The head of Tourist Police for the city of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico in the state of Quintana Roo was murdered this morning in what appears to be a professional hit. Mario Gomez Frias, head of the tourist Police in the sleepy Yucatan city of Playa Del Carmen was shot multiple times, while sitting in his car, just before 6 am this morning.
Frias was shot in the head at close range, while another officer driving the car was wounded in the arm and hand, but will survive. Witnesses at the scene reported hearing at least 7 gun shots this morning, and reported that several gunmen attacked from both sides of the car, indicating a planned and potentially professional assassination.
At this time, there is no additional information on this shooting and death of the tourist police chief. It’s rumored this hit was by the Zetas, who are the lone cartel organization in the region. It is assumed that this was meant as a message to police and government t o leave things as they are, after talk about increasing police pressure on the drug trade in the city.
This is the fourth shooting in about a month, in what had been a safe oasis from the cartel violence in northern and western Mexico. Playa Del Carmen is a vibrant, beautiful vacation destination, popular with Canadians and Americans, who have bought up a staggering amount of condos and houses in the area over the past 10 years. There is also a large expat community that lives in Playa Del Carmen full time. It’s unclear what impact this latest murder will have on Playa del Carmen condo rentals and sales going forward, of the effect on the large number of vacationers who plan trips to the popular beach destination.