An American tourist was shot and killed during a drive-by shooting in Mexico City on Monday.
Tatiana Mirutenko, age 27, was celebrating her first wedding anniversary in Mexico City with her husband and two friends. She was shot while leaving a restaurant in the Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood, at around 5:50 AM.
Lomas de Chapultepec is considered a “nice” area of Mexico city, and is a popular destination for tourists.
The Mexico City Attorney General’s Office stated that they believe Mirutenko was killed by a stray bullet, intended for another man. She was struck in the head when two men riding by on a motorcycle fired at another man standing on the sidewalk.
That man was a 46 year old bouncer who worked in Polanco, a neighborhood just to the east of Lomas de Chapultepec. He was also injured in the shooting, but reports indicate he survived.
Although Mirutenko was taken to the hospital after the shooting, doctors were unable to save her life. Mirutenko’s father, Wasyl Mirutenko told reporters that “A year ago, we were selecting flowers for the wedding. Today we were looking at flowers for the funeral.”
The two shooters are still at large.
This tragic death illustrates a much larger problem in Mexico today. Even “good neighborhoods” that are heavily frequented by tourists are now falling prey to outbreaks of serious violence.
Mexico is in the midst of a turbulent period involving thousands of homicides. Last year, Mexico recorded 29,168 homicides in total, the highest homicide rate in modern history for the country. It was also nearly double the total number of US homicides over the same period (we had 17,793).
The vast majority of these murders are carried out with illegal guns smuggled in from the United States. In fact, Mexico has relatively strict gun laws. There is actually only one gun store in the entire country, and that store is run by the Mexican army and located inside a military base outside Mexico City.
Mexican law allows citizens a maximum of one handgun and up to nine rifles, if they can prove they are members of shooting or hunting clubs. And to carry legal weapons in public requires a separate permit which is difficult to obtain.
In a country increasingly torn by violence, the legal avenue for obtaining firearms can take months, while would-be owners wait for their paperwork to clear.
But demand for guns, and the ease of obtaining them from the US and smuggling them across a porous border, means that gun violence has only grown. (It’s almost like criminals, and those desperate to protect themselves from criminals, don’t really care about following laws. Who could have imagined that?)
Liberals here in the states are hell bent to get gun control now. But they won’t even consider the idea that maybe a more-secure border would make life safer for the people on both sides.