection states that over 112,000 people flocked to Cancún for the popular American Spring Break holiday, just months after the US Department of State issued an urgent travel advisory to Americans in March.
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