LGBTQ Celebration At Cancun Resort Turns Violent, Chaotic, Scary

Tripadvisor photo of Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancún

Trouble in paradise sent LGBTQ guests of the Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun, Mexico into shelter yesterday, barricading themselves in their rooms, closets and anywhere that was not out in the open. We now know that a shooting between suspected drug rival gangs broke out on the beach of the resort Thursday afternoon. Mexican state authorities said armed individuals were spotted in the beach area of Hyatt Riviera Cancun and reported to police “who took the lives of two men who are presumed to be drug dealers.” 


But before we knew who was shooting and that they were apprehended/killed, your Twitter/Facebook feed might have been a little crazy and had you worried about some friends. 

Troy Petenbrink, a Metro Weekly contributing writer, who is at the resort with his husband, told Metro Weekly that they had come to the recently opened Hyatt Ziva resort to attend an event sponsored by Vacaya, an LGBTQ travel company.

The weeklong event, which was held to coincide with the celebration of Halloween and el Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), claims to be the largest exclusive LGBTQ land event, according to Petenbrink.


“We had literally just arrived and were walking to the beach when a rain of gunfire happened, and people all started running from the beach and pool area to take cover. It was chaos as people ran from the pool and beach. Many people [were] falling on the wet ground. It was slippery as hell.” – Petenbrink

Sounds like a great deal of chaos and unknown. Friends there were posting that they were barricaded and okay.  Mike Sington, a former senior executive at NBCUniversal, posted a video of people hiding or evacuating, tweeting: “All guests and employees told to duck, and we’re all taken to hiding places at Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancún Resort. Active shooter? Terrorist or kidnapping threat? They’re not telling us anything.”


ABC7Chicago had great coverage of the incident that talks about the cause, the chaos, and the outcome.

Twelve hours ago, one of my friends on this Vacaya trip posted to Facebook this statement and video:
We recover. We persist. It’s been a day.

Does this change your perception of traveling overseas?  Do you feel you need to take more precautions?  I personally have been to Mexico City, Punta Mita, Punta Cana, on a Bahamian cruise, to Cartagena and Medellin, Colombia (the deadliest place on earth just a handful of years ago), and am going to the Yucatan Peninsula next week.  Yes, this is in my mind, but not much can be done about it.  I recall a trip to Riviera Nayarit just south of Cancun.  I saw the thatched lookout towers along the roads and property lines, I heard about the Cartel activity, but we cannot travel with fear.  We do what we can to be safe and that is the best we can do.  No, we should not plan to go into countries experiencing massive civil war, but we need to make smart choices and carry on. And this could have happened at any resort, any beach in Mexico.  There is no news that this was an action that targeted LGBTQ individuals. 
Stay strong travelers and get home soon. Don’t forget your COVID tests!

Source:   ,   ABC7Chicago

1 thought on “LGBTQ Celebration At Cancun Resort Turns Violent, Chaotic, Scary”

  1. Just how much were these guys spending on drugs to start a whole drug war? There are repercussions to their behavior beyond addiction. I doubt this will faze them though.


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