A Mexican tourist was shot dead in the resort of Tulum, on the Caribbean coast, in a dramatic robbery at a coffee shop owned by a US chain, prosecutors and police said Tuesday. Apparently, the tourist refused to hand over an expensive watch he was wearing and the thieves shot him. The video of the murder posted on social media on Tuesday showed men wearing motorcycle helmets breaking into the cafeteria with weapons on Monday. Another man who appeared in the video, apparently the victim's bodyguard, then pulled out a gun and opened fire on the thieves, who fled.
The bodyguard chased the thieves to the street and kept shooting at them through the store door. Police in the coastal state of Quintana Roo said one of the robbers was injured and later arrested at a local hospital. State Attorney Oscar Montes de Oca said the bodyguard had been released because he had a permit to carry weapons and could have acted in self-defense. It was the last chapter of continuing violence on Mexico's resort-filled Caribbean coast, the jewel in the crown of the country's tourism industry.
Last week, four men died in Cancun, north of Tulum, in a dispute related to rivalries between drug gangs. The leader of a drug gang, Hector Flores Aceves, known by his nickname Pantera, was wanted in connection with the murders. The dead were found in the city's hotel zone, near the beach. The murders occurred when Cancun was starting the Holy Week vacation, one of the busiest times of the year.
A tourist was shot in the leg in the nearby town of Puerto Morelos in March. The reason is still being investigated. The State Department issued a travel alert last month warning travelers to be more careful, especially at nightfall, in Caribbean resorts in Mexico, such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, which have been plagued by violence from drug gangs in the past. In October, two tourists died while dining at an open-air restaurant in Tulum.
A month later, guests at a tourist resort in Puerto Morelos were forced to hide while gunmen arrived by boat and killed two people. This year, Tulum has been plagued by an increase in violence and corrupt practices, whether they are shootings or taxis with exaggerated rates. Even so, it has continued to grow as a destination and is expected to receive a record number of guests this winter. So why is it still one of America's favorite sunny spots abroad, despite overtourism and bad publicity?.