By Bailey Marshall
A woman was reported dead last Wednesday after she went missing a week earlier. For Susan Carrera, it was just another ordinary day. She went to her friend’s house after work one day to pick up one of her children. Security cameras caught the kidnappers in the act as they nabbed Susan throwing her in a car and speeding away. It is not reported where Susan was taken or who the kidnappers were.
Nearly a week later, Susan’s body was found in a bag outside a parking lot in the city of Coatzacoalcos in the Mexican state of Veracruz. Her body was left with a note that said, “This happened to me because my husband played the tough guy and didn’t want to pay my ransom,” according to Fox News. The worst part of this tragic murder story is that the business woman’s head was found detached from her body.
Susan’s kidnappers asked for the equivalent of 4 million US dollars in Pesos from her family. It is reported by the Heraldo De Mexico newspaper that Susan’s husband simply could not acquire the funds to pay her ransom.
After his wife’s death, Luis Carrera took to social media to address the tragedy saying, “Thank you very much to everyone for your prayers and wishes for my wife Susana Carrera to return home. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to and she passed away.” The interesting part of this story is the unclear motivation of the kidnappers.
The couple owned an aluminum company called Pezaliminio in Coatzacoalcos which could have been why the kidnappers assumed kidnapping Carrera would result in a large payout, however this is not confirmed. Oftentimes, criminals seeking money by means of hostage situations will only kidnap people who they know will be able to pay the ransom. It is often not the kidnappers intent to kill their victim, but just to acquire the money they are asking for. According to a statistics portal on kidnapping, Latin American percentages for kidnappings cases that involve ransom are on the high side compared to other nations like the U.S. and China, however the percentage has decreased since 2004 dropping from 55% to 25%. Was Susan’s case a fluke, or will ransom cases skyrocket in the coming years?
Even so, homicides have become more common in Coatzacoalcos reaching 160 in the past year and 49 since the beginning of 2018 according to Fox News. Latin American nations are also considered more dangerous as a result of their lack of prosecution for criminals that have committed crimes. According to the Washington post, 17 out of 20 of the world’s most murderous countries are Latin American countries. In Susan’s case, this is no different. No arrests have been made so far.
However, Mexican officials are not backing down. ““The Office of the Attorney General of the state will not tolerate situations like this one, which constitutes a re-victimization and a breach of the duty of secrecy within the investigation,” prosecutors claimed in a statement according to Fox News.
In fact, Mexican drug, Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera, better known as El Chapo, is being convicted of 10 criminal counts involving the management of his criminal enterprise. This is ironic, because Chapo oftentimes beheaded his victims creating an undeniably terrifying reputation for himself which allowed him complete command over most Latin American authorities. Regardless, Chapo is facing a life sentence in which he will likely not escape. It is possible that Carrera’s murder and beheadment was a tribute to Chapo and his criminal enterprise mostly because it is hard to pinpoint any other motivation for the crime.
The safety of Latin American citizens remains hanging in the balance as they combat these recent and violent criminal actions. Will Susan’s murder serve as a catalyst to another spawn of violent acts by citizens? The better question is will Mexican authorities use this tragedy to prove that they will work to prosecute horrible kidnappers such as these?