News / Americas

    Looting Hits Acapulco as Mexico Floods Squeeze Supplies

    People carry looted goods as they walk through a flooded street in Acapulco, Sept. 18, 2013.
    People carry looted goods as they walk through a flooded street in Acapulco, Sept. 18, 2013.
    Reuters
    Looting broke out in the flooded Mexican beach resort of Acapulco as the government on Wednesday struggled to reach tens of thousands of people cut off by some of the worst storm damage in decades.
     
    Stores were ransacked by looters who carried off everything from televisions to Christmas decorations, after floodwaters wreaked havoc in the Pacific port that has borne the brunt of torrential rains that have killed at least 57 people across Mexico.
     
    Tens of thousands of people have been trapped in the aftermath of two tropical storms that hammered vast swaths of Mexico. More than one million people have been affected, and Acapulco's airport terminal was under water.
     
    Shops were plundered in the upscale neighborhood of Diamante, home to luxury hotels and plush apartments, where dozens of cars were ruined by muddy brown floodwaters. Marines were posted outside stores to prevent further theft.
     
    “Unfortunately, it wasn't looting from need of food, it was stealing for stealing's sake,” said Mariberta Medina, head of a local hoteliers' association. “They even stole Halloween and Christmas decorations and an outboard motor.”

    • People swim in flood waters in Culiacan, Mexico, Sept. 19, 2013.
    • A view of houses destroyed after a mudslide in the village of La Pintada, in the Mexican state of Guerrero, Sept. 19, 2013.
    • People move furniture through a flooded street in Tixtla, Mexico, Sept. 19, 2013.
    • People wade through waist-high water in a store's parking, looking for valuables, south of Acapulco, in Punta Diamante, Mexico, Sept. 18, 2013.
    • A man uses a makeshift zip line to cross a river after a bridge collapsed under the force of the rains caused by Tropical Storm Manuel near the town of Petaquillas, Mexico, Sept. 18, 2013.
    • Cars are parked in a flooded lot of the airport in Acapulco, Sept. 18, 2013.
    • A woman carries a child while walking through a flooded neighborhood in Acapulco, Sept. 18, 2013. 
    • People stand in a house flooded by mud after a mountain landslide in Altotonga in Veracruz state, along Mexico's Gulf coast, Sept. 16, 2013. 
    • Soldiers search for survivors after a bus and two nearby houses were buried by a mountain landslide in Altotonga in Veracruz state, along Mexico's Gulf coast, Sept. 16, 2013.
    • A small chapel is engulfed in rock and mud from a landslide brought on by Tropical Storm Manuel's heavy rains on the outskirts of Acapulco, Mexico, Sept. 16, 2013.
    • In this photo released by Mexico's presidential press office, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto meets with people affected by Tropical Storm Manuel in the Pacific coast city of Acapulco, Mexico, Sept. 16, 2013.
    • People carry the belongings they were able to take after a landslide caused by heavy rains caused by Tropical Storm Manuel destroyed their homes in Chilpancingo, Guerrero state, Mexico, Sept. 16, 2013.
    • People look for bodies and salvage belongings after heavy rains triggered a landslide in a low income neighborhood in the city of Chilpancingo, Guerrero state, Mexico, Sept. 16, 2013.

    The rains were spawned by two tropical storms, Ingrid and Manuel, that converged on Mexico from the Pacific and the Gulf, triggering flash floods that washed away homes and caused landslides in eastern Mexico.
     
    Manuel strengthened to a tropical storm again on the Pacific coast on Wednesday, moving northwest toward the Baja California peninsula, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
     
    Meanwhile, another area of low pressure over Mexico's Yucatan peninsula had a 70 percent chance of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours and it was likely to dump more heavy rains across an area already hit by floods and mudslides.
     
    State oil monopoly Pemex evacuated three oil platforms and halted drilling at some wells. A Pemex official said its refining operations had not been affected and that the company had seven days worth of inventory.
     
    The transport ministry said all export terminals were open.
     
    Since the weekend, the rains have pummeled the states of Veracruz, Guerrero, Puebla, Hidalgo, Michoacan and Oaxaca, according to regional emergency services.
     
    Landslides have buried homes and a bus in the eastern state of Veracruz. Thousands were evacuated from flooded areas, some by helicopter, and taken to shelters.
     
    Stranded tourists salvaged belongings from submerged cars in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco which had become a floodplain on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013.Stranded tourists salvaged belongings from submerged cars in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco which had become a floodplain on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013.
    x
    Stranded tourists salvaged belongings from submerged cars in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco which had become a floodplain on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013.
    Stranded tourists salvaged belongings from submerged cars in the Mexican beach resort of Acapulco which had become a floodplain on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013.
    Acapulco struggled to dig out of a three-day downpour which has submerged vast areas of city of 750,000 people, choked its palm-lined streets with mud, and stranded some 40,000 visitors.
     
    Food and bottled water were scarce, as was cash because power outages knocked out bank machines.
     
    “We waited for more than hour to get into a shop and only managed to get instant soup, some tins of tuna and two cartons of milk,” said Clemencia Santana Garcia, 45, who hawks goods on Acapulco's beaches. “This is going to get ugly.”
     
    President Enrique Pena Nieto ordered a house-by-house check on people's safety in Guerrero and the government said it had 6.3 billion pesos ($490 million) in emergency funds available.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Video Artist Federico Uribe Turns Agents of Death Into Living Beauty

    Animal sculptures, brightly colored landscapes Uribe creates with bullet shells now on display at Adelson Gallery in New York

    Quebec Museum Offers New Connections to Culture

    City's National Museum of Fine Arts provides boost to Francophone art by doubling exhibition space, unveiling 400 new works

    Panama Opens Canal Expansion

    $5.4 billion expansion project will double shipping capacity and impact global trade routes

    TransCanada Sues US Over Keystone Pipeline Cancellation

    Oil company is seeking $15B to recover costs and other losses related to project that was to carry oil from western Canada to Gulf of Mexico refineries

    Panama Set for Official Opening of Canal Expansion

    Nine-year, $5.4B project will permit transit by new generation of cargo ships that will double capacity, affect global trade routes