Gang members attempting to extort money from business in tourist zone of Play del Carman ends in shootout with police

Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) – Elements of the Municipal Police of Playa del Carmen, in the state of Quintana Roo, found themselves under fire while carrying out a routine tour of the tourist zone.

At approximately 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 19, the officers were surprised by the attack of armed subjects at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Constituyentes Avenue.

The municipal Public Security Secretariat (SSP) reported that the police elements were attacked with gunfire during their tour; however, the police managed to defend themselves without any injury or death of police units or civilians.

Municipal police officers noticed the presence of several suspicious individuals entering a restaurant, which caught the attention of on-duty police who approached the individuals to investigate, which is when the suspects opened fire on the police.

The subjects entered the restaurant to intimidate the workers and the owner to charge a ‘fee’ for operating in the tourist area. It’s common in Mexico for criminal groups and cartels to extort money from businesses and charge a ‘fee’ for operation in exchange for keeping their family and business safe.

The 15 people arrested and the firearms seized in the operation were presented to the Public Ministry agency for the investigation and eventual charges.

According to the authorities, some businesses are co-opted by drug dealers to carry out their activities there.

Because the tourist area is one of the favorites for nationals and foreigners, there is a great economic flow, which is very attractive for criminal groups that are dedicated to drug dealing, extortion, and human trafficking. Members of the Sinaloa Cartel, the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel, the Gulf Cartel, and a regional group would operate in the area of Play del Carmen.

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