Drug war gunmen kidnap six people in Mexico hotel raids
In the latest surge of drug war violence, dozens of gunmen raided two Mexico hotels in Monterrey, the Holiday Inn and Hotel Mision. Four guests, two receptionists, and a guard were abducted.
In Pictures Mexico's drug war
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Monterrey is one of the nation’s business hubs that has in recent months found itself taking its turn in the violent throes of Mexico’s deadly violence.
The state attorney general of Nuevo Leon said that gunmen abducted three guests and a receptionist from the Holiday Inn and at another nearby hotel, another receptionist was abducted too. The gunmen appeared to be searching for specific people in the 17-floor hotel, said the attorney general.
It’s the latest in a series of attacks that touch the lives of bystanders apparently uninvolved in the drug trade. The motive is unclear about why these victims, three businessmen from Mexico City and a businesswoman from the border, as well as the two receptionists and possibly a guard outside the Holiday Inn, were hauled away. None of those abducted were foreigners.
Attorney general Alejandro Garza y Garza said the violent surge the city is experiencing can be explained by rivalries between gangs vying for power. "A lot of what we're going through right now is part of a readjustment among cartels," Mr. Garza y Garza was quoted as saying at a news conference in Monterrey.
While a "readjustment" might imply that it’s temporary, it’s little solace to residents. Monterrey is the same city that saw two university students killed in crossfire last month between the military and suspected drug traffickers, and where trucks and cars have been hijacked and burned to block streets (local media reported gunmen used the same tactic Wednesday in carrying out the hotel abductions).
The perception that Mexico is unsafe for tourists or foreign investors, says Mexican President Felipe Calderon, is unfair. He observes that 90 percent of victims, are suspected traffickers themselves. Most places, government officials urge, are safe – despite the fact that 22,700 people have been killed since Mr. Calderon dispatched the military to fight organized crime in late 2006. (That fatality figure, released recently by the government, is much higher than long-running media tallies.)