Mexico: Trainee teachers 'kidnapped police chief and threatened to burn him alive' after setting vehicles on fire

The state of Michoacan has witnessed repeated protests of late (Getty)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A police chief in the Mexican state of Michoacan has reportedly been freed after being taken hostage by a group of trainee teachers.

Alfredo Lucio Rios Chavez, chief of the district of Chicota, was kidnapped by the student teachers on Tuesday after approaching them as they set fire to a number of vehicles in the street.

The students kidnapped Chavez and attempted to use him as a bargaining chip to free 49 of their classmates, who had been detained earlier the same day for seizing a total of six buses and a truck in the region of Purepecha.

The attacks on vehicles are part of ongoing protests over the lack of automatic job placements for teachers in the local area.

Chavez was taken first to the town of Carapan, then to another municipality called Tacuro and finally to Turicauro. While in Carapan the students made their captive release a vídeo, in which he claimed they were going to kill him if their demands were not met.

An audio recording was obtained by the local news agency Quadratin, in which Chavez was heard to say:  “I ask that you please release the boys . . . they say they are going to burn me alive. Here in Carapan they already have me on my knees in the square and they have the gasoline ready. Help, please, they’re beating me.”

The authenticity of the recording was subsequently confirmed by the secretary of públic security.

However Chavez was released a few hours ago, according to Quadratin. The agency claims he was freed at approximately 3am local time (9am BST). The governor of Michoacan, Adrian Lopez Solis, says he sustained no major injuries and was in a good state of health under the circumstances.

It is not not known why Chavez was fried, but Solis said the 49 prisoners had not been released.