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Classes Suspended on Violence Rumors

By: Staff | Real Acapulco News - 11 November, 2010

(Acapulco, NA 11 November) Yesterday in Acapulco, rumors spread widely, by telephone message, email and word of mouth, that some sort of attack was planned against children in schools. Several variations of the same fear circulated: some reported attacks and kidnappings in La Jardin or Zapata; others said a tip was received about a planned attack by gunmen on a secondary school or university. In another version, armed gunmen were seen in luxury SUV’s lurking around a school. In every case, the several public safety officials at city, state and federal levels declared the rumors to be false, saying that they were the result of a general unease among the population, no doubt turned into panic because of the recent acts of organized crime violence.

As rumors spread throughout the day yesterday, worried parents arrived at the schools to take their children home early. Older students in secondary schools and colleges also became alarmed and abandoned their classes. Even though no violence took place and every rumor proved to be unfounded, and even though the public safety officials denied any basis for the panic, many public and private schools suspended classes from yesterday afternoon through today. Evening classes at local colleges were also suspended last night. In schools that remained open, the attendance was very light.

Though the hysteria appears to have started in Zapata and spread quickly through the poorer neighborhoods in the higher terrain on the periphery of the port, ultimately every part of the city felt the fear and unrest. The State Secretary of Education called upon all families to remain calm and to continue with their normal routine, being careful not to repeat false rumors and reports. The government prosecutor’s office confirmed that no incidents against school children had been reported anywhere in the city.

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