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Cozumel suffers week of street shootings and publicly hung threat messages

Cozumel, Q.R. — Police collected shell casings from the scene of a street shooting on Cozumel this weekend. It was the third time in a week that island residents reported shots being fired into the air.

The latest shooting happened shortly before midnight Saturday in the Flores Magón III neighborhood. Residents reported gunfire to police, who arrived to find shell casings in the street.

First reports indicate that armed individuals, apparently on a motorcycle, were the ones who shot into the air then fled. There were no injuries reported.

The three air shootings are in combination with a string of ongoing criminal activity that also includes public threats. Island police have been dealing with large handwritten threat messages being left in public places.

Police collect shell casings from a residential street after reports of shots fired. Photo: February 24, 2024.

On Friday, a large threat message was left outside the offices of the Subdirectorate of Ecology addressed to the Mayor Juanita Alonso Marrufo, whom they allegedly warn not to fall victim to characters linked to illicit activities.

Cozumel suffers week of street shootings and publicly hung threat messages
Police take down a threat message left strung up on the Ecology office of Cozumel by island criminals. February 23, 2024.

The latest tarp measured 2 x 2.5 meters and was found after an anonymous report of the message being hung outside the Ecology office. The message names several government people that they claim are responsible for island murders and extortion, including taxi drivers, named island business owners and the FGE in general.

On February 22, another handwritten threat messages was found left outside the mayor’s house.

The large white tarp was located around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, when unknown persons arrived at the home of Cozumel Mayor Juanita Alonso Marrufo and left it attached to the building.

A narco-message, as they are referred to locally, was found outside the mayor’s house Wednesday night.

The content of that message is not directed at the mayor but against the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE) and the Governor demanding the release of two of the four people that were arrested Tuesday at the hands of State Police. That threat message was signed by “Maseca”.

Threat messages being hung in public spaces around the island is not new, however, they are becoming more and more frequent and detailed regarding island crime and criminals.