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Gunfire in Tres Palos: What the Violence Means

By: Patrick Ellis | Real Acapulco News - 03 December, 2010

(Acapulco NA 3 December) In the small village of Tres Palos, several kilometers beyond Acapulco to the south, armed gunmen in a luxury SUV engaged in an exchange of gunfire with unknown persons around 7:30 pm on December 2. One young man was shot in the base of the neck, execution-style, and another was presumed wounded and kidnapped. Elements of the Mexican army responded and patrolled the town to re-establish calm. The Ministerial Police in the Coloso office of the State Attorney General opened an investigation, but there is little hope of identifying, much less of arresting, those responsible. Shell casings indicate that the shooting was carried out with AK-47 rifles. Thus ended one more instance of drug violence in the outlying, upland communities of southern Guerrero state.

Incidents of gunfire, street violence and murder occur almost every day in poor suburbs and the outlying communities near Acapulco. It is so commonplace that some newspapers hardly report on it anymore. City leaders are quick to reassure visitors that the violence is related to drug trafficking and does not spill over into tourist areas of town. That is largely true. Over time, the incidence of violent crimes in Acapulco has been about the same as for Los Angeles, California. It has typically been lower than for New Orleans, Louisiana. Surely the turf wars between drug gangs have caused a spike in the crime data, but those not involved in drug production and distribution have generally been safe. Law enforcement has become a more hazardous occupation, but the drug lords would have us believe it is because of corruption, and that when a policeman is shot, it is because he “sold out” to the wrong group.

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