Monday, November 24, 2014

Kidnapping: Through the Eyes of the Taken

Considering the current state of events in Mexico I thought it relevant to repost this story.  I wrote this back in 2012 so as I heard the story of the students, this is yet another story of striking parallels....   

By ACI for Borderland Beat
What you are about to read is a true account of a kidnapping, as with most stories in Mexico, the victim wishes to remain anonymous, out of fear for himself and his family's safety.
He awoke; the sun was blistering, dust devils spun down the street.  He could hear the stray dogs fighting over scraps of trash in the alley behind his home.  Dry and hot, the unmistakable smell of death filled the air, as he walked out his front door he could see what was creating the stench; a body was strewn on the side of the road; carelessly thrown into a ditch.  Dried blood stained the dirt, flies danced around the corpse.  He could see that part of the man’s skull was missing, a sure sign of an execution.  He pondered if the police had been called; perhaps this was the work of the police, hard to tell these days.  He thought he should feel something, fear, anger, sadness, something; but there was nothing there, he was numb.  He had seen so much already.
Since he was a little child he could remember watching the men in their trucks; the fancy cloths, snake skinned boots, ostentatious belt buckles, pistols gilded in gems and gold.  Women pinned for their attention, for their power, and from his front porch, it seemed to him that these men had everything.  But he knew that all these trappings came with a price.  He saw many lured into the world of the cartels, only to have their lives cut short.  He saw a better opportunity crossing into the United States. 

He had family in the states and steady work, but as with all who make the journey, he longed for his home.  Every so often he would make the trip back to his small suburb outside the city.  This last trip back was different however, the scenery had changed, and so had many of his friends and family.  Many had been sucked up into ensuing war which had broken out in the region.
On the outside everything appeared the same, perhaps more rundown, but more or less the same.  People still went through their daily routines, work, church and family dinners, but there was a quiet silence when he asked questions about what exactly was going on.  Perhaps they didn't know, or were afraid to tell him, whatever it was it left an unsettling feeling in his gut.  One he should have perhaps heeded.

It was late in the afternoon and the sun had baked the dusty town.  He and a group of friends were hanging outside his friend’s house enjoying some cold beers.  There was much laughter and jokes; they all wanted to hear of his adventures in America.  Then they began telling him stories, and the jovial nature slowly turned eerie and silent.  His friends told him of the disappeared, the roaming bands of gun totting lunatics and the war.  He wasn't shocked, it wasn't like he hadn't heard these stories before, but the difference was the sheer depth of the conflict, it seemed to have touched everyone. 

As they were telling stories a police vehicle pulled up beside them and four officers got out.  A short fat cop started questioning the young men, asking them for their names and ID’s.  Something was amiss, they were all put in handcuffs, tape placed over their mouths and bags placed over there heads and all faded to black.

The three received what felt like several blows to their bodies then tossed into the back of the vehicle.  There they drove to some place unknown.  Some dimly lit room, in some part of town he was unfamiliar with.  It smelled of shit and piss, the light flickered on and off, bobbing back and forth.  For all he knew it might have been part of a police department or someones home. 

They interrogated him and his two friends for what seemed like hours.  He wasn't sure what they were after, what answers they could possibly want.  Something about who they worked for and what they did.  The beatings continued; he felt like he was being hit with a two by four for a while.  He could hear his friends moaning in agony.  The sweat poured out of his skin, he had heard too many stories like this to be naive.  He thought this was his end.

Dazed and confused he and his friends were then once again tossed into another vehicle.  This time they were thrown into the bed of a pickup truck.  He wondered how they were going to die.  He had heard of so many terrible ways to die in Mexico.  He shuttered at the thought blocking it out as much as he could.  He thought of all the things he was going to miss, dinner with his family, chasing girls with his friends, cold beer and tamales on summer days.  The memories came flooding back as the truck lumbered on.   He could feel the road underneath him, every pothole, twist and turn.  His mouth was dry, his eyes watered, was this how it was going to end for him he wondered?

The truck veered to a stop, kicking up dust and rock, as the tires fought the earth.  They halted on the side of a dirt road.  The men forced the three out of the truck pushing them forcefully over a small gully next to the road.  They tripped, unable to navigate the terrain with their eyes covered.  One fell and was kicked by one of the gunmen.  The three were told to get on their knees.

He heard the first shot; then the awful thump of dead weight falling to the ground.  He felt his hands shake; there was a terrible pit in his stomach; that was his friend.  He heard the bullet casing wedge itself in the dirt, he heard footsteps and another click as another round loaded into the chamber.  Each sound echoing in his head, the seconds felt as if eternity was toying with him.  Then the second shot came, followed by that same dreadful thud.  He was next; then he heard feedback from a two way radio.  One of the gunmen answered, in a hushed tone he walked away.

