An armed group has kidnapped 14 workers of the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection in the state of Chiapas, Mexico, on Tuesday. According to the Mexican government, the administrative workers were on their way to the municipality of Ocozocoautla aboard a truck when they were stopped by men armed with rifles.
Mexican authorities have launched a search operation to locate the kidnap victims and their captors. "A permanent air and ground operation was established with all the Armed Forces to find the whereabouts of the colleagues deprived of their freedom, carrying out all the necessary actions to find them and bring those responsible before the competent authorities," said a statement issued by the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection. The State Attorney General's Office (FGE) reported that it is analyzing the video and photographic materials to obtain more evidence.
En #Chiapas un convoy secuestró a 23 trabajadores de la Secretaría de Seguridad y Protección Ciudadana, en el municipio de #Ocozocoautl, que apenas ayer fue nombrado como Pueblo Mágico. pic.twitter.com/6cTh8ZinaB
— Azucena Uresti (@azucenau) June 28, 2023
According to local media reports, so far the area has remained calm and quiet for some time. In the region there are several cities of tourist interest, such as Ocozocoautla itself, as well as San Cristóbal de las Casas. Some videos of the moment of the kidnapping of the 14 officers are circulating on networks. From another vehicle, you can see how the government truck is standing on the road while several white pick-up trucks surround it. On foot there are at least six individuals carrying Ak-47 type rifles.
According to El Sol de Chiapas, a local media outlet, the kidnappers initially captured 23 people, but released the women. It was one of them who raised the alarm to the authorities after she was released.
The events are similar to those that occurred in May, when an armed group hijacked a bus carrying 50 migrants in Nuevo Leon. The travelers were on their way to the U.S. border when several armed men took them away. A few days later, the Mexican authorities managed to find them safe and sound.