Six killed in Mexico disco shootout

MEXICO CITY -- Gunmen opened fired in a packed disco in the popular Pacific resort of Puerto Vallarta, killing six people and injuring three others, government and radio reports said Monday.

Radio Red reported that some 35 heavily armed men burst into the posh Christine disco early Sunday morning and began firing. The nationalities of the six killed and three wounded were not available but Radio Red said at least two of the dead were Mexicans.


The mayor of Puerto Vallarta, Rodolfo Gonzalez Macias, told the official news agency Notimex that the incident was evidently a shootout between drug traffickers.

Radio Red quoted witnesses as saying, however, that some of the gunmen identified themselves as members of the drug-fighting Judicial Police. The radio network also said one of the victims was carrying a credential identifying him as a Judicial Police agent from the border state of Baja California.

Gonzalez Macias said the gunmen carried some type of police credentials but said he did not know what type, Notimex reported.

Police agents in Mexico are often arrested and convicted for protecting drug traffickers. The state of Jalisco, where Puerto Vallarta is located, is a bastion of drug trafficking activity.


About 300 people were in the plush nightclub, part of the Krystal hotel chain, when the incident took place, Radio Red said. Puerto Vallarata, popular with U.S. tourists, is located 385 miles northwest of Mexico City.

An eyewitness told the radio network the gunmen came into the disco at 2:30 on Sunday morning, took weapons from their coats and began shooting out lights to leave the place in darkness.

Some of the six victims were wearing bullet-proof vests, Radio Red reported, indicating they might have been police, drug traffickers, or both.

A spokesman for the attorney general's office in Mexico City, which runs the Federal Judicial Police, said it had sent an investigative team to the resort to see if any of its agents were involved in the incident.

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