- Title: At least 5 dead, 15 hurt in shooting at Mexico's BPM music festival
- Date: 16th January 2017
- Summary: ***WARNING CONTAINS NUDITY*** BLUE PARROT SEEN FROM BEACH
- Embargoed: 30th January 2017 20:30
- Keywords: Mexico Blue Parrot shooting Playa del Carmen
- Location: PLAYA DE CARMEN, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO
- City: PLAYA DE CARMEN, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime
- Reuters ID: LVA0025ZBZPS3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: At least five people, including foreigners, were killed and 15 were wounded early on Monday (January 16) when a shooter opened fire at a nightclub in Mexico's Playa del Carmen resort town during the BPM electronic music festival.
Quintana Roo State Attorney General Miguel Angel Pech said the incident began when a person entered the Blue Parrot nightclub armed around 3 a.m. (0800 GMT) on Monday morning, during the closing of the festival. Another person tried to stop the person, sparking a gunfight that drew in more security staff.
"A person came in with a firearm and another tried to prevent this (person from going into the nightclub) as far as the weapons being taken out. And these people started firing and finally the shots were distributed around different parts of the very night club, which led other security personnel from the international event to approach them directly to prevent this," Pech said adding the shooter escaped and was still at large. He also said the shooting was not being investigated as an act of terrorism.
Pech said staff from the BPM festival appear to be among the dead.
"Two are from Canada, another is from Italy and apparently a Colombian, according to what we've seen. But we also have information, given the clothes they were wearing, which were clothes from this international event. So we concluded that one of them was a security supervisor for the BPM and the others also had clothes that distinguished them as part of the staff of this event which is being held," Pech said.
The Canadian government confirmed that one of its citizens had died and said it was investigating the reports of a second Canadian death.
The shooting represents a major blow to Mexico's tourism industry, which has been one of the few bright spots in the economy thanks to a weak peso exchange rate.
Tourists are generally shielded from the drug violence that has ripped Mexico apart over the last decade, killing well over 100,000 people since 2007.
Patrick Ryan, a tourist from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, described the scene following the shooting.
"My friend and I, we were about half a block down the street. We started walking in this direction. We were actually heading toward Blue Parrot and at one point there was some shuffling in the crowd, people started to move a little faster. We realised something was wrong. Next thing I know, everyone is sprinting and trying to find safety, obviously a lot of panic. And then we got back to our condo, which is right next door and there were a lot of people panicked, running down the beach so, a lot of chaos," said Ryan.
Pech said 15 people were injured, of whom 7 were still in hospital. The state government said in a statement that one person was in grave condition. Four people were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the incident.
Pech said two of the dead were BPM security workers but the festival said in a statement that three members of their security team were killed. BPM said the shooting was carried out by a lone shooter.
Quintana Roo and the surrounding Yucatan peninsula have traditionally been less violent than other parts of Mexico, with relatively low murder rates. However, with many foreign tourists and a vibrant night life scene, there has long been an important local drug market in and around Playa Del Carmen, which is just south of the popular resort city of Cancun.
The BPM festival, which was entering its 10th year, has grown to be one of the biggest electronic music events in the world, with top DJs flying in every January to play the clubs of Playa del Carmen along Mexico's Caribbean coast.
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