Monterrey, Nuevo Leon - Army troops rescued a total of 23 kidnapping victims after clashes with gunmen in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, the Mexican military said Tuesday.
A spokesman for the 7th Military Zone told the press that two gunmen were killed Tuesday during a battle on a ranch near the town of Sabinas Hidalgo, located about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Monterrey, the state capital.
Among the 16 captives discovered at the ranch were a woman and a 3-year-old child, the spokesman said, adding that several of the captors managed to escape the military operation, which included helicopters.
Besides the prisoners, soldiers found 30 guns and a truck holding two tons of marijuana in plastic packages.
The raid came hours after troops killed three gunmen and captured five others in a confrontation at the El Puerto ranch in Nuevo Leon.
The gunmen at El Puerto were holding seven area farmers who had been kidnapped for ransom, as well as an arsenal of 40 assault rifles and more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition.
Soldiers also confiscated 12 SUVs.
Nuevo Leon and neighboring Tamaulipas, both bordering the United States, have seen an upsurge of violence as rival drug cartels vie for control of smuggling routes.
One of the groups taking part in that struggle, Los Zetas, is known to engage in kidnapping and extortion alongside its drug trafficking activities.
I got information from one of the families of a missing person that her husband was not one of the rescued, damn!
Here is the list:
1.- Emmanuel Méndez, de 25 años
2.- Arnoldo Hernández Díaz, de 44 años
3.- Juan Ángel Cisneros Ortiz, de 32
4.- José Dani...el Muñiz Cruz, de 28
5.- Erika Villarreal Reyna, de 26
6.- Niño de 2 años de edad
7.- José Linares, de 21
8.- Liz Rayn Díaz Cedillo, de 24
9.- Édgar Montoya Arteaga, de 38
10.- Martín Cerón, de 36
11.- Santos Lara López, de 49
12.- Héctor Guerrero Aceves, de 33
13.- Eduardo Reyna Rodríguez, de 36
14.- Hilario Acevedo, de 24
15.- Elías Fuantos García, de 41
16.- Marco Antonio Meza Zamora, de 34