Two members of a special investigative police force who disappeared in Mexico a week ago have been shown in a video posted on YouTube.
The two agents from the Criminal Investigation Agency appear sitting in front of five masked men who force them at gunpoint to read a statement.
The armed men are believed to be members of the Jalisco New Generation cartel.
The cartel has been expanded rapidly and aggressively across Mexico.
Mexico’s Attorney General Raul Cervantes recently declared it the nation’s largest criminal organisation and it has been blamed for a series of attacks on Mexican security forces and public officials.
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The two agents went missing on 5 February while they were on leave attending a family event in the western state of Nayarit.
There had been no trace of them until they were shown in the video uploaded onto YouTube on Sunday.
The statement they were forced to read out say that they are “in this situation because we don’t respect innocent families”.
The statement also alleges that since Pablo Navarrete become Mexican interior minister last month, the security forces were given the “green light” to torture, rape and kidnap women and children.
The statement is typical of a number of Mexican cartels which try to justify violent acts by alleging that they are protecting ordinary citizens from the actions of the security forces, which have been accused by human rights groups of carrying out extrajudicial killings, torture and forced disappearances.
The police said it would use all its resources to locate the two kidnapped agents.