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Husband of American killed by Mexico cartel says they fled LA

via FOX News
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An American woman, Niko Honarbakhsh, was shot and killed in Mexico while vacationing with her dogs at a beach club in Tulum.

Her husband, Karl Perman, a former DEA agent, said they had been spending more time in Mexico in recent years due to safety concerns about crime in Los Angeles.

Perman said, “We were aware of the State Department advisory, and we were aware of, you know, reportings of crime in this area. But honestly, our opinion was – take a look at Los Angeles.”

“So, actually, I feel many times, depending upon the neighborhood, safer in Cancun than I do in Los Angeles,” he continued.

“I mean, Beverly Hills, different story, but most of the time I spend outside of Beverly Hills. So, I can tell you that, I feel safer. And she did as well,” Perman explained.

He added, “We were aware of the crime. But again, I think if you look at the statistics, probably any major metropolitan area in the U.S. would have probably a bigger crime index than Cancun itself.”

The State Department warned that “criminal activity and violence may occur in any location, at any time, including in popular tourist destinations. Travelers should maintain a high level of situational awareness, avoid areas where illicit activities occur, and promptly depart from potentially dangerous situations. While not directed at tourists, shootings between rival gangs have injured innocent bystanders.”

Perman said, “I’m from the Midwest, so I tend to be a little bit more, traditional, if you would, where she’s from Los Angeles. So she was the creative one in the in the family. But, from her speaking, from what, you know, we talked about it. Definitely. That was one of her concerns.”

He explained, “She was concerned about her safety. She had, just recently, she was walking the dogs, actually, on the campus of UCLA and was chased by a person with a knife.”

On the night of the shooting, Honarbakhsh was caught in the crossfire of a shootout between suspected drug dealers at the beach club.

Perman struggled to get information from Mexican authorities and said they initially tried to blame the victim.

Quintana Roo State Attorney General’s Office wrote in a statement, “The main thing was nobody was helpful at all, at any, at any level until I actually, you know, kind of stood in their station demanding assistance and then making calls,”

“The main thing is I just want people to be aware that you kinda gotta use your own voice and make it heard… Because I know for sure if – I mean I’m a stubborn son of a gun. And, you know, obviously with my training and such, but, I got the feeling right away that Friday night… she would have been probably a missing person for who knows how long,” their statement continued.

The Office wrote, “It seems like every time there’s an American that’s killed here, the spin is they were doing something wrong. Right? Buying drugs, selling drugs, being near drugs.”

Perman said, “Basically, I guess there was an alleged drug dealer that came in and saw another drug dealer and then shot that drug dealer like up by the restaurant, and then that person was just injured. So he ran to get away from the other person. And as he ran out to the beach, the other person ran chasing him and shooting, but obviously not very good gun control as you’re running and shooting it. So the rounds, you know, one went all over and two of them hit Niko.”

Perman previously said, “I mean, I said, how do I confirm a body? They wouldn’t show me anything. They wouldn’t show me pictures. They wouldn’t show me the body, they wouldn’t show me anything. And I’m like, well, how do I even know that this is her?”

After verification of her identity and proving claims against her were false, the authorities apologized.

“Niko was very positive, she loved life. This should not – not fair,” mourned Perman.

He added, “And I think that, you know, if this causes people to think about and hopefully A. improve security for the region in some way and two, cause somebody to hopefully be aware of their surroundings and maybe prevent, you know, a terrible situation, that’s great.”

Perman hopes improved security and awareness can help prevent similar tragedies and honors his wife’s positive spirit.

The incident highlights safety issues foreigners may face in Mexico and difficulties that can arise for loved ones seeking answers.

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