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Acapulco: You wouldn't want to die there
Waterbury Republican-American ^ | February 8, 2007 | Natalia Parra (A.P.)

Posted on 02/08/2007 12:14:33 PM PST by Graybeard58

ACAPULCO, Mexico -- Brazen daylight killings by presumed drug smugglers just up the hill from Acapulco Bay are worrying business leaders that increasingly bloody drug wars will cripple Mexico's critical tourism industry.

Hotel owners and other business leaders in the Pacific coast resort have demanded officials do something to quell the violence that has been closing in on the city's beachfront hotels, flashy discos and fish taco eateries.

In one of the boldest attacks yet, assassins dressed as soldiers barged into two state police stations shortly before noon Tuesday, demanded the officers hand over their guns and then opened fire. Five police investigators and two secretaries were killed, and witnesses said the simultaneous attacks were videotaped by the assailants.

Federal authorities said Wednesday they were investigating whether some of the slain officers had ties to drug traffickers, and whether the killings were meant to settle scores between the rival Gulf and Sinaloa drug cartels.

Mayor Felix Salgado told business leaders at a breakfast meeting Wednesday that authorities were patrolling the tourist zone and will "guarantee the safety of those who visit us."

"I hope this does not affect the tourist image," he said. "We realize that these events are unpleasant, but people know that they are separate events."

One of the stations hit Tuesday was near a highway used by tourists driving into the resort. Days earlier, two Canadian tourists were grazed in the legs by bullets fired into a hotel lobby on the main tourist strip.

A city of more than 720,000, Acapulco has always had a problem with crime, but until recently the violence occurred mostly in the poor neighborhoods blanketing its verdant hills, far from the gleaming five-star hotels along the coast.

Since last April, however, the attacks have become more blatant: The smugglers have carried out at least six beheadings. Several officers' heads were spiked on a railing in front of a downtown building. Another head floated up just off the beach. A decapitated body was found in a hotel room in Pie de la Cuesta, a popular resort just north of the city line, and a municipal police officer was gunned down outside a disco in the tourist zone.

The violence has increased as the Sinaloa and Gulf cartels battle for control of lucrative routes off the Pacific coast for U.S.-bound Colombian cocaine, belying Acapulco's image as a relaxing, tropical paradise and threatening to scare away foreign tourists .

Cartels also are battling over domestic drug sales as drug consumption grows inside Mexico, where few places seem immune to violence.

Since taking office in December, President Felipe Calderon has deployed more than 24,000 soldiers and federal police nationwide to fight drug gangs, including about 7,000 sent to the Acapulco region.

Calderon calls the violence an unfortunate response to his military crackdown, which has included the extradition to the United States of Gulf kingpin Osiel Cardenas, suspected former Sinaloa leader Hector Palma Salazar and two other druglords.

The officers in Acapulco may not have been surprised by the order to turn over their weapons to men who appeared to be federal soldiers. In Tijuana last month, federal troops stripped city police officers of their guns for inspection amid allegations that some were colluding with drug smugglers.

Erit Montufar, who directs state police investigators in Guerrero, the state where Acapulco is located, said the assailants acted as if they were carrying out a similar operation Tuesday. All the assailants escaped and no arrests have been made.

Viviana Macias, the federal attorney general's spokeswoman, said her office was probing whether the slain officers had been working with smugglers.

"That's one of the leads we are following," Macias told The Associated Press. "All we know now is that it appears to be an organized crime gang that disguised themselves as soldiers."

One of the five police investigators killed had escaped an attempt on his life just last month, Macias said.

The Sinaloa and Gulf cartels have recorded killings in the past. The Mexican newspaper Milenio reported Wednesday that videotaping executions was a characteristic of Edgar Valdez Villarreal, aka "Barbie," the reputed chief hit man for the Sinaloa Cartel. According to the federal Attorney General's Office, Valdez is in charge of defending Acapulco from Gulf Cartel attacks.

In 2005, a homemade DVD was sent to two U.S. newspapers, apparently showing four Gulf Cartel hit men being beaten and interrogated and one shot in the head. Police said the DVD revealed a dispute between drug gangs.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Mexico
KEYWORDS: acapulco; drugwars; mexico
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1 posted on 02/08/2007 12:14:35 PM PST by Graybeard58
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To: Graybeard58

I don't even want to vacation there....


2 posted on 02/08/2007 12:16:17 PM PST by Kimmers
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To: Graybeard58

Back in the mid-eighties, I did think I'd died and gone to heaven when in Acapulco. Nothing like the Princess off-season and Teddy's on a sunny day. You couldn't pay me to go back there now.


