After Deadly Shootout, Mexican Beach Town Tries To Boost Image

By Jude Joffe-Block
December 19, 2013


Jude Joffe-Block
Officials from the Mexican state of Sonora addressed the deadly gun fight in Rocky Point in a Phoenix press conference.

PHOENIX – Following a deadly gun fight in the Mexican resort town of Puerto Peñasco on Wednesday, officials from the state of Sonora are trying to reassure Arizonans the town – also known as Rocky Point – is still safe for tourists. The identities of the five people who died have not been released, but authorities say they were all criminals who fired at federal police.

During a press conference at the Mexican Consulate in Phoenix, Sonora Attorney General Carlos Navarro told reporters he does not know the details of the federal operation that led federal police to a Rocky Point condo complex in an area popular with Americans.

But he said the five who died were suspects resisting arrest.

“We know that five people lost their lives and they were armed and they fired at the federal police agents,” Navarro said. “We know that Rocky Point is still in calm. We know that Puerto Peñasco is having another day just as usual.”

Sonora’s tourism secretary, Eduardo Javier Tapia Comou, said people should know this was not violence caused by warring cartels but rather a federal law enforcement operation.

“I think it is very important to understand that what happened is nothing different than what can be happening everywhere,” Tapia Comou said.

The Sonoran officials did not identify the dead, saying it is a federal – not state – investigation. Mexican media have identified one of the dead as an enforcer for the Sinaloa Cartel, though that has not been confirmed.