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British businessman victim of execution-style hit in Mexican tourist zone

Randy Mancini 31 Mar 13
Forensic technicians work at the crime scene where the British businessman Chris Cleave, 54, was killed by a gunmen, according to local media, in Playa del Carmen
Forensic technicians work at the crime scene where the British businessman Chris Cleave, 54, was killed in front of his teenage daughter by a gunmen, according to local media, in Playa del Carmen, Mexico March 12, 2022. Picture taken March 12, 2022. REUTERS/Fernando Dominguez

March 13, 2022

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -A British businessman living in Mexico was killed in front of his teenage daughter by gunmen who opened fire on his car near the popular tourist destination Playa del Carmen, according to a state government source and local media.

The victim of the deadly attack on Saturday was Chris Cleave, 54, the source said. Cleave, a permanent resident of Mexico since 2013, was driving on a highway near Playa del Carmen in Quintana Roo state when his car was approached by two gunmen who opened fire. His daughter suffered minor, non life-threatening injuries.

Two suspects were arrested later Saturday on suspicion of participation in the killing, the prosecutor’s office of Quintana Roo said. A gun that may have been used was found in their possession at the time of the arrest, the office said.

The prosecutor’s office and local police did not respond to requests for further information or confirmation of Cleave’s identity on Sunday.

In a statement, the British embassy said, “We are supporting the family of a British man who has died in Mexico and are in touch with the Mexican police/local authorities.”

The embassy did not confirm his identity.

Cleave was a businessman who worked in real estate and had recently been threatened by a local gang, according to local media reports. A Facebook page in his name showed dozens of messages from friends on Sunday, expressing shock at the news of his death.

Mexico’s government stationed National Guard troops in Quintana Roo late last year in response to a rise in violence linked to organized crime, including gunfights that killed two foreign tourists and a beachfront gang slaying that sent hotel guests fleeing for their lives.

(Reporting by Cassandra Garrison and Lizbeth Diaz; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)