Alan Pulido: Kidnapped Soccer Star Rescued

Alan Pulido: Mexico footballer rescued from armed gunmen in midnight operation

Alan Pulido has been rescued after being kidnapped, according to authorities in his homeland.

Alan Pulido, a striker for Olympiakos of Greece, was kidnapped on Sunday from his home in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, law enforcement officials said.

Family members told authorities that six armed men snatched Alan Pulido around dawn in his home town of Ciudad Victoria in the northwest of the country.

Military and police forces had been searching for the 25-year-old in Tamaulipas, which shares a border with the US.

It is one of Mexico’s most dangerous states, where drug trafficking and kidnappings are rampant.

Certain roads are so dangerous that the federal police sometimes escort travellers in protective convoys.

Tamaulipas is home to the Gulf and Zetas drug cartels, two criminal groups that were once allies but have fought brutal turf wars in recent years.

While they have both been weakened by the captures or killings of top leaders, their members still sow fear in the population.

Thousands missing

About 5,000 people are officially listed as “disappeared” in Tamaulipas, out of the total 26,000 people reported missing in Mexico last year.

But according to the non-governmental organisation Families and Friends of the Disappeared in Tamaulipas, 11,000 people are unaccounted for in the state.

Local media reported that Alan Pulido had accompanied his girlfriend to a party in Ciudad Victoria, when he was abducted.

The young woman was released almost immediately, but said she had no idea where Alan Pulido had been taken.

Before his rescue, officials with Olympiakos said on Sunday they were in constant contact with the family, as well as with Mexican Ambassador Tarcisio Navarrete Montes de Oca, who told them that Mexican authorities were doing “everything possible.”

Alan Pulido played in the Greek Cup final on May 17, when his team lost 2-1 to AEK Athens, before leaving for Ciudad Victoria.

He signed a four-year contract with Olympiakos last season. He has played in six matches this season, scoring four goals.