Tourists flee drug gang shootings at Mexican beach resort
MEXICO: Tourists at a beach resort in Mexico were left scrambling for cover after a gang of men shot dead two suspected drug dealers in front of several luxury hotels.
Gunmen stormed a beach in front of the high-end resort of Puerto Morelos, just south of Cancun on Thursday.
The victims had apparently arrived at the beach in front of the Azul Beach Resort and the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun earlier in the day, claiming it was now their territory.
“About 15 people arrived on the beach to assassinate two men who had showed up saying they were the new dealers in the area,” the head prosecutor of Quintana Roo state, Oscar Montes de Oca, told the Radio Formula station. Guests at the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun posted videos and photos of tourists hiding or nervously milling in the lobby and hallways of hotels during the incident.
Meanwhile, tourists at the nearby Azul Beach Resort posted footage of people taking shelter or gathering in the lobby.
An employee who answered the phone at the hotel said the shooting occurred on the beach near the facility. Several cartels are fighting for the area’s lucrative retail drug trade, including the Jalisco cartel and a gang allied with the Gulf cartel. The shootings were the latest chapter in drug gang violence that has sullied the reputation of Mexico’s Caribbean coast as a once-tranquil oasis.
Rival cartels often kill another gang’s street-level dealers in Mexico to eliminate competition and ensure their drugs are sold first. It is not the first time that tourists have been caught in the crossfire of such battles.- SKY NEWS