An Italian businessman, owner of a luxury hotel in the state of Chiapas, in southern Mexico, was shot dead Friday in Palenque where he was staying.
Raphael Alessandro Tunesi was killed midday as he was in his vehicle about to pick up his daughters from school, the state attorney’s office said. The police officers who arrived on the spot “found him inside a vehicle (…) with several gunshot wounds”.
Increasingly targeted tourist areas
The entrepreneur, owner of the luxury hotel Quinta Chanabnal, in Palenque, had lived in Chiapas for several years and was considered an expert on Mayan culture. This region is very visited by national and foreign tourists for its archaeological site, one of the most important of the Mayan culture.
Attacks in tourist areas in Mexico have multiplied, including a shooting on January 21 in a hotel complex near Cancun (southeast), which left two Canadians dead. According to the authorities, criminal groups operate to extort money from traders.
On May 24, eleven people were murdered in an attack on a hotel and two bars in the town of Celaya in central Mexico.
Mexico has been hit by a spiral of violence that has claimed some 340,000 lives – most attributed to organized crime – since 2006, when a controversial military counter-narcotics offensive was deployed.