Cancún tourists rush to shelter as armed gang storms beach at luxury hotel

Photograph: Allen Brown/Alamy
After a group of armed men entered a beach near Cancn, Mexico, and set fire to it, staff and tourists were sent scrambling for safety.

Officials said that two men were killed in a dispute between drug dealers at Hyatt Ziva, Puerto Morelos, south of Cancn.

The entrance to Hyatt Ziva. Officials confirmed that no tourists were hurt. Maria Kraynova/Alamy

According to the QuintanaRoo security secretariat, no tourists were injured or taken hostage.

According to Noticaribe, the assailants were apparently armed with long guns and stormed into beach area, seizing one tourist at gunpoint. After being hit with a butt of a gun, at least one person was hurt.

QuintanaRoo's state prosecutors blamed the incident on a confrontation among drug-dealing gangs. This led to two deaths.

According to the office, there were no injuries serious, according to a tweet.

The hotel's receptionist said that she wasn't aware of any incidents on the premises. Hyatt spokesperson stated in an email that they understood the hotel team immediately engaged the local authorities to investigate the situation.

Hotel guests were terrified by the incident.

Andrew Krop, a guest at The Hotel, tweeted that gun-toting men stormed the beach and began shooting. Spread the word and ask for help. I don't know what to do.

The hotel's receptionist said that she wasn't aware of any incidents at the location. A spokesperson for Hyatt didn't respond to a request seeking comment.

Mike Sington, a former Hollywood executive, was also staying at this hotel. He tweeted: All employees and guests were instructed to duck and taken to hiding places.

In a DM, he confirmed to the Guardian that he was in hiding in a darkened room. Later, he tweeted that emotionally disturbed guests had emerged from hiding.

Some guests told stories about playing volleyball on the beaches and a gunman approaching with a gun. Everyone ran to the beach and swimming pools.

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This incident occurs days after a Californian blogger and a German tourist were shot to death in a shooting match between suspected gang members at a Tulum restaurant.

Cancn and its Mayan Riviera, to the south, draw millions of tourists each year and are a major source of Mexican foreign income.

The violence has ravaged the region as drug cartels have occupied territories and run extortion rings.

The region has been a major tourist destination for drug dealers throughout the pandemic. Due to its strategic location and transitory population, Mexico's tourist destinations are also a prime market for criminal groups.

The government's strategy of targeting kingpins has only exacerbated the conflict as criminal groups fragment into rival factions that compete for territory and trade.

At least four cartels are believed to be fighting for routes to smuggle cocaine into Cancn from South America, and a local market that targets tourists and locals.