Gun fights between police, gangs leave Acapulco on edge

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By Shawn Price 

Police engaged in a gun battle with drug gang members in Acapulco, Mexico, the country’s murder capital with 903 killings last year.

Police came under heavy attack Sunday evening at a police station and a hotel by drug gangs in the tourist city of Acapulco, Mexico.

People on the street ran for shelter in shops as the shooting went on for two hours. One of the alleged gunman was killed by police.

Mexican authorities have scheduled an emergency meeting to address the incident, which Guerrero state Gov. Hector Astudillo Flores said came as revenge for the Saturday arrest of Fredy del Valle, alias “El Burro,” head of the Independent Cartel, the Beltran Leyva drug cartel in Acapulco.

Much of the tourist center of the city including the Costera Miguel Aleman beach side road, were mostly empty on Tuesday with local shop owners to deal with the aftermath.

“Today we haven’t had any business,” said Esmeralda Rios, a waitress at El Fogon restaurant. “The few tourists who have stayed don’t want to leave their hotels.”

The U.S. State Department also has warned American consular staff to stay away from the city, noting that Guerrero was Mexico most violent state last year.

Acapulco has been in steady decline for 10 years or more, because as a port city, it has become a major hub for cocaine trafficking. The city was Mexico’s murder capital last year, with 903 killings — more than double the 2014 rate in St. Louis, the current murder capital of the United States.

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