Armed gang rapes 6 Spanish tourists in Mexico

Six Spanish tourists were allegedly raped by a gang of armed and masked men in the Mexican resort of Acapulco, the latest incident of violence that has tarnished the once-glamorous Pacific coast resort.

The vicious, hours-long attack occurred before dawn on Monday at a house that six Spanish men, six Spanish women and a Mexican woman had rented on a quiet, stretch of beach on the outskirts of Acapulco.

The attackers gained access to the house because two of the Spaniards were in the yard and apparently were forced to open the door, said Acapulco Mayor Luis Walton at a press conference late Monday.

The five attackers barged into the house and held the group at gunpoint, he said. They tied up the six men with phone cords and bathing suit straps and then raped the six Spanish women. The Mexican woman was not raped.

The attack began about two hours after midnight Monday and the victims were only able to report the crime five hours later, at nearly seven in the morning.

"This is a regrettable situation, and of course it is going to damage Acapulco," Walton said.

The once-glittering resort that attracted movie stars and celebrities in the 1950s and 60s has already been battered by years of drug gang killings and extortions, but except for very few incidents, the violence has not touched tourists.

Walton said he believed, but wasn't sure, that the assailants in Monday's attack didn't belong to a drug gang. Guerrero state Attorney General Martha Garzon Guzman said witness descriptions of the attackers were more difficult to

obtain because they wore masks.

"From what the attorney general has told me, I don't think this was organized crime," Walton said. "But that will have to be investigated, we don't know."

Mexico's Foreign Relations Department issued a statement saying it regretted the attack, and suggesting it was not drug-cartel related.

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