Alan Pulido, the Mexican footballer who plays for Greek team Olympiakos, has been kidnapped in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas. The state has been plagued by organized crime.
The 25-year-old Pulido was kidnapped after leaving a party near his hometown of Ciudad Victoria on Sunday. His brother confirmed the report.
Authorities have not yet given more details about the kidnapping or its motive.
An agreement between Tamaulipas state authorities and the Mexican military was made in 2011 and nearly 3,000 soldiers moved into the state to improve security but the accord expired last December. Without the soldiers' presence or street patrols in the state capital Ciudad Victoria and other towns, the violence has started to return with homicides and attacks on businesses.
Pulido himself was involved in a legal dispute with his first club, Tigres of Monterrey, which he left to play in Europe in 2014 when he was part of the Mexico World Cup team. A forward for Olympiakos, he scored five times in eight appearances this season but he was not chosen to play for Mexico in the Copa America which starts next week. National team coach Carlos Osorio recently said Pulido had the quality to be on the squad, but was left off due to the legal dispute.
The Mexican National Institute of Statistics estimates there are 100,000 kidnappings each year but that only 1 percent of them are reported to the authorities. This tallies with the official figures for kidnappings which are between 1,500 to 1,700 per year. The Institute's figures are based on thousands of household polls they carried out in 2014.
Conflicts between drug-smuggling gangs have left tens of thousands of people dead in the last decades. Many more have disappeared and been displaced.
The disappearance of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College who went missing in Iguala, Guerrero state in September 2014 has been a landmark case.
jm/rc (Reuters, AP)