Two foreign tourists were killed and three were wounded in a shooting in Tulum, Quintana Roo, on Wednesday, state authorities said Thursday.
A German woman and an Indian woman died after being shot while dining at La Malquerida, a restaurant/bar in the center of the Caribbean coast resort town.
Two other Germans and a Dutch national were wounded and taken to hospital for treatment. All three remain hospitalized, the Quintana Roo Attorney General’s Office (FGE) said in a statement.
The FGE said that one of the women who was fatally shot died at the scene while the other passed away in the hospital. It said preliminary investigations indicated the tourists were caught in the crossfire of a shootout between drug gangs.
One of the aggressors was also wounded and detained, the FGE said, adding that state police are investigating and seeking to identify, locate and capture the other assailants.
The incident is the latest in a string of violent attacks in public places in Tulum, a once sleepy beach town that has become an international party destination. A Spanish tourist died after being shot in a taco restaurant in March, two men were shot and killed on a beach in June, a man was gunned down in the street in August, a taxi driver and security guard were executed at a restaurant in September and a man was murdered in the parking lot of the Tulum archaeological site earlier this month.
Last November, two people were killed and three others — including a police officer — were injured during a gunfight at a beach club Halloween party in Tulum.
According to the state Security Ministry, at least six criminal groups operate in the Riviera Maya, a coastal region of Quintana Roo that also includes Cancún and Playa del Carmen. They include the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Old School Zetas.
Tulum recorded 65 homicides in the first nine months of this year, 16 more than in all of 2020, while Cancún and Playa del Carmen registered 234 and 70, respectively.
The German Federal Foreign Office is currently advising German citizens not to leave their hotel complexes if they are in the Riviera Maya. It noted in a travel advisory that there have been violent attacks at restaurants and nightclubs in recent weeks that have affected German travelers and claimed the life of one.