Acapulco used to be a major cruise destination with only seven cruises calling into the port last year. Five years ago there were 150.
The reason for the massive decrease in cruises visiting Acapulco, which was the favorite place for Hollywood stars in the nineteen fifties, it that it is now the murder capital of Mexico.
The figures are sobering, with between two and six people murdered daily. Between January and May, over 330 people were murdered which is over 40% more than the previous year. The figures continue to rise and by August over 500 had been murdered.
While police say that most of the murders are gangland and drug related, officials are also being killed with this month a member of the municipal staff being shot dead and on Saturday, October 10 a city councilman was shot dead in the middle of the day.
Not only cruise ships used to call into Acapulco, it was also a favorite place for American college students to spend Spring Break but they too are deserting the resort town famous for its cliff divers with 30,000 visiting over Spring Break in 2009, which dropped to 500 in 2011 and now there are none
In addition, the United States State Department warns any American traveling to Acapulco not to go inland from the beach.
There is now a new mayor in Acapulco who is trying to improve security with a new initiative called “Acalpulco Shield” involving all of the different police forces, but he has a mammoth task on his hands with 88% of residents scared to leave their homes due to the level of violence.