Six Spanish tourists have been raped by a gang of armed, masked men in the Mexican resort of Acapulco, the latest chapter of violence that has tarnished the once-glamorous resort.
The vicious, hours-long attack occurred before dawn on 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.
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," she told Radio Formula.
The attack began about two hours after midnight and the victims were only able to report the crime five hours later.
"This is a regrettable situation, and of course it is going to damage Acapulco," Mr 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, but apart from very few incidents, the violence has not touched tourists.
Mr Walton said he believed, but was not sure, that the assailants in Monday's attack did not belong to a drug gang. The victims were "psychologically affected" by the attack and received treatment, the mayor said.