Thursday, November 14, 2013

México: US Marine Veteran, Former Texas Cop Linked to Running Large Kidnap Gang

According to The Latin American Tribune, a suspected US Marine veteran and former Texas police officer, Luís Ricardo González García, 32, for being the leader of a suspected kidnap gang of nearly twenty co-conspirators.

The gang reportedly operated extensively in the states of Nuevo León, Tamaulipas and Coahuila, according to Jorge Domene, spokesman for the state government of Nuevo León.

When arrested, authorities said González García was carrying a loaded 9mm handgun with no permit and identification in the name of Javier Aguirre Cardenas. He was also known by the nickname “El Matute,” which is sometimes used in Latin American slang to mean “the cop.”

COMMENT: González García is accused of ordering the September 2013 kidnapping of a 70-year-old the father of the mayor of a suburb of Monterrey.  The hostage was later found dead, although the ransom had been paid to the kidnappers.

Domene told reporters that the suspect served in the US Marines from 1998 to 2002 and then worked as a police officer in Texas from 2002 to 2009. He allegedly moved to Monterrey in 2009, but was captured in a Monterrey suburb on October 19, but his arrest was not announced until this week. His alleged accomplices were arrested in separate operations starting in October.

Kidnapping has become rampant throughout México over the last twenty years, which is why I discourage foreign nationals from traveling to the country unless:

1. They have a well-honed sense of personal security awareness;
2. Are intimately aware of prevailing criminal tactics in México;
3. Ideally, speak Spanish;
4. Stay at an all-exclusive resort; and
5. Have a suspicious nature.

A survey by México's National Statistics Institute,  estimated that only 1% of abductions are reported to authorities, and that the annual total of kidnappings in Mexico in 2012 might well have topped 105,000. 

The targets of ransom kidnappings include Canadians, US citizens and Mexicans of means.

It should also be noted that many kidnappings in México are also conducted by active duty, retired and former police officers.