Gunmen kidnap 22 men traveling together in Mexican resort town of Acapulco

By Sergio Flores, AP
Saturday, October 2, 2010

22 kidnapped in Mexican resort city of Acapulco

ACAPULCO, Mexico — Gunmen kidnapped 22 men who were traveling together in Mexico’s Pacific coast resort city of Acapulco, authorities said Saturday.

The group was visiting from the western city of Morelia and looking for a place to stay when they were abducted Thursday, said Fernando Monreal, director of state investigative police in Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located.

The kidnapping was reported by a man who had been with the group, Monreal said. He said that the man told police he left the others to go to a store and when he returned his companions were gone.

Witnesses said his companions — who ranged in age from 17 to 47 — were kidnapped by an armed gang that drove them away in the three cars in which the group had been traveling.

The motive was unknown.

The man who notified police described his companions as tourists.

Acapulco has been a key battleground for lucrative drug-trafficking routes. Violence in the region increased this year after a split in the Beltran Leyva cartel, whose leadership has been hit hard by President Felipe Calderon’s drug war.

Police, who were scouring the resort cities and the highways leading out of it for the missing men, gave no indication that they were tied to drug trafficking.

Drug-gang henchmen frequently kidnap rivals and dump their bodies on the streets days later. But it is rare for a survivor of such kidnappings to go to the police.

will not be displayed