Shootings on Playa del Carmen’s Fifth Avenue mark escalating violence in sought-after Mexican travel destination

Rising violence in Quintana Roo as authorities seek suspects and drug cartels loom large amidst increasing homicide rates.

At least two shootings interrupted the tranquility of Playa del Carmen’s Quinta Avenida this Wednesday, June 14. The first incident occurred at 12th Street, where an alleged criminal fired at least nine shots at the facade of “Las Camelias” restaurant. This establishment had previously been linked to other alleged drug-related events, according to PorEsto newspaper.

According to security camera images, the armed attack occurred at approximately 9:00 a.m. The perpetrator was a man wearing a red cap, a white T-shirt, blue jeans, and black tennis shoes. Meters ahead, he left his clothes in a garbage can while fleeing.

According to initial reports, no injuries were reported, even though the attack occurred a few minutes after the establishment had opened its doors to the public. Authorities from the National Guard (GN), the Secretariat of the Navy (Semar), and the municipal police arrived at the site. At least 10 spent shell casings were scattered on the ground.

This was the second violent incident on Fifth Avenue in less than twelve hours. On Wednesday night, a man shot at least five times, according to reports, at an alleged drug dealer in the same tourist area.

According to local authorities, the victim, who had a criminal record, died at the scene, while two tourists were injured after being hit by bullets, although both were reported to be out of danger. One was wounded in one foot, and the other presented “minor injuries,” according to the report of the aggression.

(Cuartoscuro)
(Cuartoscuro)

The Attorney General’s Office of the State of Quintana Roo informed that it is already investigating the facts and does not rule out a settling of scores or charging a “derecho de piso” as a possible motive for the murder.

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The Secretary of Public Security and Municipal Transit of Solidaridad said they responded to a report to the 911 emergency number for gunshots at the intersection of Calle 22 and Quinta Avenida and confirmed that three people were injured.

“In coordination with federal authorities, the Solidaridad Municipal Police immediately implemented an operation to search for those responsible. The possible perpetrators fled aboard a gray Aveo car,” the statement said.

In the first four months of this year, 532 homicides were registered in Quintana Roo (206 intentional and 326 culpable homicides). During this period, six victims of femicide were also reported, according to figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP).

In Quintana Roo, 2022, 1,472 homicides were recorded, of which 120 were committed during December, according to figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (CNSP).

Due to the large economic flow of tourism in this region, the presence of at least five criminal groups dedicated to drug dealing, extortion, and human trafficking has been detected in the entity: the Sinaloa Cartel, the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation (CJNG), the Gulf Cartel and the Regional Group.