All nine of the political pollsters reported missing this week in a gang-dominated zone of the west Mexico department of Michoacan have been released.
The first disappearances were reported when a group of three surveyors from the company Consulta Mitofsky travelling from Mexico City failed to arrive at their destination in Apatzingan city. Believing that their employees had got lost en route, the company sent another group of three surveyors to check the whereabouts of their colleagues. This group was also reported as missing after failing to check in with their superiors.
The number of missing people rose to nine after a further three pollsters, from the company Parametria, were reported to have disappeared.
The Mitofsky employees were freed Wednesday morning. Michoacan Attorney General Jesus Montejano said the events was "unusual," that no ransom had been paid, and that he hoped this type of case "would not spread to other parts of the state." The Parametria staff were released some hours later.
He commented that the Tierra Caliente area where they disappeared was a zone of influence for drug gang the Familia Michoacana and splinter group Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar).