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A new iPhone leaves American Tourist in Playa del Carmen fighting for his life

Playa del Carmen is a coastal resort town in Mexico, along the Yucatán Peninsula’s Riviera Maya strip of Caribbean shoreline. The state of Quintana Roo, it’s known for its palm-lined beaches and coral reefs. Its Quinta Avenida pedestrian thoroughfare runs parallel to the beach, with blocks of shops, restaurants, and nightspots ranging from laid-back bars to dance clubs. 

This was the street eTurboNews Reader J. vacationing in Playa del Carmen last week used Google Map on his iPhone to find his way back to his hotel. The American visitor was confronted by a group of thieves demanding his phone. J. refused and was beaten unconscious by these thieves’ baseball bats. Fellow tourists were able to call for help and his life was saved by a shoestring in a local hospital. The iPhone was gone.

The victim was eventually able to be transported back to his home in Texas and just got out of another surgery. He is on a long way to recovery.

Dr. Peter Tarlow, tourism safety consultant and co-host of the eTurboNews Breaking News Show said:

“You can always replace your phone, but don’t fight with an attacker, especially not a gang of attackers with a baseball bat. Sometimes acting crazy may help.”

A day later three people were killed in a shooting and a subsequent chase by police officers Saturday at a beachside restaurant in Mexico’s Pacific coast resort of Acapulco.

Two gunmen approached and killed two men at this beachside restaurant. Police then chased the attackers down the beach as they were “escaping towards the sea,” officials said. One of the suspects was shot dead by police, the second one was seriously injured.

Tourists in beach shares were seen running and escaping from the shooting.

The shooting comes just days after the severed heads of six men were reportedly discovered on top of a Volkswagen in the town of Chilapa de Alvarez, which is also in Guerrero state.

Beachside shootings have occurred before in Acapulco, which has been a target by gangs since 2006. In November, police said gunmen pulled up in a boat and shot a man to death on a popular beach in Acapulco. The attackers then apparently fled in the boat.

On November 4 last year on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, there was a deadly shootout in front of a Hyatt Ziva hotel, killing 2.

Two people killed in Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun resort shooting.
Two people were killed in the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun resort shooting.

The shootout on this beach in Puerto Morelos south of Cancun involved a squad of armed men who left two alleged drug dealers dead. That daytime bloodshed sent tourists scrambling for cover at two large resorts where local drug gangs were apparently competing for drug sales.

Across Mexico, more than 340,000 people have been killed in a wave of bloodshed since the government deployed the army to fight drug cartels in 2006.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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