News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

5 South Koreans kidnapped in Mexican border city

Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Kwang-Tae Kim - The Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea-- Five South Koreans were abducted in a Mexican border city, officials said Tuesday.

Gunmen who seized the four men and one woman demanded a $30,000 ransom in return for their freedom, according to an official from the National Intelligence Service. The official did not give further details and asked not to be named, citing an internal policy.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak instructed his top security adviser to "make utmost efforts for quick and safe return" of the kidnapped victims.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the five were kidnapped in the Mexico border city of Reynosa last Monday when they were traveling there to seek job information. The ministry said the five were confirmed to be alive.

Mexico has a large South Korean population, many of whom are active in the import industry and own assembly-for-export factories.

Reynosa police officer Mario Gomez said local authorities were investigating the reports, but could not release any information.

Kidnappings for ransom have become commonplace in Mexico, which has one of the highest kidnapping rates in the world. Many are never reported to police, in part because of the fear that local officials may be involved or will bungle a possible rescue.

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Kidnappers free 5 South Koreans held for ransom in Mexico by smugglers

ASSOCIATED PRESS
7:32 p.m. July 22, 2008
REYNOSA, Mexico – Five South Koreans abducted in Mexico were set free unharmed on Tuesday, more than a week after they were kidnapped and held for ransom, officials said.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry announced the Koreans were in custody of Mexican police and would be handed over to the South Korean Embassy there.

In an interview with Radio Formula, Tamaulipas state attorney general Jose Herrera confirmed the five had been released Tuesday afternoon in Reynosa, and were meeting with embassy officials.

Mexican authorities said the South Koreans were kidnapped on July 14 while driving in Reynosa, across the border from McAllen, Texas, and their captors had demanded US$30,000.

Herrera said the four men and one woman were not in Mexico on business but instead were here looking to cross into the U.S. illegally.

“They were held so (their kidnappers) could profit for crossing them to the United States,” Herrera said.

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