Young travel influencer killed after getting caught in cartel shoot-out at bar

An engineer and travel blogger was killed while celebrating her upcoming birthday at a popular tourist location in Mexico, as a result of a cartel shootout.

Anjali Ryot, an Indian influencer living in California, was commemorating her special day at the La Malquerida bar in Tulum, an attractive venue for travellers.

The 25-year-old’s birthday party took a tragic turn, when a fatal fight between Mexican gangs broke out.

Consequently, Anjali succumbed to shots being fired where she was situated, along with another tourist, named Jennifer Henzold.

The 35-year-old tourist from Germany also died from the shootouts.

The gruesome incident, which happened last Wednesday in the evening, injured three other tourists from Germany and the Netherlands who were also present at the scene.

Anjali had documented her last hours alive when she posted a video on her Instagram account, followed by over 42,000 people, in which she was seen walking near a platform at the Cielo Maya hotel, and relaxing on a hammock.

Initial investigations have reportedly indicated that the incident was "an armed clash between criminal groups dedicated to the sale of drugs."

The district attorney's office in Quintana Roo stated in an official press release that one of the victims “was killed at the scene and another died in hospital.”

Tulum Mayor, Marciano Dzul, admitted to reporters that the victims had “no known links to the criminals” and that they appeared to have been “caught in the crossfire”.

They also indicated that one of the alleged shooters had been arrested.

Tulum is located on the Riviera Maya, a sought-after spot, encompassing a stretch of Caribbean coastline on Mexico’s northeastern Yucatán Peninsula, and includes other popular resorts, such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

Despite the areas being generally considered safe and highly touristic, the picturesque peninsula has seen an alarming increase in violence, an eerie fact Marciana Dzul has acknowledged.

"I think these are issues of organized crime that in some way are trying to fight over some area and unfortunately in this case there is collateral damage that affects other people who have nothing to do with it," the Mayor said.

He added: "A team effort must be made to combat this type of violence in Tulum.”

As José Antonia Lira Pérez, aged 24, has been arrested and is alleged to be one of the shooters.

Tackling cartel-related criminality has been a very challenging task for the country, which has seen more than 300,000 people murdered since the government deployed the military in the war on drugs in 2006.

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