Published On: Sat, Sep 15th, 2018

Four dead following shootout in Mexico City’s ‘mariachi’ plaza | World news

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A shootout at a Mexico City tourist site has left at least four people dead, officials said on Saturday. The report comes a day after witnesses said gunmen dressed as mariachi musicians opened fire with rifles and pistols in a plaza known for its mariachi bars.

A foreign man was among nine people injured in the incident at the Plaza Garibaldi in the capital’s historic downtown, a statement from the city prosecutor’s office said. The victims’ identities were not disclosed.

Local media reported that two people died of their injuries after the incident, which would bring the number of dead to five. Only one of the injured who died later was included in the officials’ count.

Mexico City has experienced less of the drug violence that plagues cartel strongholds in other regions of the country. However, since 2014, homicides in the capital have surged to record levels, presenting a major challenge to an incoming city government that has vowed a clean-up.

People in Plaza Garibaldi screamed and ran when they heard shots around 10pm on Friday, although some appeared unfazed by the gunfire. A video posted to social media showed a musician at a colourful Plaza Garibaldi restaurant strumming Mexican tune ‘La Cucaracha’ on a harp without pausing as multiple shots loudly ring out nearby.

Dozens of people stayed in the area to drink and listen to live music, even after police cordoned off the shooting site and placed yellow markers where bullet casings had fallen.

Police blame much of the capital’s crime on retail drug dealing and protection rackets run by violent gangs. However, the government says at least one gang has links to a major national trafficking group, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel.

Plaza Garibaldi borders one of Mexico City’s most notorious neighbourhoods, Tepito, home to La Union gang, which police say is behind the increase in drug dealing and protection rackets.

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