World

Kidnap our friend? We'll grab your mum

MEXICO CITY Residents of a southern Mexican town forced a gang to free a man yesterday after villagers brazenly abducted the mother of the criminal group's leader.

The unusual standoff was resolved with both sides releasing their captives in Guerrero, a state mired in drug violence and kidnappings that often ends with the victims turning up dead or never reappearing.

The gang, known as Los Tequileros (The Tequila Drinkers), has made a business out of kidnapping in a remote region of Guerrero, but fed-up townspeople in San Miguel Totolapan rebelled after an engineer was snatched on Sunday.

The residents formed a vigilante group and detained about 20 people, including the mother of Raybel Almonte, the head of Los Tequileros who is himself known as El Tequilero (The Tequila Drinker).

The engineer's wife appeared in a video on Tuesday, demanding that Almonte release her husband in return for the gang leader's mother.

The residents upped the ante on Wednesday, releasing a video showing a woman identified as Almonte's elderly mother, Ms Maria Salgado, who pleaded with her son to release the engineer, Mr Isauro Duque.

After Mr Duque was reunited with his family, the residents released Almonte's mother to police, the state government said in a statement. - AFP

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