At least two people have died after an armed commando entered the Hyatt Ziva Riviera hotel in Riviera Maya and opened fire in confrontation with a rival drug cartel.
The Quintana Roo State Prosecutor’s Office, in the Mexican Caribbean, has confirmed that it was a confrontation between rival drug gangs. The local police are already in the vicinity after receiving an emergency call. “Irregular activity was reported to 911 in the vicinity of a hotel,” they reported.
Reports show that about 10 men carrying long weapons entered through the beach area that links the Hyatt Ziva Riviera and Azul Beach hotels. The authorities have reported that at least one tourist receives medical attention after being shot, but they have added that there are no serious injuries.
The first versions claimed that it was a kidnapping, but this information was denied by the Prosecutor’s Office. The two dead were part of the two gangs that participated in the confrontation. “There are no tourists seriously injured or kidnapped,” confirmed Lucio Hernández, state secretary of Public Security.
Guests took cover after shots were heard. “Active shooter on the Hyatt Ziva Riviera property,” posted Mike Sington, an American NBC executive who stayed at the all-inclusive resort. “All the guests and employees are hiding. Paramedics have arrived, ”added Sington.
Social media posts show how guests and workers are escorted out of the hotel’s public areas and remain crouched for protection, without receiving any explanations. Other messages shared on Twitter show several people who were concentrated in the lobby after the commando’s irruption. The property is located between the tourist centers of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, about 20 kilometers from the international airport.
“We understand that the hotel team immediately contacted the local authorities at the scene to investigate the situation. The hotel team is taking steps in an effort to ensure the safety of guests and colleagues,” a Hyatt spokesperson told Telemundo. No further details have been revealed about the motive for the confrontation or about people detained after the events.
The violence has not given respite to Quintana Roo, which concentrates other destinations in the Riviera Maya corridor. This same week, the body of a bound man was abandoned in a park in Cancun. A shooting in a Tulum bar on October 20 killed two foreign tourists, one Indian and one German, and three others were injured. A month earlier, a taxi driver and a security guard were shot dead in another shooting in the town. In August, a man died after being shot in the neck, also in Tulum.
As the news of violent events arrive from the Caribbean, the governor of the State, Carlos Joaquín, announced this week that the Tulum Police had hired more elements to reach 500 agents in total to face the violence.
“We are all guilty, in some way, and that is why the challenge is to regain that image of a safe and successful destination,” said Joaquín.
Quintana Roo has exceeded the 1,000 homicide threshold during the first nine months of the year, according to the latest available official data.
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