From glamour to gunfire: the tourist city of Acapulco torn apart by violence

12/13/2016 The Guardian

machine gunWhen mayor Evodio Velázquez’s sparkling white Jeep Cherokee SUV pulls up at the side of the road, patrols of soldiers and heavily armed federal police are waiting for him. Velázquez’s “tourist police”, a special unit of young female officers who wear light blue uniforms, stand in a small cluster by the kerb.

Nominally law enforcement agents, these young women are really part of Velázquez’s broader marketing effort for the city of Acapulco – to add some friendly faces as the first point of contact between visitors revelling on this famous Mexican resort’s golden beaches, and the security forces struggling to keep the city safe.

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