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Firebombing in the tourist mecca of Cancun

Firebombing in Cancun leaves 8 dead

Helen Kennedy  Aug 31, 2010

The violence in Mexico escalated Tuesday when eight people - most of them women - were killed in the firebombing of a bar in the tourist mecca of Cancun.

The bar, Castillo de Mar, was several miles from the seaside tourist area and the dead were all Mexican nationals, officials said.

However, such violence in Cancun could badly hurt Mexico's tourist industry - its second largest, after oil - which has been largely unscathed by the bloody drug war being fought in the border states.

Mexican newspaper El Universale reported that attackers arrived at the bar in a Jetta and a Silverado truck shortly after 1 a.m. and burst in with long guns.

Witnesses said they herded patrons and employees into an area with no exit and threw Molotov cocktails that burned down the joint.

Some patrons managed to escape.

The dead included six women - all believed to be waitresses - and two men.

The newspaper said the bar owner refused to pay extortionists from the Zetas cartel a few weeks ago when they demanded $40,000 to "protect" the bar.

It was reportedly the second time he had rebuffed them. It was not immediately clear if he was among the dead.

Firebombings are becoming an increasingly popular tool of criminals in Mexico, where drug gangs are fighting each other and the government.

The Zetas are blamed for slaughtering 72 poor migrants last week because their families could not pay a ransom and they refused to work as assassins.

In May, federal police arrested Cancun Mayor Gregorio Sanchez for money laundering and ties to the drug cartels.

Firebombing in Cancun leaves 8 dead
Police stand outside bar Castillo del Mar / Image via Reuters/Gerardo Garcia


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