It’s important to always keep in mind that Mexico is Mexico, regardless of how rigidly sequestered a resort may be from the rest of the country. A shootout between rival drug cartels on the beaches of Cancun left American tourists visiting for an LGBT celebration scrambling for safety. Two cartel members were killed in the gunfight but no tourists were seriously injured. One person may have been kidnapped but officials say that individual was not a tourist.
Shootout on Cancun beach
Authorities and witnesses reported that there was no indication that the gay visitors had been targeted by the attackers or that there was any intentional connection to the LGBT event.
The Mexican government believes that around 15 men were involved in the fight, which seems to have been exclusively between rival cartels.
The attacking group arrived on the beach by boat and were described by Mexican media as appearing to be very professional and efficient.
Guests at the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun Resort hid inside and took shelter wherever they could until the shooting ended and authorities secured the scene.
Tourists initially feared that the shooting was a terrorist attack and only later realized that it was a fight between rival drug dealers.
The U.S. embassy quickly announced that it was working with local authorities to gain information and monitoring the situation at the resort.
Mexico is Mexico
It is hard not to see the irony in a crowd of wealthy LGBTQetc. tourists suddenly being exposed to the reality of the country they were visiting.
Cancun is usually viewed by Americans as an island completely disconnected from the violent crime and poverty of the real Mexico.
Resorts for wealthy foreign tourists in Mexico and other troubled countries generally do their best to keep the locals as far away as possible so that visitors are exposed to nothing but pristine beaches.
The cartels, it turns out, are not always willing to pause their activities in deference to visitors from Los Angeles and New York City.
The real Mexico intruded on the idyllic fantasy Mexico in this instance, creating a shocking scene for crowds which are habituated to think of Cancun as entirely detached from the rest of the country.
Tourists with rosy views of Mexico and other less fortunate nations might benefit from taking a moment to consider the fact that Cancun is not, in fact, representative of the real Mexico.