Brazen attack

Gun­men dressed as mari­achi mu­si­cians kill five peo­ple at iconic Mex­ico City square where bands were ser­e­nad­ing tourists.

The Star Malaysia - - World -

MEX­ICO CITY: Mex­i­cans head­ing into the week­end’s In­de­pen­dence Day cel­e­bra­tions were jolted by a brazen shoot­ing by men dressed as mari­achi mu­si­cians who killed five peo­ple and wounded eight in Garibaldi Plaza, an iconic square in the cap­i­tal where the bands ser­e­nade tourists.

The Mex­ico City pros­e­cu­tors’ of­fice said at least one for­eigner was among those wounded in Fri­day night’s attack, which lo­cal me­dia said was staged by three gun­men.

Four peo­ple died ini­tially and a fifth died of her wounds at a hos­pi­tal on Satur­day, au­thor­i­ties said.

The news out­let La Silla Rota cir­cu­lated sur­veil­lance video of the al­leged as­sailants wear­ing tra­di­tional em­broi­dered jack­ets and pants as they fled on mo­tor­cy­cles.

The shoot­ing cast a bloody pall over In­de­pen­dence Day fes­tiv­i­ties.

Many Mex­i­cans will wear mari­achi cos­tumes, a sym­bol of na­tional pride, to com­mem­o­rate the launch of the re­volt against Span­ish rule on Sept 16, 1810.

It is also the busiest time of year for Garibaldi Plaza, a beloved but seedy square that draws heav­ily on Mex­i­can folk­lore.

Lisa Sanchez, di­rec­tor of Mex­i­cans United Against Delin­quency, de­scribed the shoot­ing as a “pierc­ing por­trait” of Mex­ico.

The shoot­ing in a crowded pub­lic square demon­strates that im­punity pre­vails in the coun­try, she said.

The pros­e­cu­tors’ of­fice said in­ves­ti­ga­tors were try­ing to find those re­spon­si­ble for the attack. Few crimes in Mex­ico are solved. Later on Satur­day, Pres­i­dent En­rique Pena Ni­eto shouted “Viva Mex­ico” – or “Long Live Mex­ico” – shortly be­fore mid­night from a bal­cony of the Na­tional Palace. Thou­sands crowd into the city’s cen­tral Zocalo square ev­ery year to hear the shout, and the cel­e­bra­tion usu­ally spills into Garibaldi Plaza.

Busi­ness quickly re­sumed around the square fol­low­ing the shoot­ing.

Videos cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial me­dia showed mu­si­cians in the plaza play­ing their mu­sic around the time of the shoot­ing, with­out skip­ping a beat.

In one video, a man pluck­ing a large harp con­tin­ues to belt out the Mex­i­can civil war an­them “La Cu­caracha” as dozens of gun­shots can be heard in the back­ground.

In an­other, brass in­stru­ments and melan­cholic voices fill the air as the flash­ing lights of po­lice ve­hi­cles de­scend on the plaza. Pa­trons con­tin­ued to down tequi­las and tuck into tacos.

At the Te­nampa cantina, which bills it­self as hav­ing first brought mari­achi troupes to the plaza in the 1920s, a man­ager said it was busi­ness as usual on Satur­day.

“We haven’t had any reser­va­tions can­celled and we con­tinue to book ta­bles,” he said, ask­ing that his name not be pub­lished for fear of re­tal­i­a­tion by crim­i­nal groups.

— Reuters

It was not us: Mari­achi mu­si­cians look­ing at the crime scene hours af­ter un­known as­sailants at­tacked peo­ple with ri­fles and pis­tols at Plaza Garibaldi in Mex­ico City.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.