Staff and tourists at a luxury hotel near the Mexican resort city of Cancun ran for cover when a shooting broke out earlier today.
A group of armed individuals arrived on the beach just outside of the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun hotel and opened fire. Two of the people were killed on the scene, according to latest reports. State officials are reporting it to be a confrontation between drug dealers.
No Tourists Seriously Hurt In Incident
Security Secretariat of Mexico’s Quintana Roo state took to Twitter to quickly share updates on today’s events. “No tourists were seriously hurt or kidnapped,” they stated.
“There were no serious injuries” the Quintana Roo state prosecutor’s office said in a tweet following the events in the Riviera Maya.
Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun is located in the Mexican beach town of Puerto Morelos in the state of Quintana Roo, less than an hour drive south of downtown Cancun. The Riviera Maya and Yucatan coast is one of Mexico’s biggest tourist draws, with millions of international tourists visiting every year.
Assailants Stormed The Beach Area
The gunmen were seen holding “long guns” and reportedly stormed the beach by the hotel with tourists and staff present.
According to local news, one individual was grabbed at gunpoint as tourists scrambled in a panic. Other than the two victims, at least one person has been injured after being hit by the back of a gun.
Hotel Guests Taken To Hiding Places For Safety
Some of the hotel guests also took to Twitter to discuss today’s shooting. One of the guests, retired Hollywood executive Mike Sington, tweeted that “All guests and employees were told to duck and we’re being taken to hiding places.”
There were other reports shared online of some hotel guests playing volleyball on the beach at the time of the confrontation and had to run from the beach and swimming pools for safety.
Cancun Region Subject To Violence And Territory Disputes
Due to its popularity with international visitors and for a myriad of other reasons, this region of Mexico is subject to violence. And as a result, territory disputes often ensue among local gangs. With more money and more demand, tensions tend to escalate.
The nearby tourist region of Tulum made headlines just last week when two foreign tourists were shot and killed in the crossfire at a restaurant in downtown Tulum. Following the events, the Mexican President called in the National Guard to the region of Riviera Maya.
At least four separate cartels are said to be operating in the Cancun area, competing for routes to export drugs further south or to local markets amidst the demand from tourists and locals.
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