Photo: Police arrive to crack down on kidnappings
The National Safety Commission notes that kidnappings in the town of Valle de Bravo, have not been organized by Los Zetas or La Familia Michoacana, two of the drug cartels operating in the region. According to analysis, the modus operandi of the kidnappers indicates that typically there is no prior planning or monitoring of victims to determine their socioeconomic status, rather it is simply “opportunistic” choice with victims. Usually within a few hours it is carried out and amounts paid in ransom are negligible at 2000-5000 pesos.
The town is famous as a tourist destination. On 14 August a security operation was deployed with 200 elements of the Federal Police, who patrol the area and investigate cases to establish the links to identify the members of criminal cells. The town’s geographical location is a strategic area for the arrival of criminal cells from Michoacan and Guerrero, which are connected with the State of Mexico through local roads and mountain trails of Valle de Bravo , Otzoloapan and Villa Victoria. There has been an increase of telephone extortion, murders, thefts from residential areas, assaults and kidnappings. According to the intelligence report, those responsible know the area well in order to surprise potential victims. Isabel Miranda Wallace has collected testimonies from victims who reported that criminals establish checkpoints under the excuse that their vehicles are broken even alert drivers to slow down, then kidnap them by gunpoint.Victims are then typically moved to the mountainous areas as Cerro Gordo, where makeshift pens are housed outdoors. Often they are held for weeks in inhuman conditions. Indeed, the secretary general of the State of Mexico Government, José Quiroga Manzur, joined the town for the strategic plan .
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