Acapulco Mexico Attempt At Luring Tourists To Drug Violence Plague Region Failing

Acapulco Attempts Cruise Party Atmosphere Revival

On March 27, 2017, Mexico’s biggest travel trade show, annual tourism fair Tianguis Turistico Mexico,  kicked off in Acapulco, where organizers were hoping to inject new energy into the destination’s tourist industry.  Acapulco and areas inland in the Pacific coast state of Guerrero have been plagued by high levels of crime and drug gang killings. Most cruise lines discontinued making  port calls in Acapulco. Those cruise companies who continued to call, saw steep decline in bookings around 2010.

Just as the cruise industry was willing to try Acapulco again, Holland America Line (HAL) canceled eight cruise ship arrivals for 2017 over security concerns.  “Given recent security concerns, Holland America Line has replaced its arrivals to Acapulco, Mexico, with alternative Mexican ports in eight cruises scheduled between 2017 and 2018,” said the cruise line in a prepared statement, adding that the safety of its clients was its “highest priority.”

Not all cruise lines have abandoned Acapulco cruise ship calls.  Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’  cruise ship MS Europa is scheduled for a 17-day cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia  to Acapulco, Mexico from June 1, 2017 to June 18, 2017 for € 7,690 per person. Sailing from Canada, Canadians will pay $10,930.83 (CAN).

The cruise will make an unusual call at Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, June 3 on the Willamette River at 1900 hours.   Then, the cruise ship leaves Portland the next day, Sunday, June 4 with a day at sea before calling in San Francisco.

Targeted to beer loving Germans where the cruise line is located, the Hapag-Lloyd Cruises website says, “The EUROPA arrives in the state capital of Oregon via the Columbia and Willamette rivers. One of the special things about Portland is that it has over 32 breweries. Visit some of the best breweries* and taste some stouts, ambers and ales. Not far away are the steep banks and many waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge*: set out in the morning on a hike to enjoy the amazing sights.”

With calls at American ports of San Francisco, Monterey, San Diego, they then cruise to the Mexican cruise ports of  Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo before calling at Acapulco and Mexico City.

The passengers then have the choice to fly to Frankfurt, Germany. It appears the itinerary targets Germans who will fly to Canada to board their cruise, cruise to Mexico, then fly home to Germany.

  • U.S State Department Warnings – Acapulco (December 8, 2016)

Guerrero State (includes Acapulco, Ixtapa, Taxco, and Zihuatanejo)

Personal travel to the state of Guerrero, including Acapulco, is prohibited for U.S. government personnel with the exception of travel to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo by air. In Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas. The state of Guerrero was the most violent state in Mexico in 2015 for the third year in a row, and self-defense groups operate independently of the government in many areas of Guerrero. Armed members of these groups frequently maintain roadblocks and, although not considered hostile to foreigners or tourists, are suspicious of outsiders and should be considered volatile and unpredictable. Read more

  • Tennis World USA Warnings  – Acapulco (March 4, 2017)

Warning on the Tennis World USA website say, “The Guerriero State in South of Mexico is one of the most violent states in the World. Its three millions inhabitants listen, see or read about crime stories or kidnapping. According to the local press, three clans handle the drugs traffic and not even the thousands of soldiers can stop them.

In spite of that Acapulco, that is one of the most loved cities by tourists, welcomes some of the best tennis players in the World, this year including Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The tournament is owned by Mextenis, ran by Pegaso Group, that handles the safety of the players, who are protected by bodyguards wherever they go. Also, they stay in the luxurious Princess Mundo Imperial hotel, which is very close to the beach and the tournament site too.” Read more

  • CBC Canada  – Acapulco (March 13, 2016)  – 

As gangs fight in the street, violence-plagued Acapulco battles to lure back tourists

“Once known as a jet-set party town, Acapulco’s reputation has taken a hit in recent years due to a high rate of violent crime, often related to drug cartels.

Acapulco’s murder rate has earned it the title of Mexico’s most dangerous city, and one of the most dangerous places in the world.

In 2015, there were 903 homicides in Acapulco. With a population of just over 860,000, that makes Acapulco the world’s fourth-most violent city, according to Mexican think-tank Seguridad Justicia y Paz, which compiles the list based on per-capita murder rates. (Caracas, Venezuela was ranked first.)” Read more

InSight Crime Analysis  – Acapulco ( April 3, 2017)

“The targeted security strategy does appear to have been successful in certain municipalities such as Acapulco in Guerrero, Monterrey in Nuevo León, and Puebla in the state of the same name. The respective decreases of roughly 15, 33 and 35 percent in the homicide rates in these municipalities are significant, given that these three areas have been at the heart of feuds between rival criminal groups vying for control of illicit economies.

But the few and rather slight security improvements are largely overshadowed by the extreme rise in homicides in numerous municipalities. And this dynamic serves as a reminder that Mexico’s security institutions continue to struggle to rein in violence in areas of states that have traditionally been hotbeds for organized crime.” Read more

Vice.com  – Mexico’s Drug Cartels Love Social Media (Nov 4 2013)

“This vulnerability was already demonstrated when the hack group known as Anonymous, conducted attacks on the Zetas cartel in 2011, accessing their private data and threatening to reveal members’ names. However, the cartel quickly retaliated by “hiring” its own security specialists, and Anonymous backed down after one of its members was allegedly abducted.

Clearly, cartels aren’t packing their members off to computer science evening classes at the local community college, and it’s likely the more specialized experts have been kidnapped. “They may be engaging young computer scientists in Mexico and giving them a good salary, but if they still require a skill, they just kidnap someone who has it,” Antoine explained. “As of 2012, we had at least 36 cases of engineers who were snatched by the cartels, including an IBM employee, never to be seen again.” Read more

View from our Puerto Aventuras condo. Just out of view to the left, at the back of a cul-de-sac was the home of a well-known major drug lord. We stumbled upon the property at curb side, in error.

