Gunmen from one of Mexico’s most violent drug cartels released a local mayor they kidnapped last week. Mexican authorities did not rescue the politician, but the cartel gunmen released her, and she has since returned to her town with a large security detail.
On Tuesday, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador confirmed the release of Yolanda Sanchez Figueroa, the mayor of Cotija, Michoacan. The release occurred during Tuesday’s early morning hours when the woman called authorities in Michoacan, claiming she had been released and was riding a passenger bus back toward her town.
⏯️ #Video | @lopezobrador_ confirma en su mañanera la liberación de Yolanda Sánchez Figueroa, presidenta municipal de Cotija, quien fue secuestrada en Jalisco el sábado pasado. pic.twitter.com/Fo2DVrmKob
— Reporte Índigo (@Reporte_Indigo) September 26, 2023
The local police forces coordinated with the Mexican military to intercept the bus and move Sanchez Figueroa to a police station. After several hours of being interviewed about the case, the mayor went home.
Michoacan’s Governor Alfredo Ramirez Bedolla posted a statement following Sanchez Figueroa’s release. The state of Michoacan has become one of the most violent in Mexico as rival cartels fight for control of lucrative drug production and trafficking routes.
Nos da mucho gusto informar que la presidenta municipal de Cotija, Yolanda Sánchez, se encuentra con vida y ya está en compañía de las autoridades en Michoacán.#HonestidadyTrabajo
— Alfredo Ramírez Bedolla (@ARBedolla) September 26, 2023
Sanchez Figueroa traveled to the state of Jalisco for medical reasons when a group of gunmen kidnapped her last week. Since then, authorities in Jalisco carried out several unsuccessful operations in an attempt to locate her. The kidnapping is attributed to Mexico’s Cartel Jalisco New Generation — a drug cartel that has been accused of terrorism in recent months by the Jalisco government.
The kidnapping occurred over the weekend in the city of Zapopan, Jalisco, where a group of gunmen riding in motorcycles and various SUVs intercepted Yolanda Sanchez Figueroa in broad daylight. Sanchez Figueroa is a politician from the National Action Party (PAN) and is currently serving as the mayor of Cotija, Michoacan.
Before her release, Marko Cortez, one of the leaders of Mexico PAN Party, sent out statements and posted social media messages asking for Mexico’s federal government to jump into action, claiming that the failed strategy of “hugs, not bullets” was responsible for the ongoing violence nationwide. The term “hugs” refers to comments made by Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who claimed that his answer to crime and violence was to give criminals hugs instead of bullets, a reference to trying to end crime through social programs instead of law enforcement actions.
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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