Sunday, January 16, 2011

Officials in Mexico say gunmen have kidnapped a police commander in the eastern state of Veracruz

Raul Espinoza and his bodyguard were abducted while on patrol in the port city of Boca del Rio. The kidnapping comes just a day after 14 people were killed in a shoot-out between security forces and alleged gang members in the state. Veracruz had so far been spared much of the drug-related violence other Mexican states have suffered. Local media report that the kidnappers posed as federal police agents and managed to fool local police, who stopped them twice. The motive for the kidnapping is unknown, but it follows a stand-off between the security forces and gunmen in the state capital, Xalapa. According to Mexican government figures, more than 34,000 people have died in drug-related violence in recent years.

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