Quantcast
Latest Stories

Mexico seeks culprits in rape of 6 Spaniards

By ,

Police patrol on the beach outside a home after masked armed men broke into the home in Acapulco, Mexico, Tuesday Feb. 5, 2013. According to the mayor of Acapulco, five masked men burst into the house that Spanish tourists had rented on the outskirts of Acapulco, in a low-key area near the beach, and held a group of six Spanish men and one Mexican woman at gunpoint, while they raped the six Spanish women before dawn on Monday. (AP Photo/Bernandino Hernandez)

ACAPULCO, Mexico — Authorities have information they hope will lead them to the gang of armed, masked men who raped six Spanish tourists in the Mexican resort of Acapulco, the attorney general in the southern state of Guerrero said.

The vicious, hours-long attack at a beach home on the outskirts of Acapulco before dawn Monday was the latest chapter of violence that has tarnished the once-glamorous Pacific coast resort celebrated in Frank Sinatra songs and Elvis Presley movies.

“Fortunately we have strong evidence to lead us to those responsible for this reprehensible act,” Guerrero state Attorney General Martha Garzon Guzman told Mexico’s Radio Formula on Monday.

The beach home on an idyllic stretch of coastline had been rented by six Spanish men, six Spanish women and a Mexican woman.

The attackers gained access to the house because two of the Spaniards were in the yard and apparently were forced to open the door, Acapulco Mayor Luis Walton told a news conference late Monday.

The five attackers burst into the house and held the group at gunpoint, he said. They tied up the six men with phone cords and bathing suit straps and then raped the six Spanish women. The Mexican woman was not raped.

Garzon said the Mexican woman begged the men not to rape her and the assailants told her they would spare her because she is Mexican.

The attack began on Monday about two hours after midnight and the victims were only able to report the crime five hours later, at nearly 7 a.m.

“This is a regrettable situation, and of course it is going to damage Acapulco,” Walton said.

The once-glittering resort that attracted movie stars and celebrities in the 1950s and 60s has already been battered by years of drug gang killings and extortions, but except for very few incidents, the violence has not touched tourists.

Walton said he believed, but wasn’t sure, that the assailants in Monday’s attack didn’t belong to a drug gang. Garzon said witness descriptions of the attackers were more difficult to obtain because they wore masks.

“From what the attorney general has told me, I don’t think this was organized crime,” Walton said. “But that will have to be investigated, we don’t know.”

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department issued a statement saying it regretted the attack.

“Up to now, the investigations are being carried out by local authorities and they will be the ones to provide information,” the statement said.

In Mexico, it’s up to local authorities to determine if organized crime is behind an attack, and, if so, turn the case over to federal authorities.

Security and drug analyst Jorge Chabat said that, after years of drug gang activity in Acapulco, the distinction may be merely semantic.

“At this point, the line between common and organized crime is very tenuous, there are a lot of these gangs that take advantage of the unsafe situation that currently exists, they know the government can’t keep up,” Chabat said. ”

The Spanish Embassy in Mexico City said the victims were receiving consular assistance.

The victims were “psychologically affected” by the attack and received treatment, the mayor said.

Spain’s Foreign Ministry had already issued a travelers advisory on its website for Acapulco before the Monday attack, listing the resort as one of Mexico’s “risk zone,” though not the worst.

“In Acapulco, organized crime gangs have carried out violence, though up to now that has not affected tourists or the areas they visit,” the advisory states. “At any rate, heightened caution is advised.”

The attack came just three days after a pair of Mexican tourists returning from a beach east of Acapulco were shot at and slightly wounded by members of a masked rural self-defense squad that has set up roadblocks in areas north of Acapulco, to defend their communities against drug gang violence.

The vigilantes say the Mexican tourists failed to stop at their improvised roadblock.

Walton said the city was already contemplating ways to revive the city’s image.

“We have to look at an advertising campaign to say that not everything in Acapulco is like that,” Walton said. “This happens everywhere in the world, not just in Acapulco or in Mexico.”

The attack came just four days after Tourism Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu visited the International Tourism Fair held in Madrid to launch a “promotional offensive” depicting Mexico as a safe and attractive destination.

“This is Mexico’s moment,” Massieu said, describing it as “a safe country.”

Acapulco is the granddaddy of Mexican resorts. Elizabeth Taylor was married there, John F. and Jackie Kennedy came on their honeymoon, and Howard Hughes spent his later years hiding out in a suite at the Princess Hotel, a pyramid-shaped icon in the exclusive Punta Diamante, or Diamond Point, zone.

Beheadings and drug gang shootouts, some on the city’s main seaside boulevard, became more frequent after 2006, as gangs fought for control of the city’s drug and extortion business.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Acapulco , Mexico , spanish , Spanish tourists




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Malaysia, Flight 370 relatives talk financial help
  • Celebrating Easter and creativity in New York
  • Man wins half marathon, dies in Argentina
  • Clouds to bring slight relief from summer heat
  • Canadians rally to legalize marijuana
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement