Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Sunday, March 13, 2022

British Businessman Is Shot Dead In Front Of His Daughter, 14, In Mexico

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

Police have named and pictured the two men who carried out the execution style killing of businessman Chris Cleave in front of his teenage daughter.

They were named as 30-year-old Jose N and 18-year-old Lenin N.

The murder weapon was also recovered after police chased the pair as they fled on a motorbike.

Police in Cancun said one of the men tried to flee after jumping from the motorbike and was arrested hiding in undergrowth while the other continued on the motorbike to try and evade police.

Police released their photographs but as yet have not given a motive for the murder. 

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 (pictured) in the head and killing him instantly

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.

He became a permanent resident in 2013 and worked as an estate agent and property manager, according to police.

Mr Cleave's older brother Nick, who runs a watersports company in Falmouth, Cornwall, today told The Sun: 'We still can’t believe what has happened to Chris.

'We are all just trying to come to terms with his death and all we want to do now is gather the family around so that we can protect our elderly mother. 

'The family won’t be making any further statement at the moment and we would like to be able to grieve in private.' 

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.

Police have named and pictured the two men who carried out the execution style killing of businessman Chris Cleave in front of his teenage daughter

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.'

Local reports said a man thought to be Mr Cleave was threatened earlier this month along with two other men in a so-called narcomanta, a message left by a local drug cartel on a cloth banner, in an upmarket beach area of Playa del Carmen called Playacar. 

The message, written in Spanish and removed by the police soon after it appeared on March 5, said: 'This is for you [two names redacted] from Playacar, with Range Rover and Porsche cars and the secret partners of [local restaurant name].

'We are coming for you and the sale of your s**t. Also for you Cris, with the red Audi.'

Unconfirmed local reports at the time said the mystery men behind the intimidatory message wanted to sell their drugs there.

Local prosecutors confirmed two arrests had been made over the killing. There is no suggestion at this stage any illegal activity takes place at the restaurant referred to in the message.

A spokesman for Quintana Roo's State Prosecution Service said: 'We can confirm the arrest of two men who probably participated in the incident that took place on Saturday morning in which a foreigner living in the area lost his life.

'The weapon that was used has been recovered.' 

He is believed to have been followed as he left his home before being assassinated as he stopped in traffic.

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 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.

The killers sped away but were chased along the main Federal Highway by police and arrested.

Police said Cleave and his daughter were on the main federal highway in Playa del Carmen in a red Audi (pictured) when the car was approached by two men

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.'

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.

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.  

On his Facebook page Cleave, pictured, said he graduated from Penair Secondary School in 1986

Last month two men were shot dead and a third injured at a popular tourist restaurant in the area.

A group of gunmen opened fire in an attack at Art Beach restaurant at the entrance to the hotel zone in the Mayan Riviera resort of Tulum a 50-minute drive south of Playa del Carmen, where the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Demi Moore and Sting have holidayed.

Survivors dining at the upmarket eatery, which mixes food with live music, reported hearing at least 20 gunshots.

The incident occurred less than a month after two Canadians were gunned down and a third was wounded in a hotel in Playa del Carmen south of Cancun on the same coastline.

The victims of the January 21 shooting at the luxury Hotel Xcaret in Playa del Carmen were part of a group of 10 tourists who had traveled to Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula to spend their vacations at the five-star establishment.

Local prosecutors later identified the two 34-year-old men killed as convicted criminals in Canada and said they believed debts arising from the criminal activities they were involved in were likely to have been behind the attack on them.

They have been named as Robert James Dinh and Thomas Cheruka.

Two people including a Mexican hitman initially hired to kill the victims have been arrested.

Daily Mail


  1. Well at least Mexican government cares about foreign getting killed.
    They always catch the killers and fast.
    There's thousands if not millions of unsolved killings in Mexico. (Whatever the number multiply by at least two)
    Mexican government loves to downplay the violence and the murders are lowered in every situation.
    If army get in a shootout and 5 soldiers get killed they will say only one got killed and the rest injured. Or all got injured..
    MEXICAN government is a joke

    1. All you do is complain about how bad the government is and how much of a joke they are. What do you do to alleviate the violence? Are you down in the trenches helping your fellow mexicans out? Please tell us, I'm eager to know how you help curb the violence.

