Gang Approached Resort On Jet Skis, No One Harmed
An armed group of men dressed as soldiers opened fire on the beach outside a popular resort in Cancun. The attack, which left no one harmed, took place on Tuesday.
According to several reports, as many as five people, dressed in military style outfits stormed the beach on jet skis. Upon arriving at the beach, the men unloaded their weapons into the air. There did not appear to be any directed at tourists or any specific individual on the beach.
The men left abruptly, abandoned their jet skis, and then changed into civilian clothes to help their escape. The jet skis were found later by authorities.
The four star resort, the Oasis Palm, is a family establishment and hundreds of visitors were on the beach as the drama unfolded. The attack is the latest in a string of violent incidents in the Quintana Roo region in the past few months.
Although no one was injured, several of the resort guests were shaken by the event, with many describing the panic as the shots were fired. One father described hearing the shots from the balcony of his hotel room, while his children were in the outdoor pool downstairs. Screaming at them from the balcony, he was able to communicate for them to get inside and take cover.
Police cleared the beach shortly after the incident took place. They seized the jet skis found a mile down the coast and searched for any other evidence available to them. But as of now, no arrests or developments have been announced.
The timing of this attack comes just one week after the arrival of the new Tourist Security Battalion that was installed to help secure the safety of visitors to Quintana Roo, as well as the locals.
The decision to generate a tourist specific unit of the national guard was in reaction to an escalation in gang related violence over the past few months. Although gang violence is nothing new in the region, recent tragic events have left tourists in the firing line, although not ever as the direct targets.
Just weeks ago, a gang related shootout broke out in a popular tourist restaurant. The ensuing chaos left two women dead and another three injured. Local gangs claimed responsibility for the incident.
Also this year, what appeared to be an assassination attempt unfolded on a public beach. Several armed gang members stormed the beach, leaving two men dead. No tourists were hurt in this instance.
The 1500 strong battalion has been placed strategically around the region, with around half of the force located in Cancun. Some reports surrounding Tuesday’s events suggest that members of the battalion had been patrolling the same beach less than twenty minutes before.
Tourist numbers have not been deterred in the face of the violence thus far, but it remains to be seen how long that may continue if the trend is not controlled. It is hoped the battalion may put a halt to the bulk of any problems. But for now, the lure of restriction free travel is still proving too strong a draw for most tourists.
At this point, any motive for the attack is purely speculative, but the police have said they will announce details as they become apparent.
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