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14 murders in a 36-hour period as drug cartels overrun popular Mexican tourist site

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Cancun, Mexico, a popular destination for vacationers and students on spring break, recently had 14 murders in one 36-hour period. Most of the deaths are believed to be drug related. (KrisCav/Getty Images)

A turf war between drug cartels in Cancun, Mexico — one of that country’s most popular tourist destinations — is blamed for a crime spree that led to 14 murders over a 36-hour span earlier this month.

When did this happen?

It began on April 4, according to a report by McClatchy News:

“ Nine of the 14 were killed on April 4, making it the bloodiest single day in Cancun in more than a decade,” the report states. “Six separate incidents accounted for the 14 deaths and left five others with gunshot wounds.”

Most of the deaths are believed to be drug related.

In one case, the Sun reported that a woman’s body was found face down in a street near a resort. Her face was mutilated and a message was left on her body with the words “Go to hell.”

In a separate incident, five people were found dead inside the same home. Neighbors told Mexican media that the occupants of the home were involved in selling drugs “for years,” according to reports.

Over the past year, murder rates in Cancun have doubled, the New York Post reported.

According to published reports, early April marked the most violent time in Cancun since March 2013 when hit men executed seven people inside La Sirenita, a bar.

Why is there a rise in violence?

Since 2018 began, 113 people have been killed, the Post reported. An alleged drug queen and her gang are partly to blame for the rise in violence over the past year.

The group is said to have ties to El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel, which is in a battle with a rival cartel, Los Zetas, McClatchy News reported.

The two cartels are focusing their efforts on harvesting opium poppies, which are used in making heroin, the report states. They made the switch from marijuana to heroin based on a U.S. market for the latter.

What are the latest travel advisories?

The states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa and Tamaulipas have been listed as “do not travel” states.

Cancun is in Quintana Roo, which was designated March 16, the latest update, as a Level 2 threat. That means visitors are advised to “exercise increased caution.”

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