Armed gang rapes 6 Spanish tourists in Mexico

February 6, 2013 - 1,145 views


Six Spanish tourists were allegedly raped by a gang of armed and masked men in the Mexican resort of Acapulco, the latest incident of violence that has tarnished the once-glamorous Pacific coast resort. The vicious, hours-long attack occurred before dawn Monday at a house that six Spanish men, six Spanish women and a Mexican woman had rented on a quiet, idyllic stretch of beach on the outskirts of Acapulco.

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.

Guerrero state Attorney General Martha 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.

“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 attack began about two hours after midnight Monday and the victims were only able to report the crime five hours later, at nearly seven in the morning.

“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.

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.

The attack was particularly embarrassing for Mexico, because it 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.”

The granddaddy of Mexican resorts, Acapulco was glorified in Frank Sinatra songs and Elvis movies. 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.

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