3 posted on 02/08/2007 12:17:57 PM PST by sageb1 (This is the Final Crusade. There are only 2 sides. Pick one.)
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To: Kimmers

Took the words right out of my mouth!


4 posted on 02/08/2007 12:18:07 PM PST by stm (Believe 1% of what you hear in the drive-by media and take half of that with a grain of salt)
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To: Graybeard58

Frankly, I don't want to die anywhere, but it's not really my choice, is it?


5 posted on 02/08/2007 12:18:41 PM PST by rbookward (When 900 years old you are, type as well you will not!)
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To: Graybeard58

Wow, none of that ever happened in that old Elvis movie "Fun In Acapulco." Actually it is a very beautiful place, but there are too many other options out there to put up with this. When I was there, the biggest annoyance was the unrelenting persistence of people trying to sell you things you didn't want, like a timeshare, a bicycle or in one case a dead swordfish.


6 posted on 02/08/2007 12:20:08 PM PST by speedy
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To: Kimmers

Coming soon to a State near you.


7 posted on 02/08/2007 12:20:30 PM PST by Domicile of Doom (Center amber dot on head and squeeze for best results)
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To: Graybeard58

Canada's had a rash of dead tourists in Mexico - a couple attending their dauther's wedding had their throats slashed, another chap was beaten to death for dancing with a local's girlfriend, another old couple had been shot in the legs...no travel advisories though.

As a Canuck I'd much prefer a US destination. Plenty of sun and fun to be found not far from home. And you can drink the water.


8 posted on 02/08/2007 12:21:21 PM PST by timsbella (Mark Steyn for Prime Minister of Canada! (Steve's won my vote in the meantime))
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To: Graybeard58

I'm more worried about the corrupt cops in Mexico than the drug gangs, who have little interest in bothering tourists.


9 posted on 02/08/2007 12:22:08 PM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Your FRiendly FReeper Patent Attorney)
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To: Kimmers
I don't even want to vacation there....

My wife wanted to, I talked her out of it.

10 posted on 02/08/2007 12:22:19 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: rbookward

But you can choose to avoid Acapulco.


11 posted on 02/08/2007 12:22:36 PM PST by Misterioso
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To: Domicile of Doom
Coming soon to a State near you.

Hasn't some of this already come to south Texas?

12 posted on 02/08/2007 12:24:12 PM PST by Mark17
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To: Beelzebubba
I'm more worried about the corrupt cops in Mexico than the drug gangs, who have little interest in bothering tourists.

What do you have to fear from corrupt Mexican cops?

13 posted on 02/08/2007 12:25:11 PM PST by Misterioso
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To: rbookward
Frankly, I don't want to die anywhere, but it's not really my choice, is it?

It's your choice as to whether or not you die in Acapulco, which is what the article is about.

14 posted on 02/08/2007 12:25:19 PM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: Kimmers
I don't even want to vacation there....

My wife and I went last year and had a great time. Although the long, fenced drive to our hotel was heavily guarded by machinegun toting guards. We got a cab and had a great tour of the city. It isn't the safest place, but what city its size is any safer for tourists? The drug war is between the cartels and the cops. The tourists are WELL protected by nearly everyone there as they are the lifeblood of that city's economy.

15 posted on 02/08/2007 12:25:46 PM PST by Spiff (Rudy Giuliani Quote (NY Post, 1996) "Most of Clinton's policies are very similar to most of mine.")
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To: Kimmers
I don't even want to vacation there....

I spent a few days there a decade ago before my cruise. That place scared me. No desire to return. Puerto Vallarta was far preferable.

16 posted on 02/08/2007 12:26:05 PM PST by mgstarr
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To: timsbella
As a Canuck I'd much prefer a US destination.

Try Pensacola, Galveston or Corpus Christi if you want the beaches.

17 posted on 02/08/2007 12:26:36 PM PST by Centurion2000 (If you're not being shot at, it's not a high stress job.)
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To: Graybeard58
My wife forced us to go to Mexico on vacation last summer.

There isn't anything I left there that I need to go back for!

18 posted on 02/08/2007 12:26:45 PM PST by Redleg Duke (Heaven is home...I am just TDY here!)
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To: Graybeard58
Hotel owners and other business leaders in the Pacific coast resort have demanded officials do something to quell the violence that has been closing in on the city's beachfront hotels, flashy discos and fish taco eateries.

What? Solving a serious violence problem is simple! Just ask Sarah Brady. All you have to do is make gun ownership illegal, and all the violence will magically vanish!

