A Canadian tourist was shot to death in Mexico’s Pacific coast beach town of Puerto Escondido, marking the second foreign tourist to be killed in the state of Oaxaca this week.
The Attorney General’s Office of Oaxaca reported that a Canadian man was found dead in a car with a bullet wound on Monday. The man’s body was found in the neighbourhood of Arroyo Seco in Puerto Escondido, an area not well-frequented by tourists.
The dead man was identified as Víctor Masson, 27, but no information on his hometown was available.
Prosecutors wrote that an investigation is underway. So far, no motive for the slaying has been released.
The killing comes three days after a tourist from Argentina died in a machete attack in another coastal town in Oaxaca.
On Friday, a man wielding a machete attacked a group of three Argentinian tourists in the hamlet of La Isla, about 100 kilometres west of Puerto Escondido.
Benjamin Gamond died of his injuries on Monday at a hospital in Mexico City. The two other tourists were wounded in the attack but did not suffer life-threatening injuries. A suspect is in custody on suspicion of homicide, prosecutors said.
In recent months, a spate of high-profile killings has shone a spotlight on rising violence in Mexico as Canadian and U.S. tourists gear up for summer vacation.
Less than a month ago, authorities in Cancun discovered eight dead bodies dumped close to each other in the city. Mere weeks before that, four men were shot dead in Cancun’s hotel zone near the beach. Mexican authorities believe those killings are linked to drug gang leader Hector Elias Flores Aceves, also known as “The Panther.”
In March, two U.S. tourists were killed and two others were kidnapped after they crossed the border so one of them could get a tummy tuck surgery from a doctor in the Mexican border city of Matamoros.
The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert that month warning travellers to “exercise increased caution,” especially after dark, at resorts in places like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
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In 2022, two Canadians were killed in Playa del Carmen, apparently because of debts between international drug and weapons trafficking gangs.
The government of Canada does not have a standing alert for the Oaxaca region, but warns that all travellers to Mexico should “exercise a high degree of caution.”
“There are high rates of violent crime, such as homicides, kidnappings, carjacking and assaults, including in popular tourist destinations such as the Mayan Riviera (Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos and Tulum), and Acapulco,” the advisory states.
“Criminal groups and drug cartels are present in tourist areas. Inter-gang and cartel fighting has taken place in restaurants, hotels and nightclubs frequented by tourists.”
— with files from The Associated Press
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