Tuesday, February 5, 2013

"Image of Acapulco" is on the line, admits its mayor

"Guerrero cumple" - Guerrero does its job - is the state's motto; but Spain's Foreign Ministry warns its citizens against travel to Acapulco, calling it a "zone of special danger"

*Feb. 13 - Six arrested*
Guadalajara -
City and state officials in Acapulco are scrambling this morning to reassure the world that their town is safe for visitors, while they try to track down the men who brutally attacked a group of young Spanish women early Monday (Spanish tourists raped, robbed on Acapulco beach front).

News reports today say five or six attackers sexually assaulted the Spaniards repeatedly, and then robbed them of cash and electronic items before fleeing. As of this morning, there are no suspects.

Acapulco mayor Luis Walton Aburto said, "What happened to the women is unfortunate, and we recognize that it affects our city's image." He noted that all three levels of government, including federal authorities, were working to solve the case.

In a statement which some may not find comforting, Walton added, "But what I want to tell you is that this type of thing could happen anywhere in Mexico, not just in Acapulco."

Both Walton and state prosecutor Martha Elva Garzón said there is no evidence that the attack was connected to organized crime violence. Acapulco and its environs have been hot zones of drug cartel brutality in recent years, greatly affecting its reputation with international travelers and damaging the regional tourist trade. The state's economy is heavily dependent upon foreign and national tourism.

The victims of yesterday's attack have been transported under escort to Mexico City, where they are receiving medical and psychological attention from local health care providers. They're also receiving consular assistance from the Spanish diplomatic mission in Mexico.

12:00 p.m. Mayor Walton promised that "very soon" authorities would disclose information about those responsible for the attack. He insisted that Acapulco offers "excellent security," including the presence of Mexican troops. The investigation is under the jurisdiction of Guerrero authorities, since rape and robbery are common crimes, not federal ones. In Madrid, Spanish officials said they have full confidence in their Mexican counterparts. At the same time, Spain's Foreign Ministry warned citizens who have Acapulco travel plans to "exercise extreme caution," calling the entire region one of "special danger." News sources here report that the Mexican woman with the Spanish tourists was not raped.

Feb. 5 - USA Today story, quoting Mexico Gulf Region Reporter: Six tourists raped in Acapulco

Feb. 13 - Mexican prosecutors announce arrests in Acapulco rapes
Feb. 8 - Serial rapists may be responsible for Acapulco attacks - but do police have the right men?
Feb. 8 - Today could bring arrests in Acapulco rape case, as more disturbing details emerge
Feb. 6 - Acapulco's tearful mayor begs Enrique Peña Nieto for federal help
Feb. 6 - Gunmen ambush police patrol in war torn Guerrero state, leaving nine officers dead
Feb. 6 - International press bombards Acapulco: "a death zone"
Feb. 4 - Crime with "impunity" still the norm in much of Mexico
Feb. 1 - Security is so poor in Guerrero that locals have formed civilian police forces
Sept. 30, 2012 - Two executed in Cancún hotel zone

Nov. 6, 2011 - 65% of Mexico declared "off limits" to foreign travelers by western nations
Nov. 21, 2011 - Mexico reports major decline in tourism due to narco crime, world economic woes

U.S. travel warnings about Mexico
Nov. 20, 2012 - U.S. State Dept. renews general travel alert for Mexico
Aug. 27, 2012 - U.S. State Dept. issues Guadalajara warning
Jun. 12, 2012 - U.S. State Dept. issues Mexico-wide alert, warning of "anti-American violence"
Jun. 5, 2012 - U.S. State Dept. Warning to Americans in Mexico
Mar. 31, 2012 - U.S. Consulate in Matamoros, Tamaulipas issues Emergency Warning for Americans
Mar. 2, 2012 - Spring Break nears, but U.S. students are not headed to Cancún (or much of Mexico)
Feb. 8, 2012 - U.S. issues new travel alert for Mexico
Dec. 22, 2011 - U.S. warns citizens after narco terrorists launch offensive in Veracruz - 16 dead


  1. I wonder what the chances are that Playa Del Carmen and Cancún will suffer the same fate as Acapulco ?

    I live in Playa Del Carmen and I see more and more police in the streets here and even military.

    When I read local newspapers like Por esto and MGRR I read about Zeta and Pelones hit men battling it out, headless bodies in Cancún a huge spike in businesses closing due to extorsion.

    Whats more scary is the increased presence of other cartels and the recent cooperation between Los Pelones and the Gulf cartel. Before it was relatively quiet here and mainly only Los Zetas running the show here but with other cartels moving in to get a piece of the action in the Riviera Maya it could lead to an explosion of violence like in Acapulco.

    In an article here it was mentioned that Mérida is "safe" and there is an unwritten agreement to not fight in Mérida but does Cancún and PDC enjoy the same "protection" ?

    Almost all foreign media do not report any of these things going on and for what reason I dont know, especially when Cancún is such a big travel destinations for Americans and Canadians.

    I lived here for years and looking at buying some property here but I'm not sure it's such a good idea with everything that is going on....

    1. Since you live in the Riviera Maya and you're a regular reader of MGRR, you probably saw this Dec. 28 article - but if not, it addresses many of the issues you raise:

      You're right in your observation that "almost all foreign media do not report any of these things." Only Por Esto (in Spanish) and the Mexico Gulf Region Reporter (in English, of course) do so on a regular basis. There are many reasons why the U.S. and foreign press ignore the area, some of which may be more or less self-apparent to readers.

      In any case, MGRR will continue to keep a close eye on the drug war and organized crime in Quintana Roo state, just as we've been doing for the last 18 months. Follow us daily for periodic reports, and don't hesitate to send relevant tips.