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Mexicans demanding a cure to the plague of kidnappings
San Antonio Express-News Mexico City Bureau ^ | 07/22/2005 | Dane Schiller

Posted on 07/22/2005 4:46:19 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch

MEXICO CITY — When kidnappers sliced off businessman Pedro Galindo's first finger, he felt pain; the second, fear.

By the time he lost his fourth, he felt full of strength — enough to now publicly display his wounds and demand the government get busy and deliver this city from fear.

"If their hands are shaking, I can lend them mine," the thick mustached and stern-voiced Galindo, 51, says as he holds up his mutilated hands, three digits snipped off the left and the pinky from the right.

Millions are watching.

Galindo, who survived his kidnapping ordeal in 2001, offers a chilling testimonial now appearing in a television spot airing nationwide, urging Mexicans to grapple with a problem that claims hundreds of victims annually.

The idea was to shock people's senses and motivate them to demand change, said María Elena Morera, president of a group called Mexico United Against Crime, which prepared the 30-second Galindo piece.

The pressure is on for authorities to take a stand against a kidnapping rate that rivals Colombia's.

Some say Mexico City's crime woes even could provide an Achilles' heel for Mayor Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who's to leave office soon to campaign in the 2006 presidential race.

There were at least 197 kidnappings reported in Mexico City last year, according to another anti-crime group, citing statistics it secured under Mexico's new open government laws.

They were not the so-called "express kidnappings" in which victims are forced at gunpoint to use bankcards to empty checking accounts.

They weren't drug traffickers imprisoning rivals, as the government suspects occurred when 43 people were discovered held in houses recently in Nuevo Laredo.

They were the for-profit kind, whose victims are held for weeks under brutal conditions as a ransom is demanded.

In another spotlight on the trend, Rubén Omar Romano, head of the prominent Mexico City-based soccer team, Cruz Azul, was snatched off the streets Tuesday afternoon as he drove from practice.

He remained missing Thursday. His team took the field in the state of Hidalgo and rival fans dressed in white — a symbol here for society to say no more to crime — to show their solidarity with the coach. It was unclear if the kidnappers have demanded a ransom.

The inability of the government to stop the practice has frustrated Mexicans, especially upper-class business owners, entertainers and sports figures most prone to being victims.

Among the more famous cases here are the 2002 kidnappings of pop star Thalía's sisters, for whom a multimillion-dollar ransom reportedly was demanded. They were released and appeared to be unharmed.

And then there was singer Vicente Fernández Jr., son of an even more famous entertainer of that name. He was kidnapped in 1998 and released after four months, minus two fingers.

"In some cases, the level of cruelty is horrible," said Guillermo Zepeda, a researcher who wrote a book, "Crime Without Punishment."

He said kidnappers know they're adding pressure on the police when they grab high-profile victims, but believe they still can get away with it.

Victims often are kept blindfolded, their hands and legs bound or chained. Sometimes, they aren't allowed to disrobe to use the bathroom. Periodically, they are stripped and sprayed with a water hose.

Victims also face psychological challenges, Zepeda said. Long after their release, they can be afraid to drive or even leave the house.

Galindo declined to be interviewed for this article, but his family discussed the case.

Held 29 days, he was rescued by Mexican federal agents the same day a ransom was to be paid.

As kidnappers demanded money, they left his fingers — one by one — in small boxes along a highway at specific mileage markers.

His captors, including the doctor who performed the amputations, are in prison, but have yet to be convicted,

Although Galindo has gotten on with life and was even playing golf Thursday, he had avoided the public eye. He decided to join Mexico United Against Crime's campaign to try to make a difference.

The group was among organizers of the famous 2004 march that drew an estimated 1 million people dressed in white to walk silently through the streets here to demand government action against kidnapping.

Morera said the idea isn't to get tougher prison sentences approved for kidnappers, but force authorities to do their jobs.

She said many families don't even report kidnappings because they figure authorities are incompetent or corrupt.

Among the specific changes she would like to see is for victims to be able to type their own statements into justice-system computers so they can be read directly by judges.

Although laws are changing — including widespread reform championed by Mexican President Vicente Fox — most trials are not public and testimony is written.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

express@cablevision.net.mx


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Mexico; US: District of Columbia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: kidnapping; pedrogalindo
More coverage on the Express-News link.

Video: Watch a commercial featuring Pedro Galindo on recent kidnappings in Mexico

My solution: Cut off a kidnapper's finger for each one of their victims, and if you run out of fingers then start cutting off toes and whatever else you can find!

And no anesthesia!

1 posted on 07/22/2005 4:46:20 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch
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To: SwinneySwitch

As long as someone doesn't pee on their Koran, it's not inhumane treatment.

So does the government of Mexico enforce ANY laws?


2 posted on 07/22/2005 4:49:43 PM PDT by Question Liberal Authority (I Do Not Consent To Being Blown Up)
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To: tyw; NationalistVisionary; whipitgood; servantboy777; Flyer; Jack Black; selucreh; txroadhawg; ...

