Four people were found dead near a hotel in Cancun on Monday, according to Mexican officials, the latest bout of violence in the popular tourist destination.
Two people have been arrested for their possible involvement in the deaths of four people, according to the attorney general of the state of Quintana Roo.
All of the deceased are Mexicans, said José Pablo Mathey Cruz, the secretary of public security of Benito Juárez, the municipality where Cancun is located.
He said the suspects are allegedly engaged in the sale and distribution of narcotics, adding that footage from local security cameras and the joint work of local authorities helped lead to their arrest.
The prosecutor’s office confirmed earlier on Monday that three people had been found dead and an investigation was opened. Later, the office said they found a fourth body.
Polo Gallegos, a tourist who was in the area at the time of the shooting, told CNN en Español that he heard shots while at a nearby gym at around 10 a.m. local time.
“We heard the shots and they hid all of us in an office and they kept us there until the incident was over. Everyone kept us there until they secured the area, and right now there are police, the Navy, everyone, everyone in the beach area and it’s very uncomfortable for us,” he said.
The security situation in Cancun has deteriorated in recent years. In 2021, the Mexican government said the National Guard would permanently deploy to Cancun and its surrounding area following a rise in violence there linked to organized crime, Reuters reported.
There have been a series of violent incidents around the Caribbean coastal area. In early 2022, two people died after shots were fired in a hotel at Playa del Carmen, according to CNN en Español.
There were shootings reported in late 2021 in the tourist areas of Puerto Morelos and Cancun.
The State Department advises travelers to “exercise increased caution due to crime and kidnapping” in the state of Quintana Roo. The advisory says that violence and criminal activity may occur anywhere, “including in popular tourist destinations.”
“Travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities occur, and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations,” the advisory warns.