Two dismembered bodies were dumped outside a bar in Acapulco overnight, December 25-26. Acapulco is a resort city in southern Mexico in the state of Guerrero. The state office for public safety reported that the bodies of the unidentified men were found just after midnight at the entrance to a bar called ‘Secret’ on the south side of the port city. Once favored by jetsetters such as Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Acapulco has not been favored over the last twenty years besides the current uptick in drug-related violence.
Following a tip, police in Acapulco found the two violated corpses had been dismembered, skinned and left hanging at the entrance of the bar. Two messages were left with the bodies. Drug-related violence has recently spiked in Acapulco, with a resultant drop in tourism. Hoteliers and merchants are concerned.
On December 17, eleven people were kidnapped at the very same bar where the dismembered corpses were found. While two of those abducted have since been found dead, the fate of the remainder is still unknown. Acapulco is 186 miles from Mexico City. In Cuernavaca, which was once the home of Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes, the body of a male victim was found on December 26. The man was apparently killed by the South Pacific cartel, a branch of the Beltran Leyva cartel, Morelos state Attorney General's Office spokesmen reported.
Nonetheless, thousands of American tourists are expected to arrive in Acapulco to celebrate the New Year's holiday. Guerrero and neighboring Morelos State have been the scene of a war between the criminal organization led by Edgar Valdez Villarreal, who was arrested by the Federal Police on August 30, and the Beltran Leyva cartel, which is led by Hector Beltran Leyva. Los Zetas, considered Mexico's most violent cartel, and La Familia Michoacana also operate in the area. Beheadings, dismemberment, rape, and even the dissolving of bodies in acid, have been perpetrated by these organizations against each other and members of Mexico’s security forces. More than 30,000 people have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderon declared war on Mexico's cartels shortly after taking office in December 2006.
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is taking precautions in advance of the Sun Bowl football match-up with the University of Miami on New Years Eve. The game will be held in El Paso TX, just across the border from Juarez. The Mexican city has been the scene of open combat between drug cartel pistoleros and police. The police commissioner was murdered this year, and local merchants have called upon the United Nations to send armed peacekeepers to restore order. Coaches of the two football teams have told their players that they are not to cross the border under any circumstances. Players for U-Miami met with El Paso law enforcement and the FBI upon arrival on December 26 to learn more about the dangers found in Juarez.