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Kidnap Consultant Taken in Mexico

Kidnap Consultant Taken in Mexico
Kidnap Consultant Taken in Mexico

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By William Booth
Washington Post Foreign Service
December 16, 2008

MEXICO CITY, Dec. 15 -- An American anti-kidnapping negotiator, whose 
company says he has resolved almost 100 kidnapping cases in Latin 
America, was abducted by gunmen last week -- while meeting with Mexican 
business executives and their bodyguards to discuss ways to thwart such 

The abduction of Felix Batista was bold and chilling, and the report of 
his disappearance, which hit the news media here Monday morning, had 
Mexicans wondering whether anyone was safe.

"This kidnapping is as serious as any other kidnapping in Mexico, where, 
according to official statistics, two people are kidnapped very day," 
said Mar=C3=ADa Elena Morera, president of Mexicans United Against Crime. 
Independent watchdog groups in Mexico estimate that there are as many as 
500 kidnappings a month in the country, most never reported because 
families choose to privately negotiate ransoms without help from police 
officers, who are often involved in kidnapping crews.

According to his employers, Batista, who is based in Miami, is a 
longtime "response consultant" with more than 20 years in the kidnapping 
and ransom business, or "K&R," as global security firms commonly call 


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