Mexican police mount big hunt for kidnapped footballer
CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) :
Federal and state forces mounted an operation yesterday to find kidnapped Mexican football star Alan Pulido, who was abducted in the crime-plagued northern border state of Tamaulipas.
The 25-year-old Pulido is a forward for Olympiacos of Greece and was part of Mexico's 2014 World Cup team, though he wasn't called up for the Copa America tournament that starts this coming week.
"We have information that he was intercepted by armed persons and since then his whereabouts is unknown," said state Attorney General Ismael Quintanilla.
The Tamaulipas Coordination Group that includes federal and state security agents said on its Twitter account that it was searching for the player. Reporters in the city saw an unusual deployment of troops and police in the streets, while at least two police or military-style helicopters flew overhead.
A state official earlier said Pulido was kidnapped early Sunday after leaving a party near his hometown of Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas, a state that has suffered battles between major drug gangs. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to discuss a case under investigation.
Authorities gave no further details about the kidnapping or its motive.
Former teammates on Mexico's national team went on social networks to offer their support for his welfare.
"A shame what happened," goalkeeper Jesus Corona said on Twitter. "My prayers are with him and his family at this difficult time."
Similar comments came in tweets by goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, defenders Diego Reyes and Miguel Layun and strikers Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Oribe Peralta, all of whom are in the United States for the Copa America competition.