UPDATE; Eduardo Almaguer, the Attorney General for the state of Jalisco named Jesus Alfredo Guzman as one of the four victims of the kidnapping that authorities have been able to identify so far with help of footage from cameras around the La Leche restaurant, testimony from witnesses , and evidence found in the luxury cars left at the scene.
Almague did not give any info on the identity of the other 3 kidnapped men who have been identified.
It is believed that 7 gunman went into the restaurant and broke up a birthday celebration.
Authorities originally had believed that Alfredo's brother Ivan had been kidnapped since it is believed his birthday is on August 15, the day of the kidnapping. It seems likely to me that if Ivan's birthday is in fact on August 15 that he may be one of the 2 men still unidentified by authorities. I can't imagine that if Eduardo was having a birthday party for his brother, with 15 or 16 people (now believed to be six men and 9 women) that Ivan was not there.
We will keep you updated as more information comes available.
Police and federal forces in Mexico are searching for between 10 and 12 drug cartel members who were kidnapped by gunmen while celebrating at a swanky restaurant in the beachside resort town of Puerto Vallarta. Witnesses reported that four women in the targeted group were not taken by the gunmen. Authorities are looking for those women.
Jalisco state prosecutor Eduardo Almaguer said Monday that local, state and federal authorities, including marines and soldiers, joined in the operation while investigators reviewed surveillance camera footage for clues.
Meanwhile, the city's tourism promoters scrambled to reassure tourists that it was an isolated incident and that activities for visitors continued without interruption.
Both the kidnappers and those kidnapped were members of criminal organizations, Almaguer said at a news conference called to discuss the early Monday abduction in the resort's main hotel zone.
"They were not tourists or residents who work in legal activities," Almaguer said. "They were people tied to a criminal group we can very clearly presume."
He said authorities believe they know which gangs were involved, but declined to name them.
The news site My San Antonio is reporting this morning that the son of drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is presumed to be among those kidnapped from a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta Monday, according to Mexican officials. Ivan is known for being "flashy" and enjoy partying.
|photo from Face Book|
|photo from Face Book|
Jalisco Attorney General Eduardo Almaguer told Radio Formula that "it is presumed," though not yet certain, that Ivan Archivaldo Guzman was among those kidnapped around 1 a.m. at La Leche restaurant on the city's main boulevard by five gunmen.
The Jalisco New Generation cartel has become the dominant criminal force in the state. It has battled the powerful Sinaloa cartel for supremacy in other parts of the country, such as Baja California Sur.
A Toyota Tacoma truck and a Chevrolet Suburban. carrying five gunmen arrived around 1 a.m. at La Leche restaurant on Puerto Vallarta's main boulevard, which runs through the hotel zone lying between the old beach city and the airport.
|Interior of La Leche|
He said some of those abducted had been vacationing in Puerto Vallarta for a week and the group that was targeted appeared to be celebrating according to other people in the restaurant. Authorities found lots of drinks and luxury items inside the restaurant. Five vehicles including a Jeep, Land Rover and a Cadillac Escalade were abandoned at the restaurant, among them one with Jalisco license plates, but a false registration.
"Obviously, those who acted (the kidnappers) — we presume with the information we have — also belonged to a criminal group that acted against members of another criminal group they located here in Puerto Vallarta," Almaguer said.
Alejandro Hope, a Mexico City-based security analyst, said that without knowing who was taken, it was impossible to say what the fallout might be.
He recalled some violence last year in Puerto Vallarta but said the city had been quiet recently. He added that while Jalisco New Generation controls the area, it would be possible for another group to enter the city.
Hope also called it odd that a group of alleged cartel members would be taken without a shot being fired.
"It's a bit surprising that in effect they were drug traffickers but didn't have any security," Hope said.
Jalisco Governor Aristoteles Sandoval issued the following statement via Twitter:
The acts that happened in the early morning in Puerto Vallarta cannot be permitted nor tolerated. I have instructed the State Attorney General to use all resources available to find out what happened in this serious incident. There is full cooperation between the Mexican Government and the municipality to find the victims and capture those responsible. To the residents and tourists in Puerto Vallarta, I’m informing you that we have reinforced security so your activities can return to normal.