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Mexican beach resort hit by wave of Jet Ski cartel assassinations

In the 1980s and 1990s, Colombian drug cartel hit men pioneered the technique of using motorcycles when carrying out a murder to guarantee a quick escape.

Now cartel hit men in Mexico have taken the idea to another element.

waverunner hitman.jpg

In the coastal resort city of Acapulco, sicarios have begun pulling up to beaches on Jet Skis to carry out mid-day murders.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, there have been four such Jet Ski assassinations in Acapulco this year, with the latest occurring in late January, when an assassin swam to the beach of Acapulco Bay from a nearby Jet Ski, 9-mm. pistol in hand, and shot a 46-year old beach vendor three times in the chest.

The murder happened in broad daylight while sunbathing tourists looked on.

The killer than swam back out to his jet ski, which was being driven by an accomplice, and the pair fled down the coast.

Once seen as a cheap alternative for many U.S. and European tourists, Acapulco's violent crime rate has skyrocketed in recent years as drug cartels operating in the state of Guerrero have battled for control of the town and its trafficking routes.

Along with the cartels, local criminal organizations are using extortion and other means to pursue money out of local businesses and vendors. While the latest Jet Ski killing remains unsolved, it is believed by authorities that it was meant as a message to others to make extortion payments to the criminal groups.

Despite the visibility of the beach-side attack, Acapulco's violence has generally remained out of site of its tourist zones. But the Jet Ski attacks show a more brazen attitude, which would be a bad sign for the state of Guerrero, where tourism accounts for 80 percent of the economy.

The city, which finished 2015 with a homicide rate of 105 per 100,000 citizens, is the most violent in Mexico and the fourth most violent city in the world.

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