More tourist victims in Acapulco

Acapulco 2016: drug cartells keep the city in the News.
Tourist victims Acapulco: drug cartels keep the city in the News.

More tourist victims in Acapulco | It used to be a tourist hotspot for leisure seekers from the U.S. But today, people are best advised to avoid it. The shooting deaths of three more tourists in Acapulco is the latest cruel chapter in the city’s tragic decline from paradise to hell. The men – 21, 21, and 27 years old — have been killed near a beach in a tourist-hotel quarter. For those who don’t know: Acapulco was once Mexico’s #1 beach destination. Nowadays it counts an average of 2.5 murders per day. That is the 4th highest urban death toll on earth. The US government recently banned its employees from traveling there for any reason due to the ongoing violence.

In the 1950s and 60s, Acapulco was a playground for the rich and famous. Hollywood stars would flock to the city, which became immortalized in Elvis Presley’s 1963 movie ‘Fun in Acapulco’, and in many songs, such as Ricchi E Poveri’s ‘Acapulco’ (1983).

Acapulco 1963: Elvis Presley makes the city famous.
Acapulco 1963: Elvis Presley makes the city famous.

Normally drug-related violence and tourism were mutually exclusive of one another. This kept the tourism industry rolling despite all the killings. But things have changed in 2015: In April and then July, a waiter and an ambulant vendor were murdered in the area of La Costera. In February 2016 after a fourth murder of a tourist, sun bathers in Acapulco were treated to the spectacle of Mexican Army and Marines trudging past them – a deployment of a new kind. It shows how desperate the Mexican government tries to control the situation. Now add another three tourists to the list. As a result average hotel occupancy has dropped down to 40 percent.

The Mexican state of Guerrero is home to several cartels, operating clandestine drug labs and harvesting approx. 40% of the opium poppy used to supply heroin to the United States. One might remember an infamous case in Iguala (3 hours away from Acapulco): 43 students ‘disappeared’ in September 2014.

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