Acapulco’s bay sparkled and the big hotels that line the beach glinted in the sunlight in the view from Marino Casiano’s tiny flat high in the hills above the resort. But the taxi driver’s gaze was inward, clinging to the last shred of hope that his teenage son, abducted by gunmen in March, was still alive.
“I want to believe that they took him to recruit him into organised crime and took him somewhere else in the country to fight,” he said in a tone of controlled despair. “Either that or he is in a clandestine grave.”
Life for Casiano and the majority of the city’s 780,000 permanent residents has always diverged from the image of unbridled fun the resort seeks to project. But life scraping by on the edge of the tourism economy is now also shrouded in the personal tragedies, pervasive fear, and additional financial woes associated with one of the major fronts in Mexico‘s drug wars.