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Mexican drug cartels using jet-skis to execute rival gang members in Acapulco

February 27, 2016  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Mexican drug cartels using jet-skis to execute rival gang members in Acapulco

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Shocked beachgoers in Acapulco, Mexico witnessed the drug war up close earlier this month after a purported hitman swam up to the shore, pulled out a 9mm pistol and fatally gunned down a beachwear merchant.

The hitman calmly swam back to a jet ski where an accomplice waited and both fled the scene by riding the waves.

According to the Daily Mail, cartel killers lately have employed the method of carrying out hits on gang rivals by using jet skis to flee police.

The latest early afternoon execution is the fourth such murder in the city this year.

Acapulco, which is located on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, was once a prime tourist destination. However, over the past decade, the city has fallen into the grips of the cartel-related violence plaguing the entire country.

Tourists and beachgoers surround Eduardo Garcia, the merchant who was gunned down by a hitman on a jet ski

Tourists and beachgoers surround Eduardo Garcia, the merchant who was gunned down by a hitman on a jet ski

Last year Acapulco recorded 1,600 murders and so far in 2016, there have been 684, which equates to 12 homicides per day.

Mid-February saw a huge surge in killings, which was blamed on the recent visit of Pope Francis because the government was forced to pull the majority of the military and federal police forces that usually patrol the city in order to provide security for the pontiff, leaving only the Municipal Police force in charge.

During the Pope’s five day visit, Acapulco recorded 100 murders.

“Ironically, there was a lot of blood spilled while the pope was here talking about putting an end to the violence,” said Fransisco Robles, a local crime reporter who follows the police scanners to the latest crime scenes.

“Rarely there’s an open and shut murder case in Acapulco, but this new method of escaping by sea has left police scratching their heads,” Robles said.

The latest jet-ski execution left 46-year-old merchant Eduardo García, dead on the same beach he worked selling clothes to tourists for 25 years.

Garcia was shot three times in the chest and was left to bleed out on the beach in front of hundreds of terrified tourists, who gathered around the blood-soaked body as they waited for authorities to arrive, which took over an hour.

Despite the number of witnesses, police have yet to arrest the killers, and the case will likely remain buried under the burgeoning increase of crime inflicting the city.

“It happened so quickly; I’m not just talking about the killing,” Jaime Mendez, who manages the beach furniture rentals where the incident occurred told the Daily Mail.

He added, “Ten minutes after the body was taken away, everything went back to normal. Killings has become a daily fact of life in Acapulco.”

Another beach merchant identified as Margarito Melio, who worked with Garcia, could not give a reason how his friend became a target for the ruthless criminal gangs.

“There are a thousand reasons that can get you killed in Acapulco,” Melio said.

He described his friend as a good person, who was a family man.

Acapulco was once described as an affordable vacation get away, but has been in the midst of the worst crime wave for the better part of the last decade

Acapulco was once described as an affordable vacation getaway but has been in the midst of the worst crime wave for the better part of the last decade

“His wife and kids arrived to see their father die long before the police, and they live at ten times the distance. It was heartbreaking,” Melio said.

The merchants walk the beaches trying to sell clothing to a diminishing number of tourists and are forced to fork over 15 per cent of their earnings to the gangsters who control the beach.

Mendez says choosing not to pay means certain death.

He added, “It may look like paradise, but this place is hell, on every corner there are cartel lookouts and even local taxi drivers are involved in kidnappings, it’s better never to discuss anything concerning organized crime because you never know who you’re speaking with,” Mendez said.

Reporter Fransisco Robles explained how “50 percent of the murders that take place in the city are cartel related, 30 percent are linked to extortion and the other 20 percent are people just caught in the crossfire.”

“Every business must give part of their earnings to the cartel if you don’t pay up, or they think you’re paying less than you should, they will kill you,” said Robles.

Acapulco was once controlled by the Beltran-Leyva cartel (BLO). However, since the death of Arturo Beltran-Leyva, known as the “Boss of Bosses,” and the disintegration of the BLO, the city has been fought over by the CIDA (Independent Cartel of Acapulco) and the Devil’s Command (AKA Barredora) cartels.

Acapulco is a key territory for drug cartels. The state of Guerrero state is the country’s largest producer of raw opium and the majority of this, as well as the refined heroin into which it is made, arrives in southwest Mexico’s largest port city before it is sent northwards to be sold to other cartels, who move the narcotics into the US.

Once North America's most popular holiday resort, scenes like these are a daily occurrence in Acapulco

At one time the city was North America’s most popular holiday resort, scenes like these are a daily occurrence in Acapulco

Coupled with the local drug and extortion rackets that the tourism industry lends itself to, Acapulco has become southwest Mexico’s most profitable cartel territory, and the brutality of the gang wars has come to reflect this.

“In regions controlled by a single cartel you’ll generally see less brutality, but given the war for dominance in Acapulco the killers have to send a messages every time they murder,” says Francisco.

He added, “I generally come across more decapitations, mutilations and torture victims than straight executions in my daily work.”

In the meantime tourism has suffered. Next week’s spring-breakers, who once represented a major annual source of income for the local economy, now prefer to vacation in Cancun where the violence is less apparent.

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