Cancun shooting: Mexican army deployed to tourist hotspot after second deadly attack in a week

US government warns tourists to stay indoors to avoid gang crossfire

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The Independent US

The Mexican army has been deployed to Cancun after a second major shooting incident in as many days. 

Nine people, including three tourists and a police officer, were killed during gun battles at a nightclub during an electronic music festival in Playa Del Carmen and later during a stand-off with soldiers at the state prosecutor’s office.

It is not known whether the two shootings, which were thought to be drug-related, were linked in any way. Multiple security checkpoints were set up around tourist areas, which have typically avoided gang-related violence. 

The US government has also issued a warning to tourists to remain indoors.

The violence comes at a particularly inopportune time for Cancun, which is a major holiday destination for American students on spring break. Every year in March, thousands of revellers fill huge nightclubs across the city for a week of partying. 

A Canadian man and an Italian man were among those killed on Monday at the BPM music festival in Playa Del Carmen, as gunshots prompted crowds to flee in panic. Shops and roads were briefly closed in the area.

Local authorities implemented a “code red” warning across Cancun, and announced the police and army presence would be increased while they monitored the situation.    

The US Consulate in Merida meanwhile advised American visitors to “follow local authorities’ warnings and directives, and consult with their hotels before leaving the premises”. Officials said the best course of action was to “shelter in place”.

In December, the US government issued a general warning for tourists thinking of travelling to Mexico, noting that many American citizens have recently been “victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking and robbery”.