Saturday, October 18, 2008

US Child kidnapped by Mexican Mafia

The NYT recently had an article discussing whether a weak economy will lead to an increase in crime. The economy isn't the only factor, but certainly a significant one.

However, the kidnapping a of child because of a drug trafficking debt in Las Vegas is probably not related to the economy, but old-style capitalism.

Police believe [six year old Cole Puffinburger ] may have been [kidnapped] because his grandfather, Clemens Fred Tinnemeyer, 51, owed Latino methamphetamine dealers between $8m and $20m ....

The abduction happened when three men knocked on the door of the house where Cole Puffinburger lived. After tying up his mother and her boyfriend, they ransacked the house and then took Cole....

Investigators said traffickers usually seized cars and other assets to recoup money. But they also fear Cole's abduction is a sign that the grotesque violence that characterises the battle for control of Mexico's drug trade could be seeping across the border into the US.

An attempted crackdown by authorities since August appears to have triggered a dramatic escalation in violence, with 387 people killed in the first two weeks of October and gangs resorting to torture and beheadings. Even women and children are targets in the daily ritual of revenge killings.

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