A car with tourists drives past bodies in the street. Picture: Francisco Robles / AFP
A car with tourists drives past bodies in the street. Picture: Francisco Robles / AFP

Holiday paradise turned into battleground

WARNING: Graphic content

TOURISTS are forced to drive their cars past the dismembered bodies of cartel victims as drug violence escalates in Acapulco.

Cops cordon off parts of streets where the corpses lie strewn in the Mexican holiday town.

Famed for its big beautiful beaches and as a playground for the rich and famous the city has descended into chaos as it became a battleground for warring cartels.

Just yesterday a car filled with tourists drove past burnt and dismembered corpses on Lazaro Cardenas Boulevard in the city.

Last month the US government told citizens not to go to the former party town as it was revealed Mexico suffered nearly 30,000 murders last year alone.

Forensic personnel and police officers carry the body of a murdered man in Acapulco. Picture: Francisco Robles/AFP
Forensic personnel and police officers carry the body of a murdered man in Acapulco. Picture: Francisco Robles/AFP

But even before then the UK government was warning Brits to be careful visiting the Latin American nation telling tourists to "be alert to the existence of serious violent crime like robbery, assault and vehicle hijacking".

The resort city is now at the centre of a crime wave that has swept across the country with extortion, kidnaps and murder daily occurrences.

Acapulco was once frequented by film stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and even members of the Kennedy family.

It was even the subject of the Four Tops' 1988 hit Going Loco Down In Acapulco which sang about how "the magic" in the town was "so strong".

But that magic has been replaced by hideous violence.

Firefighters extinguish the flames in three vehicles during a wave of violence in Acapulco. Picture: Francisco Robles/AFP
Firefighters extinguish the flames in three vehicles during a wave of violence in Acapulco. Picture: Francisco Robles/AFP

Despite its former glamour, Acapulco resides in Guerrero state - one of Mexico's poorest provinces and one of the most ravaged by organised crime.

Last week Mexico's Coca-Cola Femsa, the world's largest Coke bottler, said it had decided to indefinitely shut down operations in a town in the southwestern state after being crippled by violence.

The firm, a joint venture between Fomento Economico Mexicano (Femsa) and Coca-Cola Co, said it was shuttering operations at its 160-employee distribution centre in Ciudad Altamirano in Guerrero state.

The company said it "profoundly regrets that the absence of law and the prevalence of impunity that affects the region has led us to stop working in a territory where we have been for more than four decades".

Guerrero is one of the poorest and most violent states in Mexico, assailed by opium-growing drug cartels and endemic corruption.

Police take part in an operation outside a prison in Acapulco. Picture: Francisco Robles/AFP
Police take part in an operation outside a prison in Acapulco. Picture: Francisco Robles/AFP

The news was a blow to the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, which has failed to curb gang violence while trying to lure foreign investment into Latin America's number two economy.

Murders in Mexico hit a record high last year.

The state was also hit by a bomb attack in February when a homemade explosive device was detonated on a ferry in Playa del Carmen.

This story originally appeared in The Sun and has been republished here with permission.



Old firm joins the newlook centre

Old firm joins the newlook centre

Newlook CBD shopping centre welcomes new anchor tenant

Forestry NSW responds after groups slam 'inappropriate' park

Forestry NSW responds after groups slam 'inappropriate' park

Forestry NSW respond to groups' objections to adventure park.

Infant deaths are rising on the North Coast

Infant deaths are rising on the North Coast

Worrying statistics revealed in new report today.

Local Partners