Editors Note: 

Note the date of the last article above, two months after we arrived in the state of  Quintanaroo, including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Morelos, Puerto Aventuras, Cozumel, Akumal and  Tulum. We were in Quintanaroo from August 27,  2013 to September 9,  2014. There is more cartel crime in  the heavy tourism state of Quintanaroo, than is largely reported.

We were told by neighbors, who had seen an article on Vice.com, that during a period of three years, computer techs like us were being kidnapped and enslaved by the cartel to run their internet and communications.

Before arriving there in September 2013, this was not reported in main stream media. So, our ‘working retirement’ in Mexico was cut to 13 months and we rarely went outside of our Oceanfront gated community in Puerto Aventuras.

 

Video Playlist: Our Time in Puerto Aventuras

 

Cruise ship aircraft carrier wonky wonkier wonkiest solutions for housing homeless

Greg Gopman, of AngelHack,

Greg Gopman, of AngelHack,

Tech entrepreneur Greg Gopman, of AngelHack, a company which organizes hackathons, complained on Facebook in 2013 (seen on his website titled, The Stupidest Thing I Ever Did) about the “homeless, drug dealers, dropouts, and trash, the degenerates gather like hyenas, spit, urinate, taunt you, there is nothing positive gained from having them so close to us.”, recently wanted to house the homeless on a cruise ship.

Gopman’s website welcomes visitor with this message, “Hi, I’m Greg Gopman, I’m most well known for my work building AngelHack, Hackathon.io and for my work solving homeless in San Francisco. I’m an avid traveler, lover of unconventional wisdom, and usually have 2- 3 wonky ideas I’m working on.”

On his blog, he had posted on May 8, 2015, ” A New Solution to Housing the Homeless, The way America deals with homelessness is broken. Every year, cities spend more to try and manage homelessness at a local level, and every year they come up short. In the past 8 years, US spending on homelessness has doubled, yet homelessness itself has only decreased by 10%.”

Wonky Trifecta

A New Solution to Housing the Homeless,

A New Solution to Housing the Homeless

So, Gopman brain-stormed a plan to house the homeless on a cruise ship in San Francisco. He lays out the reason the homeless should be housed on a cruise ship, “Now you might be wondering: would people really want to live somewhere else? Maybe… maybe not. But it’s an option we should be offering. Currently, the only option we offer people is to stay homeless. Or worse, we put people in jail for being homeless.”

Gopman had started a petition two years ago on Change.org. The petition states he was trying to get 100 signatures and received 32 before it was closed. It appeared to be primarily promoted via his blog. That was ultimately the publicity problem with the AngelHack founder’s petition.

Gopman challenges his readers, “That’s why it’s time to make a change! If you want to support a regional housing solution, sign our Change.org campaign below. If 30,000 people sign up, then A Better San Francisco will organize a Regional Housing Summit for California and assist the mayors of the thirty cities below to organize one as well.”

The long-winded blog post had two big orange buttons at the bottom of the blog post. For a man who considers himself a tech, tech enough to hold hackathons, it is sloppy at minimum,  that the links on the buttons were improperly formatted and would not work. The button links were formatted to go to this web address, which of course is not a web address at all. http://greggopman.com/blog/www.bit.ly/regionalhousing

 

 

Bad html button link

Bad html button link

This was indeed a trifecta effect cluster of his “wonky” ideas. First,  was the Facebook post slamming the homeless, second  to create this webpage petition promotion which was flawed  tech code,  but the big Kahuna was suggesting to house homeless on a cruise ship.

Wonky Defined: crooked; off-center; askew;(of a thing) unsteady; shaky; not functioning correctly; faulty.

Gopman’s website says he has a hackathon going on today: Sony Xperia Projector Hackathon, held March 3-4, 2017 at Museum of the African Diaspora, 685 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

Wonkier

The idea of using a cruise ship to house the homeless is not new. Right before Thanksgiving on November 21, 2002 the Los Angeles Times published an article New York Floats a Plan to Place Homeless on Board Cruise Ship, which floated this same idea.

“City officials, faced with a rapidly expanding number of homeless and a court order that requires New York to provide temporary shelter for any person who needs it, have come up with the novel plan to use old cruise ships as just one of several solutions to a chronic housing shortage.”

Wonkiest

Years later, there was a new twist to the cruise ship idea. On September 7, 2016 CBS San Francisco published an article which stated, “former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos pitched a solution to the city’s homeless crisis that would get people in need off the streets and onto a ship. Agnos wanted to turn an old aircraft carrier, the USS Peleliu, into temporary housing for the homeless.”

Filed under: wonky, wonkier, wonkiest ideas for housing the homeless.

Great Idea Helping Homeless

Now, a really great idea. On March 16, 2009, the Ship to Shelter Program Port of San Diego and Holland America Line was kicked off.

Video: Ship to Shelter Program

 

Trump Muslim Ban Scientist Gets Pulled Aside After Cruise

Trump Muslim Ban Scientist Gets Pulled Aside After Cruise

Trump Muslim Ban Scientist Gets Pulled Aside After Cruise

Cruise Bruise: A scientist from San Francisco gets interrogated after gay #cruise due to Trump Muslim ban.

Maysam Sodagari, 32,  a scientist from San Francisco, California was sailing aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines’ Allure of the Seas during a Caribbean cruise on January 29, 2017, when he disembarked at Port Everglades, Florida and was immediately separated from his friends and placed in an interrogation room.

Read the full article and see another video on Cruise Bruise.