Violent crime is a familiar problem at CBTI 14, a public high school in Acapulco’s western suburbs.
Armed youths occasionally rob students of their cellphones as they climb the steep hill to school, and last year a teacher was forced out of his car at gunpoint in an apparent kidnapping attempt.
But things took a turn for the worse on Feb. 26, when two armed men in a car without a license plate approached the school gate and asked for the principal. Earlier that day the school had received an extortion call from someone claiming to be a member of a local cartel.
“They said that if we didn’t give them money they would come for us,” a school administrator told me in a hushed voice. “So we decided to cancel classes as a security measure…and to pressure the government to give us security.”