”MX” for Borderland Beat
|Luis Guillermo Corrales Morales (pictured) is a Bariatric physician. He specializes in helping patients with obesity and high cholesterol.|
Doctor Luis Guillermo Corrales Morales, of approximately 40 years old, was kidnapped about two days ago in Culiacan, Sinaloa. Cartel members took him at gunpoint while Corrales was at his clinic in front of multiple eye-witnesses.
He was released yesterday, but investigators said he was beaten all over his body. None of the wounds are life-threatening, however. The motive for his kidnapping and release have not been establish, and it is unknown if Corrales paid a ransom to his captors.
Doctors have been targeted by drug cartels for years. In the past, some of them have been targeted for treating rival gangsters or for failing/refusing to save wounded comrades after a shootout.
In addition, cartels have targeted doctors because they make more money than the average Mexican citizen. Many doctors are viewed as wealthy residents and are well-known in their communities. Their work addresses are oftentimes searchable online, which makes them an easy target for kidnappers.
Since Corrales was the head of his private clinic, it is also possible that he may have been kidnapped for failing to pay derecho/cobro de piso (“user rights”), where the business owners are forced to pay criminals periodically in order to be able to work. This is a form of extortion that is prevalent in Mexico, as documented by Borderland Beat.
|Dr. Corrales was kidnapped at his clinic in Gabriel Leyva neighborhood, Culiacan, Sinaloa. The kidnapped happened in front of multiple eye-witnesses.|
Extortions victims who are kidnapped and released often have no other choice put to pay cartel members under their new terms.
The medical community in Sinaloa mounted a large campaign on social media to bring awareness to the case while Corrales was missing. People described Corrales as an “excellent doctor” and exemplary citizen.
“I pray that Dr. Luis Guillermo Corrales Morales returns home as soon as possible … safe and sound … I feel sad about this event … [he is a] good man … professional … very dedicated and with great humility,” a patient of his said.
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