Los Cabos (Mexico) (AFP) - Three men were shot dead Sunday on a busy beach in Mexico's popular Los Cabos international tourist area where organized crime has surged in recent months.
Prosecutors in Baja California Sur state said tourists sunning themselves on the beach and stunned locals were on hand when the deadly incident jolted Pamilla beach in San Jose del Cabo.
"At the scene three men were found dead from bullet wounds," prosecutors said in a statement. Two other people were wounded and taken to a local hospital.
Witnesses said tourists frantically started scrambling when shots rang out.
"We heard the shots and just ran to get somewhere safe; it was automatic weapons fire," said a tourist from Mexico City who would identify himself only as Jorge, fearing for his own safety.
Authorities evacauted the beach and started investigating with the Los Cabos Open tennis tournament under way in town.
More than 230 people have been murdered in Los Cabos alone so far this year.
More than 186,000 people have been murdered and another 30,000 have gone missing in Mexico since 2006, when the government deployed the military to fight organized crime.
Experts say the capture of the top drug cartel leaders has spawned numerous independent criminal groups that have moved beyond drug trafficking into robbery, kidnapping and extortion in areas they control.