A beach club manager was shot dead in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, on Tuesday just hours after the U.S. government issued a security alert for the state.
Federico Mazzoni’s body was discovered at around 6 p.m. inside Mamita’s Beach Club, where he was the manager, in an area surrounded by luxurious hotels.
Two men entered the establishment and spoke with Mazzoni before they killed him in a bathroom and fled on a personal watercraft, the news website Infobae reported.
Quintana Roo Attorney General Óscar Montes de Oca said there was no sign that the killing was due to extortion and that it was unlikely to be linked to the murder of two Canadians with criminal histories on Friday at Xcaret Hotel, 11 kilometers away.
Colleagues and friends praised Mazzoni for his dedication to his work.
The owners of Mamita’s Beach Club said they didn’t want to jump to conclusions about what happened. “We are waiting for the result of the investigations and collaborating with the corresponding authorities for total clarification,” they said in a statement.
The beach club advertises itself as upmarket venue with a restaurant, family area, pool, VIP area, resident DJ and a spa and fitness center.
The travel alert by the U.S. Consulate General in Mérida, released hours before the killing, highlighted tourist hotspots for their criminal activity. “In light of recent security incidents and criminal activity in popular tourist destinations including Cancún, Playa Del Carmen, and Tulum, U.S. citizens are reminded to exercise increased caution when traveling to the state of Quintana Roo. Criminal activity and violence may occur throughout the state, including areas frequented by U.S. citizen visitors,” it read.
However, the governor, Carlos Joaquín, said crime in the state has fallen.
The incident was the fifth beachfront shooting in Quintana Roo since last October. The uptick in violence triggered the deployment in December of a new tourism security battalion of the National Guard.