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Acapulco: no risk to tourists. Acapulco: no risk for tourists.

Guerrero death toll: 13 killed in 24 hours

Governor offers assurance that the violence poses no threat to tourists

Assassins took a break over Christmas when the city of Acapulco went for five days without recording a single murder. But five men turned up dead yesterday in four different neighborhoods during the course of the day.

Most of the victims had been shot, but one had been beaten and stabbed. Another had been mutilated and decapitated and his body half-buried.

Those killings were among 13 in a 24-hour period in Guerrero, but Governor Héctor Astudillo said today the violence does not represent a threat to tourists.

“Acapulco is very well looked after; all the tourist zones are very well looked after,” he said, blaming 90% of the deaths on organized crime. A security operation is under way throughout the state, Astudillo said, involving the Army and Navy and federal and state police.

Four people were killed in a restaurant in Sabana Grande, near Iguala, and two more died in a shoot-out in front of the bus terminal in Chilapa.

In San Miguel Totolapan, an armed gang dragged an ex-civil servant and cousin of a state deputy from his home, and killed him in front of his family.

In the municipality of Ixcateopan, a confrontation between groups of armed civilians led to the murder of one person, while three people suffered burns after the gunfire set off a blaze in the fireworks factory where the battle took place.

To finish off the night, armed individuals launched an attack on the Iguala offices of Forensic Medical Services. No one was hurt in the gunfire.

In Acapulco, there is evidence that tourism is rebounding despite the violence. Mayor Evodio Velázquez reports a 96% occupancy rate in the city’s hotels, beating expectations. He said about 600,000 tourists visit Acapulco during the Christmas holidays.

Cruise ship visits are also up. Last year there were just seven but 30 are confirmed for the season this year, said the mayor.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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