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Tourists Witness Gunfights and Burning Cars during Vacation

By: David Real | Real Acapulco News - 24 August, 2011

(Acapulco, AN August 22) The tourist zone of Acapulco has been the scene of several violent acts during the height of the summer tourist season. In some cases the violence has directly affected the tourists, and in others they were simply witnesses to exchanges of gunfire, assassinations, or the burning of cars on the Costera Alemán. On the morning of Thursday, August 18, for example, an officer of the ministerial police was gunned down on Magallanes, a busy thoroughfare in Costa Azul. The day before, two coolers filled with human remains were dropped off on the Costera around 4:00 pm by the Cici Water Park. On the same day, a similar drop off occurred with three coolers filled with body parts, this time on the street behind Acapulco’s Cathedral on the Zócalo. During the evening, outside the Gran Plaza shopping mall on the Costera by Parque Papagayo, a third delivery of ice chests filled with body parts appeared. A dismembered body had been left there just three days earlier.

Acts of violence in the tourist zone began just a few days after the summer holidays began. On July 15, a female tourist was hit by a stray bullet on the beach at El Morro, near La Condesa. The next day, a tourist was killed when gunmen shot and killed a state government official in the El Zorrito restaurant. Two others were wounded. On July 30, on the beach called “Playa Angosta” (near La Quebrada), two more persons were shot and killed. And on August 3, gunfights sprang up all over the city, including the tourist zone. On that night a taxi driver was killed outside the Tabares strip club, and another in front of the dance club and bar Mojito. Another taxi driver was killed and cars were burned at the taxi stand on the Costera between the Hotel El Tropicano and the nightclub Baby ‘O (near Wal-Mart). Another taxi driver was murdered and two vehicles incinerated on the Costera in Costa Azul, in front of the Comercial Mexicana.

For lack of security, gas stations throughout Acapulco are now limiting their service hours in protest of the violence and in light of the fact that the governments seem incapable of doing anything to stop it. Starting Friday, August 19, gas stations in Acapulco will close from 1 pm to 4 pm in protest. They sent a sharply-worded message to the President of the Mexican Republic, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa. The action was stimulated by a robbery of a gas station in Hornos (between the Traditional Zone and the Golden Zone, on the Costera), which left one employee wounded by a gunshot. There had been five robberies prior to that one in a matter of 24 hours, and on Monday, three had died in an exchange of gunfire.