Tuesday, June 4, 2013

U.S. Marine kidnapped in Tamaulipas is still missing

Guadalajara -
A U.S. Marine who went missing in violent Tamaulipas state last month is the subject of an intense hunt by Mexican and American authorities. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has asked law enforcement in this country to step up their efforts.

Armando Torres III, 27, disappeared at his family's ranch near La Barranca, Tamaulipas on May 14.

Torres is from Hargill, Texas, about 60 miles north of the Brownsville border crossing. He reportedly traveled to Mexico to visit his father and an uncle when all three were seized by unknown assailants.

Tamaulipas has long been a seedbed of brutal drug war executions by rival cartels, struggling for control of U.S. bound drug routes. In March Spain warned its citizens to stay entirely out of the state.

Torres served in Iraq for seven years as a Humvee mechanic, family members said. He is a father of two sons, aged three and four.

Witnesses told investigators that the kidnappers ransacked the La Barranca ranch house and stole several vehicles. They loaded Torres, his father and his uncle into a truck and drove off. Whether the events were connected to Mexico's 78 month drug war or are a common crime is unclear. No ransom demand has been received by family members.

But Cristina Torres, 24, Armando's sister, told the McCallen (Tex.) Monitor that "the family believes the kidnapping is tied to a land dispute. Drug traffickers had been trying to get the property because of its proximity to the border, and they (family members) didn't want to give it up."

Torres is the second Marine to run into trouble in the same area in less than a year. In 2012 a former lance corporal spent several months in a Matamoros jail for bringing a shotgun into Mexico. He was freed in December after an outcry in the U.S.. With a little help from his friends Jon Hammar released.

In Washington a State Dept. spokesman said that the U.S. Consulate in Matamoros is assisting with the Torres investigation.

Tamaulipas state is just across the border from Brownsville. Drug war violence there is a daily event.

Feb. 29, 2013 - Narco terrorists launch grenade attack against capitol building in Tamaulipas
Jun. 8, 2012 - 14 corpses left at a Tamaulipas city hall
Dec. 29, 2011 - U.S. sailor goes out for a Christmas cup of tea, loses his life on Tampico street
Dec. 26, 2011 - Death toll along Veracruz-Tamaulipas border rises to 39; 13 new victims found

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission

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