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http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/mexi ... idnap.html
Kidnapped Spanish tourist found blindfolded beside Tijuana road
By Sandra Dibble
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
2:26 p.m. October 16, 2007
TIJUANA ñ A 67-year-old Spanish tourist abducted Saturday in Rosarito Beach was found early Tuesday by the side of a busy road blindfolded and with his hands tied, police said.
Jose Mara Sanchez Oses initially tried to flee when Tijuana patrol officers approached him, but cooperated when he could see they were uniformed police, said Arturo Zazueta Lara, a police chief in the southern district of San Antonio de los Buenos.
The victim had been beaten, and ìwas quite upset and frightened,î Zazueta said. Sanchez made no statement, but his face showed cuts and bruisesTuesday morning as he stepped from municipal police headquarters into an a Red Cross ambulance.
Sanchez had been released by his captors about 10 minutes before he was found, Zazueta said. It was unclear whether any ransom had been paid. The victim rebuffed attempts by state investigators to question him, Zazueta said: ìHe said he did not want to make any statements to police in civilian dress.î
Sanchez, a resident of Pamplona, Spain, is one of two men abducted at gunpoint about 3 p.m. Saturday in Puerto Nuevo, an area south of downtown Rosarito known for its restaurants that specialize in lobster dishes.
There was no information about the other victim, identified by Spanish officials as a Mexican-American man.
According to a spokeswoman at the Spanish Embassy in Mexico City, Sanchez and his wife had come to visit his son, a Spanish citizen who lives in San Diego but works in Tijuana. The older couple, together with their son, daughter-in-law and grandchild, were having lunch with members of a Mexican-American family, the spokeswoman said. She said armed assailants broke into the restaurant as they were having lunch.
Sanchez's wife, son and daughter-in-law, a U.S. citizen, suffered injuries, according to the Spanish Embassy. The U.S. Consulate in Tijuana confirmed that three people, including a U.S. citizen, and two Spanish citizens, were taken across the border for medical treatment. They were accompanied by a child who was not injured.
North County men file report with CHP
By Anna Cearley
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
September 12, 2007
TIJUANA ñ Three North County men driving to a Labor Day surfing holiday in Mexico were stopped in Tijuana by a convoy of cars with flashing blue lights and robbed at gunpoint by men who acted like professional criminals, one of the surfers said.
ìThe way they took us down was in a very militaristic fashion,î the surfer, a 37-year-old computer software salesman, said about the Aug. 31 attack. ìThey assaulted us, had their guns out immediately, dragged us out of the cars and separated us immediately.
ìThey were extremely aggressive, and they acted as if they owned that street. . . . If a cop would have arrived, he would have had no chance against them.î
The man asked that his name not be published because he feared retaliation from the assailants. He had written about the incident on a surfing Web site soon after it happened, but didn't identify himself or his companions.
The California Highway Patrol said yesterday that it had received reports from the men about two stolen pickups, which included some details about the assault. The CHP forwarded the information to Mexican authorities who investigate stolen-car crimes in case the trucks can be recovered, and so the men can file insurance claims.
However, the victims haven't filed a report with Mexican authorities to investigate the assault.
ìI wouldn't want to say the cops were involved, but it could be, and we just didn't feel that we could trust anybody,î said the man, who said he has traveled regularly in Baja California since he was a teenager.
He said he had never been assaulted before, though he has felt pressure to pay bribes to police about a dozen times for alleged traffic violations.
The incident happened before Labor Day weekend on the International Road, which is the main Tijuana road that heads west from the San Ysidro port of entry.
The North County surfers were driving in two pickups when they saw blue flashing lights about 4:30 a.m., the man said. Assuming they were being stopped by police, they pulled over. But the men who approached their trucks didn't indicate they were police, and they were not wearing uniforms.
The man said there were as many as six assailants in three cars. The robbers put guns to each of their heads, he said. A man wearing a mask dragged him about 50 yards to the edge of a cliff, he said, and fired a shot into the darkness before letting him go.
CHP Sgt. Cesar Murillo said the men reported the attackers also stole items inside their trucks: cash, camping gear, surfboards, a dirt bike and kiteboards.
Charles Smith, a spokesman for the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana, said his office hadn't heard from the men, but ìwe would be interested in getting details from the victims to try and prevent it from happening to anyone else.î
It's difficult to say how often criminals target tourists south of the border because many victims never file reports with Mexican authorities. The alleged crimes range from police shakedowns to rapes and armed robberies.
In August 2006, an American man was shot in the leg while he was driving with his family at 3 a.m. near Rosarito Beach, in what he believed was an attempt to rob him of his truck. That same month, an American woman died after she and her husband were shot while driving their car several hundred miles south of the border. Both of those crimes were reported, but it's unclear whether they were solved.
Antonio MartÌnez Luna, Baja California's state attorney general, said authorities have detained suspects in other assault cases reported by U.S. citizens. He encouraged the men to step forward.
ìThe more information we have, then the more we can do,î he said.
To start an investigation in Mexico, crime victims can file a courtesy report with the San Diego Police Department, which forwards the information to the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana. They also can contact the U.S. Consulate directly via e-mail at email@example.com.
what kinda fools are driving through Baja in the wee hours of the morning? I'm not blaming the victims for their predicament, but isn't it common knowledge that driving through Baja at night is dangerous for numerous reasons including vacas negras!
It ain't easy being greene.
Historically many people on surf trips would cross in the early morning to miss traffic and arrive at the destination for a day of fun as opposed to driving in heavy traffic and arriving at night. Crossing the border between 3-6am was considered a good idea until the recent huge jump in crime and kidnapping following the arrest of Felix-Arellano brother's who led the large drug smuggling cartels.
More so, the upcoming Passport requirement and real estate bubble have impacted baja economically so, the criminals in baja are desperate as are the general populous. Crime is up, swindling is up, kidnapping is up and in general there is no rule of law, as many criminals are in fact cops who rob tourists outright with guns drawn.
It sucks to be a surfer now. Watch out.
Its tough all over
World Surfer Champion Detained in Israel
Saturday, October 20, 2007
(10-20) 15:24 PDT JERUSALEM, Israel (AP) --
Police detained eight-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater early Saturday after a scuffle with photographers who were trying to take pictures of him with an Israeli supermodel, police said.
Israeli photographers were waiting outside as the American surfer and model Bar Rafaeli left a hotel in the Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya before dawn Saturday, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.
Slater pushed the cameramen in an effort to prevent them from taking pictures, a photographer at the scene told Channel Two TV.
"A brawl broke out and Slater was taken for questioning and later released," Rosenfeld said.
It was not the first time foreign guests of Rafaeli have scuffled with journalists. Earlier this year, Rafaeli and her then-boyfriend, actor Leonardo DiCaprio, created a media storm when he visited her in Israel.
After eluding journalists for days, the pair was met by a group of waiting photographers when they toured Jerusalem. Their bodyguards scuffled with photographers, punching some and damaging equipment.
Rafaeli later told an Israeli newspaper she wouldn't bring anyone famous to Israel "because there is a chutzpah here that you won't see anywhere else."
Slater, who is of Syrian descent, was visiting Israel for the first time as part of efforts by the group "Surfing for Peace" to promote reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians through the sport.
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