Anti-kidnapping expert abducted in Mexico
MEXICO CITY: A U.S. anti-kidnapping expert was abducted by gunmen in northern Mexico last week.
U.S. security consultant Felix Batista was in Saltillo in Coahuila state to offer advice on how to confront abductions for ransom when he himself was seized, local authorities said.
Unidentified assailants abducted him on December 10, said Charlie LeBlanc, the president of the Houston, Texas-based security firm ASI Global LLC., where Mr. Batista is a consultant.
“We have notified the FBI and Mexican authorities, and they are working on the case,” Mr. LeBlanc said on Monday. “We’re offering our support to the family and hoping for the best.”
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City said it would not comment on the case, and Mr. LeBlanc declined to say whether a ransom demand had been received.
Mr. Batista was frequently cited as an anti-kidnapping expert at conferences and in the press.
A story in the December issue of the trade magazine Security Management describes how Mr. Batista organised relatives’ response to a kidnapping in Mexico. He advised the family during months-long negotiations that eventually reduced the ransom request to about a third of the original amount the kidnappers had demanded. The victim was eventually released.
Kidnapping has become a rising problem in Mexico. A series of high-profile kidnappings in which the victims were later found dead has sparked outrage in Mexico.
In the past year, the bodies of the daughter of the country’s former sports commissioner and the son of a prominent businessman have been found.