US Kidnapping Expert Kidnapped in Mexico
MEXICO CITY — A U.S. anti-kidnapping expert was abducted by gunmen in northern Mexico last week, a sign of just how bold this nation’s kidnapping gangs have become.
U.S. security consultant Felix Batista – who claims to have helped resolve nearly 100 kidnap and ransom cases – was in Saltillo in Coahuila state to offer advice on how to confront abductions for ransom when he himself was seized, local authorities said.
Unknown assailants grabbed him on Dec. 10, said Charlie LeBlanc, the president of the Houston, Texas-based security firm ASI Global LLC., where Batista is a consultant.
“We have notified the FBI and Mexican authorities, and they are working on the case,” LeBlanc said Monday. “What we are doing is we’re offering our support to the family and hoping for the best.”
Obviously, he is not quite the expert he thought he was.
Mr. Batista, who was frequently quoted in media stories about kidnapping, ignored the State Department’s Mexico travel alert. In Mexico organized-crime killings soared to 5,376 in 2008, more than double the 2,477 deaths in Mexico in 2007. Somebody probably should have told Felix that Mexico is more dangerous than Iraq.