Mexican authorities announced on Tuesday that they had arrested 13 federal police officers on suspicion of being part of a dangerous kidnapping ring in Acapulco, a popular resort on the country’s Pacific coast.
Federal security spokesman Eduardo Sánchez Hernández said the 13 arrested last Friday had taken part in at least seven murders and four kidnappings. Five other civilians, including one woman, are suspected of also being involved in the gang’s crimes.
The announcement of the arrests came just one week after Mexico’s national statistics agency INEGI announced that there had been some 105,000 kidnappings throughout the country last year – a whopping figure that even startled many NGOs.
Sánchez Hernández didn’t release many details on how the ring operated but said that the police officers were on active duty in Acapulco when the kidnappings took place. “We are not going to tolerate, under any circumstances, impunity or acts of corruption committed by public servants,” he said.
We are not going to tolerate acts of corruption by public servants”
Asked about the INEGI figures, Sánchez said “they are enormously dark numbers” because the people who are victims of these kidnappings don’t report them because they are afraid. He called on the Mexican public to report crimes, especially the middle class who suffer most from kidnappings.
Acapulco was known as a dazzling international jet-set resort from the 1960s up until the 1980s. Now it is considered one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico, reporting more than 1,000 murders last year.
Sánchez Hernández said that the civilian suspects were four men and one woman between the ages of 24 and 35. The police officers were all men, and all in their 20s and 30s except for a 51-year-old officer.