Gunmen opened fire Thursday at a Cancun resort town, killing two people in what Mexican state officials said was a clash between rival drug traffickers who witnesses said forced tourists and the hotel staff to hide for several hours.
The shooting happened on the beach near the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun, an all-inclusive resort in Puerto Morelos popular with American tourists.
The Quintana Roo state attorney general’s office said no one else was seriously injured in the shooting, but did not say if any other injuries occurred. The state police chief wrote on his Twitter account, “There are no seriously injured or kidnapped tourists.”
The Notacaribe news site reported that a person was injured at the scene after being hit with the handle of a weapon.
The attorney general’s office went on to say that “there had been a clash between rival groups of drug dealers on a beach” near the hotels. Several cartels fight for the lucrative drug retail trade in the region, including the Jalisco Cartel and a gang allied with the Gulf Cartel.
Video: At least 2 dead in shooting in Cancun (NBC News)
Click to enlarge
A senior state official said a group of armed men arrived by boat in pursuit of the men who had been killed, in what another Mexican official said appeared to have been a targeted “execution”.
Twitter user and former NBC Universal executive Mike Sington told Reuters via direct message that he was hiding with other resort guests in a dark area of the hotel and that staff did not explain what that was happening. Other guests told him they heard gunshots and that an armed man had been on the beach, he said.
Hotel staff then sent text messages saying the shooter had been apprehended and that staff would escort guests to their rooms where they were told to shelter in place, Sington said.
“Never been so scared, literally shaking,” he tweeted.
He later added that the guests were dragged out of hiding and into the lobby, where they cried and hugged.
In a statement released late Thursday, Global Affairs Canada said it was not aware of any Canadian citizens affected by the shooting, but continued to monitor the situation closely.
Canadian citizens requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the Consular Agency of Canada in Cancun, Mexico at 52 (55) 5724-9795 or [email protected] or call the Watch and Response Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-800-387-3124 (toll-free), +1 613-996-8885 or by emailing [email protected]
Mexican security forces were sent to reinforce Tulum – another popular resort town about 130 kilometers from Cancun – after two foreign tourists were killed and others injured last month in a shootout between suspected members of ‘gang.