Mexican Resort Area Reels From Back-to-back Shootings

Mexican resort area reels from back-to-back shootings

CANCZN, Mexico, , (Pakistan Point News - APP - 18th Jan, 2017 ) - A tranquil Mexican seaside region reeled Wednesday from two shootings that left nine people dead and shattered the peace in a beach resort area beloved by US and European tourists. Mexico's so-called "Mayan Riviera" had largely avoided the major drug-related violence plaguing other regions. But on Tuesday gunmen opened fire on the state prosecutors' office in Cancun, triggering a firefight a day after a murky nightclub shooting in a nearby resort sent music festival-goers fleeing in terror.

Three gunmen and a police officer were killed in the exchange of fire, which unfolded in broad daylight seven kilometers from the Caribbean coast city's hotel district. Five assailants were arrested, said Governor Carlos Joaquin Gonzalez. The gunfight came just a day after three foreigners and two Mexicans died in a shooting at an electronic music festival in the seaside town of Playa del Carmen. While it was not known whether the two shootings were linked, the back-to-back attacks broke the peace in a spot beloved by American, Canadian and European tourists that has been spared from the sort of drug-related violence afflicting other parts of Mexico.

Francisco Lopez, the state's secretary general, blamed organized crime and said Tuesday's attack was in reaction to a state campaign against corruption. "We will not let ourselves be intimidated by these criminal groups that are trying to control the area," he said in an interview with Televisa. State security chief Rodolfo del Angel said in a video message on Twitter that authorities activated "code red" after the shooting -- a security protocol combining state and Federal police and the army. "At the moment the state is peaceful, the citizens can remain calm, Cancun is doing well at this moment," Angel said. Local media said authorities set up three checkpoints near the tourist zone. The US Consulate in Merida issued a security message urging Americans to "follow local authorities' warnings and consult with their hotels before leaving the premises."