MONTERREY, Mexico – The U.S. Consulate is warning Americans who travel to Monterrey they face a greater risk of being kidnapped.
The warning was issued after the possible kidnapping attempt of a college student. Last Friday, a firefight broke out outside the American School Foundation of Monterrey, located in the upscale suburb of Santa Catarina.
Early reports say the kidnapping attempt triggered the gunbattle. Now officials believe it was a case of mistaken identity.
The incident is raising new concerns about the danger of being kidnapped and held for ransom in Mexico. Organized criminal groups like the Zetas are trying to make more money to fight the drug war through kidnappings and extortions. The Zetas have military training and are very resourceful. They are not just targeting people in the drug business. Business owners, their families, and anyone who can pay a large ransom are being targeted.
Many of Mexico’s wealthy industrial elite call Monterrey home. Some are being forced to flee the city and cross into the U.S. for safety. Federal law enforcement sources say the Valley (Rio Grande Valley) is also seeing a sharp increase in kidnappings. The U.S. Consulate says if you don’t need to travel to northern Mexico right now it is in your best interest to avoid the area.