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Federal Officer Among 6 Fatalities in Acapulco Shootout

Federal Officer Among 6 Fatalities in Acapulco Shootout

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Atlanta Journal Constitution via YellowBrix

April 15, 2010

ACAPULCO, Mexico — Mexico’s drug violence has invaded the heart of one of its most famous beach resorts, with six people shot to death and five wounded during a raging gunbattle on the main boulevard in Acapulco’s tourist zone.

No tourists were among the casualties, but the shooting killed at least three bystanders and occurred in broad daylight on the wide, palm-lined avenue within sight of major hotels and the beach.

Drug gangs have staged shootouts in the city before, but seldom in broad daylight amid heavy traffic, and never with such a toll among uninvolved people.

Desperate motorists crashed their cars and apparently sought to drive over the median strip to escape the gunfire, which left at least a dozen vehicles riddled with bullet holes.

A mother and her 8-year-old child, a taxi driver and a federal police officer were among the dead, while two slain men may have been the targets of the gunmen who set off the carnage, authorities said. Five more people suffered wounds, but there was no information on their condition.

Federal police said they detained a 26-year-old and said he apparently worked for Edgar Valdez Villarreal, a U.S.-born drug capo who has been engaged in a bloody battle in the Acapulco area with former colleagues in the Beltran-Leyva drug cartel.

Police said the gunbattle started when “armed men traveling in several vehicles opened fire on the occupants of another vehicle,” killing both men. It was unclear why the men were targeted.

Police tried to intercept the gunmen’s vehicles.

“In their attempt to escape, the assailants opened fire on several private vehicles, killing three people, including a child,” federal police said in a statement.

City police said the 8-year-old girl died while being transported in an ambulance and her mother was killed. A policeman at the scene said the mother had apparently just picked her daughter up from school when they were caught in the hail of bullets.

While police officers may have tried to return fire, the area was littered with hundreds of shell casings from AK-47 assault rifles — a weapon used almost exclusively by Mexico’s drug cartels.

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A car with a bullet-riddled windshield is seen in downtown Acapulco April 14, 2010. Drug hitmen killed at least five people, including an officer, in an attack on the tourist strip in Acapulco on Wednesday. [AP]

The battle caused a huge traffic jam on the busy Miguel Aleman Boulevard. The intersection where the shooting occurred marks the start of a strip where high-rise hotels alternate with open expanses of beach and is among the city’s most heavily traveled and best-known areas.

Drug violence has killed more than 22,700 people in Mexico since December 2006, but it has seldom touched the beach resorts and colonial cities favored by international visitors.

Acapulco, famous as in international getaway in the 1950s and ’60s, has become mainly a destination for Mexican tourists in recent decades.

The shooting came as Mexico’s tourism industry gradually recovers from a grim year in 2009. Tourism all but came to a halt last April as fear over the swine flu epidemic virtually paralyzed Mexico, forcing the closure of schools, restaurants and archaeological sites and restricted air travel to Mexico from some countries.

Mexico’s revenue from foreign tourism dropped to $11.3 billion, a 15 percent decrease from $13.3 billion in 2008, according to the Tourism Department, which also blamed the worldwide economic downturn as another factor.

In other violence, the Mexican army announced Wednesday that two soldiers and two gunmen died in a shootout in a northern Mexico area that has seen a recent spike in drug violence.

The army said soldiers patrolling in the border state of Nuevo Leon on Tuesday gave chase to six suspicious cars that crossed into neighboring Tamaulipas state, where a gunbattle ensued in the town of Comales.

An army statement said the fight also wounded three soldiers and several gunmen. It said 200 soldiers and two helicopters were deployed to the area to locate the assailants.

The northeastern states of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, across from Texas, have seen a surge of violence in recent weeks that authorities blame on a fight between the Gulf cartel and the Zetas.


April 15, 2010 02:06 AM EDT

Copyright 2010, The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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  • Sfa_iv_max50

    revCCBeasley

    over 3 years ago

    2944 Comments

    Rest in Peace & may God bless you, your family and co-workers.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    ColinTsDad

    over 4 years ago

    26 Comments

    Yet another reason to build that wall at the border.....

  • Picture_008_max50

    wildsoldier

    over 4 years ago

    1246 Comments

    RIP Brother....

  • Img00039_max50

    bfriskey

    over 4 years ago

    980 Comments

    Most importantly....RIP....

  • Img00039_max50

    bfriskey

    over 4 years ago

    980 Comments

    "Drug violence has killed more than 22,700 people in Mexico "
    Yeah, we NEED ILLEGAL ALIENS TO DO THE JOBS AMERICANS WON'T .End Quote...10% unemployment and WE import CHEAP LABOR.....The genius of it escapes me..... NO , I DO NOT AGREE NOR DID I EVER AGREE..

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    RIP..........That drug war is already crossing the border

  • _iceurlflag1_max50

    RCUSTER

    over 4 years ago

    12 Comments

    "Rest in peace, condolences to his family and coworkers

  • 412-4_max50

    gfdccso

    over 4 years ago

    282 Comments

    RIP Brother

  • K9_max50

    K9Mire

    over 4 years ago

    8 Comments

    RIP

  • Images_max50

    OFFICER_K_CPD

    over 4 years ago

    2296 Comments

    RIP

  • Anonymous-killer-whale-232189_1__max50

    Whalewatcher

    over 4 years ago

    11194 Comments

    Yeah, I agree something needs to be done, but keep the troops out of Mexico. Build a wall at the border and man it 24/7. Mexico is so corrupt anymore, it would be professional suicide to send troops there. Trust is virtually non-existant there anymore; bump DALLASCRANE. I feel bad for the innocents caught up in all of this, but this has to remains Mexico's problem( anybody remember Vietnam ? ) and frankly, it is time fior that government to take swift action, if it can. If it can't, let the dealers kill themselves off.

  • Thumbnailcaxl3avm_max50

    SARCWO

    over 4 years ago

    2 Comments

    There needs to be more action, pretty soon violence like this will be in our streets of San Diego.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    It will be like this in the U.S. someday. It will get so bad that the Mexicans will be trying to get back across the border TO Mexico.

  • Picture_008_max50

    wildsoldier

    over 4 years ago

    1246 Comments

    HELLO, when are we going to go down there and kick some ass.....

  • 9_11_01_max600_max50

    88malo

    over 4 years ago

    134 Comments

    i dont know what ELSE has to happen in order for mexico to throw its full might upon the cockroaches

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