CARMEN DEL PLAYA, MEXICO (CelebrityAccess) — A Mexican drug cartel appears to be claiming credibility for the deadly shooting attack at the BPM electronic music festival in Playa del Carmen on January 16th.
Billboard reported that Miguel Angel Pech, the Attorney General for Quintana Roo, the state where the attack took place, suggested that the attack may be connected to the drug trade.
"Either they didn't reach an agreement over protection payments, directly extortion, or it may be that somebody did not allow them to sell drugs inside [the nightclub]”, Pech said at a press conference, per Billboard.
Pech's speculation seems to be supported by witnesses who claim that the alleged gunmen may have been prevented from entering the Blue Parrot nightclub when they refused to be searched.
"They got denied because they didn’t want to be patted down,” an eyewitness from Sydney, speaking about the alleged gunmen, told Billboard. “Three of them left out of our vision and two of them shot security guards at the entrance, ran in and aimlessly opened fire. There were two guys there, not one like the news incorrectly reports.
“Outside the club, it seemed like there were people actually squaring up as though it might have been cartel-related. It gave them the feeling that something was about to happen.”
On Tuesday, several spray-painted blankets appeared around the city, that appeared to call out BPM co-founder Phillip Pulitano.
"This is a demonstration that we are here, and it was because you didn't get in line, Phillip BPM. This is the beginning, and we're going to start cutting off heads of [a list of drug trafficking organizations]."
The blankets were signed with the tag El Fayo Z, suggesting that they were from the Los Zetas cartel, a violent drug organization believed to be active in the region.
Future for festivals in the city an open question
Following the shootings, Playa del Carmen city officials appeared to take a hard line against future EDM-related events. During a press conference held after a meeting of the Business Coordinating Council of the Riviera Maya, Mayor Cristina Torres Gómez told reporters that future festivals would be banned.
"We want these types of events to go. We won't allow one more,” she said, according to Mexican news source La Jornada Maya.
However, since then, Torres appears to have walked back from those remarks, and in a post on her Facebook page, she moved to clarify the city's position:
"We made it clear that we are talking about banning events that pose a risk to the public and visitors to our municipality. We're not talking about canceling the festivals in playa del Carmen. Security is our priority, therefore, the norms should be adjusted so that peace and freedom remain constant in solidarity. We are all part of the solution."
Playa del Carmen is slated to host the Arena International Festival, an EDM-focused LBGT event, starting on Feb 1st. As of now, organizers say the event is still on. – Staff Writers