Villagers in the Mexican state of Guerrero have freed the mother of a gang leader they were holding captive in exchange for the release of a local man the gang had kidnapped.
The villagers formed a vigilante group on Sunday after local engineer Isauro de Paz Duque was taken by the gang.
Mr de Paz’s wife appeared in a video proposing to swap the gang leader’s mother for her husband.
“In return for my husband’s life, I will deliver your mother,” she said.
‘Hand him over’
When the first video failed to have the desired results, the villagers aired a second video on Wednesday showing El Tequilero’s mother pleading with her son.
“Son, if you have the engineer, hand him over, please. If you have him, I know that you are going to hand him over. Do it, please,” she said.
Following that message, Mr de Paz was released by the gang and the villagers subsequently handed El Tequilero’s mother over to the police.
No more detail has been released as to how the swap happened but Guerrero state Governor Hector Astudillo confirmed on Twitter that both Mr de Paz and El Tequilero’s mother were safe.
In a video on local TV, villagers can be seen surrounding Mr Paz and walking him to his home, shouting: “The people united will never be defeated!”.
Governor Astudillo had deployed more than 200 members of the security forces to the village of San Miguel Totolapan to defuse the stand-off.
In an interview with Mexican TV he urged the villagers to free the remaining 20 or so people they are still holding and whom they accuse of having links with El Tequilero.
The villagers have complained about a lack of security in the region.
They said they had armed themselves because they were sick of seeing their relatives kidnapped and killed.
Guerrero state is a hotbed of gangs and violent crime, where local gangs fight for control of the opium trade, and disappearances and kidnapping for ransom are common.