Shootout Erupts at Starbucks in a Tourist Hotspot Americans Love

The U.S. State Department has issued travel warnings.

Mexico has long attracted the travel wanderlust crowd with its abundance of warm sun, white sandy beaches, and close proximity to the U.S.

All told Mexico expects 39.4 million tourists in 2023, up 2.7% from 2022 and only 12.6% shy of 2019’s country tourism record.

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Those numbers could be imperiled by yet another tourist death, this time in the Caribbean coastal resort of Tulum.

On April 11, a Mexican tourist was shot dead after reportedly refusing to give masked gunmen a pricey Rolex watch inside a Starbucks. The victim’s bodyguard returned fire, sending one of the masked gunmen to the hospital where he was arrested, according to ABC News.

The Tulum fatality comes weeks after four tourists were kidnapped and two of them murdered near Cancun. In early April, four local Cancun residents were found dead in a hotel room during the highly-popular Easter Week celebrations. Law enforcement officials cited gang-related activity for the murders. 

The U.S. government has taken note, issuing a March travel warning advisory that urged Americans in Mexico to “exercise increased caution”, particularly in resort towns along the country’s Caribbean coast, where violent crime numbers are on the rise.

In recent travel warnings, the U.S. State Department has labeled a “reconsider travel to” Baja California and Jalisco, where Puerto Vallarta is located.

“The safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas is one of the department’s highest priorities, and we provide U.S. citizens with relevant information so they can make well-informed decisions before they travel,” a State Department spokesperson said.

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