In a chilling echo of a past tragedy, terror has once again struck Sonora, this time in the city of San Luis Río Colorado. A subject, previously removed from a local bar, set the establishment’s entrance ablaze, trapping scores of patrons inside. The horrific event resulted in the death of twelve individuals, while four others suffered injuries.
The chilling echo in question harkens back to an incident in March 2011 in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. An organized crime faction attacked Royale, a well-known casino, causing several fatalities and injuries. It was a grim day for the area, with the event being remembered as one of the most tragic in its history.
Two fire attacks that claimed several victims
The San Luis Río Colorado tragedy involved a young man who doused the bar’s doors in gasoline, ignited it, and fled. The State Attorney General’s Office confirmed these details in a press release, additionally noting that the individual had been earlier asked to leave the establishment.
In the previous case of Casino Royale, the attack was premeditated by a group ranging between 13 and 16 individuals. Allegedly members of the “Zetas”, had convened at a restaurant to plan their criminal act. Armed with gasoline cans sourced from a nearby station, they made their way to the casino.
The night of the fire, the band Mitósis was performing live at the bar. The attacker, according to witnesses, had been making a nuisance of himself, particularly to the women present. To maintain a safe environment, the bar management made the decision to expel him.
The assault on Casino Royale was a horrifying spectacle. The criminals brandished weapons, intimidated the security staff, robbed the patrons, vandalized the slot machines, and doused the place with gasoline before setting it aflame. The fire spread swiftly, turning the building into an inferno in mere moments.
The man returned to the bar in an apparent state of intoxication. He sprayed gasoline at the building’s entrance and lit it with what appeared to be a blowtorch. The ensuing fire resulted in 12 deaths, while six individuals were transported to local, state, and U.S. hospitals.
Casino Royale, a heinous crime
In the Casino Royale incident, panic ensued as the flames spread, with patrons trampling each other in a desperate attempt to escape. Emergency exits failed, and only a few managed to leave the building. The incident claimed 52 lives, most of whom succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning. As emergency services labored into the night, the second floor of the building collapsed due to the intense heat.
The governor of Sonora, Alfonso Durazo, took to social media, assuring the public that he has directed his security cabinet to pursue the perpetrator of the San Luis Río Colorado tragedy relentlessly. He pledged that the individual would be brought to justice and face the full weight of the law.
n the aftermath of the Casino Royale attack, five individuals were eventually arrested and admitted their involvement. They reportedly intended to intimidate the casino owner, who had refused to pay a protection fee of 130 thousand pesos. The total number of culprits apprehended rose to 25, with one being killed in 2012. However, several, including “El Monterrey”, “La Kitty”, “La Beba”, “El Chimpas”, “El Huevo” and “El Tony”, remain at large.