Officials singled out six members of Mexico’s Navy as having been part of a group that carried ransom kidnappings targeting wealthy businessmen. The kidnappers operated in military uniform and in their military issued vehicle when they followed and took a businessman who was driving around Mexico City.
While the businessman was kidnapped in July and the infantrymen were arrested in the weeks after, the information about their involvement and their operation was recently reported by Mexico’s Televisa.
Authorities reviewed video from security cameras throughout Mexico City that showed the moment when the military officials were following the businessman. Investigators later discovered that Navy personnel followed the victim was followed to a location in the city where they stopped him and took him by force into the military vehicle.
The sailors then took the victim to a safe house where the kidnappers and their alleged accomplices contacted the victim’s family and demanded $20 million pesos or approximately $1.2 million in USD. The family could only pay $2 million pesos or approximately $120,000 in USD. The businessman told the kidnappers that he had the rest in a bank account that he had access to. The kidnappers released the businessman but took his nephew hostage in order to ensure that the payment would be made.
The victim met with federal investigators and identified the military personnel. Authorities were able to carry out two operations where they rescued the victim’s nephew and arrested the six navy infantrymen and three others.
The news about Mexican authorities being tied to kidnappings comes at a time when Mexico is experiencing a spike in violence due to ongoing cartel conflicts. At the same time, citizens continue to lose faith in authorities. In Mexico, it is known that many kidnapping cases are not reported due to a lack of trust in authorities as well as the fact that many wealthy businessmen have access to their own security experts instead of relying on government sources.
The deployment of military assets to fight organized crime has faced its criticism in Mexico, primarily from local human rights groups. As Breitbart Texas has reported, some complaints have arisen due to documented cases of abuse by soldiers against the civilian population and even collusion with the same criminals.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)