Plague Ping!

Please FReepmail me if you want on or off this South Texas/Mexico ping list.


3 posted on 07/22/2005 4:51:40 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch (Mexico-beyond your expectations! !)
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To: SwinneySwitch
Here here. When politicians know that they cannot do nothing against thugs and will lose their jobs, things will change.

Laws must also change. The infamous Lindburgh case proved that.

Evil will always exist. It's a question of what regular people will do to stop it. Crime is like weeds. If you just hope it'll go away, you'll have nothing but a yard of weeds.
4 posted on 07/22/2005 4:52:42 PM PDT by Rate_Determining_Step (US Military - Draining the Swamp of Terrorism since 2001!)
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To: SwinneySwitch

-ccm

5 posted on 07/22/2005 4:53:09 PM PDT by ccmay (Question Diversity)
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To: SwinneySwitch

— including widespread reform championed by Mexican President Vicente Fox —
---
** Now there is the joke of the day!!! **


6 posted on 07/22/2005 4:53:21 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: SwinneySwitch
Mexicans demanding a cure to the plague of kidnappings

Overthrow your corrupt govt.

I'll take easy questions for $200, Alex.

:o)

/h just so I don't get flamed

7 posted on 07/22/2005 4:53:28 PM PDT by IllumiNaughtyByNature (If Islam is the Religion of Peace, they should FIRE their PR guy!)
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To: SwinneySwitch

8 posted on 07/22/2005 4:55:17 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Andrew Heyward's got to go!)
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To: SwinneySwitch

BTTT


9 posted on 07/22/2005 4:59:31 PM PDT by Bradís Gramma (Lord, we need a Logan miracle for Simcha7 and Cowboy. Please.)
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To: SwinneySwitch
Heard Rudy Guiliani discussing this yesterday. He said the Mexican's pay off the kidnappers, thereby encouraging more kidnapping.

Appeasing the criminals...

10 posted on 07/22/2005 5:03:19 PM PDT by OldFriend (MERCY TO THE GUILTY IS CRUELTY TO THE INNOCENT ~ Adam Smith)
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To: SwinneySwitch
The inability of the government to stop the practice has frustrated Mexicans

Government, whether in Mexico or Washington, D.C., is in the business of self perpetuation, not governing. Anyone who looks to government for protection is naive. Kidnapping will stop when ordinary citizens arm themselves and resist. Any form of government, whether it be democracy, communism, or theocracy will succeed or fail depending upon only one thing ... the character of the people being governed. Don't look to government ... look to yourselves.

11 posted on 07/22/2005 5:16:26 PM PDT by layman (Card Carrying Infidel)
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To: SwinneySwitch

Just criminalize (and enforce) paying off kidnappers. Problem solved.


12 posted on 07/22/2005 5:18:19 PM PDT by elfman2 (This space is intentionally left blank)
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To: SwinneySwitch

Well, what do they propose?

Arrest the criminals, or arrest the police?

Or find some third agency to arrest both?


13 posted on 07/22/2005 5:24:01 PM PDT by proxy_user
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To: SwinneySwitch

A perfect example of Turd World reality.....

Semper Fi


14 posted on 07/22/2005 5:31:09 PM PDT by river rat (You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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To: SwinneySwitch

I can't WAIT for CAFTA to pass! Let's have a race to the bottom and import as much turd world crap as we can.

VIVA Mexico!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


/sarcasm off


15 posted on 07/22/2005 5:59:41 PM PDT by taxed2death (A few billion here, a few trillion there...we're all friends right?)
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To: Question Liberal Authority
So does the government of Mexico enforce ANY laws?

I understand that they enforce their immigration laws and control their southern border pretty aggressively

16 posted on 07/22/2005 6:02:29 PM PDT by Maceman (Pro Se Defendant from Hell)
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To: SwinneySwitch
Several points to consider:

1. This IS going to start happening here. They'll think about it for a while and figure out a way to do it and not get caught or find victims willing to keep it quiet for various reasons. First, you set a precedent. You go to the authorities, your little child.loved one is DEAD. That stops the talking on subsequent attempts.

2. U.S. authorities have ways of tracking ANY electronic communication. Cellphones can be tracked right to the person and a missle then sent to greet him/her. If they wish, in a matter of minutes they can pinpoint my house and where this message came from. Minutes. They know this and will avoid such communication. It will be hand-delivered messages left at given locations.

3. More than likely, in Mexico this is a family-driven enterprise. It takes a team to pull this off, it's not a one-person operation. That culture has the family structure to plan, organize and execute this type of operation. They also have large family units here in the U.S. Family can be trusted and manipulated far better than a "gang" of friends.

4. Public execution of kidnappers is about the ONLY thing that will stop this. This includes not only the kidnapper, but the entire immediate family of same. THAT will deter people from getting involved. If a kidnapper is caught, his/her entire immediate family will die. The very same strong family structure that might concur with doing this can also discourage it.

