Tourists were left shocked after a shooting occurred in broad daylight on Fifth Avenue in Playa Del Carmen on Monday morning. The Solidaridad municipal police have stated that shots were fired between Calle 1 and Calle 14 of the avenue that hundreds of tourists visit daily. Three people were hospitalised as a result of gunshot wounds, but are reported to be in stable condition.
Fifth Avenue is notorious for being a popular tourist spot in Playa Del Carmen: also known as ‘Quinta Avenida’ by the locals, the street is filled with a multitude of artisanal shops, selling everything from handmade jewellery to authentic Mexican clothing. The spot became even more popular with visitors after it was remodelled last year with a complete overhaul on sidewalks, public lighting and new gardens.
Footage of the shooting was captured by security cameras of a hotel located on Fifth Avenue: the video reveals how tourists and shoppers ran to escape bullets upon hearing the shots that were fired, running towards a security zone set up by local authorities.
Playa del Carmen’s Secretary of Public Security and Municipal Transit reported that authorities quickly arrested 5 individuals linked to the crime and seized two firearms on the premises. Authorities have since arrested seven Mexican assailants in connection with the crime, as well as seizing over 31 bags of marijuana at the scene.
This type of violent crime is becoming increasingly common in the state of Quintana Roo this summer: Last Friday, authorities arrested several drug traffickers linked to a criminal cell stemming from the Gulf Cartel – one of the most notorious drug trafficking cartels in the entirety of Mexico.
26 individuals in total were arrested in connection with violent, drug-related crimes. The most prominent perpetrator was the leader of a criminal organisation named ‘El Rizos’, who has been accused of murder and drug dealing.
Experts believe that the shooting on Fifth Avenue may be in retaliation to the arrest of the members linked to organized crime. As the shooting targeted the general public, police believe it was the assailants’ intention to cause terror and reciprocate the fear that police gave to their arrested gang members.
This is not the first time that a shooting has occurred on Fifth Avenue in Playa Del Carmen. In October 2021, a man was fatally shot in front of several tourists as he walked down Calle 8 of the tourist hub late at night. The two perpetrators quickly fled the scene, leaving passers-by in a state of shock and panic at such a violent incident in a public place. Whilst a search operation was launched, no one has been arrested for the crime.
Fatal shootings are unfortunately becoming more commonplace throughout the Mexican-Caribbean. Earlier this month, one minor was killed and another two individuals were seriously injured after a shooting occurred at a popular seafood restaurant in Cancun. Municipal police have yet to identify the assailants, increasing tourists’ fears of further attacks.
With this particular shooting on Fifth Avenue, each of the three individuals harmed are in stable condition and are said to be recovering from their injuries. The municipal government has since deployed extra security to Fifth Avenue and its surrounding areas, to ensure the safety of the general public.
Whilst shootings do occur in the state of Quintana Roo on a moderately frequent basis, tourists are encouraged to enjoy their summer vacations and travel plans as usual. First-time visitors are advised to be extra vigilant of their surroundings and report any suspicious behaviour to authorities as soon as possible.
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