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Mexican authorities arrest 6 in connection to grisly machete murders in Cancun

Mexican authorities have arrested six members of a drug gang in connection to the brutal slaying of at least eight people in Cancun.

Officials said the arrests were made after the horrifying discovery of five dismembered bodies inside a taxi on Jan. 29 this year. The victims were not identified by the Attorney General’s Office of the state of Quintana Roo. 

Prosecutors alleged the six suspects hacked up five people with a machete and dumped three other victims in a shallow grave. Mexican police seized drugs from the group, including marijuana, cocaine and crack, as well as two firearms exclusively used by the military, two motorcycles allegedly used to transport the mutilated bodies, and two cars including one that was reported stolen, authorities said.

The attorney general’s office also announced the arrest of 23 people who allegedly operated a fake tour agency as cover for a drug operation in Cancun.

The drug ring allegedly operated a ‘call center’ that offered tourist trips and sports equipment in the popular resort city on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. That business served as a facade to carry out activities related to drug dealing, prosecutors said. Drug deals would allegedly be made over the phone and then delivered via motorcycle.

A day earlier, prosecutors confirmed that an American woman and a man from Belize were shot to death on Feb. 9 in an apparent dispute between drug dealers at a beach club in the resort city of Tulum, south of Cancun.

The Quintana Roo Attorney General’s Office said the woman had no connection to the man, an alleged drug dealer, and was unfortunately caught in the crossfire.

Prosecutors said the dead man had transparent bags containing white powder that resembled cocaine on his person, transparent bags with red and orange pills and a transparent bag containing brown granulated powder. They have identified suspects in the shooting who are now wanted by authorities. 

The illegal drug trade is a source of ongoing violence and danger to tourists in the state of Quintana Roo.

Last year, Mexican authorities closed down 23 pharmacies at Caribbean coast resorts after a research report warned drug stores were selling fake opioids to foreigners. 

Officials said a four-day raid targeted drugstores in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum accused of pushing pills passed off as oxycodone, Percocet and Adderall without prescriptions. 

The raid came months after the U.S. State Department warned travelers about counterfeit pills sold at pharmacies in Mexico that often contain fentanyl.

Foreign tourists visiting resorts near Cancun have been killed in drug disputes before.

In 2021 in Tulum, two tourists — one German and a California travel blogger born in India — were killed while eating at a restaurant. They apparently were caught in the crossfire of a gunfight between rival drug dealers.

Last year, the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert warning travelers to ‘exercise increased situational awareness’ especially after dark, at Mexico’s Caribbean beach resorts like Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

Even so, Mexico’s tourism industry is booming along the Caribbean coast. Government figures show foreign tourists spent almost $31 billion in Mexico in 2023, an increase of 10% from 2022. Nearly half of all foreigners who travel to Mexico go to Cancun. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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