Acapulco crime: Mayors question results of security operation

20/02/2021

A week after the "Acapulco Puerto Seguro" operation was launched, it has not yielded positive results in the fight against crime in the port. Aldermen of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), indicated that the operation, which involves urban police, tourist police, and elements of the highway police, has not been effective.

"Acapulco Puerto Seguro" should be evaluated because its functionality has not been seen, say PRI aldermen. Photo: Pixabay
"Acapulco Puerto Seguro" should be evaluated because its functionality has not been seen, say PRI aldermen. Photo: Pixabay

"Violence continues to occur in the city, despite the Acapulco Safe Port operation, which was launched by Mayor Adela Román Ocampo herself," said PRI mayor Jesús Herrera Pintos. The also president of the tourism commission in the town council, pointed out that a report should be given on the results of the operation.

Last Thursday a woman merchant was shot to death on the coastal road at the height of Las Hamacas beach, a day before alleged criminals had a gun battle in the middle of the city's main square.

For his part, Councilman Luis Miguel Terrazas Irra, said that the violent events on the Miguel Aleman coast, leave very bad the organization in which the operation Acapulco Puerto Seguro (Acapulco Safe Harbor) was launched. They agreed that they will ask the Secretary of Public Security for a report on the results of the operation.

Organized crime disputes Acapulco

For more than 10 years, when the so-called "war against drug trafficking" began in Acapulco, Guerrero was one of the cities hardest hit by violence: the famous port lived its darkest days that plunged it into a serious tourist, economic, but above all, security crisis. Although the levels of criminality, mainly that derived from organized crime, are not the same, the strategy to stop the wave of insecurity has not yielded results.

According to the newspaper Reforma, in the last 21 months, at least 16 criminal cells have submerged Acapulco in a wave of violence, which has left more than 1,300 deaths in the city (figures from the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System).

According to an internal report of the municipal Public Security Secretariat (SSP), the city is disputed by cells of hitmen that are splits of the Independent Cartel of Acapulco (CIDA), armed arm of what was once the organization of the Beltran Leyva led by Edgar Valdez Villarreal, "La Barbie".

The report details that CIDA is currently the strongest cartel in the tourist port, since it controls the distribution of drugs and the collection of business fees for all commercial transfers. It operates in the Costera Miguel Alemán, the center of the city, and more than 80 colonias in the western area, in addition to the Las Cruces prison.

"Los Virus," the second largest group, controls part of the Diamond Zone and Puerto Marques and part of the Miguel Aleman Coast, according to the report. The other 14 criminal cells, referred to in the report as "atomized gangs," act on their own in suburban neighborhoods and rural communities.

Reforma details that these organizations also charge weekly fees to public transportation and when a criminal group suffers the detention of one of its members by the authorities, they force the drivers to carry out blockades. Businessmen and transporters assure that the battle to the death between these criminal groups has accentuated the collection of floors, kidnappings and homicides.

Alejandro Martínez Sidney, leader in Acapulco of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, said that those who have their businesses in the Coast, Center, Diamond Zone, Puerto Marqués, continue to pay fees to criminal groups to work. Faced with the situation of unstoppable violence and lack of security, in several neighborhoods residents have imposed a kind of "curfew" at night to avoid being victims of crime.

Although the authorities have well identified the leaders of each sector at the service of the cartel and its modus operandi, they have not been able to reverse the effects of narco-violence.