Veracruz leads kidnappings and femicides in Mexico

At the end of the first semester of 2019, Veracruz ranks first nationally in reports of kidnapping and feminicide. According to figures from the National Public Security System (SNSP), on average, one person is kidnapped every 24 hours in the government of Cuitláhuac García Jiménez.

In terms of femicide complaints, the entity totals 98 cases between January 1, 2019 and June 31, 2019.
In terms of femicide complaints, the entity totals 98 cases between January 1, 2019 and June 31, 2019.

With regard to complaints of femicide, the entity added 98 cases between January 1, 2019, and June 31, 2019. In other words, on average, a woman from Veracruz is murdered because of her gender every three days during the Morenista administration.

The biggest problem for García Jiménez in the area of security is kidnapping. According to official figures, Veracruz has 181 reports of this crime, almost double the number reported by Puebla, a second-place entity with 46 kidnappings; they follow: Mexico City (40 cases) Morelos (31 cases) and Guerrero (30 cases).

A former mayor of Yecuatla kidnapped and murdered; family paid 300,000 pesos

The faces of the victims of kidnapping throughout the Moreno administration have been of teachers, businessmen, students, children, and ex-mayors. On the morning of July 21, the body of the former mayor of Yecuatla, Rogelio Ayala Palomino, alias "El Chamaco de Oro," was found in a 24-hour detention facility.

Ministerial sources revealed to this media that relatives of the former PRI mayor gave the amount of 300,000 pesos for the liberation, but there was no success. The victim was kidnapped on the Colipa-Yecuatla highway on the way to his ranch to work. His mistreated body was found on the side of the dirt road at Las Águilas, in Yecuatla, in the north of the state.

Rogelio Ayala's crime is consolidated as number 17 in the left-wing government, where the victim is murdered, even though there is a payment for his release. A recent case was that of 13-year-old student Carlos Arturo N.V., who was kidnapped in Xalapa on June 24, and four days later found dead in a clandestine grave in the Lomas de Chapultepec neighborhood of Xalapa. His family paid 5,000 pesos for his ransom. The perpetrators, desperate, deprived the high school student of his existence by suffocating him with a plastic bag.

Former Deputies of Veracruz, Accused, and Fugitives for Kidnapping

Although the majority of kidnappings in the entity are attributed to organized crime groups and small gangs, in Veracruz two former deputies have criminal proceedings open for this crime. They are Manuel Francisco Martínez and Édgar Spinoso Carrera, both standard-bearers for the Green Ecologist Party of Mexico (PVEM).

Manuel Francisco Martínez was arrested on January 2019 and later linked to a trial for the aggravated kidnapping of the now Secretary of Labor of Veracruz, María Guadalupe Argüelles Lozano. However, the former legislator convinced a judge to avoid unofficial pretrial detention and live his trial from the comfort of his home, in one of the residential areas of Xalapa.

According to Article 19 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, the crime of kidnapping is meritorious of unofficial pretrial detention, that is, there is no opportunity for the accused, in this case, the former legislator of PVEM, to face his criminal trial from another place other than the prison. However, Francisco Martínez alleged to have a serious illness and was transferred to the doctor Rafael Lucio hospital, located in Xalapa.

As the days passed, the former legislator's state of health improved, but control judge Mónica Segovia Jácome decided to benefit him with the variation of the precautionary measure and granted that his trial be held from home, located in the Las Ánimas residential area, and not in the medium security prison of Pacho Viejo, in Coatepec.

In the case of Edgar Spinoso Carrera, a former Duartista federal congressman, he has been on the run from justice for 10 days. He is accused of having kidnapped on May 30th two engineers from Mota Engil Mexico, along with his nephew and brother. Although the two relatives of the former SEV chief officer have already been linked to trials, Edgar Spinoso is still an outlaw. His escape cast doubt on the Attorney General's Office (FGE), which apparently was unable to locate him at home and execute an arrest warrant against him.

Veracruz, a risk zone for women, totaling 98 femicides

On January 25, Governor Cuitláhuac García implemented the Zero Tolerance to Violence against Women and Girls program before guests such as Nira Cárdenas Oliva, representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Alejandro Encinas Rodríguez, undersecretary of Human Rights, Population and Migration of the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB), among other state authorities.

The president assured that there would be a legislative agenda and in the administration and procuration of justice to set in motion "the governmental apparatus" and to exhort the Legislative and Judicial powers to eradicate the femicidal violence that prevails in the entity. In contrast, since the announcement of this program, there have been 88 murders against women that were denounced as femicide.

The former mayoress of Mixtla de Altamirano, Maricela Vallejo Orea, participated in this event, proposing the creation of the Direction of Prevention and Attention of Violence against Women in each municipality. Paradoxically, the 27-year-old mayor was murdered on 24 April, along with her husband, Efrén Zopoyactle Tlaxcaltecalt, and her chauffeur, Sabino García.

On December 19, 2018, the now-defunct woman exposed that she was the object of death threats and publicly pointed out the mayor of that City Hall, Ricardo Pérez Marcos. He stated that unknown people would have offered him 300,000 pesos in exchange for resigning from the office he was elected to on June 5, 2017.

