The Stream speaks to a kidnapping victim in Mexico

Uploaded by AJstream on 13.06.2012

The day they came to our house, that the incident happened, was July 9, my daughter’s birthday.
And that night my husband, his son and I stayed at my parents’ house.
My brother was there, who was coming from Germany, visiting, and my French sister in law was also there.
People dressed as soldiers went [to the house] at about 4am
and they took us out of the house, took away our cars.
They blindfolded us and tied our hands.
They took away our cars.
They took us around the city in trucks for about 3 hours.
Nobody stopped them.
We later met up with my cousins and my aunts and uncles,
who were already in a security house, that’s where we saw them.
We saw the people who took my dad and my two uncles,
they were separated from the beginning.
That was the last time I saw my dad.
After having us in that security house,
we were there for 3 nights the women, the children,
my husband, my brother, and the grandfather of one of my cousins.
We were there for 3 days, and then they released us one morning.
And they said they’d release [the other men] as well.
Of those 3 days that the children and all of us women were held captive,
we were all in one truck for one day, all of us inside a truck.
Between them, the men of the cartel would question why we were so many people.
We were 18 people.
They questioned why they had abducted so many people.
They didn’t understand why it was so many people.
While there, they put us in a security house the morning after the first night.
There were many shifts of people.
There were a lot of people from that cartel.
they put us in a house, and we know where that house is located.
We added that when we reported it to the police.
In fact, this January, it was verified that bills from that location were paid.
So someone keeps paying the bills there.
It was a very small house.
We were with four people who would guard us.
They were armed and they would do drugs, in front of the children.
We were very scared.
We thought people would come to rescue us, but that never happened.
They did feed us. They would feed us twice a day.
They would buy us food and leave it for all of us to eat.
We were very thirsty, we were significantly dehydrated.
We didn’t have enough to drink, it was too little.
The people who were with us during the day, you could say, were more accessible,
I think, because there were children present.
At night, it was more tense because it was different people guarding us.
Since my husband, my brother and my cousin’s grandfather were there, we tried to be around them.
The children were very scared, they didn’t know what was going on.
Since we had been in a shooting, we were completely disoriented.
They wouldn’t give us an explanation why they had taken us.
They would just say that they were going to investigate.
The moment we left was in the morning.
And they left us in a parking lot close to the local Wal-Mart
That’s the last time I saw my husband and my brother.
They said women and children first, we left the house and they took us to a truck.
They said that they’d go back for the men that were with us, but they never went back for them.
My cousin’s grandfather told us that after 2 days, he was able to see my dad and my uncles.
And so they were in the same security house I think for one more week.
So if we had acted, if we had told authorities…
But because we were scared, we didn’t, we didn’t know what was going on.
He was the last one to be with them, so that’s the last thing he reported.
What was the last thing you told your husband and your brother?
My husband, I hugged him and gave him a kiss, and told him I loved him, and that I’d see him soon.
I then turned to my brother, hugged him, and told him to take care of my husband.
That’s all I had time to do.
I didn’t even have time to say goodbye to my dad.
They asked for money for the reward/ransom.
We paid them the money 4 times.
At first, we didn’t notify the authorities because we thought [the kidnappers] would release them.
Then, one more a week passed,
they released my cousin’s grandfather who was 82,
and they left him in a hospital.
There was no communication after the last ransom.
Then we began to look for authorities, but that was a month later,
because there was no one looking for the men, and we hadn’t heard any news about them.
What happened then was that we went to the authorities,
we submitted statements to the municipality,
we recounted the whole incident.
[The kidnappers] stole everything from our houses, they’re still entering them.
We filed reports in the state of Tamaulipas.
The governor never responded.
Then around November, we saw some of the kidnappers on TV, [who had been detained]
We identified them when we saw them, it was the one who had taken my dad and my uncles.
We spoke with officials in Mexico City.
We went to file reports in the capital.
Those kidnappers are detained right now and haven’t made statements yet.
I’ve asked for help basically everywhere.
In the US, in France, in the German embassy, since my brother was working in Germany.
We’ve spoken to many authorities in Mexico, but we still don’t have an answer.
The reason we thought that the kidnapping was happening
was because a lot of people were already being kidnapped in Matamoros.
At first we thought it was about money.
But as time passed and as we paid the money they were asking for
Not having a response was…
This situation is very difficult for us because we’re not familiarized with this.
We don’t know if this is the way the cartel operates.
We don’t know where our family is
or what has happened to them.
No authority has responded, whether municipal, state or federal.
They don’t even have leads.
And they’re not even looking for them, which is worse.
The process that has taken place, between reports and statements,
there’s not one person that can tell us that an agency is looking for them.
We don’t have any of that.
Their DNA profiles are in the 32 states,
yet when it comes to clues or leads, or that they’re looking for them,
there’s none of that.
We don’t know, we don’t know…
Supposedly, this cartel said they weren’t that bad, that the bad guys were the other [cartel]
But for us, this is completely distressing.
And well this is negligence by authorities for not investigating.
Unfortunately, I don’t know if this happened by chance.
We still don’t know what’s going on.
We have hope that they’re somewhere, because many people are appearing.
That’s the reason we keep fighting for them.
To begin with, every house--my house is empty, my mom’s house, from where they took us, is also empty.
All of our houses are practically abandoned, we haven’t gone back.
Because to this day, armed people keep breaking into them.
Nobody’s done anything about it.
Economically, we lost everything They took all of our family’s cars.
Most importantly, they took the men.
The material things, even if we lost it all, we’re all working and moving forward.
But of course it has totally affected us all in such a big way.
They took the heads of household, the men, leaving the women and children alone.
People have been helping us financially,
some of us women have been working,
more than anything, keep fighting however we can.