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Two Canadians killed in Mexico shooting had criminal connections: Mexican reports

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Dense jungle outside a Mexican luxury resort provided cover for an alleged gunman to escape Friday, according to Mexican police, after he shot three Canadians, including two men who have died.

A 29-year-old woman remains in hospital.

The shooting took place at Hotel Xcaret, south of Playa de Carmen in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. All three were immediately transferred to hospital, where the two men died.

Mexican media reports have identified the three victims, but Canadian authorities have yet to confirm anything other than acknowledging that the shooting took place.

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Global Affairs said in a statement Friday that they were aware of three Canadians being involved in the shooting, and confirmed the death of two people.

“To at least say that they’re working with the Mexican authorities or something would be, I think, the thing to do,” Chris Lewis, CTV News public safety analyst, said of the situation.

Mexican reports indicate that at least one of the murdered Canadians is allegedly linked to an international criminal organization led in Canada by Cong Dinh, a man who the RCMP has been looking for since 2013, even issuing a $50,000 reward in 2019 for information that could lead to an arrest. Dinh is wanted for allegations of laundering millions in illicit drug money.

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In the past, tourists have been caught in the crossfire of bloody drug cartel wars in Mexico, a damaging narrative to the country’s vital tourism industry. This case seems to follow a slightly different narrative.

“The Mexicans are going to want to get the message out that: ‘It’s not us, it’s the Canadian who brought the violence here’ as opposed to ‘Canadians being exposed to violence by our people,’” Lewis said.

Not much is known about the suspect, although the state prosecutor’s office said the suspect was a guest at the resort.

The two Canadians killed were reportedly subjects of criminal investigations by both Canadian and U.S. law enforcement, but so far, the RCMP, U.S Drug Enforcement Agency and the Internal Revenue Service have not responded to CTV’s requests for more information or comment. 

With files from CTVNews.ca’s Alexandra Mae Jones and Michael Lee

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