Last week's discovery of a buried cache of weapons, including 154 rifles and shotguns and more than 92,000 rounds of ammunition, was the latest grisly twist in Mexico's ongoing drug war. Sadly, it was by no means the only such find in recent days, with soldiers having previously seized 83 assault rifles and shotguns, five grenade launchers and more than 18,000 bullets as well as hand grenades and 18 pistols following a confrontation with a 17-vehicle convoy of suspected cartel gunmen in the state of Tamaulipas in May, the Associated Press is reporting.
But the drug war has gone beyond those border regions. Until 2006, the city of Acapulco was best known as an international tourism haven, but has also devolved into the epicenter of cartel-driven turmoil as of late.
The following photographs are a small sample of a series shot by Acapulco-based journalist Pedro Pardo. Featured exclusively on LIFE.com, Pardo's shocking images look at Acapulco's drug war-related violence from a unique, firsthand perspective.
Be sure to check out Pardo's eye-opening full gallery on LIFE.com.
Photos and captions courtesy of LIFE.com.
"On the day I took this picture, June 8, 2009, there was a gunfight inside and outside police headquarters in the Emiliano Zapata neighborhood," Pardo told LIFE.com. "Bullets flew everywhere. But we don't have bullet-proof vests. Our only protection is our cameras -- and being careful."