Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, June 5, 2023

Mercado Central of Acapulco, Guerrero Burned - Over 400 Stands Destroyed

“El Huaso” for Borderland Beat

Early this morning, the Mercado Central of Acapulco, Guerrero was consumed in a fire, with local news reporting that as many as 400 stands were incinerated. So far, there is no indication of the cause of the fire, but in past years organized crime groups have burned portions of the market to exert control over sellers.

At 5:30 a.m., the governor of Guerrero, Evelyn Salgado, reported that there are no victims of the fire. The mayor of Acapulco, Abelina López, also stated that an investigation is underway to discover the cause of the fire. 

While the cause of this fire is so far unknown, there is a pattern of arson attacks against markets by local criminal groups as a method of pressuring businesses to pay extortion fees in the city. 

The Mercado Central de Acapulco is the largest market in Acapulco, with hundreds of stands selling everything from local food dishes to arts and crafts. It is several blocks from the port of Acapulco, on the western side of the city.

Over the last decade, there have been numerous events displaying that criminal groups have been involved in this market by extorting sellers and selling drugs. On several occasions, armed men have burned stands at night and gunned down workers, most often linked to extortion. A report by El Sol de Acapulco tallied up attacks and found that between October 2021 and September 2022, around 180 stands were burned by criminals related to extortion in markets around the city, many of these at the Mercado Central.

In a March 2023 interview with Latinus, Enrique Castro Soto, a representative for a business union in Acapulco said that in addition to increases in homicide, there is an increase in extortion of businesses.

80 stands burned in February 2022.

In February 2022, 80 stands were burned by armed men in a nighttime attack at the Tianguis Campesino, a market bordering the Mercado Central. Police sources consulted by newspaper Diario said that the attack was related to widespread extortion of sellers by a criminal group.

A year before, in March 2021, five stands were burned in a similar manner following a shootout between armed men and local police.

In April 2021, around 20 stands were burned in simultaneous attacks at markets around Acapulco, four of them at the Mercado Central. TV Azteca reported that these attacks were also related to extortion.

In response to criminality in the market, government forces will periodically conduct operations typically netting several alleged drug dealers carrying firearms.

Sellers at the Mercado Central do not only suffer at the hands of criminal groups. In May of 2020, sellers protested against extortion and abuse from State and Municipal Police, who they claim have beaten and robbed some sellers.

Sources: Proceso,, TV Azteca, El Sol de Acapulco, El Sol de Acapulco, El Sol de Acapulco, El Sol de Acapulco ReportLatinus

You can follow me on Twitter @HuasoBB

I tweet about organized crime in Latin America and security in Mexico.


  1. El sombro del crimen organizado siempre oscura el cielo de los tianguis

  2. Cjng at it again

  3. Will those that lit up the place be held accountable? Nope it's Mexico nothing will be done. Hard working people, now don't have a job.

    1. They will be held accountable but in a different, a mexican way. We will see them sooner or later hanging from bridges or chopped to pieces in oxxo coolers. The same for the corrupt police, some one some day will kill them. Relatives might not spared when on the path of revenge.

    2. Tú sabes que no

    3. 1043 Yes. The odds is against them that eventually they will be incarcerated or killed.

    4. Camino de satan

  4. Hugs, not bullets eh? This is so incredibly sad. When our kids were young, Juarez was a much different town than it is now and we enjoyed many Saturdays at the Mercado, bet that the Acapulco Mercado was the same way, a social hub for good honest hard working people. Retribution not only justice is called for now.

  5. On a smaller scale this has been a continuous cycle in Acapulco. The town looks completely in disrepair. They also burned down Mexicos richest and best night club in Acapulco a couple years ago. The gov of this part of Mexico is the most inept that I’ve seen. They kept the mask nonsense going longer than any other tourist port and antiquated rules like shutting down open air restaurants before 10. I’ve watched nearly every restaurant close down around the main Bay Area. The cluelessness of the city when it comes to tourism is astounding. The level of violence is incredible. Such a beautiful place left to rot. Such good memories. Best weather and view. Sad for these people.

  6. 6:54
    They burned down Baby O, La Barbie's old hangout, but it had already been closed for years..
    The chickens are coming home to roost in this town, everything is abandoned and crumbling, the new lady mayor is in the midst of "transforming" Acapulco, there's concrete for a few new sidewalks being poured, some graffiti painted over, but the agua negra leaks are polluting the beaches, a dirty little secret they'd prefer the tourists be kept unaware of..
    Gunfights on the street are part of the city's charm, the locals, with gallows humor, refers to it as "filming Netflix"..
    It's the closest beach to the biggest metropolitan area in the world, so the chilangos continue to crowd the beaches every weekend, but mi bello Acapulco has become the land that time forgot..
    So sad..

    1. Agree with most of what you said except Baby’O. The only reason it was closed for “years” I’d because of the plandemic in which Acapulco kept on with protocols of absurdity way past other parts of Mexico. Vallarta had already been wide open and a lot more normal. The little troll that calls herself a mayor and the one before her refused to reopen. BabyO is open again but only on special weekends etc. Fond memories! The city imo is in shambles. Most locals have never left Acapulco and haven’t a clue of what a place like Vallarta is like. If they did they’d be in the streets demanding change.

    2. All the women’s mayors are corrupt and weak mismo en usa Soros es diablo

  7. Genius ! Put your bank roll out of business


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