4 killed, 9 wounded in shooting at Mexico mariachi square

Mexico City killings: Three dead as police chase 'mariachi' gunmen

Four dead following shootout in Mexico City's 'mariachi' plaza

At least five people in a Mexico City plaza were killed Friday after gunmen dressed as a mariachi band opened fire before escaping on motorcycles. Many Mexicans wear mariachi costumes Saturday evening to commemorate the launch of the revolt against Spanish rule on September 16, 1810. It's unclear whether the shooting was motivated by gang violence, but the Times notes that a district infested with drugs and gangs lies about a mile away. However, since 2014, homicides in the capital have surged to record levels, presenting a major challenge to an incoming city government that has vowed a clean-up. No arrests have been made.

The assailants, who were armed with rifles and handguns, also injured at least nine people, including a foreign national.

Lisa Sanchez, director of Mexicans United Against Delinquency, described the shooting as a "piercing portrait" of Mexico. Mariachi musicians returned to the square around the same time the shooting took place a day prior.

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Investigators later found 60 empty bullet casings on the ground. Patrons continued to down tequilas and tuck into tacos.

People in Plaza Garibaldi screamed and ran when they heard shots around 10pm on Friday, although some appeared unfazed by the gunfire.

"We haven't had any reservations cancelled and we continue to book tables", he said.

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Crimes and scams have plagued Garibaldi Plaza for years.

In 2013, U.S. civil rights leader Malcolm X's grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, was beaten to death near the square after a dispute over a nightclub bill.

For the past 12 years, Mexico has fought violent drug gangs by deploying thousands of police, soldiers, and intelligence officers to crack down on cartels and their leaders. A rival gang called the Anti-Union Force is believed to hang around Garibaldi.

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Mr Hope said the shooters targeted a specific restaurant on the plaza in what may have been a shakedown for protection money or a hit on rivals.

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