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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.


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.

  • Tlusa_max50


    over 4 years ago


    "Why not send in the Army Rangers like we did with Noriega in '89 to oust these ruthless individuals. Something needs to be done when kids are among the counted dead!"

    BForJuvCor, it wasn't just Rangers....some of us were already on the ground long before the Rangers recieved their OP Order.......There were several thousand US troops already there. The 193 rd infantry Brigade was the most hard chargin outfit I ever served with and I consider it an honor to have been there.

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Rest in peace to all of the victims.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    78 Comments's time to start treating this like the war that it is. Cut the head of now. While maybe not politically correct, a multitude of well placed military strikes would send the message. The causalities from that would be far, far less than the 22,700 people that have been killed in 3 1/2 years. I agree that it won't stop the drug trade, but it just might send it back underground where innocent civilians would be able to walk outside without fear again.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    My thoughts and prayers are with each and every one.

  • Battering-ram-full_max50


    over 4 years ago


    RIP Brother

  • Sunset_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Rest in peace

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    Sad news RIP Officer... This is unacceptable they have no problem having a street shoot out killing Officers and women and children. Something does need to be done. The question is what?

  • Img_0338_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Mexico is worse than Iraq with that 4 year death toll. Something needs to be done in order to stop these savages from killing innocent people, especially when it involves kids and/or the elderly. RIP to the fallen...

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Old Elvis would have turned 75 this year, and if he was still around, he sure as hell would jump off any cliff just to get away from the out of control chaotic environment that now exists all over our southern neighbor. What a shame. Sad any of the innocent people were killed, and sad even so for the Federalie taken.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Why not send in the Army Rangers like we did with Noriega in '89 to oust these ruthless individuals. Something needs to be done when kids are among the counted dead!

  • Plmb2s3sk_max600_max50


    over 4 years ago



  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


  • Joefriday_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Sad say a prayer for those killed and wounded by this stupidity. Our federal govt needs to realize that the control of Mexico is rapidly washing away allowing it to be run by drug barrons. This violence WILL CONTINUE to seep across the border with the drugs that fuel these disputes.

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