WORLD & SPORTS: Pulido pulls off a self-rescue


In a sensational development in the North Mexican border state of Tamaulipas, last Tuesday, the Mexican police arrested a person who was the husband of a cousin of Alan Pulido on charges of kidnapping the high-profile player; the accused masterminded the kidnapping on the week-end.

Alan Pulido, who plays as a midfielder or forward for Greek side Olympiakos and was a member of the 2014 Mexican National Football Team; the news prompted the team management of olympiakos, Greece to issue a message of support for his early rescue.

Following swift action taken by the authorities, an operation by the police had resulted in a shootout between the accused and the police in the city of Cuidad Victoria in the North East of the country.

According to the official version narrated by the authorities, the suspect was identified as Osvaldo Velasquez Garcia, 29.

The kidnapping took the world by surprise and there was an uproar with calls of support from far and wide; the media went into overdrive and this news made it to all the National headlines.

It is stated that he was involved in various underground activities including kidnappings, extortion through a criminal organization whose member he was.

The authorities concerned did not identify the criminal organization but it is common knowledge that, in this most dangerous area of Mexico, the Zetas Drug Mafia holds total control with a huge number of kidnappings, homicides and a general ambience of lawlessness.

According to the Mexican National coach, Alan Pulido, who was a prominent member of the World Cup squad for Mexico in 2014 was overlooked this time around for the upcoming Copa America due to a legal tangle with his former club Tigres.

This kidnapping has come as a veritable shock to the sports lovers of Mexico in general and the Football fans in particular since it is not customary for even the best sportspersons to opt for hiring bodyguards to ensure their safety. This is a new development and it might be a beginning that the sports world will have to keep in their scheme of routine things.

This incident has also been a reminder to all the powers that be drawing their attention to the perennial state of law and order in Mexico in general and the North eastern state of Tamaulipas.

The state has been the battlefield for supremacy between two factions of the powerful Gulf Cartel and its breakaway offshoot Los Zetas, which is its armed wing that set out on its own in 2010.

It is not rare to see gunfights in the daytime while common people dare not venture out after sunset with Ciudad Victoria, the capital being the worst affected city in the whole of Mexico.

It is therefore called the most dangerous city in the worst state in Mexico.

How it happened

Velasquez, who is the husband of Pulido’s cousin, was also present at a party attended by Pulido’s cousin who was secretly keeping an eye on the football star because he was in touch with a group of kidnappers whom he had commandeered, to make a fast buck out of the kidnapping of the multi-millionaire superstar.

He was, in effect, informing every move of Pulido to his gang members who were waiting to grab him as per the plan that they had hatched beforehand.

As Pulido left with his girlfriend, Velasquez conveyed all the details of the vehicle to his friends; this led to the kidnapping wherein four gunmen seized him but his girlfriend was allowed to leave.

The smart football international Pulido, who had been kidnapped by some unidentified criminals, showed his quick, heroic responses when he was able to punch one of his captors who was a bit inattentive;  he was thus able to telephone the police and inform about his kidnapping.

The captor, who was arrested, turned out to be a 38-year old accessory who spilled the beans to the police and revealed the name of the mastermind as Osvaldo.

The encounter

The police swung into action and a team was dispatched to apprehend the culprit but the alert Garcia, when espied the police team and started firing when he could not find a proper means of escape; he had been surrounded.

He sustained injuries from the gunfight and was confined to a house in Ciudad Victoria.

Eyewitnesses reported that he was struck in the neck and the shoulder before being apprehended; a medical examination revealed that he was out of danger.

They took him to a two storied house and left him with one of the kidnappers who was overpowered by Pulido and the police were informed of his abduction from the mobile phone of the captor. It was a matter of minutes before the Mexican police swung into action and rescued the footballer while arresting the captor.

It is stated that there was a ransom demanded i.e. $325,000 but it could not be verified.

Umrao Singh                                          

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Written for: Lars-Magnus Carlsson