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Gunmen In Mexico Kidnap 3 Film Students

Mar 29, 2018
Originally published on April 2, 2018 5:04 am
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NOEL KING, HOST:

Earlier this month, three young film students were kidnapped by armed gunmen in Mexico. They have not been found. They were abducted by men dressed as state police, and that has sent fear and anger through the western state of Jalisco. NPR's Carrie Kahn has the story.

CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: The three students came from different parts of the country to attend film school in Guadalajara. Friends say the three were taking advantage of a long holiday weekend earlier this month to do some filming when they were surrounded by gunmen and forced into two cars. That was the last time 25-year-old Salomon Gastelum and 20-year-olds Marco Avalos and Daniel Diaz were seen alive. Their fellow students have been demanding action ever since.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting in Spanish).

KAHN: In a video uploaded to YouTube, protesters marched down the streets of Guadalajara last weekend, shouting, we are students, not criminals, and calling out Salomon, Marco and Daniel's names. Several Mexicans working in the film industry, including Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro, have brought attention to the case. The student's abduction is the latest in several high-profile crimes to rock the state, which has become home to Mexico's fastest growing and vicious crime syndicate, the Jalisco New Generation Cartel. The drug organization is thought to be responsible for a sharp increase in homicides, nearly 25 percent more this year.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ARISTOTELES SANDOVAL: (Speaking Spanish).

KAHN: Jalisco's governor, Aristoteles Sandoval, says security forces will not rest until the students are found. He's offered a million peso reward - about $55,000 - for information leading to the student's whereabouts. Carrie Kahn, NPR News, Mexico City.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAWRENCE BLATT'S "WHERE HAVE YOU GONE?") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.