At least a dozen kidnapped from Puerto Vallarta restaurant
PUERTO VALLARTA — Armed men kidnapped a large group of people from a restaurant in the heart of Mexico’s major Pacific tourist resort of Puerto Vallarta early on Monday morning Aug. 15, the state attorney general’s office said.
Authorities did not immediately clarify how many people were taken, but local media reported as many as 16 people were seized, according to Reuters.
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. The state 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 state’s attorney general’s office said the victims were sitting in a restaurant in a major boulevard at 1 a.m. CDT on Monday, when gunmen arrived in two pickup trucks and took them.
Bloomberg reported 10 to 12 men were taken just after 1 a.m. from the La Leche restaurant by five armed gunmen who arrived in a pair of trucks, state prosecutor Eduardo Almaguer said at a news conference, citing witnesses.
Authorities found several abandoned vehicles at the restaurant, which indicate the victims were probably from a criminal group, he said. Puerto Vallarta, an upscale resort town visited by millions of foreign tourists annually, is about 550 miles northwest of the country’s capital, Mexico City.
Almaguer said state authorities are working with the army and navy to locate the victims and kidnappers and are assuring the safety of tourists in the city.