Cancun, Mexico's top travel destination, was recently shaken by a string of violent murders that left 14 people dead and at least five others with gunshot injuries, all within 36 hours.
The incidents all occurred on April 4 and now represent the country's highest number of murders within a single period, according to Noticaribe. The figures instantly surpassed the resort town's previous record of nine killings in a single day on November 25, 2004.
Most of the killings remain unsolved, but local officials strongly believe they are linked to organized crime (rather than tourists being actively being targeted). In response to the heightened violence, both the U.S. and Canada have issued a travel advisories for several Mexican states, saying to avoid all non-essential travel to the region if possible.
Cancun has seen an escalation of crime and violence to unprecedented levels as of late. Multiple regions of the town have become overrun with drug gangs who have been spreading fear throughout the country since the start of this year.
Over 100 people have been slaughtered in 2018 so far (including bystanders), and the deaths were not limited to only a single area or resort.
Cancun: April 4, 2018— Yeeeech (@Yeeeeeech) April 12, 2018
14 people killed & 5 others with gunshot wounds, in 6 separate instances in the beach town. Violence surpass Cancun’s previous ‘record’ of 9 killings in a day on November 25, 2004.
100+ killed in Cancun since early Jan 2018..1 a day.
Mexico's A Warzone. pic.twitter.com/iPD9u2tEHr
Pictured above: Body of Canadian woman found with multiple stab wounds in Cancun resort
On April 10, cartel "queenpin" Leticia Rodriguez Lara was summoned by a judge to stand trail on several charges including drug trafficking. Lara was a former police officer who secretly had ties to El Chapo, and eventually become a leader of a drug gang that sought control of drug sales in Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
"The Mexican tourist hotspot’s growing crime wave threatens to leave it a ghost town, with most murders in Cancun remaining unsolved," adds Sofia Petkar of The Sun.