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Man Arrested in Connection to Tulum Tourist Shootings Where 2 Women Were Killed

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The Prosecutor’s Office of Quintana Roo reported the arrest of a man identified as Jose “D,” aka “El Bolillo.” This individual is reportedly involved in organized crime, said Lucio Hernandez, Quintana Roo’s Secretary of Public Safety. He’s one of the suspects in the October 2021 shooting in Tulum, where two foreign women died, and three other tourists were injured.

“After months of investigation, intelligence, and fieldwork, police agents and detectives, were able to locate Jose “D,” aka “El Bolillo,” as one of the suspects in the events that occurred on October 20, 2021, in Tulum’s restaurant “La Malquerida,” declared the Attorney General’s Office of Quintana Roo, in a public statement.

After six months of follow-up and in collaboration with agents of the Attorney General’s Office of Chihuahua, the authorities said they managed to locate and identify one of the suspects in this incident. He was reportedly hiding in a neighborhood in the border city of Ciudad Juárez.

The prosecutor of Chihuahua, Oscar Montes de Oca, added that the suspect was arrested in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua and that he will be transferred to Quintana Roo to continue with the legal process.

national guard in truck

Montes de Oca said that they have “video evidence” that shows the suspect known as “El Bolillo” at the precise time when he was shooting at the restaurant where the events occurred.

In October 2021, two foreign tourists were killed and three others injured when they were caught in the crossfire of a gang shootout in the famous resort town of Tulum. The events took place in a restaurant while customers were eating. One of the victims died at the site, and the other died later at the hospital.

The individual whose alias is “El Bolillo” is the fourth person of interest arrested in this case. Prosecutor Montes de Oca did not give details of the charges against any of the suspects. Still, he did say that the investigation processes of each suspect are in different stages.

He also indicated that this is the fourth arrest related to the case of the attack on the restaurant “La Malquerida” in Tulum.

national guard on beach

Local authorities say the latest round of violence is a reaction to the state’s efforts to crack down on crime. Police have removed cartels from beaches and main streets, where drug traffickers sell souvenirs or offer massages as a front. Investigations into criminal gangs selling drugs in restaurants and bars have led to the arrest of hundreds of gang leaders, said Lucio Hernandez Gutierrez, Quintana Roo’s Secretary of Public Safety. The drug cartels want to “stay in these spaces, which generate exorbitant profits,” he said.

tulum town

With investment in police training and technology, state homicide rates and most violent crime have declined over the past three years. Montes de Oca acknowledged that recent violence had created a problem for the state. “These events happen in iconic places, in very vulnerable places, and when reported in the media, it affects us greatly due to the perception of security in the state,” he said.

Since the outbreak of violence in tourist areas, Quintana Roo’s law enforcement has been quick to announce arrests in each case. In December, an additional contingent of about 1500 members of Mexico’s National Guard began patrolling the beaches as a sign of the federal government’s commitment to combat any threat to the country’s tourism industry.

Local business organizations agree that the government has shown a willingness to attack crime and point to the arrests made after each incident and the broader investigations to determine the leaders of the criminal gangs that carried out the shootings.

What is true is that despite these isolated violent incidents, the Riviera Maya continues to break records in occupancy this Spring Break-Easter season.

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