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Latino Daily News

Friday January 24, 2014

Colombian Tourists Kidnapped in Violence Mexican Region

Colombian Tourists Kidnapped in Violence Mexican Region

Photo: Colombian passport

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Two Colombian nationals were abducted Dec. 31 in the western Mexican state of Michoacan, where conflict is raging between a powerful drug cartel and community militias, the wife of one of the captives said Thursday.

The families of Arnoldo Celis and Jimmy Alejandro Rojas filed a formal criminal complaint with the Mexican Attorney General’s Office on Jan. 6, Juliette Cordoba Rojas told MVS radio.

The two men went missing in Morelia, Michoacan’s capital, where the Celis and Rojas families were vacationing.

The two couples and their children arrived in Mexico in early December and spent time in the Caribbean resort of Cancun and in Mexico City before traveling to Michoacan.

Cordoba Rojas said the visitors did not know that parts of Michoacan were suffering under the domination of the Caballeros Templarios (Knights Templar), a drug cartel with sidelines in extortion and kidnapping for ransom.

While not blaming the Templarios for the kidnapping, she said she received a ransom demand for 10,000 pesos ($750).

Cordoba Rojas, who last heard from her husband on Jan. 8, said fear prompted her to leave Michoacan for Mexico City, where she sought help from the Colombian Embassy.

“The Embassy of Colombia has helped us a lot,” she said, explaining that the diplomats assisted the women in filing the criminal complaint needed to spur an investigation.

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