Mexico: 16 kidnapped police employees freed

World Saturday 01/July/2023 16:15 PM
By: DW
Mexico: 16 kidnapped police employees freed

Mexico City: Officials in Mexico said 16 police employees have been freed after three days of captivity.

Those kidnapped were administrative employees of the police force in the southern state of Chiapas.

Chiapas Governor Rutilio Escandon said on Twitter: "I want to tell the people of Chiapas and Mexico that the 16 kidnapped colleagues... have been released this afternoon."

Escandon thanked President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the army, the navy and the national guard for helping rescue those kidnapped.

More than 1,000 members of state and federal security forces were involved in search operations.

Lopez Obrador described the development as " very good news" and sent "a hug to the relatives."

State security official Gabriela Zepeda said that the 16 freed workers' were in a "stable" condition healthwise.

What do we know about the kidnapping?
The 16 men were kidnapped on Tuesday while travelling by bus on a highway between the town of Ocozocoautla and Chiapas state capital Tuxtla Gutierrez.

Seventeen women, also police employees, were aboard the bus, but they were all released immediately.

In one video shared by local media, what seemed to be a captive worker said that the abductors were demanding the dismissal of three state security officials who were accused of working with another armed group.

The 16 employees reported that they had been held in a mountainous area and that one of them drove the group back to Tuxtla Gutierrez after they were freed.

Lopez Obrador on Thursday proposed an inquiry into the actions of the three officials. However, he continued to demand the "unconditional" release of those kidnapped.

Relatives had been staging a sit-in at the office where the employees worked, demanding their safe release.

With the drug cartels gaining power in various parts of the country, Mexico has registered some 110,000 disappearances since 2006.