PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico, Aug. 16 (UPI) — At least 10 people were kidnapped at gunpoint by a group of heavily armed men while the victims were dining at a popular restaurant in the Mexican resort town of Puerto Vallarta, officials said early Monday.
Local media reported possibly as many as 16 men were driven away in two large utility vehicles at about 1 a.m. Monday. The abduction took place near the town’s tourist attractions, police said.
Police believe four women were either let go or escaped from the kidnappers. Jalisco state police are trying to locate them.
Eduardo Almaguer, chief prosecutor of Jalisco state, emphasized the incident involved rival gangs and not tourists. He also said the sons of imprisoned cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, were not the targets of the kidnapping.
“We want to stress that there is a very clear presumption that this had to do with a criminal group, it didn’t involve tourists or citizens who were involved in legitimate activities,” Almaguer said at press conference.
Authorities did not disclose which gangs were involved and the fate of the men kidnapped is not known.