Earlier in the day, the demonstrators had urged the authorities to take immediate action to facilitate the reunion with their relatives. [Representational image] Emma Espejo/Gettyimages

After an armed group kidnapped 16 Chiapas state security ministry workers this week, their relatives and friends decided to end their blockade of a highway in the municipality of Chiapa de Corzo on Thursday.

Despite their prolonged sit-in, they were unable to obtain any new information about the rescue or whereabouts of their missing loved ones.

The decision to withdraw the blockade came after numerous stranded drivers, who had been delayed for nearly 20 hours, requested the removal of the roadblock.

Before their departure, the drivers expressed solidarity with the protesters, joining their calls for justice.

Earlier in the day, the demonstrators had urged the authorities to take immediate action to facilitate the reunion with their relatives.

On Tuesday, the armed group abducted the 16 Ministry of Security and Civil Protection workers while they were traveling on a bus in Ocozocoautla, en route to the state capital, Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

"We want the 16 kidnapped family members back," two days later, the relatives intensified pressure by staging the blockade from 7 am (13:00 GMT) and putting up signs with messages.

In scorching 35-degree heat, the protesters stood in a line, passionately demanding justice and appealing to fellow citizens for assistance through social media platforms, with the hope of expediting negotiations.

Meanwhile, several kilometers away from the blockade, another group gathered outside the state government secretariat's offices, anxiously awaiting any updates.

However, as of now, there has been no news, according to an anonymous individual in the waiting group.

"They are not helping us; they are not giving us a solution. Our relatives are still (out) there and we don't know anything. They (the officials in charge) are apathetic, they do not come out, they do not show their faces," she told EFE.

On Wednesday, the situation escalated when the kidnappers released videos on social media, demanding the dismissal of Yahir Hernandez, the chief of the border police, Marco Antonio Burguete, the chief of the state police, and Francisco Orantes, the undersecretary of public safety.

These demands were directed at Chiapas Governor Rutilio Escandón.

Despite ongoing efforts, the Chiapas government has not yet succeeded in establishing negotiations with the kidnappers for the safe release of the abducted workers.

On Thursday, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador made a strong statement, urging the unconditional release of the 16 kidnapped security officials, La Prensa Latina reported.

He assured that federal authorities will thoroughly investigate the allegations made against the officials in Chiapas, which has been plagued by conflicts involving criminal groups operating along the border with Guatemala.

"We are going to investigate it, as we investigate all the cases in which there are indications of corruption or illicit acts. First, we want them to liberate (the hostages) because that is not the way, that we will not accept," the president said.

The videos released by the kidnappers suggest that the mass abduction is connected to a conflict between two organized crime groups: the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and the Sinaloa Cartel.

"It is a group that is in confrontation with another group, but that is another matter, it has nothing to do with innocent people," the president said.

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