The way in which criminal groups are kidnapping migrants and motorists near Matehuala, in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí, is similar to the technique used long ago by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia: FARC, in Colombia and known as “miracle catches” (“pescas milagrosas“).
The guerrillas – who signed a peace agreement with the government in 2016 – have long resorted to kidnapping Colombians as a source of financing.
“The FARC needed to find a way of financing and one of them was charging for the retention of people,” said former guerrilla chief Henry Castellanos Garzón, aka “Romaña”, in an interview with the Bogota-based newspaper El Colombiano in September 2016.
“We exercised control over certain territories,” he explained, “and there we began to know who could pay and who couldn’t.”
The guerrillas made checkpoints on the highways where they had control and took motorists down, leaving the vehicles abandoned.
Once in a “safe zone”, the guerrillas negotiated with the hostages, asking them how much they could pay for their freedom and asking for the contact of a family member.
In the case of Matehuala, people abducted by criminals point out that they already have the highway under surveillance and receive information from the municipality on their potential victims.
After ambushing them, the armed criminals take the kidnapped through a breach and hold them for hours, after seizing their vehicles and belongings, including cell phones, iPads, cards, and even their PINs.
The area controlled by criminals is near the city of Matehuala, on the border between the states of San Luis Potosi and Nuevo León.
Crime all over Mexico has grown exponentially ever since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office in 2018.
Source: El Norte