An argument that broke out in a restaurant near the Cancun Hotel Zone Friday night turned deadly when the owner of a restaurant located in a popular tourist center in the downtown area was shot and killed. Although the incident took place in a busy restaurant where others were present, no tourists or employees of the establishment were injured. The argument, and subsequent shooting, were the result of an apparent personal matter between the owner of the El Cejas restaurant and the individual who shot him, although that reason has not been confirmed yet.
Initial reports of the incident say that the shooting took place around 10:30 pm this past Friday night. The argument started at Mr. Pampas Brazilian restaurant located on Bonampak Avenue, only a couple of miles outside of the Cancun Hotel Zone, where the shooting also occurred. The Hotel Zone is the main tourist area in the city and is always packed with vacationers.
There are currently more than 100 hotels in this area of the city, and additional hotels in Cancun’s downtown area as well. It is here that the man, only named as Francisco C. in news reports, was gunned down while enjoying a meal at an establishment other than his own. Witnesses report that the argument was about one man seeing the other man’s wife, but police have pointed to the fact that it could also be drug-related or extortion.
Until the investigation is complete there is no way of knowing what really happened. Also complicating solving the case is the fact that the gunman escaped following the shooting and as of the time of this report has still not been caught. Because it was a personal dispute there is little reason for tourists to have to worry about further shootings but anyone visiting the popular Mexican Caribbean tourist destination should always be cautious, particularly when going outside of the Hotel Zone.
The Hotel Zone is also typically very safe for tourists, as the larger establishments generally don’t fall victim to the extortion that some of the restaurants outside of the tourist area deal with. There are usually guards roaming the streets and the beaches in the Hotel zone as well, in order to protect tourists and keep drugs out of the area. Extortion and/or drugs are more often than not the cause of the minimal amount of violence that does occur in the city.
The restaurant owned by Francisco C. was located in the popular tourist shopping center called Mercado 28. This is where many tourists go to buy souvenirs, try Mexican street food, and buy authentic Mexican goods. It is located outside of the Cancun Hotel Zone in the downtown area of the city and there is another shopping center nearby, Mercado 23, that although similar, is geared more towards locals.
Local law enforcement is currently investigating what really led to the shooting and trying to find the perpetrator who killed the owner of the very popular Cancun restaurant. El Cejas has been a staple in the community and serving locals and tourists for around 35 years. Francisco, the owner of the restaurant, was only 62 years old.
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