Family’s concerns for safety following ‘drug related’ murder on beach in Mexico

This photo submitted by Mr Contessa is of police on the beach after the shooting
This photo submitted by Mr Contessa is of police on the beach after the shooting

A family who witnessed a fatal shooting on the beach during a holiday in Mexico are concerned for their safety.

Raf Contessa, of Wilstead, is staying at the Cancun Riu Dunamar resort where the shooting happened.

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He is worried for the safety of his family and has slammed tour operator Tui UK for the lack of response and safety advice.

John Farley posted this on social media

John Farley posted this on social media

He said: “We were on the beach when three men pulled up in a speed boat and shot a lifeguard. The area is still taped off.

“I have phoned Tui UK to ask if we were safe and whether it was a terrorist incident but they have ignored my calls. One email even suggested there was no shooting but I was there and saw it.

“I have emailed again but no-one has replied let alone told us if we are safe or what’s going on.

“I would have thought after what happened in Tunisia Tui hoidays would be treating this matter more seriously.

“I will be seeking legal advice on my return but in the meantime for the next week I am here with my family I would like some answers and to know my family is safe.”

“It’s not as if someone was complaining about their room or the food - someone was shot on the hotel beach.”

John Farley, another holiday maker at the resort posted his concerns on social media.

His post states: “Murder on the beach! May 29, 8am (2 shot - 1 dead). Drug dealer killed on the beach, shot by the lifeguard station 5 times. Hotel staffer shot once.

“They took them off the beach then tried to cover it up real quick.

“No explanation to guests no warnings no cautions, yet the police tape was put around lifeguard station. Then they had the police in flak jackets with machine guns walking the beach so no one wanted to go down there.

“I told the staff I was concerned because my wife and others don’t want to go down to tbhe beach as now we can’t enjoy a big part of why we came here.

“Their response was sorry Sir - it’s a public beach. But it’s the hotel’s lifeguard and their chairs and their staff selling drinks!”

The shooting was confirmed by the local news service Riviera Maya News which stated an investigation had been launched into the murder.

The report stated one man has died and another injured after shots were fired on the beach in front of the Riu Dunamar Hotel.

It said: “According to reports, the man shot was a street vendor. The shooting occurred Tuesday at 8,30am after he was targeted by an unknown subject who reportedly shot at him several times. The shooting took place on the beach in front of the lifeguard tower of the Rui Dunamar hotel.

“During the shooting, a hotel lifeguard was injured, receiving a gunshot wound. Both were taken to a nearby hospital. The street vendor later died from his injuries. The lifeguard was voluntarily released from hospital the same day.

“The deceased has been identified as Manuel Guillermo N.

“An investigation by Ministerial Police revealed that more than 10 casings were lifted by hotel security employees and moved more than 100 metres away, altering the crime scene. The move was reportedly to try cover the image of the hotel.

“Unofficial sources said the attack could be related to the sale of drugs in the beach area.”

A spokesman for Tui said: “We are aware of an incident which occurred on 29th May on the local beach close to the RIU Dunamar Hotel.

“This was a contained incident between Mexican residents and is now a Police matter.

“While no hotel guests or members of staff were injured, we would like to reassure customers that safety is our number one priority and our dedicated resort team are on hand to answer questions. Should customers require any support or assistance on their holiday we would advise them to speak with their holiday rep in the hotel or to call our 24/7 Guest Experience Centre on +44 3333 365 147.

“We follow the relevant FCO advice for all destinations we operate to and the advice on travel to Mexico has not changed. We continue to monitor the situation closely and advise customers to do the same. The latest Foreign Office advice can be found at the below address: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/mexico