Astudillo speaks at yesterday's press conference. Astudillo speaks at yesterday's press conference.

Crime gang murders down by 7 in Guerrero

Governor celebrates tourism gains that came despite violence

There was some cause for celebration this week in Guerrero where intentional homicides were down — by seven.

That small gain and some strong tourist numbers were enough for Governor Héctor Astudillo to celebrate with a press conference yesterday to report on security and tourism.

“Guerrero continues to be attractive and it was demonstrated by the spectacular movement of tourists in the state during the December vacation period,” the governor said.

He said visitor numbers were up between four and five per cent so far. The Christmas vacations end Sunday.

There were also gains in cracking down on fireworks.

“The issue of fireworks in over 10 municipalities was successful, we had no problems . . . .”

On the not-so-bright-side was the fact that Guerrero had the third highest homicide rate in Mexico over the last 365 days, after Colima and Baja California Sur. But it was first in organized crime-related executions.

According to a tally kept by the newspaper Reforma, Guerrero topped the list last year with 1,536, or four every day.

Six people were murdered on New Year’s Eve but Astudillo noted that that no tourists were affected by the killings.

“Even with all the trouble with homicides, Guerrero has had an extraordinary time; it remains an attractive place for visitors,” he insisted.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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