An Indian-origin California based travel blogger was among the two people killed when they were caught in the crossfire of a drug-gang shootout in Mexico's Caribbean coast resort of Tulum last week. Anjali Ryot, a California-based techie, had gone to Mexico with her husband to celebrate her 30th birthday but was unfortunately died during the gang war between two rival gang lords.
Another German tourist German Jennifer Henzold, 35, was also killed in the crossfire, while two other German men and a Dutch woman were seriously wounded, district attorney's office in Quintana Roo state said, The Guardian reported. The shootout took place around 10 pm local time last Wednesday.
Ryot was out with her husband on Wednesday night to celebrate her 30th birthday when suddenly the two drug gangs clashed and started firing at each other. Before the couple could react, one bullet hit Ryot and she collapsed. Medics were soon called but they declared Ryot dead at the scene, while Henzold was rushed to a hospital, where she died, according to News.com.au.
A video of the scene following the shooting has been doing the round on social media that shows Ryot's body covered with a piece of cloth as police investigate the area. Mexican news anchor Ciro GÃ³mez Leyva had also shared a video of the incident on his Twitter handle.
Ryot is from Himachal, India, and lived in San Jose, California, according to her social media profiles. The gunfight apparently broke out between two groups that operate street-level drug sales in the area, according to prosecutors. The tourists were apparently dining at the restaurant and may have been caught in the crossfire.
Three other tourists were also hurt in the shooting at a bar near Tulum's main strip, including a pair of German men and a Dutch woman.
Gone Too Soon
Ryot was based out of San Jose, California and was working with LinkedIn. She was an avid traveler and had more than 42,000 Instagram followers.
On Friday, the civic group Citizens Observatorio of Tulum posted photos of hand-lettered signs that appeared at a local market in Tulum, signed by a drug gang known as Los Pelones that translates into "the Shaved Heads."
The sign said the shooting "was a warning, so you can see we mean business," adding 1â³you either get in line or we are going to continue shutting places down like the Mini Quinta," an apparent warning to pay extortion demands for protection money.
Marciano Dzul, Tulum's mayor, told Milenio television that the victims had no known links to the criminals and appeared to have been caught in the crossfire, adding that one of the gunmen had been arrested.