Freedom Folks

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Thank You Mr. President!

Source: The Monitor
Prominent locals falling prey to extortionists

McALLEN — The voice on the phone demanded that a large sum of money be wired to a Mexican bank account number.

There was no name attached to the voice, but its owner had clearly done his research.

“Basically, he said he was a professional hitman and he knew who our family was and where we lived,” said a relative of the prominent McAllen businessman who had picked up the phone. The family has asked to remain anonymous out of concern for their safety.

“Unless he was paid within three hours, one of the family members would be ‘picked up,’ was the term he used.”

The family refused to pay and contacted the FBI, who told them they were probably the latest victims of what is believed to be a professional extortion scam operating out of Mexico.

Over the last 12 months the FBI has heard repeated reports of prominent individuals in the Upper Rio Grande Valley, including doctors, lawyers and businessmen, receiving phone calls demanding between $20,000 and $70,000 in exchange for their families’ safety, said John Johnson, assistant special agent in charge in the FBI’s McAllen office.

While victims have mostly avoided reporting the calls, Johnson said he believed the reports were valid due to the similarities in details.

“My understanding is they’re targeting people who have the means or they believe to have the means,” Johnson said.

“They’re feeding on the public’s fear regarding all the violence going on along the border.”

Since early 2005, the streets of Nuevo Laredo have been a regular battleground for rival drug cartels competing for trafficking routes in northern Mexico. There’s concern within many law enforcement agencies that the violence could spread eastward, theoretically into Reynosa and even the Rio Grande Valley.

So far, no one has actually been kidnapped, but the FBI believes a number of families have paid the would-be kidnappers. And for those that have been targeted, a threatening phone call detailing their family’s personal information isn’t easily forgotten.

“Over the next week we were really paranoid. But since that day we haven’t heard anything,” said the family member of the McAllen businessman.

“But even now, I still find myself looking over my shoulder. It’s scary to think about.”

Kidnappings have been a serious problem in Hidalgo County for a number of years. Last year alone, 21 kidnappings were reported to the Sheriff’s Department, and 32 the year before that.
You know what really torques me off about this? Due to the pathetic enforcement of our borders you would be crazy to think assassins couldn't or wouldn't cross the border.

A Freeper gets it right in comments...
Proper response would be something like "Sure, you're going to climb over the double wall topped with razor wire, evade the armed drones that fly by every 5 minutes, get past the dogs and snipers, and come kidnap me? Get real.". Oh, wait, I forgot that we're too collectively stupid to protect ourselves by securing the border from a third world country that wants to victimize us.
Heh! Thanks again Mr. President. As I wrote once...
Worse yet, our safety is being coldly sold out in the name of money and trade. A calculation is being made in Washington that a certain number of gang rapes and murders are acceptable so long as the dollars flow and trade crosses the border.
Still ringing true for me, howza bout you?

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