No 'Fun in Acapulco' these days
Years ago, Elvis made a movie called Fun in Acapulco. It captured the magic of a great coastal town, from a wonderful beach to pretty girls to very friendly people. Believe it or not, that was the Acapulco that most Mexicans and foreigners remember.
It's not fun anymore down in Acapulco as we check recent events from our southern neighbor.
In fact, it must be very bad in Acapulco.
We just read this from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City:
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico issued a security message Friday warning U.S. citizens to avoid the Pacific resort of Acapulco because of violence and protests.
In yet another blow to a coastal city once favored by U.S. movie stars and jet-setters in the 1950s and ‘60s, the embassy said its personnel “have been instructed to defer non-essential travel to Acapulco, by air or land,” and added that it “cautions U.S. citizens to follow the same guidelines.”
The alert noted that “protests and violent incidents continue in Guerrero state in response to the disappearance of 43 students there.”
Demonstrators have blocked highways to Acapulco, hijacked buses and blockaded the city’s airport to demand the government find the students who disappeared Sept. 26 in the nearby city of Iguala.
Prosecutors say local police working for a drug gang probably turned the students over to gang members, who may have killed them and burned their bodies.
Mexico is in the middle of a serious political storm over the death of 43 students. Unlike previous storms, this one is more like a Category 5 Hurricane.
The tragic disappearance of these 43 students has sparked demonstrations, such as the one with middle-class housewives and women calling for peace. The tragedy of the students has also once again reminded Mexicans, of all socioeconomic levels, just how deadly this "drug war" has been. I have never seen so much anger in Mexico before.
The situation was compounded by a scandal over the first lady's interest in a very expensive home.
Our friend Alfredo Corchado of the Dallas Morning News is reporting that there is a lot of uncertainty in the country. It is hurting President Pena-Nieto's image.
There are serious calls for his resignation, although I'm not sure what that will accomplish. The problem is not President Pena-Nieto. It is years of corruption and a sense that justice is for sale.
And let us not underestimate the billions of dollars flowing south from our consumption of illegal drugs. All of these dollars are used to purchase police and politicians.
The current crisis is putting a lot of people in the streets. It is also going to cost Mexico a lot of tourist dollars, if other resorts get violent like Acapulco.
P.S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.