Drug Violence Spreads to Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa
Over the past few days, popular tourist destination Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa has suffered a spate of incidents of narco-related violence prompting speculation that the peaceful tourist oasis may see an increase in bloodshed similar to the rising incidences of drug-related killings that have plagued its nearby neighbors, the state of Michoacán and the port of Acapulco.
On April 21, two bodies in an advanced state of putrefaction were encountered about 200 meters from the highway near the city’s airport.
On April 24 in the wee hours of the night, a severed head was discovered in front of Zihuatanejo’s main bus terminal. A “narco-message” was reportedly left at the scene but its contents were not released to the public. It is alleged to have been left by the Sinaloa Cartel threatening various local cartel members and their supporters and to have singled out several prominent members of the local community as well as the preventative police force.
On April 25, at approximately 2:30 pm, a group of cartel members clashed with military personnel in Ixtapa’s Playa Linda area resulting in the deaths of four gunmen and the recovery of several vehicles as well as several large caliber weapons.
Today, April 27, at approximately 4:30 am the bodies of four men were found tortured and decapitated in the Los Almendros area of Zihuatanejo. The bodies were found together with a series of seven narco-messages reportedly signed by Chapo Guzmán and the Sinaloa Cartel.
Locals attribute the recent upsurge in violence to increased activity by drug cartels in the area as La Familia Michoacana and more recent arrival, the powerful Sinaloa Cartel, battle with the remnants of the local criminal infrastructure left behind by captured cartel linchpin, The Barbie.