A young couple who were abducted last week in Chapala, Jalisco, have been located unharmed along with six others who were being held at a nearby compound, the Jalisco Attorney General’s Office reported Monday.
Rifles, pistols and bullet-proof vests were recovered from the scene where the kidnapping victims were being kept, and three arrests have been made.
On June 9, Griselda Gutiérrez Rodríguez and Ángel Adán Martínez López, two young artists who worked at Gutiérrez’s family’s private school and owned their own tattoo and smoke shop, were forced to abandon their vehicle by four armed men on the road that connects the communities of Santa Cruz de la Soledad and Ixtlahuacán.
Family members filed a missing persons report the next day after Gutiérrez’s sister received an anonymous call informing her that Gutiérrez’s truck had been abandoned by the side of the road.
A day after the abduction, Wenceslao Mendoza, an Uber driver who disappeared after dropping off a passenger on June 10 in Ajijic, was also abducted and reported to the police as missing. Mendoza was among those found alive and unharmed.
The other five kidnapping victims rescued by police Monday had not been reported missing.
On Monday morning, before the news that the couple and six others had been found, family members of those who have disappeared in Chapala mounted a protest with the support of some 300 community members who marched in silence carrying photos of the missing. When the crowd arrived at municipal headquarters, they lay on the ground in protest.
The demonstrators claimed that 100 people have gone missing in the past two years.
At a press conference after the demonstration, special prosecutor Blanca Jacqueline Trujillo denied that there had been a “wave of disappearances.” She said the disappearance of three people in one week, which was the number of official cases reported to her office, was well within normal parameters.
Minutes later, the rescue of the eight kidnapping victims was announced.
The number of missing persons in Chapala reported to the state Attorney General’s Office thus far in 2020 has already reached the total number of reported cases in all of 2019.