Tuesday 19 March 2013

Of seven killed in Cancún bar attack, six were innocent victims after “everything went out of control”

Behind the scenes...not so pretty
The depressing regularity of drug violence in Mexico took another brutal turn on Thursday, March 14, when seven people were shot to death in a bar outside the hotel zone in Cancún.

Now, according one of two men arrested in connection with the murders, it turns out that the attack was only intended to target one man.

The attorney general of the state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatán peninsula, Armando García Torres, has told the Mexican press that one of the arrested men, Héctor Cacique Fernández (aka “el Diablo”),  confessed to only wanting to kill one individual, Asís Achach Castro (aka “Barbi”).

Apparently "El Diablo", 27, was extorting money from merchants in Cancún’s hotel zone. Part of the scheme involved using cab drivers, many of whom are on the payroll of the Los Zetas cartel, either as look-outs, dealers, or out-right extortionists.

"El Diablo" gave another man, Roger Gabriel Alfaro Pacheco, (aka “el Humo”, or “the Smoke”) a photograph of the cab driver he wanted dead, as well as instructions. It is assumed that the driver was suspected of either not following orders, or of pocketing some of the profits.

At about 6 pm on March 14 Cacique Fernández received a call from a man known only as “Gere”, saying that the hit had gone ahead, but that “the Smoke went crazy” and ended up firing shots at several diners in the La Sirenita (The Mermaid) bar, many of them fellow drivers, killing six others besides the intended victim.

Northern Guatemala, the Yucatán peninsula, and the Gulf coast of Mexico all the way to the US border are, for the most part, controlled by the Los Zetas cartel. Cancún is no exception. As the tourist area attempts to bring crime under control we can expect the usual spate of police purges and an increased level of state police presence. What governor García Torres would like to avoid at all costs is the intervention of the Mexican military – still an unlikely prospect at this point.

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

Twitter: @TimothyEWilson
Email: lapoliticaeslapolitica [at] gmail [dot] com

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