Latest Shooting In Tulum Resort Raises Safety Concerns Among Tourists

According to ABC News, the Quintana Roo State Attorney General’s Office launched a criminal investigation into the Feb. 9 incident that resulted in the deaths of an American woman and a suspected drug dealer from Belize. Niko Honarbakhsh, 44, was later identified as the victim. 

The deceased man was found to be carrying bags containing “brown granulated powder” and “transparent bags with red and orange pills” when he was shot, indicating to the prosecutor’s office that he was probably a gang member and drug dealer. 

According to a statement, the prosecutor’s office rejected local reports that attempted to link the two and suggested they were in a relationship.

Honarbakhsh’s death, according to the prosecution, was caused by a stray bullet. Autopsies will be performed on both bodies, as part of the investigation. 

Prosecutors have identified the suspects and are following leads. Authorities have not provided the suspects’ names as of yet.

Before the well-liked March spring break travel period, the U.S. last year issued “Do Not Travel” warnings for parts of Mexico, quoting gang attacks and mentioning that U.S. citizens have “become seriously ill or died in Mexico after using synthetic drugs or adulterated prescription pills.”

This unfortunate event has brought attention to the security situation in the popular vacation destination. With tourists flocking to Tulum for its pristine beaches and vibrant culture, news of violence in the area is unsettling.

Many visitors are now questioning the safety measures in place and are reconsidering their travel plans. This shooting serves as a reminder of the importance of prioritizing safety and security for both locals and tourists in popular tourist destinations like Tulum.

Authorities are expected to address these concerns promptly to reassure travelers and maintain the city’s reputation as a safe place for vacationers.

Previous Shootings In Tulum and Cancun

Restaurant Shooting

In April 2021, a tragic incident unfolded in a restaurant in Cancun when two tourists, including a California travel blogger and a German national, lost their lives during a shootout. The restaurant, located in a popular tourist area, became the scene of violence as rival drug dealers exchanged gunfire.

The incident sent shockwaves through the community and raised concerns about the safety of visitors in Cancun. Authorities launched an investigation into the shooting, aiming to apprehend those responsible and prevent similar incidents in the future.

Nightclub Shooting

In August 2021, a shooting occurred in a nightclub situated in Cancun’s Hotel Zone, a vibrant area known for its nightlife and entertainment. The incident resulted in several injuries, further highlighting the prevalence of violence in tourist-centric parts of the city.

The shooting prompted authorities to increase surveillance and security measures in nightlife establishments to ensure the safety of patrons. Additionally, the incident underscored the need for ongoing efforts to address underlying issues such as organized crime and drug-related activities.


Throughout January 2022, Cancun experienced a series of shootings in various parts of the city, leading to injuries and fatalities.

These incidents occurred sporadically, causing concern among residents and visitors alike.

The shootings were attributed to ongoing conflicts between rival drug cartels competing for control of the region’s lucrative drug trafficking routes. In response, authorities intensified efforts to combat organized crime, conducting operations to apprehend suspects and disrupt criminal activities.