Tourist town in central Mexico plagued by kidnappings, officials say

August 20, 2014

08/19/14 Fox News Latino

valle del bravoAt least seven people have been kidnapped in Valle de Bravo, a popular tourist town in central Mexico, with three of the victims already released, state officials said Tuesday.

Three kidnappings have been reported in recent days, Mexico state Government Secretary Jose Manzur said.

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Kidnappings in Mexico surge to the highest number on record

August 18, 2014

08/15/14 The Washington Post

censorshipThe first time, after the men with police badges had lashed Adriana Carrillo’s wrists and ankles with tape, and she had spent 37 hours in the back of a Nissan, her father tossed the $12,000 ransom in a black satchel over a graffiti-strewn brick wall and brought her nightmare to its conclusion. She took three days off and then went back to work.

“I don’t want to live as a victim,” she said.

Carrillo returned to the cash register of the family store, where she had worked since she was 8 with her parents and six sisters, amid the floor-to-ceiling jumble of marshmallows and mixed nuts and pinwheel pasta and Styrofoam cups. Their business — cash-based, working-class, on the outskirts of Mexico City — happened to put them squarely into the demographic most vulnerable to Mexico’s kidnapping epidemic. And on May 28, 2013, less than two years later, a white sedan pulled up alongside Carrillo’s car as she drove home late from the market. When she saw the guns, she covered her face with her hands.

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Mexico at Peace: An Incomplete Approach

June 4, 2014

Washington Office on Latin America, 06/02/14

machine gun“Mexico has suffered from high levels of violence in recent years… Since taking office, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto committed to adopting a new strategy called ‘Mexico at Peace.’

In Mexico at Peace: An Incomplete Approach, researchers Alejandro Hope and Angela Guerrero analyze the results from the new program.”

 


Mexico doubles prison sentences for kidnapping

June 4, 2014

BBC, 06/04/14

hands in handcuffsMexico has published new sentencing guidelines that will double prison sentences for kidnapping. The minimum prison term has risen from 20 to 40 years.

It will apply for all abductions, including those that last only a few hours or days, so-called “express kidnappings”. The maximum prison sentence will rise from 50 to 140 years for those who kill their victims.

Kidnappings committed by a public security official, such as a member of the police or military, will be punished with up to 100 years in prison. Kidnappers will also have to pay heavy fines.

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Hunger for drugs brings torture and death to Mexico City

November 12, 2013

mexican drugsAl Jazeera, 11/12/2013

A silver sedan sits in front of Bar Heaven in the Zona Rosa here, the nightclub district that serves the rich locals and foreign tourists. Inside is an investigator from the attorney general’s office, asleep with a clipboard on his chest. It’s not clear why he’s there, since the club has long been shuttered with police tape, the walls covered with memorial photos of the 13 young people who were abducted there five months ago, their decapitated remains found later in a grave some 30 miles away.

“Confidential,” the investigator growled when asked why his presence was required at the spot, which now serves as a landmark for the sadism and kidnappings that have long been associated with other areas. Drug-related violence that has claimed perhaps 70,000 lives nationwide over seven years has now arrived 15 minutes from the seat of the federal government.

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13 federal police among 18 arrested in Mexico kidnapping probe

October 9, 2013

Los Angeles Times, 10/8/2013

Mexican Police catch drug dealer photo by Jesús Villaseca P Latitudes PressThirteen Mexican federal police officers are among 18 people arrested last week on suspicion of being part of a deadly kidnapping ring operating in the troubled Pacific resort city of Acapulco, government officials said Tuesday. The arrests on Wednesday and Friday probably will do little to improve the reputation of the federal police, an agency that former President Felipe Calderon, who left office in December, had hoped in vain to transform into Mexico’s most trustworthy crime-fighting force.

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Mexico Rescues 73 Suspected Kidnap Victims Near U.S. Border

October 1, 2013

marijuana bustThe New York Times,9/30/2013

Seventy-three suspected kidnap victims were rescued in northern Mexico near the border city of Reynosa after police followed their alleged captors to a house and heard frantic calls for help, authorities said on Monday.

Of the victims, 37 were Mexicans, 19 were from Honduras, 14 from Guatemala and another three from El Salvador, federal police said in a statement. Among the victims were women and minors, some of whom reported having been sexually abused.

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Police find body of suspect in Mexico kidnappings

July 3, 2013

crime sceneUSA Today, 7/2/2013

Police found the burned body of one of the main suspects in the abduction a month ago of 12 young people from an after-hours bar in Mexico City, prosecutors said Tuesday. The body of Dax Rodriguez Ledezma was found along with his girlfriend and another person in the town of Huitzilac in Morelos state. All had been burned, Mexico City prosecutors said in a statement.

Officials said he was identified through DNA compared to his brother, Mario Rodriguez Ledezma, who was arrested and charged in the kidnappings. Authorities didn’t say when the bodies were found or give any other details, but 10 days ago local media in neighboring Morelos state reported police had found the burned bodies of two women and a man in an empty lot in Huitzilac.

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Mexico Pursuing Vanished Victims of Its Drug Wars

June 24, 2013

Monterrey-Nathaniel C. SheetzThe New York Times, 6/22/2013

Rosa González cannot shake the memory of the state investigator who was too afraid of reprisals to take a full report, the police officer who shrugged when the ransom demand came, the months of agonizing doubt and, most of all, the final words from her daughter before she disappeared. “I am giving you a hug because I love you so much,” her mentally disabled daughter, Brizeida, 23, told Rosa hours before she was abducted with her 21-year-old cousin after a party more than two years ago.

In thousands upon thousands of cases, the story may well have ended there, adding to the vast number of Mexicans who have disappeared. Unlike those in other Latin American countries who were victims of repressive governments, many of Mexico’s disappeared are casualties of the organized-crime and drug violence that has convulsed this nation for years. But here in Nuevo León State, prosecutors, detectives, human rights workers and families are poring over cases together and in several instances cracking them, overcoming the thick walls of mistrust between civilians and the authorities to do the basic police work that is so often missing in this country, leaving countless crimes unsolved and unpunished.

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Mexico City mayor under fire over disappearances of 12

June 20, 2013

Mexico City - nunavut (Flickr)Los Angeles Times, 6/19/2013

Miguel Angel Mancera, the former top prosecutor in Mexico’s capital, rode his crime-fighting reputation to the mayor’s office, promising voters a superior level of safety as the cornerstone of a revitalized metropolis. But six months into his term, Mancera, is fighting accusations that he has mishandled the highest-profile case of his mayoral career: the disappearances last month of 12 people from a bar in the heart of Mexico City.

The case remains unsolved, and the criticism of Mancera, a potential presidential candidate for the left-wing Democratic Revolution Party, or PRD, has been withering. Mancera suffers from “political autism,” wrote a columnist on the website Sin Embargo. The mayor has not proved to be “a distinct or distinguished head of government,” declared a writer for Proceso newsmagazine.

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