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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Six Spanish Tourists Raped by Acapulco, Mexico Gang

     Acapulco, the famous vacation mecca in the Mexican state of Guerrero on the country's Pacific Coast, has become increasingly more dangerous. Once an oasis amid rampant drug gang violence, the crime has filtered into the city. The violence comes from rival drug cartels fighting for control of drug routes from South America.

     In 2010, 20 million Americans visited Acapulco. Today, following travel warnings issued by authorities in the United States and Great Britain, hotel occupancy rates in the city have fallen to 46 percent. It's the threat of crime that is killing Acapulco's tourist industry.

     On February 1, 2013, a pair of Mexican tourists returning from a beach east of Acapulco were shot and wounded by members of a masked self-defense squad at an improvised roadblock. To defend their neighborhoods against drug gang violence, citizen self-protection units have sprung up throughout the region. The tourists were fired upon because they failed to stop at the roadblock. (The tourists probably thought the men blocking the road were drug criminals.)

     At two in the morning of Monday, February 4, 2013, five men wearing face-masks broke into a beach bungalow on the outskirts of Acapulco. The picturesque beach house had been rented by a Mexican woman, six Spanish women, and seven Spanish men. The armed intruders, motivated by robbery and "to have some fun," tied-up the seven men with phone cords and bikini straps. Over the next five hours, the robbers raped the six Spanish women. The rapists spared the Mexican woman because of her nationality. The rape victims were in their twenties.

     According to the Guerrero state attorney general, if investigators determine that the crime was related to drug cartel activity, the case will be turned over to the federal authorities. Military checkpoints have been set up in an attempt to quickly identify and arrest these violent intruders. The crime has attracted international media attention, and presents a nightmare for Acapulco's tourism business, an industry already suffering from Mexican drug violence.

     To a large extent, Mexico's out-of-control crime problem, and the corruption of its government, is caused by America's insatiable appetite for drugs. 

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