CULIACAN, Mexico – Police hunted Tuesday for 27 farmworkers who were kidnapped in northwestern Mexico by dozens of heavily armed men wearing military-style uniforms.
Assailants roused the farmworkers from bed before dawn Monday at a vegetable farm just outside the Sinaloa state capital of Culiacan, then drove off with the group in a caravan of sport utility vehicles, according to a statement from state Attorney General Alfredo Higuera.
The victims, all men between 16 and 61 years old, made less than $10 per day.
Higuera said the motive in the mass kidnapping was still being investigated. But local media reported a drug gang may have kidnapped the men to make them work growing marijuana.
Also Tuesday, the body of a 28-year-old man was dumped in an empty lot in the beach resort of Rosarito, outside Tijuana. The victim was still carrying a loaded gun.
More than 4,000 people have been killed this year across Mexico as drug gangs battle for drug routes and lash back at President Felipe Calderon's national crackdown on organized crime.