Armed men opened fire at a family party at a Minatitlan, Mexico bar Friday night, killing 12 adults and one child while looking a bar owner in the city.
At least 13 people are dead after gunmen opened fire at a bar in Minatitlan, Mexico located in Veracruz state. Authorities say this in one of the worst mass shootings in Mexico since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office last December.
The unidentified culprits opened fire Friday night in pursuit of a man at the bar, government officials say, according to Reuters.
Seven men, five women and a child are confirmed dead in the shooting, while four others were injured, the state government said in a statement.
The motive for the killings was unclear, the spokesman said. TeleSUR correspondent, Eduardo Martinez reporting from Mexico says that state and federal level authorities are investigating the shooting and looking for suspects.
The man the gunmen were seeking was identified as the owner of a bar in the city, the state government said. A family celebration was taking place at the bar where the assassinations took place, but it wasn’t immediately clear if the man wanted by the killers owned the particular establishment, or was present at the time.
Hugo Gutierrez, the head of public security in the state, said on Twitter that an operation had been launched to capture the people responsible for the killings.
The oil-rich state of Veracruz has been the backdrop of increased gang and drug cartel violence and political corruption scandals over the past several years.
Lopez Obrador took office in December vowing to reduce violence in Mexico where more than 200,000 people have been killed since the end of 2006 when former president Felipe Calderon began a ‘war against drugs’ that produced a turf war between drug cartels as well as an increase in military violence against citizens.
Mexico had a record-setting murder rate in 2018 with over 33,000 homicides. This year is projected to maintain on par. In the Juarez City alone, some 280 people have been violently killed between January and March.
AMLO was already due to visit Veracruz on Sunday, Easter, according to an official schedule.