Six tourists gang raped in sun resort
SIX Spanish tourists were raped by a gang of armed, masked men in Acapulco, the latest chapter of violence that has tarnished the once-glamorous Mexican resort.
THE vicious, hours-long attack occurred at a house that six Spanish men, six Spanish women and a Mexican woman had rented on a quiet stretch of beach on the outskirts.
Five attackers burst into the house and held the group at gunpoint.
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 assailants told the woman they would spare her because she was Mexican.
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," Acapulco mayor Luis 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 the violence has rarely touched tourists.
Spain's foreign ministry had already issued a travellers advisory on its website for Acapulco before the attack, listing the resort as one of Mexico's 'risk zones', though not the worst.
"In Acapulco, organised crime gangs have carried out violence, though up to now that has not affected tourists or the areas they visit," the advisory states. "At any rate, heightened caution is advised."
The attack came three days after two Mexican tourists returning from a beach east of Acapulco were shot at and slightly wounded by members of a masked rural self-defence squad that has set up roadblocks to defend their communities against drug gang violence.
The vigilantes say the Mexican tourists failed to stop at their improvised roadblock.
The new attack was particularly embarrassing for Mexico, because it came just four days after tourism secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu visited an international tourism fair in Madrid to launch a 'promotional offensive' depicting Mexico as a safe and attractive destination.