”MX” for Borderland Beat
|After killing her, the abductors left her body inside the trunk of her car|
The lifeless body a woman who was found this week was identified as Gloria Renteria Vargas (aged 54), a resident of Cuernavaca, Morelos. She had been kidnapped the day before. Her body was abandoned inside the trunk of her car.
Investigators say that Gloria was kidnapped and that those responsible demanded a considerable sum of money from the family to release her. The family called several of Gloria’s siblings that live in the U.S. to help collect the money. They were able to gather up to MXN$350,000 (close to US$17,000) by the end of the day.
One of Gloria’s relatives met with the kidnappers and gave them the money near Solidaridad Park in Cuernavaca. The abductors promised to release Gloria by midnight near Santa Maria Ahuacatitla. However, despite the ransom payments made to the abductors, Gloria was killed; one of her relatives went to the scene and discovered her body inside her car’s rear compartment.
Cuernavaca, nicknamed the “City of the Eternal Spring”, is about a two-hour drive from Mexico City. It has a population of nearly 350,000 and is often cited as a popular retreat spot for rich Mexico City residents who want to get away from the metropolis. It has a colonial downtown and several upscale neighborhoods.
In the past, this city attracted several Mexican drug kingpins who wanted to blend in with Cuernavaca’s upper class. One of them was Arturo Beltrán Leyva, former leader of the Beltran Leyva Cartel.
In recent years, Cuernavaca and the state of Morelos have seen a surge in narco-related violence. Earlier last year, the bishop of Morelos, Ramon Castro Castro, said that Morelos was “overrun” by cartels.
Crime figures in Morelos shot up in 2019; there was a 35% rise in murders, a 68% increase in kidnappings, and 363% more extortions than in 2018. It is likely that many of these figures are downplayed as many kidnappings and extortions are not reported to authorities.
Since 2019, at least a handful of drug cartels are disputing Cuernavaca and all of Morelos. Among them include the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG), Los Rojos, remnants of La Familia Michoacana, Los Tlahuicas and Los Mayas.
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