The mayor of Acapulco suggested Friday that the media shouldn’t report on violence in the resort city because doing so damages the tourism industry.
Abelina López Rodríguez told reporters that the media is responsible for causing alarm about violence in Acapulco, described by The Washington Post in 2017 as Mexico’s murder capital.
“If we don’t take care” of the tourism industry, “I don’t know how we’re going to eat,” said the Morena party mayor, who took office at the start of last month.
“Why is Cancún keeping quiet? Because we all understand we have to eat something,” López said.
Her remarks came after a string of violent incidents in Acapulco last week. A photojournalist was kidnapped and shot (he died in hospital on Sunday), two public transit drivers were murdered and a large group of armed men set Acapulco’s main wholesale market on fire after dousing it with gasoline. Authorities said that 20 market stalls were damaged but there was no loss of life.
Just before López was sworn in on October 1, the city’s iconic Baby’O nightclub was destroyed by fire, triggering speculation that a crime group was sending a message to the new mayor.
The mayor said Friday that all cities face difficulties from time to time and that they all take care to protect their main sources of revenue. “… It’s time to love Acapulco,” she said.
Earlier last week, President López Obrador announced a new support plan for Guerrero, the state in which Acapulco is located. Part of the plan entails deploying an additional 700 soldiers and National Guard troops across the municipalities of Chilpancingo, Acapulco and Iguala.
Federal homicide statistics show that Acapulco, Guerrero’s largest city and top tourism drawcard, was Mexico’s fifth most violent municipality in the first five months of 2021. There were just under 30 homicides in the city in October, the newspaper El Sol de Acapulco reported.