In the early hours of Monday morning, two Canadian citizens were found dead in a vacation condominium building in Playa del Carmen. The two Canadians consisted of a wanted fugitive and his partner.
The man and the woman found at the scene were fatally stabbed in the neck. A security guard was also taken to hospital for a leg injury. This is one of the many violent crimes that have occurred in the Solidaridad municipality in recent weeks, causing concern for vacationers travelling to the Mexican Caribbean this summer.
Police received a call at 5 am on Monday morning, from the Oasis12 Condominium building, located 5 minutes away from Playa del Carmen beach. Emergency services were then notified of the two dead bodies, and a report of the incident was made promptly at 5.20 am.
The scene of the crime, Oasis12 by Playa Moments Condominium, is often frequented by foreign tourists looking to stay in an apartment whilst visiting Playa del Carmen and its surrounding areas. Guests at Oasis12 have given it a consistent rating of 4.7 stars out of 5, for its facilities and services.
This is the first time a violent incident has been recorded at this location.
Both of the deceased are reportedly from the province of Quebec in eastern Canada. Whilst the identity of the woman remains unknown to the general public, the man has been identified as Raphael N.
The Attorney General of Quintana Roo state, Oscar Montes de Oca, stated that a full police investigation into the case has now begun:
“We are collecting all the information and in due course, we will make known what can be made known”.
On Monday, de Oca was present at a panel organised by the Citizen Security Board to discuss the case at hand, stating that authorities believe the deaths occurred after an attempted robbery at knifepoint. It is not yet known if the culprit intended to kill the victims, or if their deaths were provoked through conflict with the assailant.
The police have revealed that search protocols for the perpetrator of the murders have begun. At this time, a lead suspect is yet to be announced.
This is only one of several violent crimes that the municipality of Solidaridad has seen in recent weeks: just hours before the fatal robbery, a dead body was discovered on Constituyentes Avenue – just a 14-minute drive away from the Oasis12 condominium.
Another murder occurred in the Villas del Sol subdivision on Sunday morning, also a short distance from the previous crimes.
With the rate of violent crime increasing in Quintana Roo state in the past year, public distrust of authorities has grown at an extreme rate. As of 2021, only 6.86% of the population of Quintana Roo claimed to have a lot of confidence in the state police, and only 10.5% of the population said they had trust in the Public Ministry and state prosecutors. In light of these statistics, state authorities have been put under pressure to regain public trust, especially with the aforementioned cases.
The increase in violent crime in the Mexican Caribbean throughout the past two months is also causing concern for the tourism industry. Over 1 million American tourists are set to visit the coastal towns of Cancun and Playa del Carmen this summer. As tourism is one of the largest contributing factors to Mexico’s GDP, the government fears that a reduction in visitors due to an increase in crime could have a significant impact on the country’s economy.
At this moment, there has been no official warning from Mexican or American authorities about an increase in travel restrictions due to the rise in violent crime around Playa del Carmen. Travellers should keep informed of any changes by visiting the U.S State Department’s Travel Advisory website.
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