While some Mexicans harbor resentment against Spaniards dating to colonial times, the victims may have been targeted for other reasons, such as appearance or possessions.
Mayor Luis Walton rushed to apologize Wednesday for his comment the day before that ‘‘this happens everywhere in the world, not just in Acapulco or in Mexico.’’
‘‘Of course, this worries us and we don’t want anything like this to happen in Acapulco or anywhere else in the world,’’ he said. ‘‘We know this is going to affect our tourism.’’
Billionaire business magnate Carlos Slim, ranked by Forbes magazine as the world’s richest man, proposed a plan last year to rescue Acapulco by building parks and recreational centers there.
Still, it would be a long way from the city’s heyday, when Elizabeth Taylor was married in Acapulco, John F. and Jackie Kennedy spent their honeymoon there and Howard Hughes hid out in a suite at the Princess Hotel, a pyramid-shaped icon in the exclusive Punta Diamante, or Diamond Point.
Gallego said it’s important for authorities to make arrests soon to prove that those responsible will be punished. State prosecutor Garzon said authorities have strong evidence leading to the culprits.
Given the sheer volume of visitors to such popular destinations as the Caribbean Riviera Maya south of Cancun, Gonzalez said, ‘‘we certainly could have some cancellations. But given the number of Spanish tourists, it would not be significant.’’
As if to illustrate the continuous danger in Guerrero, state authorities announced Wednesday that armed men ambushed and killed nine police officers a day earlier. The attack was in the town of Tepoxtepect, near the border with Michoacan state, an area known for drug trafficking.
Associated Press writers Beth Harpaz in New York and Alan Clendenning in Madrid contributed to this report.