Tuesday, February 11, 2014

México: French Citizen, 32, Missing for Two Weeks While Traveling by Motorcycle in Michoacan

According to The Latin American TribuneFrench citizen Harry Devert, 32, who lives in the US, disappeared two weeks ago while traveling solo through México’s violent western state of Michoacan by motorcycle.

The 32-year-old Frenchman has not been heard from since January 25, when his girlfriend, Sarah, received a text message from Devert saying that he had been “escorted” for 90 minutes through an area “that was too dangerous for me,” his family said on the Facebook page created to find him.

“Apparently, there is another military escort waiting for me in another city ... I am being delayed by all these crazy things of the soldiers ... I hope to have a chance to speak with you guys tonight when (with luck), I finally get there,” Devert said in his text message.

COMMENT: The Frenchman, who is traveling on a green Kawasaki motorcycle, had visited a monarch butterfly reserve in Macheros, a city in México state, and was heading to Zihuatanejo, where he planned to visit the beach where the final scene in the “Shawshank Redemption” was filmed.

Both the US Embassy and the French Embassy in Mexico City are both working in finding the missing traveler.

Civilians began arming themselves last year to fight the Caballeros Templarios drug cartel, which operates throughout Michoacan.

Los Caballeros Templarios, a gang founded in December 2010 by former members of the La Familia Michoacana cartel, deals in both synthetic and natural drugs.

The gang commits murders, stages kidnappings and runs extortion rackets that target business owners and transport companies.

This report will be updated as new information becomes available.