On Wednesday, October 20th, 2021 multiple tourists were shot while dining in Tulum. Two of whom did not survive.
Shortly after 10:15 pm on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021 local 911 emergency services received multiple reports of gunshots as well as reports of several injured tourists.
The incident took place on Tulum’s popular ‘Centauro Sur Street’, in the area most commonly known as ‘La Mini Quinta’. While innocent tourists were dining Wednesday evening at two side-by-side restaurants; La Querida and La Malquerida, gang-related gunfire broke out outside of the facilities.
The two women who were killed have been identified as 35-year-old Jennifer Henzold from Germany and 25-year-old California resident, Anjali Ryot. In addition, three other tourists were shot and severely wounded – two German men and one Dutch woman. Ryot, a travel blogger who shared her many wanderlust adventures on her bustling Instagram account was there celebrating her birthday and would’ve been turning 26 the Friday after the incident.
After the shoot-out took place, customers and restaurant staff did their best to tend to the wounded while waiting for help to arrive. Police and paramedics were both dispatched immediately downtown to secure the area and for the injured to be transported to the hospital to receive medical attention. Unfortunately one of the victims died on the scene.
The Quintana Roo State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) has confirmed this tragic event and assured that an investigation is still underway. It has been said that over 30, 9-millimeter ammunition shell casings were collected from the scene. Thanks to the security cameras in the area, one of the perpetrators was able to be located. José Antonio Lila Pérez, 25, was found wounded and hospitalized after he took part in this horrendous act of violence.
On Friday a photo of a hand-written letter was posted by the ‘Citizens Observatorio of Tulum’. This letter/sign was found at a local market in Tulum and allegedly signed by a local street-level drug gang known as ‘Los Pelones’. This sign stated that the shooting was a warning so that it would be known that they are serious about businesses paying extortion demands in exchange for protection, “You either get in line or we are going to continue shutting places down like the Mini Quinta.” the sign read. The gang which is a part of the Gulf Cartel has been extorting money from nightclubs and bars in Cancun for many years. “We are in control here.” The warning sign stated.
In response to the incident, the German Foreign Office issued a travel advisory advising its citizens that “if you are currently in the Tulum or the Playa del Carmen area, do not leave your secured hotel facilities.”
Police and Military presence has also been increased in the area after this dispute. The safety of the citizens and visitors of Tulum is of utmost importance, the violence that is going on is not condoned.
Tulum’s mayor Marciano Dzul Caamal tweeted on Thursday “I strongly condemn the tragic events that occurred last night in Tulum in which two people lost their lives and three others were injured.”
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