Authorities are still seeking at least one other suspect in the alleged kidnapping for ransom March 16 of a prominent Merida woman, while two detained teens will soon learn if they must face formal charges of kidnapping in the case.
The incident that has dominated media coverage for a week and sent shivers through the Merida community resulted in swift release of the victim, Gloria Margarita Oramas Jimenez, and arrests of two teenage suspects.
Alex Carbajal Amaro and Rodrigo Vazquez, both 17-year-old high school students from north Merida, are facing charges of unlawful imprisonment and robbery stemming from the incident, in which they allegedly grabbed Oramas on her way to a casino and stole $30,000 pesos in cash. The two youths were allegedly armed with a pellet pistol.
The two minors appeared in a Merida courtroom Saturday, but there will still be another hearing in coming days to determine if the suspects will be formally charged with kidnapping. The youths are being held in a Merida juvenile detention facility.
Meanwhile, authorities are still seeking to arrest at least one more alleged accomplice, including the suspected mastermind of the incident.
Oramas is the mother of ex-Merida city councilman Jorge Dogre Oramas, a well-known PRI party leader. She was reportedly on her way to a casino in Plaza Galerias when the two teens allegedly grabbed her, stole her cash and contacted her relatives with ransom demands for two million pesos ($110,000 USD).
According to these authorities, the two “good-looking” minors approached the woman and after “earning her trust”, took her to the motel “Recinto Real” located on Periférico, where they theatened her with a pellet gun, contacted the family and demanded a ransom of two million pesos ($110,000 USD).
The first police report was received at 2:41 am Thursday March 17, when Oramas’s daughter called 911.
During the morning, officers of the state Attorney General Office and agents of the Public Security Secretariat searched five hotels in the Mérida downtown area, trying to locate the woman or find the suspected kidnappers.
Finally, the state police located Oramas around 3 pm Thursday, March 17. Oramas was found safe and with no injuries, and the two minors were detained.
The incident was the second alleged kidnapping for ransom in Merida this month. The previous grab on March 2 also resulted in swift release of the alleged victim and arrests of multiple suspects after an intense law enforcement operation.
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