Latin America & Caribbean

'Mariachi musician' gunmen kill three in Mexico City

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Media captionEyewitness recount the scene after the 'mariachi' fled

Gunmen dressed as traditional mariachi musicians have killed five people and wounded eight in Mexico City, sending onlookers fleeing.

They opened fire at a road crossing on the edge of the Plaza Garibaldi, a major tourist attraction packed with mariachi bars, police said.

The gunmen then fled from the scene on motorbikes.

Plaza Garibaldi borders the notorious Tepito district, home to the violent La UniĆ³n drugs gang.

Two of those killed had convictions for robbery, AFP news agency reports, quoting a local official.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Musicians stood around looking at the crime scene afterwards

"You come completely relaxed and to have a good time and then suddenly there are gunshots," one tourist in the area told Reuters news agency.

"You don't know if you're going to get back home. Now, you're not going to trust mariachis because the gunmen were dressed as mariachis."

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Image copyright Reuters
Image caption There was a heavy police presence around the Plaza Garibaldi in the wake of the shooting

Tepito has suffered a wave of violence over the last month after the gang's presumed leader, Roberto Moyado Esparza - or El Betito - was arrested.

The number of killings in the city has surged since 2014.

Nationwide, more than 200,000 people have been killed or have disappeared since December 2006, when Mexico's government declared war on organised crime.

Mexico experienced its most violent year in 2017 with more than 25,000 murders, official figures suggest. It is the highest annual tally since modern records began. Organised crime accounted for nearly three-quarters of those murders.

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