Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Amerícas: Update on Kidnapping of US Marine, Relatives in México, Spanish Tourists in Colombia

COMMENT: The purpose of this posting is to simply update our readers that there is no new information in the following two kidnapping cases:

México: The kidnapping of US Marine veteran Armando Torres III, his father, Armando Torres II, and his uncle, Salvador Torres from the family's ranch by unidentified gunmen on the evening of May 14.

Unfortunately, there has been no communication from the kidnappers whatsoever in this case, which after nearly a month is troubling, considering that the three men were abducted because local traffickers wanted to use the ranch, near the US-Mexican border, as part of their drug operation.

Colombia/Venezuela: Spanish tourists Angel Sánchez Fernández, 49, and María Concepción Marlaska Sedano, 43, were abducted on May 17 in the Colombian Department of La Guajira (close to the Venezuelan-Colombian border). It is also a known fact that the abductors previously demanded a “significant sum in euros.”

As of June 3, the FARC denied that they kidnapped the two Spanish tourists in La Guajira province. The FARC also said that it has banned its members from kidnapping people "for economic purposes" since February 2012. Yet, the FARC has been known to lie in the past.

Although there is no factual information to support that the two Spaniards could be in either Venezuela or Colombian, given La Guajira's proximity to the Venezuelan-Colombian border, this is a logical assumption.

Generally speaking, the kidnapping of foreigners in Colombia often can bring in a ransom approaching six figures in dollars or euros, and in some cases, demands can approach seven figures.

To date, there has been no progress in either of these kidnappings.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.