Mean beaches

2/27/2016 The Economist.

MEXICO, Ciudad de México, 12AGOSTO10. En el centro de mando de la Policía Federal fueron presentados 12 personas detenidas en dos operativos distintos en la República Mexicana. Foto: Jesús Villaseca P/Latitudes Press.
MEXICO, Ciudad de México, 12AGOSTO10. En el centro de mando de la Policía Federal fueron presentados 12 personas detenidas en dos operativos distintos en la República Mexicana. Foto: Jesús Villaseca P/Latitudes Press.

A TACO seller points to two spots on Acapulco’s beach where people have been shot dead in recent days. An American on a sunbed recalls having a massage within sight, he later realised, of the body of a murdered vendor. The mayhem in Acapulco, the world’s fourth most violent city, is largely confined to its periphery, but tourists are beginning to notice it. Soldiers patrol the beaches, provoking unease rather than inspiring confidence. A Canadian, who started coming to Acapulco in the 1970s, says he will not be returning.

The bloodshed on the beach does not tell the whole story about crime in Mexico. Many parts of the country are more peaceful than they once were, especially in areas where wars between drug gangs have ended with victory for one side. In Acapulco, in the south-western state of Guerrero, the fight for control of trade in heroin, made from locally grown poppies, is still raging. Some sorts of crime, including kidnapping and extortion, appear to be diminishing.

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