FIA president Mohammed ben Sulayem has broken his silence after 10 people were left dead at a rally event in Mexico. Another 10 people were wounded after an apparent gunfight in Baja California over the weekend.
Officials say that gunmen opened fire on people attending the event on Saturday afternoon. Those sitting in vehicles ready to compete in the rally were also affected by the tragedy.
FIA President Mohammed ben Sulayem sent his thoughts to the victims in a special message on Monday. He said: “I am horrified by the reports of an appalling attack at the Baja California Rally in Mexico.
“Motor sport events should be safe places for participants and spectators. On behalf of the whole FIA family our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this senseless violence.”
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The state prosecutor’s office said it was likely there was crossfire which suggests a battle between organised crime groups. Ricardo Iván Carpio, the State prosecutor for the area, admitted vehicles had “perforations from gunshots”.
He also confirmed they had found “traces of blood” inside vehicles attending the rally. Clips of the attack uploaded on social media capture the sound of heavy gunfire and people screaming.
After the incident, other videos appear to show blood stains and bodies slumped on the floor and inside rally cars. The attack unfolded in San Vicente, Ensenada, around 73 miles from the US border.
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Cachanillazo, organisers of the Baja California event, posted their condolences to those affected by the incidents in a social media update. They posted on Instagram: “Unfortunately what happened on the course of the tour was not in our hands.
“From the bottom of our hearts we are so sorry for the losses and their families. our sincerest condolences. We’re as confused as all of you as we have nothing to do with what happened.”
Gustavo de Hoyos Walther, a Mexican attorney, also called out the extreme violence seen over the weekend. His translated tweet reads: “Violence reaches levels never seen in BC and Mexico.
“The roads and towns that for decades saw us pass families and friends in off-road adventure vehicles, today bear witness to executions of crime. What happened today at #Ensenada has to stop.”
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