Several people have been detained for investigation in Mexico in connection with last week's rape of six Spanish tourists in Acapulco.

Governor Angel Aguirre said two of those detained were also being investigated in connection with another rape case.

He said the two had been identified by victims in that case, but he added that no identifications had been made by victims in the rape of the Spanish women.

Officials on Sunday declined to say how many suspects were in custody.

About 40 people who briefly blocked the road to Acapulco's airport said five of their relatives had been detained in the case. They charged that the men were wrongly arrested and were being made scapegoats.

"It's been 48 hours that our family hasn't seen them. We know nothing about them. One is a nephew and one is my brother,'' said one of the protesters, who gave her name as Flor Silva.

The state public safety secretary, Guillermo Jimenez, persuaded the protesters to end the road blockade in return for being allowed to meet their relatives.

The February 4 attack on the Spaniards began when a band of masked gunmen broke into a beach front home before dawn.

The attackers tied up the men present at the house, and then raped the six Spanish women there. A seventh woman, a Mexican national, was not harmed during the hours-long assault.

Bad for tourism

The incident shocked people across Mexico and beyond, and was a new blow for the resort of Acapulco, which has been the scene of violence in recent years attributed to fighting among rival drug gangs.

Tourism industry executives have worried that the attack could hurt business in other Mexican resorts.

A community leader in Lomas de Chapultepec, near the part of Acapulco where the women were raped, said police acting without warrants and in a violent manner detained 25 people in connection with the case, although most were later released.

Adrian Sanchez said that of the 25 people rounded up, two were minors. After most were released, including those two, five remained in custody, he said.

He said police tried to get a brother in law of his, one of those ultimately released, to confess to taking part in the sexual assaults of the Spanish women.

Source: Agencies