A Canadian citizen has been detained in Mexico after a deadly shooting at a hotel along the Caribbean coast that killed two Canadians and wounded one other last week.
The attack took place Friday at the Hotel Xcaret resort south of Playa del Carmen. The attackers apparently had guest wrist bands to enter the resort.
In a statement to Global News Tuesday, Global Affairs Canada said “it is aware of the death of two Canadian citizens and the detention of a Canadian citizen in Mexico”.
“Consular officials are in contact with local authorities to gather information and are providing consular assistance,” the emailed statement from a GAC spokesperson said, without adding further details.
On Friday, prosecutors said both dead men had criminal records in Canada, and one was a known felon with a long record related to robbery, drug and weapons offenses.
Oscar Montes, the chief prosecutor of the Quintana Roo state, said Tuesday that the attack appeared to be “motivated by debts that arose from transnational illegal activities that the victims participated in” as members of international gangs.
Montes said the attack had been planned for almost a month by a cartel or gang that had not previously been known to operate in the area. But in keeping with standard procedure, he declined to name the gang.
A third Canadian, a woman, was wounded and is being treated at a local hospital, but is not yet able to speak with investigators.
Authorities said the two suspects arrested in the case so far include a professional kidnapper from Mexico City who coordinated the plot.
Police also arrested a female, identified only by her last name, Nu, who was apparently part of the group of 10 Canadians who were vacationing at the resort.
Montes said Nu both “cared for the children” of the victims and allegedly met with the killers and may have been providing them information on their activities.
The hired killer who actually fired the shots is being sought.
Montes said a first group of assassins hired to kill the Canadians earlier in January abandoned the job because there was too much security. A second assassin flew in to the resort and carry out the killing, he said.
Last week’s killings were the latest in a series of brazen acts of violence along Mexico’s resort-studded Mayan Riviera coast, the crown jewel of the country’s tourism industry.
In November, a shootout on the beach of Puerto Morelos left two suspected drug dealers dead. Authorities said there were some 15 gunmen from a gang that apparently disputed control of drug sales there.
— with files from Marc-Andre Cossette and The Associated Press