Mexico Sends Troops Into Tulum After Shootout Kills Two Tourists
(Bloomberg) -- Mexico has stationed 450 members of the armed forces in Tulum after two foreign tourists were killed in a drug-related shootout that rocked the Caribbean beach resort popular with celebrities.
Mexico will boost the presence of the National Guard and military throughout the Riviera Maya as narco violence escalates in some of the nation’s top tourist destinations just south of Cancun, a city that has seen murders rise in recent years.
The tourists were caught in the crossfire of two groups dealing drugs in Tulum on Oct. 20, the Quintana Roo state prosecutor’s office said. One of the women killed was from Germany and the other was originally from India but had moved to California, according to the Associated Press. Three foreigners were also wounded. The victims were at a restaurant where the shooting broke out.
“We analyzed what the presence of crime in the area was and we implemented a new operation,” General Luis Cresencio Sandoval, Mexico’s Defense Minister, said Tuesday at a daily press briefing. “We’ll address the situation in Tulum directly, but also in the entire area from Cancun - the whole Riviera Maya.”
Police have detained one of the suspected shooters, according to a statement on Monday from Quintana Roo state prosecutor’s office.
Tulum had come into the public eye earlier this year because of an incident captured on video in March that showed police kneeling on a Salvadoran woman and carrying her limp body to a vehicle, before local authorities confirmed her death. In June, a shooting on the beach left two people dead, the Associated Press reported.
Sporadic violence hasn’t stopped Tulum from becoming a magnet for lifestyle coaches and celebrities, such as American actress Jennifer Aniston and model Gigi Hadid. Tourists flocked to the town during the pandemic, since Mexico did not restrict travel to the country, and even more came as vaccine availability abroad facilitated travel.
The Quintana Roo state tourism office reported that from January to July, 3.4 million foreigners and 2.6 million Mexicans have flown to the state.
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