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Published February 06 2013

World's eyes are on Acapulco rape case as Mexico prepares for peak spring break season

ACAPULCO, Mexico — The tourism world turned its eyes on Mexico after six Spanish women were raped by masked gunmen during a vacation in the long-troubled Pacific coast resort of Acapulco.

While there has been talk of reviving the golden era of the ‘40s and ‘50s, international tourists have long steered away from Acapulco, even before the drug violence of recent years, as the city fell into disrepair and glitzier Cancun and Los Cabos gained favor.

The question now is whether the attack will affect other resorts as Mexico prepares for its annual spring break onslaught and peak season.

The hours-long assault was carried out by a gang of masked gunmen who burst into the beachfront home before dawn on Monday and tied up the six men inside, then raped the women. A seventh Mexican woman was unharmed.

“We are really sorry about what happened with the Spanish tourists because ... it is something that affects Mexico's image,” said Juan Carlos Gonzalez, tourism secretary of Quintana Roo, the Caribbean coast state where Cancun is located and which hosted about 17 million tourists last year.