Three men were found decapitated in the popular tourist city of Acapulco over the New Year weekend. Severed heads were discovered on the roof of a car in a residential street on 31 December, with the men's bodies inside the vehicle.

The killings were confirmed by a law enforcement officer who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

Later on New Year's Eve, unknown assailants fired at police who were overseeing a traffic accident scene, killing one officer. Jose Luis Mendez, Acapulco's city government spokesman, said the reason for the homicide remained unclear.

On Sunday (1 January), a cab driver was gunned down and a police officer was shot and killed in Atoyac de Alvarez, about 55 miles (90 kilometres) northwest of Acapulco. According to police reports, the officer was riding a scooter when a gunman drew up beside him and shot the officer several times in the chest.

According to state officials, violence in the area is linked to rival drug trafficking gangs who have been wrestling for control of drug distribution routes.

On 22 November, the Guerrero State Prosecutor's Office (Fiscalia del Estado) reported that the bodies of several men had been discovered around 100 km north of the Acapulco beach area. The nine bodies showed signs of torture, and a cartel banner was found nearby.

Guerrero also saw the disappearance and alleged murder of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers' college in 2014.

Around 461 people were killed in Acapulco in the first six months of 2016, according to a Guardian report, including drug gang members, small business owners, taxi drivers and security guards. The tourist area, which was once a destination for A-list celebrities, now holds the title of Mexico's most violent city, a record it has held for four years.