Tributes paid to British businessman shot dead near Mexican resort | Mexico

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A Cornish businessman has died after being shot dead in front of his teenage daughter near a popular Mexican resort.

Two gunmen opened fire on Saturday as Chris Cleave, 54, was driving on a highway near Playa del Carmen in the state of Quintana Roo, near Cancún, Reuters news agency reported.

Cleave, a permanent resident of Mexico since 2013, worked in real estate and had been threatened by a local gang before the ambush, according to local media.

Her daughter, who was also in the car, sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

The Truro-born businessman was described in Facebook tributes as a “true friend” and a “great dad”.

In one of dozens of messages expressing her shock at the murder, Kristen Amrhein said: “I am shocked, gutted and deeply disturbed by this horrible, horrible news.

“You were the highlight of my trips to Playa and I will miss you my friend. I always looked forward to our fun exchanges and was privileged to have known you.

Laure Koltunski wrote: “You were a wonderful person, a wonderful real estate broker, a wonderful dad. We will miss you.

In another message, Sara Jones said: ‘You were the most generous and helpful person I know, always making time for everyone. You made my life happier, easier and more joyful every day I knew you.

“I will miss our cups of tea, our glasses of wine, our British jokes and our endless fun conversations. Playa today mourns the loss of a truly wonderful man, who did not deserve to be taken away so soon.”

On March 9, three days before filming, Cleave shared images on Facebook to celebrate her daughter’s birthday.

Two suspects were arrested later Saturday on suspicion of involvement in the murder, the Quintana Roo state attorney’s office said.

A firearm which may have been used was found in their possession at the time of the arrest.

It comes after the Mexican government deployed National Guard troops to Quintana Roo late last year following a spike in violence linked to organized crime.

In January, two Canadian nationals were shot and killed at the Xcaret Hotel in Playa del Carmen.

In a statement given to Reuters, the British Embassy said: “We are supporting the family of a Briton who died in Mexico and are in contact with the Mexican police/local authorities.”

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