Mexico apologizes for 2011 casino attack that killed 52

MEXICO — Mexico’s federal government on Wednesday apologized to relatives of those who died in a 2011 arson attack at a casino that killed 52 people.

Interior Secretary Alejandro Encinas said the government had been negligent in putting in place security measures at the Casino Royale in the northern city of Monterrey.

The notoriously violent Zetas cartel, now weakened and fragmented, set the fire to enforce a demand for protection payments.

The government failed to prevent the attack or secure murder convictions against those responsible.

Speaking on behalf of the families of the victims, Samara Pérez – who survived the attack but lost her son, 18-year-old Brad Xavier Muraira – said “May this unfortunate event change the way government works, so that it will never happen again.”

The Casino Royale fire was one of the worst attacks on civilians during the 2006-2012 war on drugs.

Gunmen burst into the casino on August 25, 2011 and began to douse the casino with gasoline. Within seconds, a peaceful day at the casino turned into pandemonium as patrons and staff screamed and amid flames.

A decade later, only five of the alleged attackers have been convicted on unrelated weapons charges involving the weapons they were carrying at the time of their arrest.