Mexican officials confirmed Monday they discovered four dead bodies in a hotel area in the popular resort town of Cancun.
via: New York Post
The murders of four men found dead near a beachside resort in Cancun Monday are likely linked to drug gang rivalries in the area, officials said Tuesday.
Quintana Roo authorities said notorious gang leader Hector Flores Aceves, who is known as “Pantera” — meaning panther — was involved in the slayings and are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
The four bodies were discovered near the beach in Cancun’s hotel zone as the city prepares for a rush of tourists who travel to Mexico the week of Easter — one of its busiest times of the year.
Law enforcement officials have not revealed a motive for the killings, however rival gangs are known to compete over exclusive resort areas — seeking to be the sole drug dealers to tourists at the vacation spots.
Two suspects were detained for the murders, authorities said, while Flores Aceves remains at large.
Quintana Roo police offered the same $50,000 reward for Flores Aceves’ arrest nearly a year ago when he was wanted for a string of attacks and murders at Cancun bars.
He and a rival were wanted for shootings at two bars on May 6, 2022. Two people were killed and eight were injured during the gunfire.
The men — who were both members of the Sinaloa cartel which split into separate gangs — were “trying to control what they call ‘the marketplace’ to carry out their criminal activities,” said the Quintana Roo police chief at the time.
The gangs were involved in drug dealing, kidnapping, and extorting “protection money” from business owners who they threatened to kill or hurt if they weren’t paid.
Monday’s slaughters came days after a US citizen visiting the nearby town of Puerto Morelos was shot in the leg. It’s unclear why the tourist was shot.
Last month, the US State Department issued a travel alert warning Americans to “exercise increased caution” if traveling to Mexico’s buzzing beach resorts like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum where drug gang violence has run rampant in the past.
Last year, two Canadians were killed in Playa del Carmen reportedly over debts between international drug and weapons trafficking gangs.