Authorities in the state of Guanajuato reported at least 12 people were killed and another dozen were injured in an early Sunday attack on a pre-Christmas party in central Mexico. Over the weekend, at least three mass shootings occurred in Mexico.
The incident occurred in Salvatierra, apparently at a hacienda, or property, that may be hired out for parties.
“Twelve people have been reported dead so far,” the state prosecutor’s office wrote on X, the former Twitter. According to authorities, twelve other people were injured and were taken to hospitals.
The deaths were young people engaged in “posadas,” religious gatherings that celebrate portions of the Christmas story, according to the Tierra Negra organization, which promotes social projects in the area.
According to a partygoer who begged not to be identified for security concerns, roughly six individuals armed with long rifles entered the premises and began circulating among the 100 or so young people in attendance.
“We realized they were not invited, and when they were asked who they were, they started shooting,” he told me.
“All young acquaintances, admired and very good people,” according to the victims. “What is happening in Salvatierra is a horror,” Tierra Negra member Carlos Silva commented on social media.
“I strongly condemn the unfortunate act of violence that occurred this morning in the community of San Jose del Carmen.” “We are fully cooperating with the prosecutor’s office,” said Salvatierra Mayor German Cervantes on Facebook.
Guanajuato Governor Diego Sinhue Rodriguez said that authorities will “find the whereabouts of those responsible for this unfortunate event.”
“My condolences to the families,” he said on Twitter.
Authorities uncovered unmarked graves with at least 50 deaths in the city of 90,000 people three years ago.
Guanajuato is one of Mexico’s most violent states, owing to the presence and activity of criminal organizations, notably a couple of fighting drug cartels. Five university students’ remains were discovered stashed in a vehicle on a dusty road in Guanajuato earlier this month.
For years, the Santa Rosa de Lima gang has battled the Jalisco cartel for control of Guanajuato.
The Jalisco gang is notorious for creating millions of doses of lethal fentanyl and smuggling them into the US disguised as Xanax, Percocet, or oxycodone. In the United States, such drugs cause approximately 70,000 overdose deaths per year.
Other weekend attacks claimed the lives of at least seven people
In a separate incident late Saturday approximately 30 miles away from Salvatierra, four men were killed when gunmen on motorbikes came to a barber shop and opened fire, according to local officials.
Similar attacks have occurred in recent years in Guanajuato, which, according to official numbers, topped the list of Mexican states with the highest homicides this year, with 3,029 so far.
Meanwhile, three individuals were killed and four others were injured in an incident at a bar in the Caribbean coast resort of Tulum on Sunday, according to authorities.
According to Quintana Roo state prosecutors, the shooting “may have been a dispute involving retail drug sales, and as a result, the safety of the public and our visitors was never jeopardized.”
However, shootouts between local drug gangs in Tulum have previously killed visitors caught in the crossfire.
Two visitors were slain in Tulum in 2021 while eating at a restaurant, one a California travel writer born in India and the other a German. They were supposedly trapped in the middle of a firefight between rival narcotics dealers.
The US State Department issued a travel caution earlier this year, telling travelers to “exercise increased situational awareness,” particularly after dark, in Mexico’s Caribbean beach resorts such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.