Rumor of kidnappings spread on social networks, totally false
On Thursday January 23rd, a rumor of a white van driving around Merida, kidnapping children was spread on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp.
This is the actual message that was posted on Facebook and Whatsapp:
“You will not read or hear this in the local media, because these news as many others are been hidden to avoid panic among the citizenship, but you need to be aware in order to protect innocent lives.
Beware! A white van with several men, equipped with a refrigeration unit, without license plates, is driving around Merida and other municipalities. These guys belong to a dangerous gang of organ trafficking, seeking mainly young people and children walking around the streets to kidnap them.
“Parents, take care of your children, do not leave them on their own. Young students, do not walk the streets alone, be careful because you may be the next victim of these animals.
“Spread the word to all your contacts so there are no more victims of this criminal gang, this is urgent.”
This post, was published with the following photograph of Luis Alejandro González and Malvina Serrano, allegedly leaders of this gang:
The original source of this Facebook post is unknown, but it was shared by thousands of users in Yucatan and Campeche, not only through Facebook, but on Twitter and Whatsapp as well.
The rumor became so viral, that State authorities were forced to make an official statement regarding this issue.
State Prosecutor, Celia Rivas Rodríguez, declared on her Twitter account, on Thursday January 23rd at 11:54pm, that this whole situation was false and exhorted the citizenship to remain calm.
On Friday January 24, the Attorney General Office of Yucatan, reiterated the State Prosecutor’s announcement.
Meanwhile, the State Prosecutor of Campeche Arturo Ambrosio Herrera, also declared this rumor, that was spread on the web in that State as well, was absolutely false and it had nothing to do with the murder of Alexander Cifuentes González, high school student from Champoton, who was actually assassinated in the State of Chiapas.
On January 27, housewife Amada Fernanda Moen Manrique went out on the streets of Tizimin armed with a rifle after her son ran home from school declaring that a stranger approached him and offered him money to buy candy, trying to get him away from the school premises.
The kid realized that his life could be in danger, and quickly ran home. After seeing her son so frightened, Mrs. Moen Manrique grabbed her husband’s rifle and left the house to face the stranger. When she arrived to the Abelardo Conde Ruz Elementary School, the alleged kidnapper was no longer there.
She returned home saying she would do anything to defend her children, and the following day she went to pick up her daughter at the Otilia López Kindergarden with the same rifle wrapped in a towel. When other mothers realized she was carrying the gun, Amada stated: “The mothers of Tizimín will not suffer as the mothers of Michoacán, we will defend our children with our claws”.
When other parents heard Amada’s statement, they declared their concern for the Facebook and Whatsapp messages spreading the rumor of kidnappings in the State of Yucatan.
This rumor is actually several years old, and there is even a Twitter hashtag that is being active since 2011, that people has been using recently as a prank.