An Instagram travel blogger has died after becoming caught up in a drug shootout between gangs in Mexico.
Anjali Ryot has been named as one of two tourists shot dead in the resort town of Tulum in Mexico’s Caribbean coast on Wednesday.
The other tourist was named as German national Jennifer Henzold. Three other foreign tourists were wounded in the shooting.
They all had been visiting a street-side eatery that has some outdoor tables, right off Tulum’s main strip.
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.
Ms Ryot, an Indian-born woman living in California, had 42,500 followers on Instagram, which she used to blog her travels.
She was visiting Tulum to celebrate her 30th birthday with her husband Utkarsh Shrivastava, India Today reported. However, other outlets reported she was 25 turning 26 while on holiday.
Ms Ryot was pictured lounging and smiling on a seaside pier in Tulum just days before she died.
On Friday, the civic group Citizens Observatorio of Tulum posted photos of hand-lettered signs that appeared at a local market in Tulum, signed by a drug gang known as Los Pelones, roughly “the Shaved Heads.”
The sign said the shooting “was a warning, so you can see we mean business,” adding “you either get in line or we are going to continue shutting places down like the Mini Quinta,” an apparent warning to pay extortion demands for protection money.
“We are in control here,” the sign added.
The gang, part of the Gulf Cartel, has long extorted protection money from bars and nightclubs in Cancun, but has now apparently extended operations further south to Playa del Carmen and Tulum. The gang is also fighting the Jalisco Cartel and other groups for the area’s lucrative drug market.
with The Associated Press
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