Authorities in Mexico confirmed the kidnapping of two separate groups of travelers who were making their way from Central Mexico to a border state in passenger vans. The two mass kidnapping cases come almost at the same time as one of Mexico’s busiest tourist seasons. To enhance safety, government officials announced the deployment of thousands of police officers and troops to patrol the nation’s highways.
Due to conflicting information from Mexican authorities, it was originally reported that there was one case where 23 travelers had been kidnapped earlier this week. Days after, officials announced 16 victims had been rescued, Breitbart Texas reported at the time. However, since then authorities revealed that the 16 victims were from a separate case and that the 23 victims originally reported remained missing. Since then, the search for the original 23 migrants led to the rescue of more than 100 migrants and drivers that had been taken by gunmen and were being held against their will. Most of the cases dealt with kidnapped migrants and not tourists.
The search began at the start of the week when a group traveling in two rental vans left from Guanajuato to Saltillo, Coahuila, went missing. By Wednesday government officials revealed that the 23 individuals in that group were missing. It was later revealed that the group was in fact made up of migrants making their way north.
In the nearby state of San Luis Potosi, government officials revealed the discovery of 16 travelers and one van that had been taken — all from central Mexico. Since then, that group has been returned to their families.
Due to the large deployment of troops and police forces to search for the missing travelers, authorities initially confirmed the rescue of 35 migrants who were being held near the city of Matehuala in San Luis Potosi. However, by Friday evening, government Mexican authorities revealed the rescue of 104 migrants who had been kidnapped and were being held in various parts of the state.
The mass kidnapping cases come at a time when Mexico had deployed thousands of police officers and military forces throughout the nation as part of a special security detail during Easter week. Despite the added security to Mexican highways, gunmen were still able to kidnap the migrants. Authorities have reported the arrest of two gunmen in one case.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.