A clash between security forces and gunmen in the early morning hours of Monday resulted in 3 fatalities and a commercial area in ruins in the metropolitan area of this troubled tourist destination.
The fatalities included 2 gunmen and a Mexican Army soldier. The fighting also left 2 policemen, a soldier and an innocent bystander injured. 7 Gunmen, including 2 with gunshot wounds were apprehended.
The incident began at 4:30am in the Colonia Emiliano Zapata area when, according to authorities, a Joint Urban Operations patrol surprised a large group of gunmen in the commercial zone. (The joint operations unit, known in Spanish by its acronym, BOMU, consists of military troops and federal and state police officers formed to combat warring organized criminal gangs in Acapulco).
Gunfire was exchanged between the BOMU unit and the gunmen for more than an hour during which the fighting spread to the Ciudad Renacimiento area. Grenade explosions were also reported by neighbors and witnesses.
During the fighting in the commercial zone a fire erupted that engulfed and destroyed the Acatianguis market complex, destroying up to a hundred stalls and a neighboring Comercial Mexicana installation and warehouse in addition to several parked cars.
Both buildings and their inventory were destroyed and the economic loss was reported to be considerable.
According to a source in the Secretariat of Public Security and Civil Protection (SSPPC), the confrontation between gunmen and the BOMU unit occurred when the gunmen, who were travelling in at least 3 vehicles were intercepted while they were in the process of setting fire to the Acatianguis market complex.
The market complex was being disputed by rival ciminal gangs and was reported to be a lucrative source of income where hundreds of merchants were forced to pay extortion “cuotas”, or fees..
The fire was put out by firefighters from the municipality of Buenos Aires by 7am.
Three vehicles belonging to the gunmen and an undetermined numbers were seized. Also seized were several bulletproof vests marked with the initials “FEMK”.
According to a state SSP official, “FEMK” means "Fuerzas Especiales de Melón y Koreano”, or "Special Forces of Melon and Koreano”.
Melon and Koreano are the aliases used by 2 cell leaders belonging to the Cártel Independiente de Acapulco (Cida), or the Independent cartel of Acapulco. This criminal group is fighting for the Acapulco “plaza” against bands of criminals led by Heber Jair Sosa Carvajal “El Cremas” and Cristian Hernández Tarín.
Earlier Monday morning, at approximately 1:00am, two human heads were located on Avenida Escenica not far from a burning Volkswagon sedan. Authorities responding to the crime scene reported that the bodies of the victims were missing.