Photo: A beach in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, just a short distance away from where two shootings took place. (Photo via Flickr/Joe Hunt)
Mexico’s Riviera Maya is known for its beautiful beaches and luxurious resorts, but the area is reeling after two separate shootings have raised concerns about whether the violence which plagues the country has finally made its way to the region.
According to the Agence France-Presse, a gunman opened fire on the state prosecutors' office in Cancun Tuesday, which sparked a shootout that killed three gunmen and a police officer. The gunfight happened in broad daylight just over four miles from the Riviera Maya’s hotel district.
The firefight between the police and gunmen came after a shooting at the Blue Parrot club in Playa del Carmen, where five people died—four from gunshot wounds and one American woman was trampled to death in the ensuing chaos—and at least 15 more were injured during the BPM music festival.
Authorities are not sure if the two shootings are linked or if there is a connection to the drug-related violence which is rampant in other parts of the country, but there is legitimate concern that the incidents could impact business in an area dependent on tourism.
As a result of the shooting, State security chief Rodolfo del Angel announced that authorities have activated “code red,” which calls in state and federal police and the army to regain control and promote peace in the region.
For American tourists in the Riviera Maya, the United States Consulate in Merida issued a statement telling visitors to “follow local authorities' warnings and consult with their hotels before leaving the premises,” according to the AFP.