Acapulco: Tourist Mecca and Cartel Murder Capital
There used to be a line of demarcation between the drug-gang violence and the tourists in this once-glamorous resort. Not any more.
ACAPULCO, Mexico — One comforting truism of the drug war in Mexico holds that drug-related violence and tourism are mutually exclusive of one another—like the orbits of neighboring planets, the two supposedly never intersect.
But the sunburned vendors who trudge from beach umbrella to beach umbrella hawking their wares to tourists here along the Bay of Santa Lucía have a different story to tell. Five of their number have been murdered here in a month, as the violence that has for years plagued the favela-like neighborhoods on the city’s periphery has reached at last the tourist beaches downtown.
On Saturday, Feb. 20, after the fourth such murder, sun bathers and tourism boosters in this city were treated to the spectacle of Mexican Army and Marines trudging past them on the sand in combat helmets and battle fatigues with assault rifles at the ready.