Ten kidnappings per day from Friday through Tuesday in Caracas
Some kidnapped people are put in the same car, where they comfort each other
At any point of Caracas, members of the same group of kidnappers meet. With their cars parked close to each other, they make one blindfolded person with his/her hands tied up get out of one of the vehicles and get inside the other car. The driver who has just "unloaded" the kidnapped person leaves, while the other driver gets inside the car and gives instructions to two people. Now, the victims understand that they are together.
As far as possible, the victims talk and support each other. They comfort each other. They understand that they are kidnapped and that they have to wait.
According to criminologist and special risk consultant Fermín Mármol García, this modus operandi has been used repeatedly in Caracas during 2012. "We have realized that a criminal ring can have several people kidnapped at the same time and that they gather them in some place. We have information that at such place is where the kidnapped people start to interact and support each other," explained Mármol.
Mármol added that other groups use hotels and parking lots west Caracas to keep their victims while they negotiate ransom. "The modus operandi of traveling around the city in a car with the kidnapped person is no longer used as often as in the past," said the expert.
Sources reported that since Friday, April 27 through Tuesday, May 1, 50 kidnappings were recorded in Caracas. This means 10 cases per day, in average. Mármol added that he did not have the exact number. But, as a special risk consultant, he estimated that a peak was recorded in these five days -the third one during the year.
Police sources said that out of the 50 kidnappings, only five were reported.
Scientific, Criminal and Forensic Investigation Agency (Cicpc) officers -who requested anonymity- explained that there are seven groups of kidnappers in Caracas.
Gang members are under-aged people and adults up to 25 years old. One of the groups uses shotguns to subdue their victims. This group operates mostly in Altamira and Chacao, northeast Caracas.
"Using shotguns is a new MO that was introduced this year. Until last year, no criminal gang was armed with shotguns or machine guns. Before, they only used handguns," added Mármol.
Translated by Karen Daza
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."