19 posted on 02/08/2007 12:26:50 PM PST by TChris (The Democrat Party: A sewer into which is emptied treason, inhumanity and barbarism - O. Morton)
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To: Graybeard58
A Mexican Vacation
20 posted on 02/08/2007 12:28:02 PM PST by pabianice
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To: Centurion2000

Sister lives in Austin - love Texas. Don't have to ask me twice!


21 posted on 02/08/2007 12:29:29 PM PST by timsbella (Mark Steyn for Prime Minister of Canada! (Steve's won my vote in the meantime))
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To: Graybeard58

I wouldn't go to Mexico now unless I was paid an exorbitant amount of money for a short period.


22 posted on 02/08/2007 12:33:59 PM PST by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: Misterioso
"What do you have to fear from corrupt Mexican cops?"

Your kidding right?

23 posted on 02/08/2007 12:35:07 PM PST by Desron13 (If you constantly vote between the lesser of two evils then evil is your ultimate destination.)
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To: Domicile of Doom
Coming soon to a State near you.

Too late, they're already here.

Twenty seven percent of all federal prisoners are illegals.

24 posted on 02/08/2007 12:35:22 PM PST by RJL
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To: Graybeard58
We realize that these events are unpleasant

Understatement of the year...

25 posted on 02/08/2007 12:35:39 PM PST by John123 (As a tribute to Red, I will light a cigar for every game the Celtics win this season...)
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To: TChris

Mexico has pretty harsh gun control already.


26 posted on 02/08/2007 12:36:18 PM PST by Jack Black
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To: Mark17

I live in Houston in the loop, and it is becoming more lawless by the day. Add to it the Police and Mayor cannot come to terms. Fortunately I just got a contract on a house out in the ritzy burbs with excellent schools and far less pollution, bums, whores, and of course Illegal Aliens - except the ones doing jobs Americans won't do.


27 posted on 02/08/2007 12:37:50 PM PST by Domicile of Doom (Center amber dot on head and squeeze for best results)
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To: John123

If it is that bad in Acapulco, it is much worse in the rest of Mexico. It will be a massive job to clean it up, and no one seems remotely interested in doing that, or for that matter, capable. Gone too far already.


28 posted on 02/08/2007 12:39:30 PM PST by twonie (Just because there are fewer of us don't mean we are wrong.)
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To: Graybeard58
"I hope this does not affect the tourist image," he said. "We realize that these events are unpleasant, but people know that they are separate events."

No way, Jose. These incidents are the direct result of Mexico's culture of corruption. Why anyone would want to vacation in a country that hates them is beyond me. I've been to Mexico -- before the Vincente era -- and it was nothing impressive, believe me. There are much more attractive spots around the world, and even though they probably hate Americans too, they at least love our money well enough to fake it.

29 posted on 02/08/2007 12:40:25 PM PST by IronJack (=)
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To: Graybeard58
[.. Brazen daylight killings by presumed drug smugglers just up the hill from Acapulco Bay are worrying business leaders ..]

Ugh that would be the Mexican Government..
The drug cartels in Mexico... "IS/are"... the Mexican Government.. Duuugh..

30 posted on 02/08/2007 12:40:32 PM PST by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole....)
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To: Graybeard58; Misterioso

> It's your choice as to whether or not you die in Acapulco, which is what the article is about.

Good advice. I'll write it on the post-it I keep on the bathroom mirror so I won't forget! (Currently it reminds me to check my fly before leaving.)


31 posted on 02/08/2007 12:40:36 PM PST by rbookward (When 900 years old you are, type as well you will not!)
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To: Beelzebubba
I'm more worried about the corrupt cops in Mexico than the drug gangs, who have little interest in bothering tourists.

Yeah, I got robbed by the cops down there. Just a straight up: empty your pockets, thanks for the cash, enjoy your vacation. Very professional. We are outraged by this, but in the USA the taxman gets way more without even the personal touch!

32 posted on 02/08/2007 12:41:53 PM PST by Jack Black
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To: Graybeard58

We spent a day there a week ago, from a cruise ship. It did seem a bit dangerous and of course very poor.


33 posted on 02/08/2007 12:43:52 PM PST by BonnieJ
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To: Jack Black
Mexico has pretty harsh gun control already.

Yeah, I know. That was the point. :-) It was a dig at Sarah Brady.

34 posted on 02/08/2007 12:48:45 PM PST by TChris (The Democrat Party: A sewer into which is emptied treason, inhumanity and barbarism - O. Morton)
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To: Graybeard58

Acapulco used to be a great place for a vacation. It's sad to see it going to hell now.


35 posted on 02/08/2007 1:02:36 PM PST by HAL9000 (Get a Mac - The Ultimate FReeping Machine)
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To: Domicile of Doom

I was gonna say..............
Acapulco sounds like L.A.


