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7 dead as gunfire erupts at Playa del Carmen bar

Attack occurred late Sunday relatively far from the beachside tourist zone

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Las Virginias was the scene of a shooting attack that left seven dead late Sunday. Photo: Facebook

Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo. — Seven men were killed in a shooting attack at a bar late Sunday.

The attack occurred at the Las Virginias bar in a low-income section relatively far from the beachside tourist resort zone. Six men were found shot to death in the bar, and another died at a local hospital.

One man was wounded but survived the attack. The attackers have not yet been identified.

Once a quiet fishing and ferry town, Playa del Carmen has grown quickly in the last two decades, with lower-income neighborhoods springing up on the inland side of the coastal highway.

The state has seen homicides more than double in the last year, with 688 killings in the first 11 months of 2018. Quintana Roo is on a path to have a homicide rate on a par with El Salvador.

The feared Jalisco cartel has possibly moved into the region, disputing control with local gangs.

In September, two Mexican marines were found stabbed to death in Cancun. On a single day in August, police found eight bodies strewn on the streets of the resort city.

In January 2017, gunmen attacked the state prosecutors’ office in Cancun, killing four people. A day before that, a shooting at a music festival in Playa del Carmen left three foreigners and two Mexicans dead.

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico issued a brief travel warning for Playa del Carmen in March. A February 2018 blast on a ferry apparently caused by an explosive device injured 26 people, including several American citizens.

That has sparked fears that the Yucatan Peninsula’s Caribbean-side resorts could come to resemble the faded Pacific coast resort of Acapulco. The bloody violence in Acapulco that flared in 2006 eventually earned it a level-four “do not travel” warning from the U.S. Department of State.

Source: Associated Press

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