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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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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    TeachDJ

    over 4 years ago

    208 Comments

    Things in Mexico are COMPLETELY lawless and out of control.

  • Car6_max50

    Ahi

    over 4 years ago

    1990 Comments

    R.I.P. to the innocent and working, prayers to family and friends. This needs to be taken care of, before it gets worse.

  • 12235_sq90_max50

    chiefkcr

    over 4 years ago

    3614 Comments

    RIP Brother.GOD be with you and yours.

  • Quartermasters_me_max50

    yori73

    over 4 years ago

    2 Comments

    D.E.P R.I.P. Gadav. A lot of hard wording soldiers and law enforcement officers are being killed for doing their job, but there's a lot of corruption in the local agencies (traitors). All Mexico is infested by those scumbag cartels, now I cannot visit my family and without being aware if I could get robbed in my way to my grandma's town. And what it piss me off is that I cannot carry a gun. Only criminals are a loud to do so.

  • Angel_kincaid_park_2014_max50

    AKangel

    over 4 years ago

    4972 Comments

    RIP BROTHER, THIS needs to be shut down, Send in the Calvary, GET ER DONE!

  • Meangreen01_max50

    AZmeangreen

    over 4 years ago

    2338 Comments

    RIP brother.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    R.I.P. Brother.

  • Ilmayw2_max50

    MPD288

    over 4 years ago

    40 Comments

    I absolutely agree with LynchburgPD2020. We need to send the military over there. THAT is where the troops should be, Fighting the war on drugs and fighting to keep it off our streets. THAT is a real threat to America. Those scumbag cartels make millions off of American drug users and kill anyone that tries to stop them.

  • Thumbnailca7zcxzp_max50

    LynchburgPD2020

    over 4 years ago

    194 Comments

    RIP to all. We really need to get the military involved to help subdue the acts toward the killings.

  • 7819_712435661328_26723071_40880744_7213452_n_max50

    Mke_AF_Cop

    over 4 years ago

    436 Comments

    Lets get the military involved use some of our "special tactics"

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    R.I.P.

  • Fp-183_max50

    Paladin3087

    over 4 years ago

    40 Comments

    Its already spilling over the border states of the US and someone in this govt. "hint,hint", needs to do something pro-active to stop it. But if I guess right and history is correct, they will not...

  • 100_0550_max50

    FOP716

    over 4 years ago

    6 Comments

    R.I.P. (MOS)… It is unacceptable how criminals (Drug Cartels) are becoming more uncontrollable in Mexico. The country needs to realize they need outside governmental agencies to assist in the efforts to restore law and order. If anyone recalls the movie “Clear and Present Danger”, this is it! How many innocent lives have to be lost in order to take immediate and effective action…? With all the technology this country has, this should be well in check!

  • 2011_range_day_2-19-10_max50

    USLawman1983

    over 4 years ago

    1572 Comments

    Sad that a city once known for its beauty and tourism is turning into another embattled ghetto. Urban decay takes only a few years of neglect, indifference and complacency. Does anyone else think this "Drug War" is about to hit Main St, America?

  • Phone_pics_035_max50

    cgregor12

    over 4 years ago

    3026 Comments

    I love Mexico. Its really a beautiful place to visit especially along the coast lines. But when sh*t like this is going down EVERYWHERE in Mexico I am a little reluctant to visit. The people there are scared out of their minds of the cartels. Something needs to be done before these killings become worst. A lot worst.

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