36 posted on 02/08/2007 1:15:58 PM PST by sheana
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To: sageb1
I have vacationed in Mexico in the past and loved it. It was inexpensive, the people were friendly, the food was good, there were things to do. Mexico City is full of interesting things to see and do. The pyramids North of the city are super. Taxco is a special place in the mountains. Cancun and the nearby Mayan ruins are a great trip. Just going across the border from Texas is NOW out of the question. I don't know if Cancun is safe, but I have been told that Americans that go to Mexico City are told NOT to get into a taxi alone. I guess you have to have your own security detail, or be on a good guided tour.
37 posted on 02/08/2007 1:23:38 PM PST by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: Beelzebubba
I'm more worried about the corrupt cops in Mexico than the drug gangs

Now there's a distinction without a difference.

38 posted on 02/08/2007 1:32:37 PM PST by LexBaird (98% satisfaction guaranteed. There's just no pleasing some people.)
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To: Just another Joe
I wouldn't go to Mexico now unless I was paid an exorbitant amount of money for a short period.


Yeah, me too but I wouldn't go unless I was paid an exorbitant amount for a long period.

Regards.

39 posted on 02/08/2007 1:42:37 PM PST by ARE SOLE (Agents Ramos and Campean are in prison at this very moment.)
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To: ARE SOLE
Yeah, me too but I wouldn't go unless I was paid an exorbitant amount for a long period.

I want all that cash in a short period of time for a short period of time spent in Mexico.

40 posted on 02/08/2007 1:47:27 PM PST by Just another Joe (Warning: FReeping can be addictive and helpful to your mental health)
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To: BonnieJ

My wife wants to do a cruise to Mexico. when she asked what to do when we dock, I said we don't have to leave the boat.


41 posted on 02/08/2007 1:59:48 PM PST by art_rocks
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To: Jack Black

The last time I went down there (about 10 years ago), to Rosarito Beach from SoCal I had the Mazda MPV filled up with wifey, three kids and a mean looking dog. Crossing the border the Federales pulled us over and asked me to empty the van. He was looking for a payoff and I wouldn't oblige, so he started to look into the van and our mutt bared her teeth and gave a little growl.

He let us go and we were never bothered again, but when we got back I had the trots, REAL BAD for about a month. I hadn't had any water, salad or anything else native so I must have picked it up from bugs or something. We've been down there many times and also to Acalpulco, Matzalan, Mexico City, etc. We are NEVER going back until it's part of the Confederacy.


42 posted on 02/08/2007 2:16:02 PM PST by RGF
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To: art_rocks

We did a Norwegian cruise to Mexico last April. My husband is not a fan of Mexico but since it was with a fun bunch of couples he agreed. It was wonderful and we honestly though Acapulco was one of the nicer ports. Puerto Vallarta, which we had been to with our kids, is really seedy.


43 posted on 02/08/2007 2:22:43 PM PST by surrey
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To: Graybeard58

You wouldn't even want to die of natural causes in Mexico. My husbands uncle did back in the early eighties. They took his body to a fish cooler and dumped it. Then the family had to pay off the Mexican officials to get them to release it. Mordida is alive and well in Mexico! (Stay out of Mexico!)


44 posted on 02/08/2007 2:32:11 PM PST by Ditter
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To: StJacques

ping.


45 posted on 02/08/2007 2:45:57 PM PST by Alia
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To: surrey

Cabo San Lucas, more like Marbella.


46 posted on 02/08/2007 3:08:12 PM PST by Old North State
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To: Graybeard58
I have to take out my Elvis Presley "Fun in Acapulco" album now.
47 posted on 02/08/2007 3:11:53 PM PST by peggybac (Tolerance is the virtue of believing in nothing)
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To: Graybeard58

A shame. A lot of history. I would want to go down and see where the Manila galleons parked and see any traces of the China trade.

A shame. But right now, I have no urge to BE history.


48 posted on 02/08/2007 3:36:23 PM PST by tanuki
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To: Graybeard58

Lots of Texans are trading the planned vacation to Mexico for a cruise. Much better chance of getting back alive. The "Mexican tourist trade" is a brand name that has lost it's lustre.


49 posted on 02/08/2007 4:05:15 PM PST by TexanToTheCore (If it ain't Rugby or Bullriding, it's for girls.........................................)
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To: sageb1

The Princess hasn't changed since the mid-80's!! What a has-been place!! I wouldn't go back to Acapulco if you paid me, but I wish I would have bought the ram's horn and silver candlesticks I saw there!!


50 posted on 02/08/2007 4:07:13 PM PST by Suzy Quzy
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