After a shooting at a popular nightclub in Playa del Carmen took place on Wednesday evening at around 7:30 pm, an armed man allegedly involved in the attack was arrested. Tourist police and municipal police responded to the incident on the famous 12th Avenue, an area located in the heart of Playa del Carmen and known to be frequented by tourists. No tourists were hurt during the shooting, but three waiters at the Mandala nightclub were injured and taken to the hospital. According to reports, they are currently in stable condition.
The Mandala nightclub is an Asian-inspired establishment known for its fantastic service, great music, and its diverse clientele. It’s very popular among tourists and those who want to see and be seen among the who’s who of late-night partiers in Cancun. The club is open from 7:00 pm – 2:00 am every night, and tickets for entry are available online for $350.00 for four people, which is the table minimum for entry.
Despite reports of unsafe conditions in the Mexican Caribbean from officials in other countries, it is very rare that crime comes this close to affecting tourists, though there has been a slight uptick in crime in recent months. Tourists often visit multiple clubs in this popular area of Playa del Carmen and enjoy their time there without incident, though. Even in this case, the crime was not directed towards tourists visiting the popular tourist destination, and no tourists were reported to be injured in any way, although anyone there was scared for sure.
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Initial reports of the incident that occurred on Wednesday night point to a dispute over the sale of drugs at the nightclub. There are conflicting reports regarding the number of assailants, with some reports referring to two and others indicating that there were three. The assailants reportedly entered the club shortly after opening and attacked three of the waiters that were working there.
Upon arrival at the scene, agents from the municipal police and the tourist police were able to apprehend one of the armed men. The other one or two subjects were able to escape, and no reports of their apprehension have been announced at this time. Law enforcement officials were also able to recover two guns at the scene.
The incident initiated the activation of the “red code,” which launched the mobilization of three different levels of government to respond to the incident. Emergency response units were also called to the scene, but other than the three employees, there were no other injuries reported. It was during the strong police presence that the one assailant was identified and arrested.
Although it isn’t often that shootings like this occur in tourist areas, it is not altogether unheard of, and two shooting incidents recently took place in the same area of Playa del Carmen in August and then again in September. During the August shooting, two people were injured (at least one of which was a foreign tourist) at the popular bar The Roof. The September incident occurred at the Tequila Barrel nightclub, and a 38-year-old American tourist was severely injured after sustaining seven gunshot wounds.
Authorities have initiated an investigation into the reason for the shooting, although they have unofficially reported that it likely is related to rival gangs and the dealing of narcotics in the area. The Attorney General’s Office will continue the investigation and the search for others involved. For now, it is important that Playa del Carmen tourists remain vigilant and avoid the area where the shooting occurred.
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