Bernandino Hernandez / AP
Police patrol on the beach near a home in Acapulco, Mexico, where masked and armed men broke in and raped six tourists.
A gang of masked men entered a vacation home near the resort city of Acapulco and raped six Spanish tourists, Mexican authorities said Tuesday.
The assailants, brandishing guns, first tied up the men with phone cords and the straps of bathing suits and then raped the women, The Associated Press reported.
A police report, obtained by Prensa Latina, a Cuba-based Latin American news service, said that 15 subjects with ski masks sexually abused the Spanish women, and also stole the belongings of a Mexican national and six Spanish men.
The assault took place Monday in the town of San Andres, Barra Vieja, in the Diamante area of Acapulco.
Acapulco Mayor Luis Walton and the state prosecutor for Guerroro said Mexican federal police were involved in the hunt for those responsible, CNN reported.
"It's a very delicate situation," Walton said at a news conference on Tuesday in which he condemned the attacks. "We are going to have the full weight of the law against those responsible."
Walton admitted the attacks would likely tarnish Acapulco’s image. The Pacific Coast resort city and its beaches are a popular destination for tourists, including American college students on spring break.
Though the number of rapes in the area is unclear, in one weekend in March 2010, at least 13 people were killed in and around Acapulco in apparent drug-gang violence, including four victims found beheaded. And, according to Reuters, some 70,000 people nationwide have been killed in drug-related violence since 2006.
Though millions of people travel to Mexico each year without incident, the U.S. State Department has issued a warning to travelers visiting the country. It says travelers to Mexico should be aware that “crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country and occur anywhere." Travelers to the Acapulco area are urged to exercise caution and stay within tourist areas.