Saturday, May 1, 2010

Come Fly With Me......Down to Acapulco Bay

Drug gangs turning Acapulco resort into war zone.


  1. Makes you want to open the southern border of the US, doesn't it?

  2. The Vancouver Sun zapped your story, Matt. Dang it.

  3. The story is there for me, Lady Red.

    I wonder if the woman in the red bikini in the lead picture realized there was a camera on her when she decided to ease her bottom?

  4. Yes, the link still works for me as well. I've cut and pasted it below for those who can't access it:

    "Violent drug gangs are terrorizing Mexico's famed Acapulco beach resort, with hitmen shooting at rivals on the hotel strip and dumping beheaded bodies in a battle for control.

    Bloodshed has jumped in the area, a flashpoint in President Felipe Calderon's war on drugs, since troops killed cartel kingpin Arturo Beltran Leyva in December, triggering a power struggle within his organization.

    Hitmen have been deployed in Acapulco, a playground for Hollywood stars in the 1950s, as two would-be leaders of the Beltran Leyva gang vie for control of smuggling routes from the Pacific coast to Mexico City and the U.S. border, federal police and analysts say.

    A shootout in broad daylight on Acapulco's main strip this month killed six people, including three bystanders, forcing cars to swerve out of control and causing tourists to dive for cover along a palm-tree lined boulevard.

    "It was like we were in the middle of a war on the main tourist strip. That's just not right," said Celso Sanchez, director of a private school that saw two of its students shot dead in the crossfire.

    Surging violence, also visible in the colonial getaway town of Cuernavaca on the road from Mexico City to Acapulco, has pressured the tourism industry across Mexico as well as adding to the worries of foreign investors.

    Acapulco's older hotels, once exclusive getaways for millionaires and stars like Frank Sinatra, John Wayne and Rita Hayworth, have struggled to compete with newer and flashier all-inclusive rivals in the Caribbean and Baja California.

    Since a highway was built in the 1990s to connect the town to Mexico City, Acapulco has seen a boom in Mexican tourists. But they spend much less than foreigners who now tend to prefer beach resorts like Los Cabos or Puerto Vallarta.

    The number of tourists flying into Acapulco fell by almost 20% in the first three months of 2010, according to airport operator OMA.

    Mexico is a top tourist destination, with more than 20 million annual visitors. Tourism makes up 8% of its economy.

    Acapulco business owners are desperate to assure visitors their city of more than one million people is safe.

    "Obviously we can't lie and say nothing is happening when you can see the number of dead on the news," said Pedro Falcon, a representative of local travel agencies. "But we have to keep working despite the crisis, not let fear or panic take over."

    Mr. Calderon has staked his presidency on crushing drug gangs, whose turf wars and clashes with security forces have killed 23,000 people since he took power in 2006. His deployment of 70,000 troops and police has led to more violence.

    The killings in Acapulco and Cuernavaca result from a leadership battle between Hector Beltran Leyva, Arturo's brother, and Edgar "La Barbie" Valdez."