A Mexican tourist has been shot to death in the Caribbean coast resort of Tulum in a dramatic robbery at a U.S. chain coffee shop, prosecutors and police said Tuesday.
The tourist apparently refused to hand over an expensive watch he was wearing, and was shot by the robbers.
Video of the killing posted on social media Tuesday showed men with motorcycle helmets bursting into the coffee shop with guns Monday.
Another man in the video, reportedly the victim’s bodyguard, then took out a pistol and opened fire on the robbers, who fled.
The bodyguard chased the robbers toward the street and kept firing at them through the store’s door.
Police in the coastal state of Quintana Roo said one of the thieves was wounded and later arrested at a local hospital.
State Prosecutor Oscar Montes de Oca said the bodyguard had been released because he had a weapons permit, and may have been acting in self-defense.
It was the latest chapter of continuing violence on Mexico’s resort-studded Caribbean coast, the crown jewel of the country’s tourism industry.
Last week, four men in Cancun, north of Tulum, were killed in a dispute related to drug gang rivalries.
Drug gang leader Hector Flores Aceves, known by his nickname “Pantera,” or the Panther, was being sought in connection with the killings.
The dead men were found in the city’s hotel zone near the beach. The killings came as Cancun kicked off Easter Week vacations, one of its busiest times of the year.
A U.S. tourist was shot in the leg in the nearby town of Puerto Morelos in March. The motive in that remains under investigation.
The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert last month warning travelers to “exercise increased caution,” especially after dark, at Mexico’s Caribbean beach resorts like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum, which have been plagued by drug gang violence in the past.
In 2022, two Canadians were killed in Playa del Carmen, apparently because of debts between international drug and weapons trafficking gangs.
In 2021, in Tulum, two tourists — one a California travel blogger born in India and the other German — were killed when they apparently were caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between rival drug dealers.