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Acapulco Stores Close Today for 1 Hour in Protest of Violence

By: Patrick Ellis | Real Acapulco News - 25 August, 2011

(Acapulco, AN 25 August) Local merchants in Acapulco agreed that today, Thursday, they would close their doors for one hour, as a special protest against the violence that they are suffering. They warn that if the authorities cannot bring about any easing of the situation, they will increase the number of hours and the frequency of their protests until somebody does something to curb the apparently untethered violence against shops and shop owners. Shops closed from noon to 1:00 pm today, mainly in the downtown area.

The violence is not limited to armed robberies, but also includes kidnapping and extortion, especially “protection money” charged by different gangs.

Merchant protestors are proposing to petition the Supreme Court to authorize them to withhold tax payments for so long as the municipalities are unable or unwilling to provide security to its citizens. Many frustrated individuals imply, without making an open accusation, that much of the crime is tolerated and ignored by law enforcement because they are being paid off by criminal gangs. Recent testimony from captured organized crime figures confirms the allegation, though it is not known how widespread the corruption has become.
The merchants called upon schools and universities to compress their hours of operation to the range of 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. They will meet again on September 6 to reassess the situation and to take whatever further action they deem appropriate, depending upon the response of governments to their complaints.