The former international tourist holiday hotspot of Acapulco in Mexico has collapsed into a drug-gangster and crime-ridden Third World hellhole—and is now one of the most dangerous cities in the world.
Only a few decades ago, Acapulco was a place where celebrities and ordinary vacationers alike would retreat for “fun in the sun,” and an Elvis Presley movie was even filmed there.
Now, however, as reported by the Deutsche Presse Agentur (dpa), Acapulco’s reputation as a vacationers’ paradise has come to a “bloody end.”
“Acapulco was once a hot spot for the jet set,” the dpa reported.
“A place like St. Tropez, Capri, Mykonos, but in Mexico. But today it is at war. Acapulco has the fourth-highest murder rate in the world, and is one of the most dangerous cities in the world.”
Acapulco is, the report continued, in a country dominated by drug cartels, and has become the capital of death.
No other metropolis in Mexico has a higher murder rate: In 2015, there were 104.73 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.
Those few remaining tourists are also being targeted, the report continued. Just last month—May 2016—an armed gang raided a restaurant in the tourist district, killing three waiters.
Shortly before that, a contract killer murdered his victim on the beach and then fled by jet ski.
“Dinner in Acapulco is no longer what it once was. There is almost no nightlife anymore,” local businesswoman Laura Caballero Rodríguez told the dpa.
“The people who live here or come from outside are afraid to go out. We no longer have the same amount of foreign tourists, and the government’s attempts to combat the violence has brought no results.”
She said that the violence was the “work of [Mexico’s] narco-government,” saying that the government worked with the cartels.
Caballero Rodríguez said that she previously had 17 stores on Acapulco’s main street, the Miguel Aleman. However, she has had to close 16 of them in recent times—all victims of extortion, kidnapping attempts, and other criminal activities.
The violence started in 2007, and really took off in 2012. It all started with a war between drug cartels, the dpa said.
Acapulco, some 250 miles south of Mexico City, is one of the hubs for smuggling cocaine and heroin due to its location. In addition, an increasing number of criminal groups “earn” a living out of kidnapping and extorting local business owners.
Around 50 criminal gangs operate with extreme violence in Acapulco again, the prosecutor of Guerrero, Xavier Olea Peláez, told dpa.
Efforts to ward off the violence are undone by the endemic corruption of local officials and constant death threats against those who do not cooperate with the criminals, Mayor Evodio Velázquez said.
Acapulco—and indeed the rest of the Third World parts of Central and South America—are the places from where most of the illegal immigrants to the US originate.