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.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

MEXICO / 10 MAY 2011

General Douglas Fraser, head of the U.S. armed forces' Southern Command, has warned that Latin American criminal groups are the…

MEXICO / 7 MAY 2014

Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto has made turning the page on the violence of the past administration one of…

MEXICO / 4 APR 2012

Beginning as a group of Special Forces deserters at the service of the Gulf Cartel, the Zetas would go on…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…