Appliances, television screens and motorcycles were some of the items stolen during the looting in Acapulco (Photo: X @JehnThirlwall)
As a result of Hurricane Otis, which hit the Guerrero coast and caused multiple havoc in the region at the end of October, various lootings were recorded in commercial establishments and stores in Acapulco, a place known for its great tourist attraction.
You may be interested: The devastation of Hurricane Otis could be repeated in Mexico, UNAM warned
Television screens, household appliances, motorcycles, beauty products, medical supplies and food were some of the items stolen from businesses, as seen in the videos and images that circulated on social networks.
Although the audiovisual material showed the civilian population committing these types of acts, the looting was allegedly coordinated by organized crime groups, journalist Héctor de Mauleón announced in his most recent column published in El Universal.
You may be interested: AMLO asks to provide support to victims starting November 1: How is the census going in Acapulco due to Otis?
The author of The Hidden City pointed out that the robberies reported in Acapulco were not spontaneous, since they were directed by criminal cells related to drug cartels, according to “military reports and confidential sources from the Association of Banks of Mexico.”
Looting was reported in establishments and shopping malls in Acapulco (Photo: X @JehnThirlwall)
Mauelón indicated that more than 20 bank branches were looted in the port of Acapulco. Santander, BBVA, Citibanamex and HSBC were some of the banks affected. There were cases where ATMs were stolen entirely, while in others blowtorches were used to steal cash.
You may be interested in: Merchants affected by the passage of Hurricane Otis in Acapulco organize to give away food to citizens
According to the journalist, cells related to the Acapulco Independent Cartel (CIDA) and Los Rusos (of the Sinaloa Cartel) “coordinated the assault on warehouses and high-end department stores.”
Members of these groups gave notice via radio about when, at what time and where they could loot businesses. In addition to this, they began to steal fuel and resell it for up to 40 pesos per liter, for which they were baptized by local media as “the hurricane huachicoleros.”
“Thousands of residents joined the call from CIDA and Los Rusos and quickly made the situation uncontrollable,” the journalist noted.
As of November 5, there were 47 people killed by Hurricane Otis in Acapulco (Photo: REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez)
Newspaper reports suggest that CIDA is one of the groups that is fighting for control of Acapulco. More than a decade after its founding, it operates autonomously and is currently one of the main generators of violence in the port.
Meanwhile, Los Rusos respond to the Sinaloa Cartel. Its arrival in Acapulco dates back to the end of 2015, during the government of former Guerrero governor Héctor Astudillo Flores. Among its main areas of influence are Zona Diamante, Progreso, El Coloso and Alta Progreso.
Although the presence of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) and the Beltrán Leyva organization have also been reported, Héctor de Mauleón did not mention them in his column.
With the aim of restoring order and supporting the population in relief efforts, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced the deployment of 20,000 members of the Armed Forces in the region.
As of November 5, there were 47 deaths and 59 people missing due to Hurricane Otis in Acapulco.