11 immigrant kidnappers arrested in Tijuana, they where lead by an ex-military officer
A shoot out with police officers and military personnel resulted in the arrest of eleven kidnappers specializing in attacking immigrants who would ask for over two thousand dollars of family member in exchange for their release.
This dangerous group was lead by an ex-Military officer who confessed to having perpetrated over a hundred group kidnappings in the mountainous region of Tecate.
Eight men were detained after an operation Monday May 17th around noon, after Beta Group members located a group of 17 immigrants who were being held against their will inside a cave, in the border region by Tecate.
The men confronted police officers and shot Tecate police commander Francisco Martin López Cerda, in the leg and thorax. He is reported stable but still hospitalized after the attack.
The group was found to have four weapons, including a 7.62 x 39 rifle known as “cuerno de chivo”, and forensic evidence found the arms have been involved in a series of shootings, including two murders, October 15th 2009 and February 19th this year.
After questioning, state police located other three accomplices, including two believed to be the leaders of the band: José Isabel Flores Romero, “El Flaco”, born in Aguascalientes and Efraín Valencia Ceferino alias “El Guacho”, a Nayarit native believed to have served in the army for six years.
According to his own confession, Valencia was a trained military officer, specializing in communications, who served as a lieutenant from 2000 to 2006, when he asked for voluntary release.
All of the detainees were presented to media at State Prosecutors office, where organized crime prosecutor, Fermín Gómez Gómez said the men had confessed to have begun operation about a year and a half ago.
During that time, they confessed to performing over a hundred kidnappings, —many of them group kidnappings—, where they threatened immigrants and forced them to call their relatives, both in Mexico or the US, asking for a random delivered using international money wiring services.
According to Gomez, the detainees face charges of organized crime, aggravated kidnapping and assault.
“They are all from different parts of Mexico, they meet because they where practically neighbors” said Gomez, “we hope that by publishing their image more victims will come forward and we have an even stronger case against them”.