Minatitlán shooting

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Minatitlán shooting
LocationMinatitlán, Veracruz, Mexico
Date19 April 2019
9:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Attack type
Mass shooting

On the night of 19 April 2019 in the city of Minatitlán, Veracruz, Mexico, 14 people were killed, including a one-year-old baby, while they were celebrating a birthday party for a 52-year-old woman, when the assailants asked for "La Becky", the manager of a gay bar in Minatitlán and they started shooting.[1][2][3][4]

The Secretary of Security and Civilian Protection, Hugo Gutiérrez, assured that they had identified some of the participants in the attack, who began to be sought.[5] Investigators believe the shootout was a result of a turf war between the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and Los Zetas, two major criminal groups that operate in Veracruz.[6] La Becky was paying protection to Los Zetas.[7]


At 9 pm, three men broke into a woman’s 52-year birthday celebration in Minatitlán. Asking for "La Becky", they began shooting the people in attendance, among them a one-year-old infant.[8][9] The sister of the woman whose birthday was celebrated said, "It was my sister's birthday, she was 52, I was coming from the bathroom when the thundering began, I did not see how many they were because I did not leave. I lost my son, my only son, and you can imagine the pain I have, to see my only son dead. I'm standing here, with my pain, because you can not say anything else, he was 32 years old."[10]

A majority of the attendees were women, including seniors. The older adults dancing were pointed at with weapons. "Yes, they killed several old ladies", indicated a surviving woman. "I do not know how many they were, what I did was to throw myself under the table, they pointed me out, but I entrusted myself to God and said: Forgive me, Sir, and let your will be done. It seemed eternal to me, I thought it was not going to end. We were like 50, we were all ladies."[11]

One of the victims was a one-year-old baby who was repeatedly shot after he fell to the ground. According to a survivor’s testimony, “I said, 'it was one bullet', but it was a bullet spray because they were dead and they were still giving it to the baby. They kept shooting at him, they shot him in his little heart, how they could not realize if the mother was carrying him. The mother was also shot, I think the father wanted to cover him, but they hit him in the face." The mother of the baby was hospitalized; so far she is the only member of that family that survived the attack.[12]

Besides killing more than a dozen people, the armed group psychologically tortured those who survived, forcing them to observe how they shot other people. One testimony said, "Those who were crouched were told to turn to see the dead, then they were shot again, to look at them, to look at them and they told you to turn around. I think they were looking for someone, they were pointing at your head or your back with long weapons."[13]


Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was criticized for his response to the shooting, being silent about it and instead posting a tweet against his political opponents immediately after it

Through social media, the governor of the region, Cuitláhuac García Jiménez, informed that an emergency meeting was held due to the shooting. An operative was activated to find those responsible and at the same time it was assured that there would be no impunity, despite the criticisms to the State Attorney General's Office investigations of being "eternal". For its part, the Secretariat of Security and Civilian Protection said they were supporting the state agencies, deploying an operation to search and capture those responsible.[14]

Several citizens criticized the attitude of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, accusing him of not responding in a timely manner for the shooting.[15] After former presidential candidate José Antonio Meade called for the criminals to be punished and the families of the victims to be certain of an investigation, his comments generated diverse reactions after social media contrasted them with President López Obrador, who was criticized for not commenting on the shooting during the hours after the event.[16] After posting a tweet shortly after the shooting where he attacked his political opponents, several citizens began to organize protests demanding his resignation.[17] As a result, the hashtag "#AMLORENUNCIA" ("AMLO resignation" or "Resign AMLO") became trending topic on Twitter.[18][19]

Former Mexican presidents Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón also criticized the President's attitude, with Calderón blaming López Obrador's "corrupt regime" for the insecurity that led to the shooting, and Fox responding to López Obrador's tweet against his political opponents saying "What a shame that even tragedies are used by you as a springboard for aggression. It's not all about you, AMLO. To speak about the people does not mean to govern them, but to take care of them. No more violence! #Minatitlan".[20]


