Five die after shoot-out at Mexico City's Garibaldi Plaza

Reports suggest rival cartels may be fighting over turf in capital after clashes involving gunmen dressed as mariachis.

    Five die after shoot-out at Mexico City's Garibaldi Plaza
    Mariachi musicians at Plaza Garibaldi hours after unknown assailants attacked [Gustavo Graf/Reuters]

    Five people have died after a shoot-out at Mexico City's Garibaldi Plaza, a tourist hotspot known for its mariachi bands.

    On Friday evening, gunmen dressed as mariachi musicians opened fire before making a getaway on motorcycles, officials said on Saturday.

    The assailants, who were armed with rifles and handguns, injured at least nine people, including a foreign national.

    There is still no official information about what caused the violence but local reports suggest it might have been a confrontation between cartels fighting over the city centre.


    Plaza Garibaldi borders Mexico City's Tepito neighbourhood, home to La Union gang, which police say is responsible for a number of drug-dealing and protection rackets.

    The historical site is also blocks away from El Zocalo, a square where thousands went on Saturday night to see outgoing President Enrique Pena Nieto deliver his farewell Independence Day speech.

    The capital is on track to register a record number of homicides this year, and reversing that trend will be a priority for incoming President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

    The former Mexico City mayor, who will take office in December, is confident that new strategies under the city's incoming mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, will be effective.

    "I am sure they will resolve the problems that are being suffered in Mexico City ... Claudia will restore peace," he told local media on Saturday when asked about plans to halt violence in the capital.

    In a recent interview, Sheinbaum said her priorities are to end police corruption and implement US-style justice reform.

    For the past 12 years, Mexico has fought violent drug gangs by deploying thousands of police, soldiers, and intelligence officers to crack down on cartels and their leaders.

    Last year was the deadliest year in two decades, with over 23,000 homicides, an increase of 10.7 percent compared with 2016.

    In 2018, there have been 18,994 murders in seven months, a 20 percent jump on the same period in 2017, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

    If the trend continues, 2018 is set to be the most violent year ever in Mexico.

    Mexico: Land of Impunity

    Latin America Investigates

    Mexico: Land of Impunity

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies


    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.