At Upscale Restaurant in Mexico, a Massive Abduction

All those involved appear to be members of criminal organizations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 16, 2016 12:05 AM CDT
Updated Aug 16, 2016 2:45 AM CDT
The entrance of the restaurant "La Leche" stands closed after armed men abducted as many as 16 people who were dining in the upscale restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016.   (David Diaz)

(Newser) – Armed men abducted 10 to 12 presumed members of a crime gang who appeared to be celebrating at an upscale restaurant in the popular Mexican beach resort city of Puerto Vallarta, authorities said Monday. Jalisco state prosecutor Eduardo Almaguer said at a news conference that preliminary results of the investigation indicated that all involved—kidnappers and kidnapped—were members of criminal organizations. "They were not tourists or residents who work in legal activities," Almaguer said. "They were people tied to a criminal group we can very clearly presume." He said authorities believe they know which groups were involved, but declined to name them.

The AP reports the Jalisco New Generation cartel has become the dominant criminal force in the state. It has battled the powerful Sinaloa cartel for supremacy in other parts of the country, such as Baja California Sur. Almaguer said two SUVs carrying five gunmen arrived around 1am at La Leche restaurant on the city's main boulevard, which runs through the hotel zone between the old beach city and the airport. Witnesses reported that four women in the targeted group were not taken by the gunmen; authorities are looking for those women. Almaguer said some of those abducted had been vacationing in Puerto Vallarta for a week; all of those abducted were from the western states of Sinaloa, Nayarit, and Jalisco. (Read more Mexico stories.)

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