It’s not easy to wake up the morning and hear that people have been shot and killed while trying to enjoy themselves. On Monday morning (January 16th) gunshots were fired upon security and event attendees at the BPM Festival closing ceremonies at the Blue Parrot nightclub. The official death toll is at five people, with an additional 15 injured. Four died due to gunshot wounds, and one died from being trampled.
Initial reports from the local police department suggest that this was the act of a single crazed gunman. However, witnesses at the festival are claiming that there were two shooters, if not more. Adding to the evidence that this was not the act of a lone crazed gunman, the Zetas Cartel has claimed responsibility for the heinous acts of violence. Four spray-painted sheets (also known as a “narcoblanket”) were found near the incident that read (translated from Spanish), “This is a sign that we are here, it was for not aligning Phillip BPM, is the beginning, we will cut the heads of gulfs, pelons and chapulines. The old Fayo Z.” The name “Phillip” is believed to be the Festival’s co-founder Phillip Pulitano.
It is well known that Playa Del Carmen is a hotbed for cartel activity and there have been many reports that Playa Del Carmen is currently going through a turf war with rival cartels. Playa del Carmen has been under the control of two groups, Cartel del Golfo and Los Pelones, (which are mentioned in the narcoblanket above) under a pact that split the beach resort touristic area in two for drug-selling purposes, and allowed them a peaceful coexistence. Now it seems that the Zeta Cartel wants in.
Mayor Cristina Torres Gómez has issued a decree that there will no longer be any electronic music festivals in the City of Playa Del Carmen. “We want these types of events to go,” she says, “We won’t allow one more.” It is important to note that the evidence does not point towards the electronic music culture as the motivation behind the attack.
The Mexican Government has not categorized this as an act of terrorism.
We will update this article as more information becomes available.