Narco Hitmen on jet skis sprayed bullets on Cancun beach, killing two
The sun rises over the Caribbean as tourists watch from the beach on New Years Day on January 1, 2021 in Cancun, Mexico. Drug vPhoto by Medios y Media / Getty Images
MEXICO CITY – An American woman was hospitalized in Cancun following a beach shooting that left two dead people. Identified only as Kanya N, the Kentucky resident was hit by a stray bullet in the shoulder as she relaxed under a palm-roofed hut while on vacation this weekend.
According to witnesses, a pair of assassins attacked the beach using a jet ski, firing 10 to 15 shots before escaping through the turquoise waters that attract millions of tourists from around the world every year. whole.
The victims, who died at the scene, are said to be street vendors who sold handicrafts to tourists. But many of these vendors also function as small-scale drug dealers – fueling tourist demand for marijuana and cocaine. The shooting, which took place on the afternoon of June 11, is believed to be the result of a territorial dispute between rival gangs.
The next day, around 150 police officers undertook a cleaning operation on the beach, known as Playa Tortugas, get rid of unlicensed structures like vendor huts in an apparent attempt to drive out drug dealers. Later that night shots were fired at the local office of the prosecution unit dedicated to combating small-scale drug trafficking. It is not known whether the events are related or not.
The department of Quintana Roo, where the main tourist destinations Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Cozumel are located, is generally considered one of the safest in Mexico. But it is also known as a landing point for drugs from South America, as well as a hub for drug use due to the heavy presence of tourists.
As a result, the drug-fueled violence that has plagued Mexico sometimes spills over to the scenic beaches of the country’s most popular coastal towns. There was 209 homicides in Quintana Roo in the first four months of 2021, up from 266 in the same period last year. The majority of killings occur outside of resort areas frequented by tourists.
The use of jet skis by assassins is rare, but not unprecedented. Across the country, in Acapulco, one of Mexico’s most violent cities, gunmen carried out a number of attacks from the sea, including killing a street vendor and others, which, authorities said was also linked to small-scale drug trafficking.
In 2018, a street vendor in Cancún was targeted by attackers on a jet ski, but no one was hurt.
Cancun’s tourism industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and locals fear the shooting will cause others to have doubts about their visit.
There are conflicting reports on the state of health of Kanya, who was allegedly shot in the shoulder. VICE World News’ attempts to clarify her status with the hospital where she is being treated have failed.