Mexican Drug Cartel Abducts 14 in Retaliation for Townsfolk Killing 10 Gunmen
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Mexican Drug Cartel Abducts 14 in Retaliation for Townsfolk Killing 10 Gunmen

In central Mexico, a drug cartel has abducted 14 local residents, including four children, as apparent reprisal for an uprising by angry farmers earlier this month.

The farmers in Texcaltitlan and a nearby hamlet, fed up with cartel extortions, took matters into their own hands armed with sickles and hunting rifles on December 8.

They confronted suspected gang members with gunfire, resulting in the death of 10 cartel gunmen and four villagers. In response, the cartel kidnapped 14 individuals, including four children aged 1 1/2 to 14.

Among the abducted adults are three policemen taken at a cartel roadblock and a wounded villager seized from a hospital after the clash.

It remains unclear if there is a symbolic meaning in the fact that 14 gunmen were killed in the clash, mirroring the number of people kidnapped. José Luis Cervantes, the head prosecutor for the State of Mexico, west of Mexico City, mentioned on Wednesday that no ransom demand had been received.

Initially, state officials denied any kidnappings, referring to the victims as “missing.” However, residents claim that the Familia Michoacana drug cartel is demanding the surrender of the uprising leaders in exchange for releasing the kidnapped individuals.

Cervantes stated that the villagers involved in the December 8 clash won’t face charges, as it has been deemed “legitimate self-defense” in defense of their properties.

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