May 21th 2024 | 1:02

Bizkaia

The Ertzaintza achieves the release of a kidnapped person in Mexico after intense international collaboration

Maria Jose Gonzalez

April 20, 2024 | 11:14 a.m.

In an outstanding effort of international cooperation, the Ertzaintza has managed to free a citizen kidnapped in Mexico, where he was brutally held to demand a ransom from his family in Euskadi.

On April 6, a dramatic episode of kidnapping unfolded in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, involving a 35-year-old man whose disappearance alarmed his family based in the Basque Country. The kidnappers, identified as part of a network of "Mexican Coyotes" who facilitate illegal border crossings, not only captured the individual but also inflicted severe physical and psychological torment, documented in videos that they later used to pressure for a financial ransom. considerable.

The rescue: a race against time

The initial demand by the captors amounted to a considerable sum of money, with a fatal deadline that expired on April 9. Given the impossibility of raising the amount in such a short time and the growing fear for the kidnapped person's life, the family had no choice but to go to the Ertzaintza, who immediately took action on the matter, marking the beginning of a rescue operation. that would test the coordination and effectiveness of several international agencies.

Strategy and transnational collaboration

The operation, called "Azeri", was characterized by an impressive deployment of technical and human resources, including direct collaboration with the Mexican Anti-Kidnapping Unit and the support of the Negotiation and Crisis Management area of ​​the Mexican Anti-Kidnapping and High Impact Crimes coordination. (CONASE). Through Interpol, a vital link was established with the Mexican authorities that allowed real-time exchanges of information and joint planning of the rescue operation.

The negotiation tactics used by the Ertzaintza Negotiation Group were crucial. Through careful management of communication with the kidnappers, deadlines were extended and vital information was obtained without compromising the hostage's safety. At the same time, advanced technological investigations were carried out to geolocate the mobile devices involved and narrow down the location of the captivity.

The climax of a successful operation

The outcome occurred on April 11, when, in a coordinated effort between the Ertzaintza and the UECS of Ciudad Juárez, a tactical assault was carried out that resulted in the safe release of the kidnapped person and the arrest of several people involved. The victim, deeply grateful, was immediately transferred to a safe place, from where she could communicate with her family and begin to manage her return home.

This case not only highlights the vulnerability of individuals in contexts of high insecurity but also demonstrates the capacity for response and international solidarity in the face of transnational crimes. The Ertzaintza, with this new success, reaffirms its commitment to the security of citizens, both inside and outside its borders.

Reflection on international cooperation in security matters

This incident underlines the importance of maintaining efficient collaboration channels between the security forces of different countries and highlights how international cooperation can be decisive in the fight against kidnapping and extortion. As the world faces increasingly complex security challenges, unity and working together are emerging as the most effective tools to protect citizens and pursue criminals, regardless of the borders they try to use to hide.

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