At least two dead after the irruption of an armed commando in a hotel in the Riviera Maya
Guests say they were taken to safety after hearing gunshots at the Hyatt Ziva Riviera
At least two people have died after the irruption of an armed commando in a hotel in Puerto Morelos, authorities have said. The Attorney General of the State of Quintana Roo, in the Mexican Caribbean, has confirmed that it was a confrontation between rival drug gangs. The local police moved to the vicinity after receiving an emergency call. “Irregular activity was reported to 911 in the vicinity of a hotel,” he reported.
Reports show that about 10 men carrying military weapons entered through the beach area that links the Hyatt Ziva Riviera and Azul Beach hotels. The authorities have reported that at least one tourist receives medical attention after suffering a blow, but they have added that there are no serious injuries. The first versions assured that it was a kidnapping, but this information was denied by the Prosecutor’s Office. The two dead were part of the two gangs that participated in the confrontation. “There are no tourists seriously injured or kidnapped,” confirmed Lucio Hernández, state secretary of Public Security.
Guests have assured that they have had to take cover after shots were heard. “Active shooter on the Hyatt Ziva Riviera property,” posted Mike Sington, an American NBC executive who stayed at the all-inclusive resort. “All the guests and employees are hiding. Paramedics have arrived ”, added Sington.
The messages began to spread around two in the afternoon.
Social media posts show how guests and workers are escorted out of the hotel’s public areas and remain crouched for protection, without receiving any explanations. Other messages shared on Twitter show several people who were concentrated in the lobby after the commando’s irruption. The property is located between the tourist centers of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, about 20 kilometers from the international airport.
“We understand that the hotel team immediately contacted the local authorities at the scene to investigate the situation. The hotel team is taking steps in an effort to ensure the safety of guests and colleagues, ”a Hyatt spokesperson told Telemundo. No further details have been revealed about the motive for the confrontation or about people detained after the events.
The violence has not given respite to Quintana Roo, which concentrates on other destinations in the Riviera Maya corridor. This same week, the body of a bound man was abandoned in a park in Cancun. A shooting in a Tulum bar on October 20 killed two foreign tourists, one Indian and one German, and three others were injured. A month earlier, a taxi driver and a security guard were gunned down in another shooting in the town. In August, a man died after being shot in the neck, also in Tulum.
As the news of violent events arrive from the Caribbean, the governor of the State, Carlos Joaquín, announced this week that the Tulum Police had hired more elements to reach 500 agents in total and face the violence. “We are all guilty, in some way, and that is why the challenge is to regain that image of a safe and successful destination,” said Joaquín. Quintana Roo has exceeded the 1,000 homicide threshold during the first nine months of the year, according to the latest available official data.
Puerto Morelos, where the confrontation broke out, is a neighbor of Cancun, the main recipient of foreign tourists from Mexico.
Violence linked to crime, especially the retail sale of drugs, has hit the Mexican Caribbean for years.
Most violent incidents have been in urban areas and rooms, far from exclusive hotels.
But in recent years, armed clashes have broken out in tourist areas such as this Thursday.
U.S. Consulate General Merida
Location: Puerto Morelos
We are aware of a shooting incident in the beach area near the Azul Beach Resort Riviera Cancun and the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun in Puerto Morelos. Mexican authorities are responding to the situation. We advise U.S. citizens in the area to contact concerned family and/or friends to let them know they are safe. Affected U.S. citizens should follow the instructions of local authorities and call 911 if they have an emergency situation. U.S. citizens who need information or assistance can contact the U.S. Consulate in Merida via the contact information provided below.
Actions to Take:
Monitor the local news for updates, follow directions from local officials, and in case of emergency, call 911.
Be aware of your surroundings.
Review your personal security plans.
Contact the U.S. Consulate or Embassy if you need assistance.
Assistance: Contact Form U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico From Mexico: (55) 8526 2561 From the United States: 1-844-528-6611 Department of State – Consular Affairs: +1-888-407-4747 or +1-202-501-4444
Source: elpais.com, eleconomista.com.mx, aristeguinoticias.com