In this May 9, 2016 photo, forensic workers remove the body of a man shot four times in an empty lot between residences in the Leyes de Reforma neighborhood of Acapulco, Mexico.
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ACAPULCO, Mexico: Along with beach towels or sandals, there's a new popular beach accessory that says a lot about the violence gripping this once-glamorous resort: a small black leather tote hanging from the neck or shoulders of some men.A week after AP reporters visited, gunmen shot to death three young men in broad daylight two blocks away from a restaurant where they met with an underworld figure.Experts say Acapulco shows the limitations of the government's security strategy. Federal police, almost none of whom are from the city, quickly get lost once they leave the coastal boulevard and ascend into twisting, hillside neighborhoods. It was the first time such sustained shooting had been seen there since the darkest days of 2012, when the murder rate in this city of 800,000 hit 146 per 100,000 inhabitants.Both prosecutor Olea and the underworld figure agree the conflict started late last year between the Beltran Leyva gang, which used to control the city, and the Independent Cartel of Acapulco, or CIDA, which arose following the death of cartel boss Arturo Beltran Leyva in 2009 .The underworld figure said there are about 50 such "stores" in Acapulco, meaning that drug sales probably amount to about 7.5 million pesos ($400,000) per day.About 1,600 businesses in the city have already closed due to security problems, said business chamber leader Alejandro Martinez.Joaquin Badillo, who runs Acapulco's leading private security firm, estimated that 95 percent of the killings in the city are linked directly or indirectly to criminal gangs.
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