- Title: Shooting fears spark tourist, business concerns in Cancun
- Date: 18th January 2017
- Summary: CANCUN, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO (JANUARY 18, 2017) (REUTERS) POLICE ON DUTY TOURISTS WALKING
- Embargoed: 1st February 2017 21:18
- Keywords: Mexico Cancun violence tourism police shootings
- Location: CANCUN / CHETUMAL, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO
- City: CANCUN / CHETUMAL, QUINTANA ROO, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Crime
- Reuters ID: LVA0035ZM020Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Concerns were high in Mexico's resort city of Cancun on Wednesday (January 18) after at least four people were killed when gunmen opened fire at government offices earlier in the week, just one day after at least five people died in a shooting at a music festival nearby.
Officials reported gunfire broke out at the state attorney general's office in Cancun on Tuesday (January 17). The city is one of the most popular seaside destinations for foreign tourists in Mexico.
Police intervened, and the alarm was sounded, activating federal police and the armed forces. Other installations were also attacked. Mexican television broadcast outbreaks of afternoon gunfire in Cancun.
One policeman and three suspected gunmen were killed, and a further five suspects arrested, officials reported.
Luis Miguel Camara heads the business council for the Caribbean and expressed concerns the two incidents were linked in a crime wave.
"We don't know if the incidents are isolated or if they're acts that have followed (each other) but it is very worrying. It shouldn't continue. It attracts attention because it happened close together, one in Playa del Carmen and the other in Cancun, it is probable it was as a consequence of the other, we don't know," he said.
Lying on the Caribbean coast of eastern Mexico, Quintana Roo has suffered sporadic violence in the past few years as drug cartels battle for control of the lucrative local market.
Changes in power have been known to inflame turf wars between gangs as they fight for supremacy.
Camara believes that positive information on the Cancun resort area needs to be disseminated to avoid any tourism scares.
"It's just a fear. Regardless of the change of President of the United States these types of incidents are always sensitive to U.S. citizens and a warning (on Cancun) would be very bad for the community. It is specifically why we, as business owners, what we should do is strengthen positive community from the destination," he added.
Quintana Roo State Governor Carlos Joaquin described the attacks as a reaction by gangsters to his crackdown on organised crime, which he said had enjoyed impunity for years.
"Three criminals died and five were detained. We are working in coordination with the federal and municipal authorities in this area. I have spoken to the Interior Minister who has offered his support from the Government of the Republic, he has sent federal forces who are on the way and whose objective it is is to maintain order and security," he told media.
On Monday (January 16), at least five people were killed and 15 wounded when a gunman opened fire in a nightclub at the nightclub in the resort of Playa del Carmen. The shooting is not being investigated as a suspected terror attack.
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