Three shot dead in Mexico City tourist hotspot, 'mariachi' gunmen flee


  • World
  • Saturday, 15 Sep 2018

Evidence markers are seen at a crime scene where three men were gunned down by unknown assailants at an intersection on the edge of tourist Plaza Garibaldi in Mexico City, Mexico September 14, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Romero

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Gunmen with rifles and pistols killed three people on Friday and injured at least seven in a tourist plaza in downtown Mexico City, police said, adding that they were chasing three men dressed as mariachi musicians who fled on motorbikes.

After years of keeping a lid on the worst violent crime that has plagued Mexico, its capital has seen homicides surge since 2014 to record levels, presenting a major challenge to an incoming city government that has vowed a clean-up.

In a statement, police said the three victims were killed at an intersection on the edge of Plaza Garibaldi, a major tourist destination packed with mariachi bars, just as the capital was kicking off independence day weekend celebrations.

The victims had been at a restaurant when the shooting started around 10 p.m., media said, adding that forensic officials had counted more than 60 bullet cases at the scene.

"People were screaming and running," said a disabled woman who sells cigarettes in Garibaldi, shortly after having heard what she thought were fireworks. She declined to be identified.

The identity of the three dead was not immediately clear, but the Milenio newspaper said they were men. Another newspaper said two of the injured were women.

Four of the injured were hurt as the gunmen fled, Mexico City police chief Raymundo Collins told reporters.

"Nothing like this has ever happened before," said Samuel, a man who added that he had worked for thirty years around the square in one of the world's biggest, most populous cities, but declined to give his last name.

Videos on social media and television showed a heavy police presence, with the attack site cordoned off and yellow markers where the bullet casings fell, but dozens of people continued to drink and listen to live music nearby.

Police blame much of the capital's crime on retail drug dealing and protection rackets run by violent gangs, though the government says at least one of these has links to a major national trafficking group, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Plaza Garibaldi borders one of Mexico City's most notorious neighbourhoods, Tepito, home to La Union gang police say is behind a spurt in drug-dealing and protection rackets.

In August, police arrested the presumed leader of the gang, Roberto Moyado Esparza "El Betito". Since then, the Tepito neighbourhood has suffered a wave of violence, including several killings.

Garibaldi, on the edge of the touristy, colonial historic centre of Mexico City, is known for seedy strip clubs and dive bars, aside from mariachis.

In 2013, U.S. civil rights leader Malcolm X's grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, was beaten to death near the square after a dispute over a nightclub bill.

(Writing by Christine Murray; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Clarence Fernandez)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 0
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In World

French labour minister says raising pensions age is 'non-negotiable' despite mass protests
Tech industry job cuts come rapidly and in big numbers
Electric car sales gain pace despite hurdles
Cannot rule out internal assistance for Pakistan mosque bombing -police
Fire put out at South Korea's space centre during test for next generation space rocket
Spain to send up to six Leopard 2A4 tanks to Ukraine - El Pais
Pope Francis to celebrate Mass in Congo, meet victims of violence
Needle in a haystack found: Australia recovers missing radioactive capsule
Indonesian residents file climate case against Holcim in Swiss court
Eight rockets fired at Turkish base in Iraq - Kurdish security group

Others Also Read