Extreme Violence Rocks Acapulco, Guerrero As Organized Crime Gangs Clash

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The city of Acapulco de Juarez in Guerrero, Mexico, is currently experiencing a spike in extreme violence, with dismembered bodies lay strewn on the streets, according to the Sun. Clashes between organized crime gangs are blamed for the incidents as the country grapples with a wave of violence that has grown worse after the incarceration and extradition of drug lord Joaquin El Chapo Guzman.

The splintering of his drug-trafficking organization, the Sinaloa Cartel, and other major drug trafficking networks after the arrest of leaders led to the rise of smaller, more ruthless gangs that survive by carrying out armed robberies, extortion, abductions, and killings.

Once a popular tourist destination, Acapulco had about 30,000 homicides that have occurred in the past year alone, prompting U.S. and U.K. travel advisories warning citizens against visiting the region. Mexico’s Coca-Cola Femsa recently closed down its operations in Guerrero due to the deteriorating security situation.

Hundreds of schools were also closed down on Wednesday last week after three schools were targeted by gunmen who assaulted and robbed occupants. They reportedly stole cell phones and cut the hair of students. In one high school, gangsters cut the hair of 16 women using machetes and garden shears and stole mobile phones.

According to Televisa, in another school attack in Ciudad Renacimiento, an area in the outskirts of Acapulco, an almost similar scenario occurred, except that the men didn’t rob anyone — they just cut the hair of about a dozen students and two teachers. Their motive for this is still unclear.

Presently, Mexican crime gangs are also reportedly targeting oil refinery workers as they attempt to tap into the country’s refinery lines. According to Alberto Arredondo, a former worker currently seeking asylum in Canada from extortion gangs in Mexico, he was a target on numerous occasions.

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According to his revelation, he at first thought the calls were a sham when he got a call from someone claiming to be from the Michoacan Family organized crime syndicate and said he knew where he lived. They demanded info on when fuel would be pumped and the specific pipelines. In the years that followed, he suffered abductions and stabbings due to his job as a pump technician, he revealed in an interview with Reuters.