Friday, April 12, 2024

Canadian and Argentine killed in separate incidents in Oaxaca

Two foreign men — a Canadian and an Argentine — have been killed in the southern state of Oaxaca in recent days.

Victor Masson, a 27-year-old from Québec, was shot and killed in the coastal town of Puerto Escondido on Monday, while Benjamín Gamond, a 23-year-old man from Córdoba, died in a Mexico City hospital on Monday after he was attacked with a machete in Oaxaca’s Lagunas de Chacahua National Park last Friday. Both were apparently visiting as tourists in Mexico.

Left to right: Victor Masson and girlfriend
Masson, a mortgage advisor from Québec, with his Mexican girlfriend, who told police that her last communication with Masson was a text in which he warned her to call 911 if he sent her a text saying, “danger.” (Social media)

Masson, who was visiting Puerto Escondido with his Mexican girlfriend, was reportedly shot in the back while driving a rented car in the neighborhood of Arroyo Seco.

Oaxaca Attorney General Bernardo Rodríguez Alamilla said Wednesday that the shooting could be related to an argument Masson had with four people in a Puerto Escondido restaurant/bar.

He said that the Canadian man went on his own to an establishment in the El Adoquín area last Sunday and met two men and two women. There was an altercation between the tourist and the four people when they were paying the bill, Rodríguez said.

The attorney general said that Masson subsequently called 911 and reported that he had been robbed.

Crime scene at Lagunas de Chacahua National Park in Oaxaca, Mexico
Gamond’s assailant, identified by authorities as Cruz Irving, 21, attacked him and Gamond’s two Argentine companions with a machete in Oaxaca’s Lagunas de Chacahua National Park. Gamond died in a Mexico City hospital. (Twitter)

“The most solid line [of investigation] we have is the altercation he had with these people,” Rodríguez said, adding that authorities are working to identify them.

Gamond, the Argentine victim, was targeted in a machete attack allegedly perpetrated by a man from Guerrero. He suffered severe head injuries while two other Argentines who attempted to repel the aggressor sustained non-fatal wounds.

The alleged perpetrator, identified as 21-year-old Cruz Irving, was arrested and placed in preventive detention on charges of attempted murder. Given that Gamond died, the suspect will be tried for murder.

Rodríguez said Wednesday that Gamond and his friends, Macarena González and Santiago Lastra, arrived in Chacahua last Thursday and were looking for surfing instructors when they had their first contact with the accused.

Gamond was a member of the Tala Rugby Club in Córdoba, Argentina. The club posted this tweet in Gamond’s memory on Monday.


“We have established that on May 12, at about two in the afternoon, they went out to eat, [and] the accused intercepted them and apparently attacked them without reason,” he said.

The attorney general said that drug use appeared to be a factor in the attack based on the behavior of the accused when he was arrested.

“It’s a terrible event,” he said. “The crimes under investigation are assault and homicide.”

According to press reports, Gamond’s family donated seven of his organs before his remains were returned to Argentina, saying that it had been Gamond’s wish to do so.

Oaxaca Government Secretary Jesús Romero said that the two murders were isolated incidents and stressed that Oaxaca is a safe state.

Data presented by federal Security Minister Rosa Icela Rodríguez this week showed that there were 299 homicides in Oaxaca in the first four months of the year, making the southern state the 13th most violent of Mexico’s 32 entities.

With reports from Infobae and El País

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