ACAPULCO, Mexico — The image of this beach mecca took a new hit from Mexico's drug violence, with 27 people killed in less than a day, including 14 men whose bodies were found with their heads chopped off at a shopping center.
Acapulco has seen fierce turf wars between drug gangs, and the bloodshed is scaring some vacationers away even though little of the violence happens in tourist areas.
The decapitation slayings and most of the other killings that occurred in a stretch of just a few hours from Friday night into Saturday also occurred in non-tourism areas. But two police officers were shot to death on a major bayside avenue in front of visitors and locals.
The 14 headless bodies, and a 15th intact corpse, were found by police on a street outside a shopping center accompanied by written warnings from a drug cartel, authorities said.
Handwritten signs left with the bodies were signed by "El Chapo's People," a reference to the Sinaloa cartel, which is headed by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, said Fernando Monreal Leyva, director of investigative police for Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located.
The narco-messages indicated the Sinaloa cartel killed the 15 men for trying to intrude on the gang's turf and extort residents.