2 North Texas Families Witness Murder in Mexico - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

2 North Texas Families Witness Murder in Mexico

Gunmen killed a van driver transporting tourists down a busy highway

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    2 North Texas Families Witness Murder in Mexico

    A van loaded with two North Texas families, including children, was attacked in a popular Mexico tourist destination -- and the driver was killed. (Published Monday, Nov. 25, 2019)

    A van loaded with two North Texas families, including children, was attacked in a popular Mexico tourist destination -- and the driver was killed.

    It happened Saturday afternoon in Tulum in the Yucatan Peninsula.

    According to Mexican news reports, gunmen pulled alongside the vehicle as it headed down a busy highway and opened fire.

    The van screeched to a stop along a median.

    The Texans -- two families of four -- were unhurt.

    A statement from the state prosecutor said no arrests have been made.

    Tulum is in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, also home to the popular tourist spots of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

    The area has seen an increase in violence as rival drug cartels fight it out in the streets.

    In September, a police commander in Playa del Carmen was kidnapped and later found beheaded on a dirt road in Cancun.

    Most of the trouble has been away from hotels popular with foreigners, but what happened over the weekend shows tourists can get caught in the middle.

    "It's shocking to hear about anybody, let alone two Dallas families," said travel expert Rick Seaney, owner of FareCompare.com.

    He said tourists now may think hard about vacationing in Mexico.

    "It's a family by family decision," he said. "I've been to Mexico many, many times and to the beach destinations. And to be honest, at least many years ago, I never thought twice about it. But it's definitely on my mind. It's been on my mind three or four years now."

    The U.S. State Department urges "increased caution" for Americans traveling to Quintana Roo.

    Some other Mexican destinations have more serious warnings -- with Americans encouraged to reconsider their plans, or not to travel at all.