  1. ^ "Masacre en Minatitlán: esto es lo que sabemos del ataque" [Massacre in Minatitlán: this is what we know about the attack]. Milenio (in Spanish). 20 April 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  2. ^ "Masacre en Minatitlán deja consternación y un pueblo polarizado" [Massacre in Minatitlán leaves consternation and a polarized town]. El Universal (in Spanish). 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  3. ^ "Exigen justicia en sepelio de víctimas de masacre en Minatitlán" [Justice demanded in burial of victims of massacre in Minatitlán]. La Jornada (in Spanish). 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Masacre en Minatitlán: esto es lo que sabemos del ataque" [Massacre in Minatitlán: this is what we know about the attack]. Milenio (in Spanish). 20 April 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Sepultan a víctimas de masacre en Minatitlán, Veracruz" [Buried victims of massacre in Minatitlán, Veracruz]. Milenio (in Spanish). 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Cabecillas del CJNG, presuntos autores de masacre en Minatitlán" [Chiefs of the CJNG, presumed authors of massacre in Minatitlán]. El Sol de México (in Spanish). Organización Editorial Mexicana. 22 April 2019. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  7. ^ Contreras, César (22 April 2019). "Circulan fotos de 'El Lagarto', presunto autor de masacre de Minatitlán y líder del CJNG" [Photos of 'El Lagarto', presumed author of the Minatitlán massacre and leader of the CJNG, sent around]. Radio Fórmula (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Al menos 13 muertos deja ataque armado en fiesta familiar en el este de México" [At least 13 dead left armed attack at family party in eastern Mexico] (in Spanish). Reuters. 20 April 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Así fue la masacre de Minatitlán" [This was the Minatitlán massacre]. Forbes (in Spanish). 20 April 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  10. ^ "#AtaqueEnMinatitlán: "Yo solo decía: en tus manos encomiendo mi espíritu"" [#AttackInMinatitlán: "I just said: in your hands I entrust my spirit"]. ADN Político (in Spanish). 20 April 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  11. ^ ""A las viejitas que estábamos bailando nos apuntaron"" ["We the old ladies who were dancing were pointed at"]. El Universal (in Spanish). 20 April 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  12. ^ ""Fue una rociadera de balas en la fiesta"" ["It was a bullet spray at the party"]. La Jornada (in Spanish). 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Remataron a bebé en masacre de Minatitlán, narran sobrevivientes" [They killed off baby in Minatitlan massacre, narrate survivors]. SDP Noticias (in Spanish). 20 April 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Minatitlán: lista de heridos y reacciones de autoridades tras masacre" [Minatitlán: List of wounded and reactions of authorities after massacre]. e-Veracruz (in Spanish). 20 April 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Lozano critica a AMLO por no pronunciarse por la matanza de Minatitlán" [Lozano criticizes AMLO for not speaking out about the Minatitlán massacre]. Político.mx (in Spanish). 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  16. ^ "Se pronuncia Meade por castigo a multihomicidas en Minatitlán" [Meade calls for punishment to multi-murderers in Minatitlán]. MVS Noticias (in Spanish). 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  17. ^ "Exigen renuncia de AMLO tras silencio por el ataque en Minatitlán" [Demanded resignation of AMLO after silence for the attack in Minatitlán]. Diario de Yucatán (in Spanish). 21 April 2019. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  18. ^ Omendi, Miguel. "#AMLORENUNCIA se vuelve trending topic a nivel mundial" [#AMLORENUNCIA becomes trending topic worldwide]. Contrapeso Ciudadano (in Spanish). Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  19. ^ "#AMLORenuncia es el Trending Topic número 1 en todo el mundo en twitter" [#AMLORenuncia is the number 1 Trending Topic in the world on twitter.] (in Spanish). r/Mexico. Reddit. Retrieved 29 April 2019.
  20. ^ "Fox y Calderón reclaman respuesta de AMLO por ataque en Minatitlán" [Fox and Calderón demand response from AMLO for attack in Minatitlán]. Acustik Noticias (in Spanish). 20 April 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.