Acapulco, one of the most famous tourist areas in the country, in the state of Guerrero (on the Pacific coast), suffered a new blow this Thursday, April 20th when armed men attacked markets throughout the tourist destination.
At around 1:00 a.m., the criminals entered the central market, doused everything with fuel, and set fire to stalls where fish, fruit, and clothing are sold.
In the El Parazal handicraft market, another group entered and burned several stores, in addition to an aesthetic located on Velázquez de León Street, a few meters from the Zócalo. Also, other businesses in the Caleta Market were set on fire.
In the suburban area of Acapulco, a Volkswagen Beetle was set on fire with Molotov cocktails. In that same area, a man died and another was injured in the attacks.
The events, which left at least six stores and a vehicle on fire, exacerbate the upsurge in violence that the Mexican port is experiencing.
For more than 10 years, when the so-called “war against drug trafficking” began, Acapulco, Guerrero, was one of the cities most affected by violence: the famous port lived its darkest days that plunged it into a serious tourist and economic crisis, but above all, a security crisis.
Although the levels of crime, mainly from organized crime, are not the same, the strategy to stop the wave of insecurity has not yielded results.
At least 16 criminal cells have reportedly plunged Acapulco into a wave of violence. An internal report from the municipal Public Security Secretariat (SSP) indicates that the city is disputed by cells of hitmen who are splinters of the Acapulco Independent Cartel (CIDA), the armed wing of what was once the Beltrán Leyva organization directed by Édgar Valdez Villarreal, the Barbie.
The report details that CIDA is currently the strongest cartel in the tourist port, since it controls the distribution of drugs and the collection of fees from businesses of all commercial lines.
It operates in the Costera Miguel Alemán, the center of the city, and more than 80 neighborhoods in the western area, in addition to the Las Cruces prison.
Los Viruses, the second most important group, control part of the Diamante Zone and Puerto Marqués and part of the Costera Miguel Alemán, according to the report.
The other 14 criminal cells, referred to in the report as “atomized gangs,” operate on their own in suburban neighborhoods and rural communities.
These organizations collect weekly fees for public transport and when a criminal group suffers the arrest of one of its members by the authorities, they force drivers to block streets.
Businessmen and transporters assure that the battle to the death between these criminal groups has accentuated the collection of fees from businesses at the hands of criminal gangs, kidnappings, and homicides.