Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mexico: Terrifying rape case changing world's view of Acapulco

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — The tourism world turned its eyes on Mexico after six Spanish women were raped by masked gunmen during a vacation in the long-troubled Pacific coast resort of Acapulco. [...]

The hours-long assault was carried out by a gang of masked gunmen who burst into the beachfront home before dawn on Monday and tied up the six men inside, then raped the women. A seventh Mexican woman was unharmed. [...]

Acapulco barely registers on U.S. tourists' radar anymore, said Kathy Gerhardt, a spokeswoman for Travel Leaders, a network of independently owned and operated travel agencies in the U.S.

"Those individuals trying to lump Acapulco into the list of top Mexico destinations for U.S. travelers are simply misinformed," she said.

In a recent survey of over 1,000 travel agency owners, managers and agents, "not a single individual chose Acapulco as a top international destination they are booking for their clients," Gerhardt said. [...]

From a 2009 shootout that killed 18 near Acapulco's fabled Flamingo Hotel to this week's attack, the resort once celebrated in Frank Sinatra songs and Elvis Presley movies has been the scene of body dumpings, beheadings and taxi-driver killings as gangs vie for drug transport routes once controlled by the now-decimated Beltran Leyva cartel.