Twenty Mexican tourists missing after Acapulco kidnap

A heavily armed gang kidnapped about 20 Mexican tourists in the beach resort city of Acapulco and their whereabouts are still unknown.

Mexico City: A heavily armed gang kidnapped about 20 Mexican tourists in the beach resort city of Acapulco earlier this week and their whereabouts are still unknown, police said Saturday.

The tourists from Morelia in neighboring Michoacan state were "deprived of their liberty" Thursday when they were overtaken by an armed group, prosecutors said in a statement, adding they did not know the identity of the gunmen or the fate of those abducted.

"On Thursday night, about 20 people were abducted by armed men as they arrived in Acapulco. There is no immediate word on there whereabouts, the suspected kidnappers or their motive," Guerrero police investigator Fernando Monreal told a news agency.

The prosecutor`s office in the southern state of Guerrero earlier said 22 tourists had been nabbed. But police said at least two of the abducted people managed to escape.

Michoacan is the base for La Familia, a powerful drug cartel whose reach stretches to Guerrero, a major hub for drug trafficking.

On a single day in March, drug-related violence left 13 people dead in the city of Acapulco, including four civilians who were decapitated and five police.

Guerrero is among several states at the heart of a massive federal deployment of some 50,000 troops that has so far failed to suppress a wave of violence blamed on feuding drug cartels since 2006.

According to official figures, more than 28,000 people have been killed in violence linked to cartels and organized crime since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon took power.

Bureau Report

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