A security operation to protect travelers on highways in Chiapas did nothing to prevent the robbery Saturday of 25 German tourists en route to Palenque.
The 25 visitors and their two Mexican guides had been traveling to the popular destination from San Cristóbal de las Casas when they were stopped by a blockade in Oxchuc, where residents are protesting last year’s election results.
The driver decided to take another route instead, although it meant adding 214 kilometers and six hours to the journey.
One of the passengers told the newspaper El Universal that they were met by a Federal Police patrol in Ocosingo, from where they had a police escort as far as Misolhá. At that point they were advised that another patrol in Palenque had been advised of their route.
But they were attacked before the police arrived.
Seven masked men carrying firearms and knives stopped the bus and boarded it, taking cash, credit cards and other belongings worth an estimated 25,000 pesos from the passengers.
One of the thieves took a passport but returned it when the traveler pleaded with him do so.
The thieves fled the scene and the bus got under way again, although within five minutes two Federal Police patrol vehicles arrived.
A formal complaint was filed later with state officials in Palenque.
The state announced last week that a new security operation would attempt to prevent attacks on travelers, particularly between San Cristóbal and Palenque.