So on his knees he prayed, at least he thought his death was to be fast.  He heard the man on the radio come back, and start talking to the other gunmen.  Why had they not shot him already, his mind wandered.  The next thing he remembered was being picked up and thrown into the into the bed of the truck.  What was going to happen?  Was he going to be ransomed?  He didn't have any money to pay, neither did his family.  His head started pounding, perhaps he wasn't to receive a quick death, perhaps his nightmare was about to come true.  The pickup suddenly stopped and he was thrown, still handcuffed and blindfolded and gagged on the side of the road.  The truck sped off leaving a trail of dust in its wake.  What just happened he wondered?  He stumbled to his feet, weary and beaten he walked aimlessly. 

He was spotted by a mechanic from town who gave him a ride back to his home.  There he sat, trying to make sense of what just happened.  Why did he survive?  What did he do?  Not a single day has passed that he doesn't think of that night, or his friends who never returned with him.  The perpetrators were never found and no one was brought to justice to pay for the crimes.  Life in the border region just went on as if nothing had happened, a figment of his imagination, some horrible nightmare unleashed only to vanish back into the darkness from whence it came.  So he left, it was the only thing he could do.

He came back to the United States and began work again but something inside him was different.  He was haunted by the memories of the demons he faced down that night.  He was left with so many questions and so few answers.  He never reported the incident, since it was the police who picked him up in the first place.  His story having only been shared with family and friends until now seems to lack any reason, any justice or any moral perspectives.  Senseless comes to mind when recounting this story, but for him this telling of his tale might bring to him some validation of what has happened to him and countless others throughout Mexico.  He may never know why he was allowed to live while his friends died, some things never get answered, but he thanks god everyday for his second chance at this life.

Stories like his are repeated daily in Mexico, young men getting swept up only to be found days later, dead.  Their stories never to be told, never to be resolved, it has just become part of life now.  It takes courage to bring light to darkness and expose those who claim to work in the name of justice.  To all those who remember the missing, to all of your stories, to all your pain, may you one day you find the answers to what you seek.  We will never forget and we will not remain silent.  


  1. Thank you, ACI, good read!

    1. Yes,thank you Arm Chair...I wouldn't doubt there are many more of these stories we don't hear about ?

  2. I would go back with a gun and kill police at random

  3. BB has evolved, from reporting the daily or weekly or monthly kills, andblaming it all on "the narcs", to more looking for why it is all happenning, and slowly to looking for who is behind it all, i hope we progress to going for the throat more often, sooner, fall who may, no sacred cows anywhere...

  4. You can say " Fuck that I won't be tooken alive" but there is such thing as being overpowered!

  5. God spared him to tell his story! As far as Mexico, so sad! From the local law enforcement and up they should be disgusted with themselves, and to think that most kids in Medico actually grant to be sicarios? I am disgusted!

    1. God?? And what happened with his friend didn,t they pray to survive?? Remember that history is written by winners. Losers are the silent evidence.

    2. I'm guessing they let him go because he was american. They usually avoid killing americans because of the heat it brings.

  6. People want the things that they don't need. And need the things that they don't want.

  7. Too Good to be true, to the guy who think that god listened to the one who had prayed, i will ask you, how do you know if the killed didnt pray?

  8. By law, the military commanders are responsible of their people's deeds, according to senator layda sansores...
    The mexican excutive, includes the mexican commander in chief of the armed forces, who is not to be prosecuted anywhere in the world, by US law of impunity for foreign "dignitaries" without dignity...
    --that is why the mexican government needs and creates paramilitary forces with help from the militay from mexico, guatemala, the US etc etc..

  9. The biggest stumbling block for stories like this getting from BB to the rest of the internet news reading world are the comments which are uninformative, obscene, racist, ignorant and foolish. If BB could offer just the news, just the story, rather than having commentsthat belong on skid o can walls and barroom toilet stalls....who knows how many more could link to this source of information. CHIVIS! Please just try.

    1. Stop using annoymous chiva loca ...

    2. oh loco willis...if you know a way let me know.

      seriously I am not even sure what this comment (above) means. seems the person is slamming me and BB. But I am not sure. it means nothing really.

    3. @8:39 juan estupiro, you are anoymous yourself, so report this...
      BB does excellent for a free blog with unpaid volunteers, and you are free to set up your own blog where only the censored and in-line get posted... if your mama lets you I guess...
      Anonymous, is a big name for some, has made a name for hisself, what about you, whiny winnie?

  10. I have lots of Mexican friends in the US that have wanted to go visit family but put it off for years . Then there are others that go now and then without incident . Some come back and say "its not like everybody is saying , its not that bad " . I always say " it don't happen until it happens , and then its too late . There is so many murderers running lose in Mexico it seems almost unreal . You might be as safe in Bagdad walking down the street wearing a American Flag for a shirt and a cowboy hat (exaggeration ) but you get my point . You can be innocent but in the wrong place at the wrong time and die . The difference is across the border the odds change


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