On June 25, Arón Zopiyactle, brother of the also murdered and husband of Maricela Vallejo, Efrén Zopiyactle Tlaxcaltécatl, criticized that, although alleged perpetrators of the attack have been publicly identified, the Attorney General's Office has not proceeded nor delivered the results of the investigations of folder 045/2019 relating to the case.

In Minatitlán, alleged femicide by stoning

On March 10, 2019, residents of the community of San Cristóbal, Minatitlán, lynched Benjamín Luis Gutiérrez, who shot his wife, Ana Patricia Balcázar Reyes, in the back the previous night. After several days in a state of gravity, he died.

Benjamin fled after assaulting his wife and was later captured by community policemen or self-defense groups in the Uxpanapa Valley when he was trying to escape on a motorcycle. After surrounding him, he was beaten to death.

Ana Patricia Balcázar was the sister of Hortensia Balcázar Reyes, who on July 19, 2018, was shot dead by her husband Gabriel "N", also in the municipality of Minatitlán, while she was breastfeeding her nine-month-old son. None of the three murders has been solved by the Veracruz prosecutor's office.

Source: La Silla Rota

Recommended stories

US includes Mexico in countries with a risk of kidnapping

The US Department of State added a new label on its travel advisory website that includes "kidnapping and hostage-taking" as a potential danger in several countries, including Mexico.

The label, added on Tuesday to 35 countries, joins the existing ones that contemplate crime, terrorism, civil unrest, natural disasters, health hazards, among others.

The State Department urges Americans not to travel in Mexico to the states of Colima, Guerrero, Michoacán, Sinaloa, and Tamaulipas under any circumstances. It warns that some areas are at greater risk and that violent crimes, such as homicide, kidnapping, car theft, and theft, are widespread.

The United States government has a limited capacity to provide emergency services to US citizens in many areas of Mexico since travel by US government employees to these areas is prohibited or significantly restricted. In case of traveling to Mexico, you should use the toll roads as much as possible and avoid driving alone or at night.

According to the official statement, in many states, police presence and emergency services are extremely limited outside the state capital or major cities. It suggested taking care when visiting bars, nightclubs, and local casinos and asked for jewelry or expensive watches. Be very attentive when going to banks or ATMs.

It also suggests that US citizens sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and facilitate location in an emergency. US citizens who travel abroad must always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Check the traveler's checklist.

"Be very careful when visiting bars, nightclubs and local casinos; Do not show signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry. Be very attentive when visiting banks or ATMs, and enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and facilitate location in an emergency. Follow the State Department on Facebook and Twitter. Review the Crime and Security reports for Mexico."

In addition to Mexico, Uganda is included, a country in which the American citizen Kimberly Sue Endicott was recently kidnapped, for which a reward of 500 thousand dollars was demanded.

The woman has already been released, but President Donald Trump demanded that those responsible be prosecuted.

Venezuela was also described as a nation at risk of kidnapping. The South American country has a tense relationship with the United States, which recognizes Juan Guaidó as interim president and seeks the dismissal of Nicolás Maduro.

What is an express kidnapping and how to act if you suffer one

During the last years, the 'express kidnappings' have increased in Mexico, however, not everyone knows what this term refers to and how to act if you are the victim of one.

Express kidnapping is the retention of a person against their will for the shortest possible time to obtain the gain in exchange for their freedom, either by withdrawing their accounts from ATMs or by asking their family members for a ransom.

In this type of crime, there is no strategy to keep the victim captive for more than 48 hours because the captors do not plan the crime in advance and only go out in search of a victim.

According to figures from the Autonomous University of Mexico, 5 people are abducted per day.

How to act in the face of an express kidnapping

Be calm

The first thing you should do is stay calm. These criminals seek to get money without complications in the shortest possible time.

Negotiation

Seek to negotiate with the captors in a calm way to seek an agreement, although not being too accessible to their requests.

Take care of the data

We must take care of the information that is given to the captors, avoiding talking about goods and properties. Not being a planned kidnapping they do not know much about the economic situation of the people they kidnap.

Avoid looking at the captors in the eyes

This could put your life at risk. Better choose to keep your eyes down during a conversation.

The contact telephone

If you are asked for a family member's contact number, it is better to give a local number. This way the communication will be easier and you do not risk the privacy of someone else.

Remember the details

During your conversations with the kidnappers pay attention to details and information about them. This will facilitate their subsequent capture.

Speed

Look for the negotiation to end as soon as possible.

How to act when obtaining freedom

When the victim is released, he/she should denounce what happened by telephone or go to the nearest public security institution. Seek professional help to overcome the emotional trauma you experienced.

How one can avoid an express kidnapping

Be alert when you walk down the street and take care of who goes around you. Most of these kidnappings occur on the routes you frequent near work and home.

Try to give neighbors and friends the least information about your assets and economic capacity. Many kidnappings are perpetrated by people close to the victim.

Always visualize escape routes when you go to a place in case you find yourself in danger. If you are at risk you can shout "fire" or "earthquake" to get the attention of others around you.