U.S. Consulate issues warning after Puerto Penasco cartel shootout

us-consuleThe U.S. Consulate General in Nogales is alerting U.S. citizens that in the early morning of December 18, there were reports of a gun battle in and around Sandy Beach near Puerto Penasco, Sonora.

Late Wednesday night, the Consulate posted a Facebook message that read, “We have received reports that the imminent danger in Puerto Penasco has passed. Continue to exercise caution in Puerto Penasco and be prepared for additional police presence.”

According to ABC News, Attorney General Carlos Navarro Sugich, of the border state of Sonora, said the shootout involved police and military personnel confronting gunmen.

ABC News reported that “five men were killed in a gun battle with Mexican security forces early Wednesday near a luxury hotel in the popular Gulf of California resort of Puerto Penasco, also known as Rocky Point.” In the past, shootouts had been rare at Mexican beach resorts.

“Despite its reputation as a calm beach resort that has been spared the violence that has hit other parts of northern Mexico, there have been indications of trouble in Puerto Penasco in the past. In 2011, soldiers seized five metric tons of marijuana in and around the city, and the city’s police chief was shot and wounded in 2010,” reports ABC News.

The U.S. Consulate General is warning visitors that in the event of gunfire, they should take shelter immediately and stay clear of doors and windows. Additionally, visitors should review their personal security plans; remain aware of  surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Visitors are warned to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security.

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