Third Person Arrested In Connection To Killing That Drew International Headlines
The supposed mastermind of the Xcaret Hotel shooting in January has been arrested in Mexico City after an extended operation. He is the third person arrested in connection with the crime.
According to a statement from the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection of Quintana Roo, extensive intelligence work has been underway since the murders, finally leading to the man’s arrest in the capital. The statement said,
“following up the lines of investigation and the inter-institutional work between the Quintana Roo Attorney General’s Office and the Secretariat for Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) through the National Anti-Kidnapping Coordination (Conase), it was possible to identify two people who were followed up by the National Intelligence Center (CNI)”.
The statement continued to explain that the search narrowed the two individuals further, turning the investigation to one man, named only as “Oscar Ivan N”, who had an arrest warrant out for homicide and attempted homicide.
The successful capture of all of the parties seemingly responsible for the attack is good news for Quintana Roo. The murders drew international headlines and left many questioning the safety of the region.
The event in question saw a man wearing a grey tracksuit enter the Xcaret Hotel in Quintana Roo and meet with three Canadian nationals. After a few moments of walking with the victims, he opened fire on them, killing two men and injuring a woman before fleeing into the forest behind the resort.
Initial reports across the world painted an even more traumatic picture of the incident compared to the reality. Many assumed that a gunman had opened fire on innocent tourists enjoying their time in the resort. The truth, however, was that the victims were high-level members of a Canadian-Vietnamese crime syndicate.
One of the men had a high dollar price on his head from the Canadian government for laundering millions as well as for complicity in drugs and weapons dealing in the US and Mexico. He supposedly fled to Vietnam to avoid capture but resurfaced in Mexico. Intelligence suggested the killing was related to the settling of debt between criminal organizations.
The killings prompted fresh questions about Quintana Roo’s safety for tourists, despite the fact that no tourists were hurt. The US and Canada even raised their travel warning levels in response to the shooting. The incident was one of many similar events that have taken place in Quintana Roo over the past months. Almost all of the violence has been directly related to organized crime and the drug trade, with a tiny percentage of the problems affecting tourists.
Many outlets paint the state as something of a war zone and based on the statistics it may be justifiable. There have been well over a hundred murders in the state since the beginning of the year, a stat that places Cancun in the top fifty most dangerous cities in the world.
As worrying as the statistics are, Cancun continues to be split in two. The tourists enjoying the city’s hotels, beaches, restaurants, and bars remain extremely safe despite the relative chaos happening just a few miles away. Unfortunately, the violence is fueled by tourists’ drug tendencies while visiting the region, making both the region and the tourists themselves valuable to the gangs committing the crimes.
The government has been working to remind visitors of the potential consequences of taking, buying, or simply being in possession of any illegal substances while in Mexico. Hotels are requiring guests to sign a form confirming they understand the rules and promising they won’t partake in any aspect of the trade.
Visitors to the region should ensure they understand the laws in Cancun and Mexico before traveling and avoid placing themselves in any potentially dangerous situation, as well as help stop what is a damaging culture for the region.
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