A recent spate of violent outbreaks in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula point towards a conflict between drug cartels who are fighting for control of the area. The most recent outbreak took place on January 16th when four people were killed following an armed group attacking the state prosecutor’s office in Cancun. Only hours before, five people had been killed during a shootout in the Blue Parrot bar in Playa del Carmen.
Four ‘narcobanners’ then appeared in the Playa del Caren a few days after the shooting at the Blue Parrot bar to proclaim that the Zetas crime group had taken responsibility for the shooting, and threatened members of the Gulf Cartel, as well as local groups like Los Chapulines.
Local authorities had already detected the presence of the Jalisco Cartel – New Generation, who are connected to a nightclub shootout in November of last year.
There can be as many as four cartels operating within Quintana Roo at any one time, which means that the southern state is renowned for its violence. The violence tends to erupt when two or more criminal groups attempt to take over the same territory.
The Gulf Cartel has managed to gain the majority of control since 2013, with traditional rivals, The Zetas losing traction within Mexico. However, it is believed the CJNG could also be a key player during the dispute, based on the fact that the group has expanded due to it being one of the most violent groups within the country. Major cities such as Tijuana have seen a rise in homicides since CJNG had a dispute with the Sinaloa Cartel.