Mexico to bolster security in Cancun during gang violence surge

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Security will be ramped up along Cancun’s waterfront after gunmen on jet skis opened fire in the Mexican tourist hotspot, authorities said.

Additional security patrols will be stationed along Cancun’s popular hotel zone and in costal waters following Tuesday’s frightening gunfire at a beach teeming with tourists, the Riviera Maya News reported Thursday, citing local officials.

The shots — which reportedly erupted near the four-star Oasis Palm resort — were likely an intimidation attempt or a warning by outlaws riled by Mexico’s decision last month to deploy a 1,500-strong National Guard force following a spike in gang violence, Quintana Roo region attorney general Oscar Montes de Oca Rosales said.

Investigators are using Cancun’s network of surveillance cameras to collect evidence to hopefully identify and apprehend the gunmen.

Six jet skis recovered following the estimated 20-shot barrage are being analyzed to confirm they were used in the attack, Montes de Oca Rosales said.

Members of the Navy patrol a beach resort as part of the vacation security in the tourist zone in Cancun.
Members of the navy patrol a beach resort as part of the vacation security in the tourist zone in Cancun.
REUTERS

The attorney general said the shots were fired into the air by two to four gunmen on jet skis roughly 500 feet from shore at Playa Langosta, a white-sand public beach in the heart of Cancun’s tourist zone.

Recovery of the spent shells is unlikely since the shots were fired over sea, Montes de Oca Rosales said. He told a radio station Mexican authorities are going to switch up their policing tactics in an attempt to quell the ongoing violence, including possible patrols by cops on personal watercraft.

“We are going to have to modify our strategies, cover those areas of the sea,” Montes de Oca Rosales reportedly told Radio Fórmula. “If we have to buy jet skis, I think it can be done.”

'We are going to have to modify our strategies, cover those areas of the sea,' Montes de Oca Rosales reportedly told Radio Fórmula. Above, members of the military patrol the coastal area.
Members of the military patrol the coastal area during the spike in violence in Cancun.
REUTERS
Personnel confer on the beach in Cancun.
Mexican authorities are still attempting to track down the gunmen who used jet skis.
EPA

Earlier reports indicated five men in military uniforms appeared on jet skis and opened fire. No injuries were reported, Quintana Roo’s chief of police told the Associated Press.

One tourist from Maine, Rick Lebassa, said two or three gunmen appeared to be firing into the air rather than at the beach. Another man visiting from Minnesota, Kerry Arms, said he thought the gunfire was actually some kind of show.

“There was a delayed reaction for about maybe five seconds, then everybody started scrambling and screaming and crying, and running,” Arms told the Associated Press.

Mexican marines with assault rifles joined the National Guard troops patrolling the area following Tuesday’s shooting, which came just a month after a gun battle between rival drug gangs at the five-star Hyatt Ziva Riviera in Cancun’s resort zone left two men dead and a tourist with minor injuries.

With Post wires

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