Mexican authorities said Tuesday they have strong evidence that will lead to the arrest of a gang that attacked and raped six foreign women in Acapulco.
The BBC said it appeared the gang wanted to hurt only tourists. Six Spanish women were raped, while a seventh woman, a Mexican national, was allowed to flee. The Mexico and Gulf Region Reporter said the victims also were robbed of cash and electronic devices.
“Fortunately we have strong evidence that will lead us to those responsible for this reprehensible act," Guerrero state Attorney-General Marta Garzon told the Spanish news Website ELMUNDO.ES. Acapulco is located in Guerrero.
According to website, TOURISTKILLED.COM, which monitors murders and assaults against tourists, six female tourists from Spain were gang-raped at the Acapulco beach resort by a group of hooded gunmen. The Spanish women's male partners were tied up with mobile phone cords and the women were restrained with their bikinis.
Reports said five to six hooded gunmen entered the cabana where the women and their male partners were sleeping and attacked them after tying up other people staying at the resort, a complex of small tourist cabanas in Playa Bonfil.
Following the incident, security forces surrounded the area and sealed it off. But no arrests have yet been reported.
The Guardian reported Spain's foreign ministry had issued a travel advisory on its website for Acapulco before the attack saying the beach reort was in a risk zone. Three days before the attack two Mexican tourists were shot and slightly wounded by a vigilante squad.
In his initial response, Acapulco's mayor, Luis Walton, was quoted by Spanish news website elmondo.es as saying such an attack could have happen anywhere.
“It is unfortunate, but it happens anywhere,” he said in a statement.
Later, however, he apologized, telling Reuters, he "very much laments the misinterpretation of his comments, which were never intended to hurt the victims or minimize the facts."
According to numerous news reports, violence in Acapulco has been rising steadily, as Mexico's drug wars spill over into the streets. Thousands have died as the government attempts to crack down on drug dealers.
The government had expressed hopes that the Acapulco economy and the tourist industry in general would improve after the crack down and following several incidents of drug violence two years ago.
A campaign called “Remember Acapulco” and a new website set up recently aimed to reassure visitors that they will be safe in the country's top resort city, according to SFGate.
In a recent report by the News of Mexico City Acapulco’s Tourism Secretary Netzah Peralta Radilla was quoted as saying that more than 500,000 tourists visited the city during the Christmas period and hotel occupancy rates reached 98.4 percent, a 20% increase over last year.
Acapulco has long been a popular destination for international tourists, including as a stop for cruise lines, and for residents of Mexico City. During the 1950s and ‘60s, it gained publicity thanks to visits by a myriad of Hollywood stars and the Elvis Presley movie, “Fun in Acapulco,” which was filmed on location.
And, who hasn’t heard Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly With Me?” with lyrics such as, “Weather-wise it's such a lovely day /You just say the words and we'll beat the birds Down to Acapulco Bay.”
Going further back, the port of Acapulco became a major destination in 1530, when a road was built from there to the capital.