Egypt Will Build Memorial To The Mexican Tourists Killed In Western Oasis Last Year

Mexico’s foreign ministry declared in a statement that the families of the eight Mexican tourists who were killed in an aerial bombing in Egypt last year have reached a compensation agreement with the Egyptian Travel Agents Association (ETAA), reported Reuters.

In September 2015, an Egyptian army aircraft fired on a group of visitors parked for a barbecue near a tourist site, thinking they were militants. Eight Mexican citizens and four Egyptians were killed. Six Mexicans were wounded.

Egypt’s Ministry of Interior said that military and police forces had been conducting security operations in El-Wahat (Western Oasis) in the Western Desert. After opening fire, security forces discovered that the four vehicles were civilian.

According to the interior ministry, the vehicles had been in an area prohibited to civilians due to the dangerous security situation.

The Egyptian government did not publicly apologize for the attack but put the blame on the travel company that organized the trip.

In January, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Claudia Ruiz Massieu commented on the incident, saying that “the administrative authorities and the travel agency should have had more clarity on the permit and in that sense would eventually be responsible.”

In May, officials announced that the federation of Egyptian tourism agencies had compensated the families of three out of the eight victims USD 140,000(nearly 500,000 Egyptian pounds) each as part of a preliminary deal in exchange for the families refraining from suing Egypt.

Now Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that after the intervention of both governments and their lawyers, an accord was reached with the ETAA to pay “financial compensation” to the victims once current religious festivals in Egypt are over.

The federation is a union of local tourism chambers of commerce and represents the tourism industry. It is not officially part of the Egyptian government.

The ministry, which in May complained that it was not satisfied with Egypt’s response to the attack, did not divulge details of the agreement.

The ministry also said that the under the accord, authorities in Egypt will also erect a memorial to the Mexican and Egyptian victims.

It is noteworthy that the Egypt’s Tourism Ministry has paid a financial compensation to the family of the Egyptian tour guide who died in the accident worth only 130,000 Egyptian pounds which is nearly 10% of the compensations decided to the Mexican victims.

Egyptian activists on the social media criticized the Egyptian government saying that the Egyptian price is 10% of the Mexican price.While others doubted if the three Egyptian drivers killed in the accident would have a compensation from the Egyptian government.