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Mexican authorities make arrest in mid-May killing of Quebec man in seaside town

Mexican authorities have made an arrest in the killing of a Quebec man earlier this month in the Pacific coast beach town of Puerto Escondido.

The Oaxaca state attorney general issued a statement on Friday saying an arrest warrant was executed for a man in Puerto Escondido identified only by his initials in connection with the homicide of Victor Masson.

The statement did not outline any specific charges and said that a judge would decide next steps for the accused.

Prosecutors said Masson was found dead in his car on May 15 in a neighbourhood where few tourists stay. 

A few days after the slaying, authorities said in another statement that Masson's killing stemmed from an altercation with people he had met the previous night over an unpaid bar tab at a local establishment.

A senior prosecutor for the region said Masson had been visiting Oaxaca with his Mexican girlfriend, arriving just a day before the killing.

Prosecutor Bernardo Rodriguez Alamillo said Masson went to a restaurant-bar in a zone known as “El adoquin” in Puerto Escondido by himself while his girlfriend attended an event with people she knew.

Rodriguez Alamillo said the investigation revealed that Masson met four people — two men and two women — at the establishment. When it came time to pay the bill, there was an altercation between the victim and the people he'd met.

The prosecutor said after leaving, Masson called 9-1-1 to report he had been robbed. He was found dead the next day.

Masson, 27, hails from the province's Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region north of Quebec City.

His family confirmed his death in a statement after the killing.

"You will understand that Victor Masson's family is in shock and that members learned of the death through the media," the statement read, adding relatives would refrain from any comment so as not to harm the investigation.

A spokesman for the family did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2023.

— By Sidhartha Banerjee in Montreal, with files from Brenda Molina-Navidad in Toronto.

The Canadian Press

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