Top Kidnap Negotiator Kidnapped in Mexico

Officials believe brazen kidnapping a show of force by Mexican crime gang
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2008 6:11 AM CST
Silvia Vargas' family releases doves during her funeral ceremony, Saturday, Dec. 13, 2008. Vargas, 19, was kidnapped in September 2007 and her body was found by police on Dec. 5, 2008.   (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
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(Newser) – Masked gunmen have seized a top kidnapping negotiator in Mexico, Reuters reports. Cuban-American Felix Batista, who helped secure the release of dozens of kidnap victims in Colombia, was grabbed outside a restaurant in the northern Mexican city of Saltillo. Authorities suspect the abduction of Batista, who was in the country to give seminars on how to avoid being kidnapped, is a show of strength from organized crime.