HomeNewsBrief'Jet-ski Assassins' Impacting Acapulco’s Tourism Industry
BRIEF

'Jet-ski Assassins' Impacting Acapulco’s Tourism Industry

HOMICIDES / 10 MAR 2016 BY LUCIA BIRD EN

Mexico's famous tourist destination Acapulco has seen a disturbing trend in 2016: assassins using jet-skis to conduct mid-day murders on the beach, suggesting the city's sky-high violence is increasingly affecting its tourism industry.

On January 29, an assassin swam to the beachfront of Acapulco Bay from his nearby jet-ski, 9mm pistol in hand, and shot a 46-year old beach vendor three times in the chest, reported Daily Mail. The murder, which occurred in broad daylight as sunbathing tourists looked on, is the fourth such "jet-ski assassination" in the tourist hotspot this year.

Following the shooting, the assassin swam back to his waiting jet-ski, which was being driven by an accomplice, and sped off down the coast. It took Mexican police an hour to respond to the attack, and over a month later the perpetrators have not been identified.

Extortion rings are known to operate in the area, demanding a 15 percent tax from the earnings of local businesses and street vendors, according to Daily Mail. While the motive for the killing is unclear, its brazen nature may have been a message to other businesses -- pay up or die.

A local crime reporter told Daily Mail that 50 percent of murders in Acapulco are cartel related, and 30 percent are linked to extortion.

InSight Crime Analysis

Acapulco is in the midst of a crime wave, and finished 2015 with a homicide rate of 105 per 100,000 citizens, making it the most violent city in Mexico and the world's fourth most violent city overall.

Competition among local criminal groups is driving this violence.

Acapulco sits within Mexico's notoriously violent state of Guerrero, which is valuable real estate for criminal organizations. The state is a top producer of opium and methamphetamine, and is an important transit point for South American cocaine. Local criminal groups have also increasingly turned to extortion and kidnapping to generate revenue, and some Acapulco businesses complain they have to pay extortion fees to multiple gangs.

SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

Previously, however, Acapulco's criminal violence has been largely contained to the city's periphery. But, as these "jet-ski assassinations" suggest, it is now increasingly affecting its traditionally safer tourist center.

According to the BBC, tourism has been estimated to form as much as 80 percent of Guerrero's economy. If continued violence in Acapulco significantly affects the local tourism industry by dissuading visitors it could have disastrous effects on the region's economy, robbing residents of legitimate livelihoods and potentially giving rise to even more violence.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BELIZE / 5 MAR 2015

In its most recent report, the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) -- responsible for overseeing the implementation of the United…

BELTRAN LEYVA ORG / 31 OCT 2010

In an illustration of the reach of the Beltrán Leyva Organization, an associate of Edgar Valdez Villareal, alias La Barbie,…

MEXICO / 20 MAR 2019

Mexico’s new National Guard is another step closer to taking up arms, but the logic behind the agency’s creation and…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.