Chris Cleave ‘murder’: British businessman shot dead in Mexico in front of 14 year-old daughter

Two suspects arrested by Mexican police after shooting near tourist hotspot

Rory Sullivan
Monday 14 March 2022 17:39 GMT
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Chris Cleave, 54, was killed on 12 March 2022 near Cancun, Mexico
Chris Cleave, 54, was killed on 12 March 2022 near Cancun, Mexico (Facebook )

A British businessman has been shot dead in front of his teenage daughter in Mexico.

Chris Cleave, 54, who ran a property company in the country, was murdered while driving near the tourist hotspot of Cancun.

Two gunmen opened fire at his car when it stopped in traffic close to the Playa del Carmen in the state of Quintana Roo. He died from his injuries, while his 14-year-old daughter escaped with minor wounds.

The two suspected killers were detained by Mexican police and have been named as 30-year-old Jose N and 18-year-old Lenin N.

The Quintana Roo’s State Prosecution Service said: “We can confirm the arrest of two men who probably participated in the incident that took place on Saturday morning in which a foreigner living in the area lost his life.

“The weapon that was used has been recovered.”

Forensic specialists work at the crime scene on 12 March
Forensic specialists work at the crime scene on 12 March (REUTERS)

Police sources have suggested Mr Cleave, who became a permanent Mexico resident in 2013, was deliberately targeted. The motive for the killing is not known.

His brother Nick, from Falmouth, Cornwall, said his family was “trying to come to terms” with the killing.

“We still can’t believe what has happened to Chris,” Nick told The Sun.

Shocked friends paid tribute to Mr Cleave on Facebook, with one writing: “You were the highlight of my trips to Playa and I will miss you, my friend. It was my privilege to have known you.”

“He was such a gentleman and an amazing father,” another person said.

Violence has risen sharply in Quintana Roo over the last year.

In response, Mexican authorities stationed National Guard troops there after two foreigners were killed in the crossfire during a gang battle in Tulum. 

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