Gunmen wearing mariachi garb kill 4, wound 9 in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY — Mexicans heading into Independence Day celebrations have been jolted by a brazen shooting that killed four people and wounded nine in Garibaldi Plaza, the capital’s iconic square where mariachi musicians serenade tourists.

The Mexico City prosecutors’ office said at least one foreigner was among those wounded in Friday night’s attack, which local media said was staged by gunmen dressed as mariachi musicians.

Mexican news outlet La Silla Rota circulated surveillance video of the alleged assailants wearing traditional embroidered jackets and pants as they fled on motorcycles.

The shooting cast a bloody pall over the weekend’s Independence Day festivities. Many Mexicans wear mariachi costumes Saturday evening to commemorate the launch of the revolt against Spanish rule on Sept. 16, 1810.

Lisa Sanchez, director of Mexicans United Against Delinquency, described the shooting as a “piercing portrait” of Mexico.

She said the fact that the shooting happened in a crowded public square demonstrates that impunity prevails in the country.

On Saturday night, President Enrique Pena Nieto is set to shout “Viva Mexico” — or “Long Live Mexico” — shortly before midnight from a balcony of the National Palace. Thousands crowd into Mexico City’s central Zocalo square every year to hear the shout, and the celebration usually spills into Garibaldi Plaza.

Videos circulating on social media showed musicians in the plaza playing their music around the time of the shooting.

In one video, a man plucking a large harp continues to belt out the Mexican civil war anthem “La Cucaracha” as dozens of gunshots can be heard in the background, though it isn’t clear the musicians heard them.

In another, brass instruments and melancholic voices fill the air as the flashing lights of police vehicles descend on the plaza.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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