Mexican officials say a Bolivian man claiming to have received a divine
revelation was behind Wednesday's brief hijacking of an AeroMexico
commercial jet from the resort city of Cancun to Mexico City.
Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna says the 44-year-old man
told police he is a pastor and that he hijacked the plane because
Wednesday's date, 9-9-09, had meaning for him. Garcia Luna said the man
told authorities he wanted to warn Mexican President Felipe Calderon of
an impending earthquake.
As the incident ended, all 112 passengers and crew left the plane
unharmed and police stormed the jet, taking away as many as eight men
in handcuffs. Authorities later said there was only one hijacker.
Earlier reports said several hijackers had demanded to speak to
President Calderon and threatened to blow up the jet unless they were
allowed to talk to him. Police said they did not find explosives on
President Calderon was already at the airport, apparently on an
unrelated trip. There was no indication he spoke with the suspect, who
officials said was a drug addict and alcoholic who has lived in Mexico
for 17 years.
One passenger was quoted as saying she did not know the flight had been hijacked until the plane landed in the Mexican capital.
A U.S. official initially said American, French and Mexican citizens
were among those on board the flight. But the State Department later
said in a statement it was attempting to obtain a list of passengers
and that U.S. officials could not confirm whether Americans were aboard.
The State Department also said consular employees were en route to the airport in Mexico City to assist any U.S. passengers.