Homicides and extortions unstoppable in Acapulco, Mexico

With information from Alina Navarrete Fernández/Correspondent / Latinus

The increase in violence in the Mexican state of Guerrero, which places  Acapulco in the “top ten” of the municipalities with the highest number of intentional murders in the country, has marked the first seven months of the administration of  Governor  Evelyn Salgado Pineda.

According to figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System (SESNSP),  645 intentional homicides have been registered in  Guerrero so far during the Morenista government, which yields an average of three killings a day.

In the Easter holiday season alone, the Guerrero Prosecutor’s Office reported 19 intentional homicides to the SESNSP, most of them in  Acapulco. The increase in violence in the tourist area of ​​the port was revealed with a series of crimes on the Caleta and Icacos beaches, which occurred on Labor Day weekend while the beach was packed with tourists; in that “long weekend,” seven men were murdered in different areas of Acapulco in less than 24 hours.

For Enrique Castro Soto, president of the National Chamber of the Restaurant and Seasoned Food Industry (Canirac) in  Acapulco, the violence generates a terrible reputation, which is obviously bad for tourism.

In an interview with  Latinus, Castro indicated that there is also an uptick in extortion fees (Pago de Piso), for which the authorities must provide guarantees of protection because many citizens are afraid to report crimes due to the reprisals they may receive.

“The federal government has to strengthen security measures; that is, the state government, the municipal government, cannot deal with this problem alone, it is necessary for the federation to strategically support both the state government and the municipal government of  Acapulco ”, he points out.

Although Castro perceives greater coordination between the authorities and businessmen, he insists that it is necessary to strengthen the complaint mechanisms.

For Alejandro Martínez Sidney, president of the State Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Services and Tourism in the State of  Guerrero  (Fecanaco), impunity is one of the central issues in combating violence.

“High-impact crimes, murders require an investigation, that the  Prosecutor‘s Office  has resulted because impunity basically contributes to the continuation of this type of event (…) It is of the utmost importance that the  Prosecutor’s Office does its job until the last consequences and do not discard any of the cases that have happened in  Acapulco in recent months, ”says Martínez.

The governor of  Guerrero maintains a security strategy similar to that of the federal government, which gives priority to projects for social development and that seeks to generate opportunities, before plans to contain organized crime.

Salgado heads daily the meetings of the Coordination Table for the Construction of Peace, in which commanders from the  Army, the  Navy,  the National Guard, and the Guerrero Prosecutor’s Office participate, representatives of the Attorney General’s Office, and members of his cabinet. However, he is not informed daily of the results of the agreements reached in these meetings.

Meanwhile, government institutions seek to reduce the perception of insecurity among the inhabitants of  Guerrero. For example, the Coordination Table for the Construction of  Peace carries out a weekly broadcast to publicize actions in the area of ​​security, mainly arrests, drugs, weapons, and seized vehicles. For its part, the  Justice Prosecutor’s Office has a radio program that reports on its actions every week. 

The Yucatan Times
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