Six held after Acapulco attack

Acapulco - Six men have been arrested after the rapes of six female Spanish tourists near the popular resort city of Acapulco, Mexico's top law enforcement official said on Wednesday.

“We do now have six people arrested, who have confessed to everything,” Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam told a press conference. A 16-year-old was among the six.

Soldiers stop a car for an inspection at a check point near a beach hotel, where six female Spanish tourists were raped by armed men, in Acapulco. Credit: Reuters

Gunmen wearing masks burst into a beach bungalow where 14 tourists were staying on February 4, tying up seven Spanish men and raping the six Spanish women, while sparing a Mexican woman.

Mexico has sought to clean up its image as a violent country in order to convince tourists to keep coming despite having seen more than 70 000 drug-related deaths since 2006.

Acapulco has seen its share of drug violence, with gangs dumping the bodies and heads of rivals in the street. It still attracts nine million visitors a year, though only a third are foreigners.

The assault further tarnished the reputation of the Pacific port city, a once-glitzy haunt of Hollywood stars such as Frank Sinatra and Elizabeth Taylor that has been beset by violence in recent years.

It also is a popular draw for thousands of US university students on “spring break” vacations.

Seventeen gangs are believed to operate in Acapulco, and some have links to two rival drug cartels, known as the Zetas and the Knights Templar. - Sapa-AFP