Businesses protest insecurity in Zihuatanejo. Businesses protest insecurity in Zihuatanejo.

Weekend in Guerrero: 20 people murdered

There was also a mass kidnapping of a dozen people in the Tierra Caliente region

Twenty people died during weekend violence in Guerrero, including 10 in Acapulco, two of whom were Navy personnel.

All the victims were assassinated; many of the bodies had been dismembered.

Worst of the violence was in Tixtla, where eight dismembered bodies were discovered in plastic bags on the side of the Atliaca highway. The victims had been tortured.

Another three bodies found in Teloloapan have been identified as three metal workers who disappeared November 4. They are presumed to have been kidnapped and killed by members of the Familia Michoacana gang.

Their bodies were also dismembered and left in plastic bags.

The weekend violence, most of which has been linked to organized crime, was kicked off with a mass kidnapping Thursday night in Ajuchitlán del Progreso in the state’s Tierra Caliente region.

As many as 30 armed men believed to be members of a gang known as Los Tequileros kidnapped between 12 and 14 people, including two minors, in the community of San Jerónimo.

Police said ransom demands have been made of family members of some of the victims.

A burned-out van found on a dirt road between San Jerónimo and San Cristóbal is believed to have been used by the kidnappers, whose gang is warring against the Familia Michoacana.

The weekend’s gruesome events were preceded by one small item on the other side of the ledger. Federal forces captured on Friday Benito Escalante, known as “El Benny,” presumed to be the chief hitman for the Beltrán Leyva gang.

He and two other suspected criminals were arrested without incident in Acapulco.

Although none of the weekend’s murders touched the popular tourist destination of Zihuatanejo, many of the town’s businesses closed for a day Friday to protest insecurity in the municipality.

It was the second such closure in less than 30 days. The latest was triggered by the murder on the previous weekend of the son of a local businessman.

A business spokesman was critical of Governor Héctor Astudillo after the killing of 27-year-old Jesús Gregorio Vidal López. Ricardo Sotelo Luna wondered “how many more deaths does the governor want before he truly understands that what is happening here is serious” and stops saying that the people of Zihuatanejo are exaggerating.

Source: Reforma (sp), Milenio (sp), El Sur (sp)

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