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A British businessman was shot dead in an execution style killing in front of his teenage daughter in Mexico.
Chris Cleave was driving though the city of Cancun when two men ambushed him at the popular tourist resort.
The killers opened fire through the driver’s side window, hitting the 54-year-old in the head and killing him instantly.
His 14-year-old daughter was not hit but taken to hospital and treated for shock and minor injuries.
The two killers were later captured by police as they fled on a motorcycle.
Mr Cleave, who is originally from Truro, Cornwall, had lived in Mexico for more than a decade.
The killers opened fire through the driver’s side window, hitting the 54-year-old (pictured) in the head and killing him instantly
He became a permanent resident in 2013 and worked as an estate agent and property manager, according to police.
The state of Quintana Roo, which includes the resort of Cancun, has been the focus of increasing violence among drug cartels as they battle for control.
There is no suggestion that Cleave was involved in drugs, but police are carrying out an investigation into why he was the subject of an execution style killing.
A police source said: ‘This was not a random shooting but a targeted attack. He was chosen to be murdered.’
Shocked friends of Cleave, pictured, who ran a property management company, expressed their grief at his murder on his Facebook page
Police said Cleave and his daughter Chloe were on the main federal highway in Playa del Carmen in a red Audi when the car was approached by two men on a motorbike while stopped in traffic.
Witnesses said the men opened fire though the open window, killing Cleave instantly.
His daughter was taken to the local hospital where she was treated for minor injuries. Local police said none of her injuries were life threatening.
The shooting took place at 9.30am on Saturday and police believe the killers had been following Cleave as he left his home.
When his car stopped in traffic they pounced and opened fire.
Police said Cleave and his daughter Chloe were on the main federal highway in Playa del Carmen in a red Audi (pictured) when the car was approached by two men
The killers sped away but were chased along the main Federal Highway by police and arrested.
On his Facebook page Cleave said he graduated from Penair Secondary School in 1986.
Shocked friends of Cleave, who ran a property management company, expressed their grief at his murder on his Facebook page.
Sue Steggles wrote:’ So very sad to have lost you Chris Cleave you were one of the good guys and taken far too young.
‘I will look back on our Saturday nights with fondness, you were a big part of our life for such a long time. My heart goes out to Chloe and Yvonne. — feeling sick.’
Posting photos of a fishing trip they shared, John Archer wrote: ‘RIP this is the saddest news I have ever heard in my life.
There is no suggestion that Cleave (pictured) was involved in drugs, but police are carrying out an investigation into why he was the subject of an execution style killing
‘You will always be remembered as an amazing person with many friends that admired and loved you.’
Four days before being murdered Cleave had posted photos on his Facebook page celebrating his daughter’s 14th birthday.
The city of Cancun has long been a favourite for American ‘spring breakers’ but is also increasingly popular with British tourists.
On his Facebook page Cleave, pictured, said he graduated from Penair Secondary School in 1986
But in the last year violence among drug cartels has spiraled out of control
In November 2021, a shootout between rival gangs resulted in the killing of two gangsters on a Cancun tourist beach.
Two weeks before that an American and German tourist were caught in the crossfire of a gang battle in Tulum and shot dead.
According to Mexico’s public security service, between January and September 2021, the murder rate rose 80 per cent from the same period in the previous year.
In response to the violence, the Mexican government announced that the National Guard will deploy 1500 soldier to protect the tourist areas of Quintana Roo as part of the newly formed Tourist Security Battalion.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the region’s recent violence cannot be repeated while stating that the new battalion’s presence would be permanent, and its role would focus on intelligence work.