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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.

610x_max200w

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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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 4 years ago

    Anybody wanna start a pool on how long before we send US Troops over there?

  • Pot_luck_at_work_max50

    Omarra67

    about 4 years ago

    2284 Comments

    Very scary!

  • Fish_cop_max50

    trouttrooper

    about 4 years ago

    486 Comments

    My condolences to all the Families of the victims.

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    about 4 years ago

    19386 Comments

    Mexico could become a Narco State controlled by drugs. If a civilian gets caught with a gun or even a bullet they go to jail. The expression in Spanish is "Plata o Plomo". Silver or lead. Take the bribe or wind-up dead.

  • Kate_n_i_max50

    michelleg

    about 4 years ago

    572 Comments

    God bless those whos lives were taken and had to endure this violent outbreak.

  • Wcsa_range_deane_p7240007_max50

    dino98

    about 4 years ago

    674 Comments

    It's only a matter of time before this spills over our border and a major gun battle occurs, killing our innocent citizens. I know people have been killed here already (related to Mexican drugs), but it appears they were all connected to the drugs....not exactly 'innocent'.

  • On_the_job_002_max50

    kaalima

    about 4 years ago

    1748 Comments

    This is insane !! I know we are in the midst of fighting the war on terrorr, but we've got to get a hold on our borders before these savages start killing in our streets !!!

  • Police_link_badge_max50

    HEYSARGE

    about 4 years ago

    16734 Comments

    Stay out of mexico!

  • Monday_march_3_police_blotter_max50

    fraustr1

    about 4 years ago

    522 Comments

    "I agree with everyone," it's getting bad in Mexico, pretty soon over into the U.S. we need more officers, military over there and here!!!!!!!!

  • Me_max50

    eli4se

    about 4 years ago

    100 Comments

    Cartels fighing Cartels, don't care who gets in the way. Let the Mexican Army do what they can. We need more resources around the borders of Mexico and the US. Some of the violence has already spilled over to the US borders. People think that the Taliban are bad, these cartels are chopping up people in 10 to 15 pieces and leaving them in vehicles off the roadways for people to see. Eventually it will get worse for the US. Belive me, I am always carying my weapons!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 4 years ago

    We need a better solution to stop this bull crap.

  • Sw12_max50

    436

    about 4 years ago

    574 Comments

    Time to pull the military from the middle east and focus them on a big threat to national security. Drug cartels in Mexico.

  • Eagle_and_flag_max50

    36TR

    about 4 years ago

    7568 Comments

    My condolences to all the Families of the victims!!!

  • Cpusey-001_max50

    Chief171

    about 4 years ago

    3194 Comments

    RIP.....

  • Horizon_badge_max50

    K_LAZO

    about 4 years ago

    62 Comments

    R.I.P.
    I live in El Paso Texas, a border city to perhaps the most violent city in the world.
    I have seen firsthand how the violence is getting out of control
    And beginning to spill over. Just last month they killed a retired sheriff deputy and
    His wife which worked for the US consolate. Not to mention in Sept. 09, six gunmen armed with AK47s took a man from his house in broad daylight in front of a schoolbus loaded with children! Man was found chopped up in Mexico the next morning.
    What's amazing is that the national media doesn't cover things like this, but are quick to cover a "stun gun" prank gone wrong???
    If we don't fix this fungus now its gonna slowly but surely infect the US!
    Where are our priorities!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

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