Canadian tourist shot dead in Mexican resort town Puerto Escondido

Victor Masson, 27, is the second foreigner to be killed in the state of Oaxaca this week. An Argentine man also died after being attacked with a machete

Tourist Puerto Escondido
Tourists on a beach in Puerto Escondido in the Mexican state of Oaxaca.Marica van der Meer (Getty Images)

A 27-year-old Canadian tourist named Victor Masson died Monday after being shot in the back in the Mexican resort town of Puerto Escondido. His body was found inside a car in the coastal town, which is located in the state of Oaxaca. Masson is the second foreigner to be violently murdered in Oaxaca this week: two days earlier, Benjamin Gamond, a 23-year-old Argentine traveler, died after receiving several machete blows.

According to local media, the murder took place in the Arroyo Seco neighborhood at around 1 p.m. The shot alerted residents in the area, who notified the authorities. Municipal police and several officers from the Secretariat of the Navy arrived at the scene a few minutes later, where they found the young man dead inside a car. So far, the Oaxaca Prosecutor’s Office has not issued any statement about what happened.

Masson’s death is the second instance of violence against foreigners on the Oaxacan coast. Benjamin Gamond, from the Argentine city of Córdoba, was killed in Laguna de Chacahua, one of the most important national parks in Oaxaca. The young man had been living in Mexico for several months. Last Saturday, he was with a couple of friends when a man armed with a machete attacked him from behind, making several cuts to his head. Gamond’s two friends were also injured. Two days after the attack, Gamond died in hospital. The Oaxaca Prosecutor’s Office have arrested one person.

Following the attack, Gamond’s family took to social media to ask for financial help to travel to Mexico. “My younger brother — who was traveling through Mexico, a few months ago he was working there — has been violently attacked [...] He is hovering between life and death. This is an urgent call to help us be with him and be by his side at this difficult moment,” Marcos Gamond said in a video posted on Instagram.

In 2021 — the last year with the latest complete records — Oaxaca registered 786 murders of the 37,500 recorded throughout Mexico. The high number of killings is linked to drug cartel violence, which has cast a shadow over popular tourist destinations such as the Riviera Maya. During Easter Week, the Mexican government decided to put soldiers on the country’s most touristic beaches in an attempt to protect vacationers. The move was taken after at least eight people were killed in the country’s biggest tourist hotspots: Acapulco (in Guerrero) and Cancún (in Quintana Roo).

The Mexican government sent 4,724 soldiers to guard the beaches of Acapulco, Cancún, Tulum, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and the coasts of Veracruz. Another 3,800 soldiers were tasked with protecting the country’s highways. Violence against tourists was not a problem for Oaxaca in this period, a situation that has now changed.

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