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Indian-Origin Travel Blogger from US Killed in Drug-Gang Shootout in Mexico
HI INDIA NEWS DESK
SAN JOSE, CA— An Indian American woman from San Jose, California, was one of two foreign tourists killed in the apparent crossfire of a drug-gang shootout in Mexico’s Caribbean coast resort of Tulum.
Authorities in Quintana Roo, the state where Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Cancun are located, Oct. 22 said one of the dead women was Anjali Ryot.
An Instagram account under the same name showed a post of Ryot lounging and smiling on a seaside pier in Tulum two days earlier. It listed her as a travel blogger from Himachal, India, living in California. A linked Facebook page said she lived in San Jose.
A German woman who was killed has been identified as Jennifer Henzold, though no hometown was immediately available for her.
Three other foreign tourists were wounded in the shooting late Oct. 20 at a street-side eatery that has some outdoor tables, right off Tulum’s main strip. They included two German men and a Dutch woman.
The German Foreign Office issued a travel advisory about the violence, advising its citizens “if you are currently in the Tulum or Playa del Carmen area, do not leave your secured hotel facilities.”
The gunfight apparently broke out between two groups that operate street-level drug sales in the area, according to prosecutors. The tourists were apparently dining at the restaurant and may have been caught in the crossfire.
The shooting occurred on Tulum’s ‘Mini-Quinta,’ a reference to Playa del Carmen’s larger, flashier bar and restaurant zone known as Quinta Avenida, or Fifth Avenue.
The killings threatened Tulum’s reputation as a low-key carefree beach town without the crowding and problems of Cancun.
And in nearby Playa del Carmen, police stage a massive raid Oct. 21 on the beach town’s restaurant-lined Quinta Avenida, detaining 26 suspects — most apparently for drug sales — after a city policewoman was shot to death and locked in the trunk of a car last week. Prosecutors said Oct. 22 they have arrested a suspect in that killing.
The administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has pinned its hopes on Tulum, where it has announced plans to build an international airport and a stop for the Maya train, which will run in a loop around the Yucatan peninsula.