At least seven people have been kidnapped in Valle de Bravo, a popular tourist town in central Mexico, with three of the victims already released, state officials said Tuesday.
Three kidnappings have been reported in recent days, Mexico state Government Secretary Jose Manzur said.
The victim was rescued and three suspects were arrested in the first case, Manzur said.
Of the other “six victims, two have been freed,” while the other four “are in the hands of the kidnappers,” Manzur told Radio Fórmula.
“Certainly, we will have good news in the next few hours,” Manzur said.
The kidnappings are being carried out by two gangs operating in Valle de Bravo, a mountain town of about 60,000 located some 150 kilometers (93 miles) southwest of Mexico City, Manzur said.
The members of one gang are in jail and once the other gang’s members are “behind bars, the matter of Valle de Bravo will be resolved,” Manzur said.
The government of Mexico state, which surrounds the Federal District and forms part of the Mexico City metropolitan area, has responded to the wave of kidnappings by launching a special operation and deploying more police officers in the town.
“It is essential that there be peace in Valle de Bravo” so tourists will visit the area “in total tranquility,” Manzur said.
Fifteen kidnappings have been carried out in Valle de Bravo in the past month, with victims blaming drug traffickers from other states for the abductions, the non-governmental organization Alto al Secuestro said.
Mexico state registered the most kidnappings in Mexico in July, with 40 cases, followed by Tamaulipas, with 32, Guerrero, with 20, the Federal District, with 17, and Morelos, with 15.
A total of 4,809 kidnappings occurred in Mexico between Dec. 1, 2012, when President Enrique Peña Nieto’s term began, and July 31, or about one every three hours, Alto al Secuestro, an organization founded by anti-kidnapping activist Isabel Miranda de Wallace, said.
Official figures show that 2,634 kidnappings occurred between Dec. 1, 2012, and June 30, 2014, well below the number arrived at by Alto al Secuestro.