Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Minor among 7 killed by gunmen at water park in central Mexico

Gunmen stormed a water park in central Mexico on Saturday and killed six adults and a child, unleashing panic among those present, local authorities said.

Police “arrived at the scene where they found… three dead women, three men and a seven-year-old minor, in addition to one person seriously wounded,” said a statement from City Hall in Cortazar, the municipality where the attack took place.

The surrounding state of Guanajuato in central Mexico has seen a surge in drug-related violence in recent years.

The gunmen arrived at the La Palma swimming resort at 4:30 pm local time (2230 GMT) “to perpetrate the attack,” the statement said.

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Attackers went directly toward a group of people and opened fire, then yanked out security cameras from the site before retreating, authorities said.

According to a video posted on local news site Debate Noticias, which was taken by an eye-witness at the scene, the victims had collapsed on the floor or on the chairs where they were sitting amid thick clouds of smoke — apparently from the gunshots.

The footage also shows people running for cover from the gunfire.

The website of TV Azteca, one of Mexico’s main television networks, had a video from the scene showing panic-stricken adults and children still in swimwear — including pool floats — on the scene after the shooting.

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The attack occurred on the last day of the spring school vacation period.

The resort, abutting a university campus, was swarmed by military and state police after the attack.

Guanajuato, a thriving industrial state, has become one of Mexico’s most violent due to the dispute between the Santa Rosa de Lima crime group and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, dedicated to fuel theft and drug trafficking.

Mexico has registered more than 350,000 murders since the government controversially deployed the army to fight drug cartels in 2006, most of them blamed on criminal gangs.

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