Published: Tue, September 18, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Gunmen dressed as mariachi band kill four during Mexican Independence Day celebrations

Gunmen dressed as mariachi band kill four during Mexican Independence Day celebrations

Gunmen dressed as traditional mariachi musicians have killed at least three people and wounded at least seven in Mexico City.

At least one foreigner was among the five killed in the shooting rampage, the Mexico City prosecutors' office said. The incident left three men and two women dead, city officials said.

The shooting took place as crowds kicked off Mexico's Independence Day celebrations Friday and during a busy night at Plaza Garibaldi, a popular square where mariachis play around the clock for tourists and locals.

After years of keeping a lid on the worst violent crime that has plagued Mexico, the capital has seen a surge in homicides since 2014 to record levels. Four people died initially and a fifth died of her wounds at a hospital Saturday afternoon, authorities said.

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.

"We could hear more shots, and yells from people outside who were running in fear", he said.

Image    Debris around Plaza Garibaldi after the shooting
Image Debris around Plaza Garibaldi after the shooting

Videos circulating on social media showed musicians in the plaza playing their music around the time of the shooting. A manager at Tenampa cantina, which bills itself as having first brought mariachi troupes to the plaza in the 1920s, said there was no change in the number of customers.

In 2013, USA civil rights leader Malcolm X's grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, was beaten to death near the square after a dispute over a nightclub bill.

Plaza Garibaldi is located near the notorious Tepito neighbourhood, where a local gang that distributes drugs in the sprawling capital of 21 million is based.

Tepito has suffered a wave of violence over the last month after the gang's presumed leader, Roberto Moyado Esparza - or El Betito - was arrested.

Collins described the attack as a targeted hit.

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