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Mariachis serenade Mexicans to boost tourism after deadly attack

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Mexico City (AFP)

About 200 mariachis performed in Mexico City's iconic Garibaldi Plaza on Friday in a bid to bring wary tourists back to the capital after a deadly attack last month in the square by gunmen dressed as musicians.

Performing classic Mexican songs such as "Guadalajara," the musicians joined with business owners to try to reassure visitors that the plaza is safe.

Hundreds of people came to watch the display, which also included a performance from a traditional dance group who twirled their skirts in time to the music.

"The incident was a totally isolated one. (...) Those people who are committed to drug dealing and controlling the plazas are killing themselves," one musician, Tiziano Cervantes, told AFP.

On September 14, Garibaldi Plaza was packed with tourists and locals taking part in Mexican Independence Day festivities when gunmen disguised as mariachis fired off at least 60 rounds, investigators say.

The assailants fled on motorcycles.

Six people were killed and several others were wounded in the attack, which Mayor Jose Ramon Amieva blamed on a turf war between two local drug gangs, La Union and Anti-Union de Tepito.

Both gangs operate in a nearby neighborhood and have been fighting for control of Mexico City's drug trade, Amieva said.

"We have nothing to do with that," said Cervantes, who added that about 5,000 families depend on the income of the mariachis who play nightly in Garibaldi Plaza.

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