Gunmen Kidnap Mayor Across The Border

( )- Last Friday cartel gunmen kidnapped a Mexican border state mayor and his staff as they were traveling through the border state of Tamaulipas. And on Saturday, after pressure from the government and a large-scale manhunt, the gunmen released them.

The incident took place Friday night as Mario Cedillo, a mayor from the bordering state of Coahuila, along with his wife, his son, and some staff members were traveling through Nuevo Laredo, a border city in the state of Tamaulipas.

According to the Coahuila state government, the gunmen, riding in two SUVs, began chasing Cedillo and his party. A short time later, government officials lost communication with Cedillo.

The city where the kidnapping occurred is considered one of the most dangerous border cities in Mexico, being largely under the control of the Cartel Del Noreste faction of the Los Zetas cartel, one of the most violent criminal organizations in the country.

Cartel gunmen in Nuevo Laredo operate with near impunity, free to set up roadblocks and patrol the city in convoys of armored vehicles loaded with gunmen armed with high-powered weapons.

On Saturday, Coahuila Governor Miguel Angel Riquelme released a statement confirming the kidnapping. On social media, he posted that his office was working with the military and the governments of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon to find the mayor and his party.

Governor Riquelme has been an outspoken opponent of Cartel Del Noreste-Los Zetas ever since the cartel carried out a series of attacks on rural communities in Coahuila. Recently, state police forces in Coahuila arrested a regional commander after he was in a shootout with the police forces of a neighboring state.

By Saturday afternoon, Riquelme, along with Tamaulipas Governor Americo Villarreal both posted to Twitter to confirm Cedillo and his party had been released. However, neither revealed how or why the gunmen released them.