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abductions
November 5, 2018

On Sunday night, armed separatists stormed a Presbyterian school in the North West Region of Cameroon and abducted at least 79 students and three staff members, including the principal.

North West Region Gov. Deben Tchoffo said on Monday the students are between the ages of 11 and 17, and were taken from the village of Nkwen, near the regional capital Bamenda. "We have asked our military to do everything and bring back the kids alive," Tchoffo said.

The school is in an English-speaking region. Over the last year, hundreds of people have been killed as separatists clash with Cameroon's French-speaking majority. The Associated Press reports that a video has surfaced that reportedly shows the students, posted by a group of men calling themselves "Amba Boys." This is in reference to Ambazonia, the name of the state the separatists want to set up in the North West and South West regions of Cameroon. On the video, one man is heard saying, "We shall only release you after the struggle. You will be going to school now here." Catherine Garcia

August 15, 2018

Security forces in Mexico are searching for Norma Azucena Rodriguez Zamora, a newly elected congresswoman who was abducted at gunpoint on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old served as mayor of Tihuatlan in the state of Veracruz. On July 1, she was elected to represent eastern Veracruz in the lower house of Congress, and was set to take office on Sept. 1. She was driving on a highway in Hidalgo state when two men shot at her car, injuring her driver and assistant and causing the vehicle to flip over, BBC News reports. The gunmen forced her out of the car and shoved her into their vehicle.

Last month, the mayor of Naupan, Genaro Negrete Urbano, was abducted and killed in the same area. Rodriguez's party, the center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution, has demanded her safe release. It was a particularly violent campaign season in Mexico, with at least 48 candidates murdered before July 1. Catherine Garcia

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