17 posted on 07/22/2005 6:13:27 PM PDT by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: SwinneySwitch
Don't pay ransoms and kidnappings will end.
18 posted on 07/22/2005 6:24:42 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws spawned the runaway federal health care monopoly and fund terrorism.)
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To: Question Liberal Authority

"So does the government of Mexico enforce ANY laws?"

I don't think so. Remember the guy who was in there before Fox, his own brother was a suspected murderer. At least Fox is not THAT bad.

And, if they live by the philosophy they apply to the extradition requests, there is NO CRIME that warrants even life in prison, much less the DP. So really, it is no wonder all Mexicans want to come here.

That country has gone from bad to horrendous in my lifetime. It's a shame. I wouldn't set foot in it on a bet.


19 posted on 07/22/2005 6:29:14 PM PDT by jocon307 (Can we close the border NOW?)
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To: ccmay

Exactly.


20 posted on 07/22/2005 6:29:26 PM PDT by LifeOrGoods? (God is not a God of fear, but of power, love and a sane mind.)
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To: SwinneySwitch

Perhaps it might help if the federales backed off and gave the people the RIGHT TO FIGHT BACK! You can't own a gun in Mexico without a government or army permit.


21 posted on 07/22/2005 7:09:38 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Islam, the religion of the criminally insane.)
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To: OldFriend
Heard Rudy Guiliani discussing this yesterday. He said the Mexican's pay off the kidnappers, thereby encouraging more kidnapping.

Appeasing the criminals...

Kinda like the disguised amnesties for the illegal mexican border busters.

22 posted on 07/22/2005 7:54:18 PM PDT by TLI (. ITINERIS IMPENDEO VALHALLA,. .Minuteman Project, Day -1 to Day 8)
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To: Question Liberal Authority

"So does the government of Mexico enforce ANY laws?"

Oh, yes.

It's illegal for people to own guns. And it's illegal for foreigners to own land. And it's illegal for the government to do jack without a little under-the-table dough.


23 posted on 07/22/2005 10:03:08 PM PDT by LibertarianInExile (Kelo, Grutter, and Roe all have to go. Will Roberts get us there--don't know. No more Souters.)
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To: Paleo Conservative
Forget that. Too humane. Let's GET REAL!


24 posted on 07/22/2005 10:57:39 PM PDT by Clock King
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Even if they are cutting off a family member's fingers, one by one, and sending them to you?!


25 posted on 07/23/2005 8:47:37 AM PDT by SwinneySwitch (Mexico-beyond your expectations! !)
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To: SwinneySwitch
Even if they are cutting off a family member's fingers, one by one, and sending them to you?!

Your choice is this: reward kidnappers, thereby encouraging them and other people to engage in more kidnappings, or refuse to pay ransoms, ever, and remove the economic incentive for kidnapping.

Add to that the fact that, even if you pay the ransom, you probably are not going to get your family member back anyway.

The kidnap victim is the only witness. Eliminate the victim, and your chances of being caught are that much less.

26 posted on 07/23/2005 10:24:11 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws spawned the runaway federal health care monopoly and fund terrorism.)
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To: Question Liberal Authority

Only if they are bribed.


27 posted on 07/23/2005 10:28:15 AM PDT by ampat
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

This is Mexico, where kidnapping is a business. You'll get them back, so the next customer will pay.


28 posted on 07/23/2005 10:44:12 AM PDT by SwinneySwitch (Mexico-beyond your expectations! !)
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To: SwinneySwitch
You'll get them back, so the next customer will pay.

You proved my point.

29 posted on 07/23/2005 10:47:56 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws spawned the runaway federal health care monopoly and fund terrorism.)
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To: OldFriend
Heard Rudy Guiliani discussing this yesterday. He said the Mexican's pay off the kidnappers, thereby encouraging more kidnapping. Appeasing the criminals...

I assume that these kidnappers are operating in the same way as those in Central America. Making payment is not as simple as appeasing criminals, it is necessary. As I said, I am assuming that these guys are working the same way as those in El Salvador did after the cease fire was called. At the time, you paid immediately or the one kidnapped died immediately. There was zero negotiation and the kidnappers, if you attempted to do anything other than pay on demand, always immediately killed their victim. They had no qualms whatsoever about doing it.

Maybe the Mexicans are softer in this regard though. The Salvadorans, after 12 years of guerilla warfare were a hard bunch.

30 posted on 07/23/2005 10:52:08 AM PDT by Live and let live conservative
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Don't pay, you don't get them back, and the next customer will pay!


31 posted on 07/23/2005 11:10:25 AM PDT by SwinneySwitch (Mexico-beyond your expectations! !)
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To: SwinneySwitch
Don't pay, you don't get them back, and the next customer will pay!

Death to kidnappers. Period. Nothing else.

Unless, of course, you like having your family members kidnapped and want to encourage them to do it again.

32 posted on 07/23/2005 2:12:13 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Drug prohibition laws spawned the runaway federal health care monopoly and fund terrorism.)
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