updated 5/14/2007 7:32:51 PM ET 2007-05-14T23:32:51

About 50 friends, neighbors and relatives of a 20-year-old man kidnapped in southern Mexico lined up along a highway with tin cans this weekend, asking passing motorists for donations to help raise the ransom demanded by his captors.

Said Bolivar Calderon was kidnapped from his father’s farm in Atoyac, about 40 miles west of Acapulco in Guerrero state, by armed men on Tuesday. The kidnappers left a cousin tied to a tree, and told him they wanted a million pesos (U.S. $92,500) in ransom.

The victim’s family and friends — some of holding signs reading “Help Us Ransom Said” — said they had raised only a few hundred pesos with their roadside donation requests.

Kidnappings are frequent in Guerrero, a state marked by extremes of poverty and wealth. But in recent months, the problem has been overshadowed by a wave of bloody executions fueled by drug turf battles, which have left 226 people dead so far this year.

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