The Mexican army has freed 20 people who had been kidnapped in the northern industrial city of Monterrey.
Soldiers found them gagged, bound and huddled together in a tiny make-shift shack in a northern neighbourhood of the city.
Some of the hostages said they had been held for 11 days while their captors tried to negotiate ransom demands.
The man guarding them was arrested and two long-range weapons and ammunition were seized.
They said the kidnappers had asked for between $1700 ($20,000 pesos) and $4700 ($50,000 pesos) in ransom.
Monterrey, Mexico's richest city, has seen increasing levels of violence in recent years, which the authorities blame on a bitter turf war between the Zetas and Gulf drug cartels.
Photos: Grupo Reforma