In Acapulco, once a dream beach resort full of vibrant nightlife and a steady flow of foreign visitors, clowns took the streets to demand an end to violence in the city, which has become one of the most dangerous in Mexico.
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On Monday, about 60 clowns marched through Acapulco’s main avenues along with families and friends, wearing white clothing and their colorful makeup, chanting “we want peace, we want peace!.”
Clowns say the violence and insecurity make people afraid of throwing parties, as drug cartels often attack reunions in search for a specific person or family, which dramatically affects their income.
Acapulco lives under constant threat, a victim of disputes among and within drug cartels and the security forces in Guerrero and neighboring states. Even though the beaches and the resort area of the city are heavily safeguarded by the police and military, murders still happen on the sand, right next to tourists enjoying the sun and drinks.
In 2017, at least 834 were killed in Acapulco. And this year’s January and February murders took place, according to official data, while about 100 people were murdered in April.
A clown, called “Watery Soup’s Noodle,” said he and his colleagues are protesting because they are tired of the violence that is haunting the city, and people don’t hire them anymore for their events and parties.
“We’re tired of this violence and bloodshed that has affected us all. I don’t think there’s a single citizen that has not been affected by this,” said the clown. “We are living a terror phase here in Acapulco and we want peace… some were scared of coming, saying that we are taking a risk, and some decided not to come because of fear.”
Since 2006, at least 10 clowns have been murdered in Acapulco. The group also reported that a juggler was killed at a housing complex at the start of the year. Acapulco is currently the second most violent city in the country, and the most dangerous one for women.