Mexican resort ferry explosion caused by homemade explosive (newspaper)

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MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – An explosion that left more than two dozen injured in February in the Mexican resort of Playa del Carmen was caused by a homemade explosive, a major Mexican newspaper reported on Saturday, citing an official investigation .

The explosion appears to have been triggered remotely and may have been caused by someone with knowledge of mining materials, according to Mexican newspaper El Universal, citing an investigation by the Mexican attorney general’s office and the secretary of the navy.

A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

The explosion of a ferry moored at a pier in Playa del Carmen left at least 25 injured, including American tourists.

Shortly before spring break, when thousands of American students descend on Mexican beach towns, the US government on Wednesday banned its employees from traveling to Playa del Carmen, citing an unspecified “security threat” and mentioning the explosion.

The US government updated the ban on Friday, limiting it to certain areas of Playa del Carmen. The US State Department advises tourists to exercise “extra caution” in the state of Quintana Roo.

Local media reported that the ferry was operated by Barcos Caribe, who is owned by the family of former Quintana Roo governor Roberto Borge, who was extradited from Panama to Mexico in January to face corruption charges. .

Barcos Caribe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

No motive for the explosion has yet been suggested, and federal and state officials are still investigating.

Playa del Carmen is located approximately 46 miles (76 km) south of Cancun, the centerpiece of a strip of white sand beaches that is one of Latin America’s top tourist destinations.

In recent years, Mexican tourist destinations have been marred by the country’s long battle against drug cartels. Murder rates have skyrocketed at the two Pacific resorts, Acapulco and Los Cabos, a popular expanse of beach and desert on the southern tip of Baja California.

Reporting by Julia Love, Lizbeth Diaz and Miguel Gutierrez; edited by Diane Craft

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