Mexico arrests 18 in kidnapping, killing of federal agents

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexican authorities arrested 18 people Thursday in the abduction of two prosecution agents forced to appear on a video by a drug gang before they were slain, the Attorney General's Office said.

Those arrested included members of the local police force in Puerto Vallarta who allegedly provided protection and intelligence for the unidentified drug cartel as well as Colombian citizens.

Acting Attorney General Alberto Elias Beltran said at a news conference late Thursday that the arrests were made earlier in the day during a series of raids in western Nayarit and Jalisco states. Nayarit is dominated by the Jalisco New Generation cartel.

The agents' remains were found in Xalisco, a town in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit, two weeks after their disappearance. They had worked for the Criminal Investigation Agency, a kind of federal detectives' bureau.

In the video, they were accused of being undercover agents, but the government said they were off duty when they were abducted.

Elias Beltran said those who ordered, carried out, cooperated and protected those involved in the killings "now will have the punishment they deserve."

Among those arrested was a man who allegedly oversaw the publication of the video.

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