Last Saturday, July 18, a group of 13 to 14 young entrepreneurs who left Guanajuato aboard quad bikes and off-road pickups to complete the tourist route known as «Vallartazo» was attacked by a convoy in the tourist port of Vallarta, in the state of Jalisco.
The note of the event was published Saturday by Reforma. According to information from this newspaper, one of the tourists was killed by the gunfire of the armed convoy and others remain missing within a week of the events.
The Jalisco Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the death of one of the tourists, although he said he has no complaint of kidnapping or disappearance.
Read: Attack on tourists in Puerto Vallarta leaves a dead; «there are no allegations of disappearance,» says Prosecutor’s Office
This is what, so far, is known about the case.
Step by step
According to the prosecutor’s office, the group was composed of between 13 and 14 people, some of whom, some already knew each other long ago, and others only knew each other by name or nickname.
The starting point of the tourist route known as «Vallartazo» was the León-Lagos de Moreno highway. The youngsters, including small entrepreneurs, left this place aboard RZR-type quad bikes, pick-ups with trailers, and off-road pickups.
The first destination they arrived at was Ameca, a town in Jalisco. From there they continued until they reached Mixtlán, then to the magical village of Mascota, and then to San Sebastián del Oeste. In all these places they made stops along the way to check the vehicles, rest, and take food.
Finally, around 4pm on Saturday, July 18, they arrived in Puerto Vallarta, although they didn’t all do it together.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the group split in two. One arrived at Boca de Tomates beach, where they made another stop for food. And the other group, made up of off-road vehicles, went for a walk on the boardwalk in Puerto Vallarta.
Once there, they contacted the group that was on Boca Tomates beach. They met again and went to find the lodging they already had hired for their stay in Vallarta.
And then, as they transited along Avenida Fluvial, near the junction with Avenida Grandes Lagos, in the Fluvial Vallarta division that is a few meters from the sea, it was when another convoy of vehicles closed the passage «unforeseenly» and «begins the chaos».
» (Young people) try to flee. Then a gunfight occurs and a person is injured on site. Others manage to flee on foot, and others in the vehicle, and then municipal police authorities and public prosecutors arrive,» jalisciense prosecutor Gerardo Octavio Solís said at the conference.
Shortly thereafter, the injured vacationer died in a hospital as a result of the gunshot wounds, the prosecution confirmed. Apparently, the victim is an entrepreneur engaged in the transport of building materials.
But what happened to the rest of the vacationers who were part of the group?
This is where the confusion begins.
The Reformation newspaper published yesterday that, within a week of the events, several of the victims are still abducted.
But, also yesterday, the Prosecutor’s Office said that they have no allegations of disappearance of persons, or kidnapping, for this particular event. And that the prosecutor’s office of the neighboring state, Guanajuato, does not have any report on this effect either.
«Since that day, we are working on the search for missing persons and to clarify the murder. But it’s important to mention that we don’t have any missing persons reports,» the bank’s prosecutor stressed, who also said there are no reports of the perpetrators asking for a ransom from the victims’ relatives.
For its part, the AM newspaper published yesterday that several of the abducted vacationers have already been released, but did not file a complaint.
As for who was part of the armed convoy that attacked tourists, the Reformation newspaper published that the Jalisco Nueva Generation Cartel would be involved in the attack.
The prosecutor’s office, for its part, only referred that it suspects that it is «a highly dangerous criminal cell», but did not offer further details.
Both Guanajuato and Jalisco are in the area of influence of the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel. Currently, both entities are among the most violent in Mexico.
Guanajuato ranks number four of more murders per 100,000 inhabitants, behind only Colima, Baja California, and Chihuahua.
While in Jalisco they add 888 murders in just six months – 148 each month. In addition, Animal Political published on June 24, which in just a year and a half of the new administration already added 428 bodies of people killed were found in clandestine graves.
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