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4 people found dead near the beach in Cancun's hotel area

Mexico links Cancun killings to drug gangs
Mexican police say 4 men killed in Cancun linked to drug gang rivalries 04:32

Authorities in the Mexican resort of Cancun said Monday they have found four dead bodies in the city's hotel zone near the beach.

There was no immediate information on the nationalities or identities of the victims. The announcement of the deaths came less than a week after a U.S. tourist was shot in the leg in the nearby town of Puerto Morelos.

Prosecutors originally said three bodies were found Monday in a lot near one of Cancun's beachside hotels along the Kukulkan Boulevard. They then added that a fourth body was found in the undergrowth on the same lot, bringing to four the number of victims.

Police mobilization after people were gunned down at the beach, in Cancun
A vehicle of the attorney general's office leaves the Fiesta Americana hotel after people were gunned down near the beach of the hotel, according to local media, in Cancun, Mexico, April 3, 2023. PAOLA CHIOMANTE / REUTERS

Photos published by Reuters showed local police, the Mexican National Guard and a vehicle from the attorney general's office at the Fiesta Americana hotel. 

Prosecutors in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo said two suspects had been detained in the killings. They said the deaths were under investigation, but did not give a cause of death. Reuters and AFP reported the four victims were shot to death.

"Authorities are working to shed light on the events and provide the whereabouts of other possible participants in this crime," prosecutors said in a statement.

Last week in Puerto Morelos, a U.S. tourist was approached by several suspects, and they shot him in the leg. The motive remains under investigation. The wounded man was taken to a hospital in Cancun for treatment, and his injury was judged to be not life-threatening.

The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert last month warning travelers to "exercise increased caution," especially after dark, at Mexico's Caribbean beach resorts like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, which have been plagued by drug gang violence in the past.

Mexico's government deploys security forces in Cancun
Members of the Navy and members of the National Guard patrol the Gaviota Azul beach during the beginning of the spring break, in Cancun, Mexico March 18, 2023. PAOLA CHIOMANTE / REUTERS

That warning came in the wake of the kidnapping of four Americans in Mexico earlier this month. The State Department has posted a "Level 4: Do Not Travel" advisory for Tamaulipas, the Mexican state the Americans were in when they were kidnapped. 

There have been a series of brazen acts of violence along the Caribbean coast, the crown jewel of Mexico's tourism industry.

In June 2022, two Canadians were killed in Playa del Carmen, apparently because of debts between international drug and weapons trafficking gangs. Last January, two other Canadians were killed and one injured in a shooting at a resort near Cancun.

In March 2022, a British resident of Playa del Carmen was shot and killed in broad daylight while traveling with his daughter in his car.

In October 2021, farther south in the laid-back destination of Tulum, two tourists - one a California travel blogger born in India and the other German - were killed when they apparently were caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between rival drug dealers.

The following month, two suspected drug dealers were killed in a shooting that sent tourists in swimsuits fleeing in panic from a beach near Cancun.

AFP contributed to this report.

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