MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Eight armed men abducted “six or seven” suspected members of the Sinaloa drug cartel from a restaurant in the heart of Mexico’s Pacific tourist resort of Puerto Vallarta early on Monday morning, the state attorney general said.
Local authorities say the victims were seized around 1 a.m. CDT (0600 GMT) on Monday from a restaurant in the resort town.
Interviewed on local television, Jalisco Attorney General Eduardo Almaguer said the men who were abducted were believed to be members of the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico’s most feared drug smuggling gangs, which was led by Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman until his capture in January.
Almaguer said the suspected gang members were accompanied by nine women who were left behind, adding that the kidnappers had yet to make any contact with authorities.
Puerto Vallarta, in the state of Jalisco, is one of Mexico’s top vacation destinations, luring all-inclusive tourists and high-end sunseekers to its beaches.
Jalisco, which lies south along the Pacific coast from Sinaloa, is also home to the Jalisco New Generation cartel, which has become one of the country’s most powerful drug gangs in recent years.
In a statement, the prosecutor’s office said it was investigating the incident, while Almaguer said he was trying to fully identify the men who were abducted.
(Reporting by Anahi Rama and Lizbeth Diaz and Luis Rojas; Editing by Alan Crosby and Joseph Radford)