    2. 10:46 he/she is telling the truth about Mexico, I sure he'll consider that complaining. Could you be the lawyer in here, that always defends Obrador?

    3. 10:46 all you do is complain about me complaining 😆
      What have you done?

      It's the michoacangos fault

    4. If the government catches the criminals as they did in this case, you two pendejos still complain. If the criminals get away, you two pendejos still complain. But that's all you do. Yeah, I may complain about you two idiots but you don't see me complaining about the effort taking place on part of the military or police because I'm aware that they do a lot more than me. You guys on the other hand, are cynics. You're negative. Lazy ass bums, I'd like to see you on the Frontline.

    5. 4:42 oh brother!
      Your worse than my ex vieja always in a bad mood and complain 😆

    6. 1110 LMAO. lemme guess, she realized you're a pendejo and left you. Good for her. I'm sure her decision made her parents proud.

    7. 11:10 your wife put up a show for you while she stole all she could,
      Then she took the rest and left...
      Where did you bury her?

  2. Glad the suspects were busted. Probably each one paid a cheap sum of $500 to kill him.

    1. Mmmm buddy I seen people getting killed in Tulsa Oklahoma for 15 bucks only. I have also seen people killed for a sack of weed. Crazy world we live in.

    2. Da piaza are you a junkie, in Oaklahoma?

    3. Aint nobody getting killed over $15 unless its a disrespect thing.

    4. Yes Anon 8:57 am. I’m a junkie everywhere I go.

    5. Anon 2:47 pm watch the first 48 show and you will see people killed others for much less than $15 dollars. Even crazier. They do it here in the United States where the will most definitely get arrested.

    6. Paisa is dead in the US you certainly can get murdered for 15 bucks or less and anyone who says its not true doesn't live here...But in Mexico they will kill you,your family and your extended family and your near and far associates and come to the gravesite and try to kill you again..No place is safe and some places are safer than others but there are not too many places that Mexico is safer than right now.

  3. Replies
    1. thats good mexico is not for pussies like you anyway

    2. No one wants you in Mexico, no hard feelings

    3. 12:21 are you the same one, that is afraid, when it's raining outside?

    4. You are sorry. There is violence everywhere. Hiding under the covers won't save you. Enjoy your life, enjoy the sun, go out, meet new ppl, try new things, but be smart. You will be fine.

    5. 2:48
      Saturday morning 5:30am, this 52 year old Latino hardworking man, had went out, to walk his dog, unfortunately low and behold, it was the last time, he would walk his dog. A car pulls up, man pops out, yells at him and shoots him. There no reason, but just for the mere fun of killing him for the fun of it. Fortunately the dog was smart enough to burn rubber and found the home. Near Cuernavaca turf, midcity LA.

    6. 4:12 Could have been a gang inialtion thing, where a Black gang member has to prove they can kill anyone, and they did in this case, I am surprised even though the Latino was not in a gang, they still yell at him "what gang you from".and he got shot.

    7. 9:04 it could have been your mother too...Shes been known to do dumb shit like that

  4. More likely did not want to pay extortion tax, he was given Plata o plomo.

  5. Nobody can mess with Mexican cartels..nobody

  6. This foreigners killed left and right in Mexico

  7. Poor guy minding his own business and gets killed.

    1. he was mentioned in a narco message in the past month. what a poor guy minding is own business.

    2. Yea minding his own cartel business

  8. White man think they are safe in Mexico, think again white man. No one is safe is mexicoco.

    1. Mr. 12" hotdog Red Panties Rubio is looking for you.

    2. I don't know of any white guy who thinks he's safe in Mexico

    3. Did someone say 12" hotdog?

    4. No Black man is safe there either if Juan Rambo finds you.

    5. Jim Brown don't go to Mexico. They are slaughtering people, like thier is no tommorow.


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