Gunmen kidnap at least 10 people from bar in Mexico resort city

La Leche restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, where gunmen kidnapped at least 10 people.
La Leche restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, where gunmen kidnapped at least 10 people.PHOTO: AFP

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO (AFP) - Gunmen stormed a bar and kidnapped at least 10 people on Monday (Aug 15) in the Mexican resort city of Puerto Vallarta, state prosecutors said, linking it to a war between rival gangs.

The heavily armed men arrived in pickup trucks around dawn and abducted their victims from the bar of a restaurant called La Leche in the city's upscale hotel district, the Jalisco state prosecutor's office said in a statement, citing witnesses.

Chief prosecutor Eduardo Almaguer said that between "10 and 12" people had been kidnapped.

"There's a very clear suspicion that (the victims) were members of a criminal group. They weren't tourists or citizens with legal activities," he told journalists.

"The kidnappers are believed to be members of a rival group."

Four luxury cars believed to belong to the victims were found abandoned outside the restaurant. At least one presumed victim's car was registered fraudulently, Mr Almaguer said.

Puerto Vallarta, which sits on Mexico's Pacific coast, is home to the Jalisco New Generation drug cartel, which emerged in 2010 after the death of the local boss of the Sinaloa cartel, Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel.

Jalisco New Generation has become one of violence-plagued Mexico's most powerful drug gangs in recent months by defying the authorities with a series of brazen attacks and ambushes.