Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Cartel recruited, kidnapped youths through shoot ’em up video game

Five youths in Oaxaca were rescued Saturday after they were recruited through a shooter videogame to go and work for the Tamaulipas-based Northeast Cartel. On a WhatsApp group related to the game Free Fire they were offered lucrative work with the cartel due to their evident interest in guns.

The 12 to 15-year-olds were kidnapped and forced into a vehicle in Tlacolula de Matamoros, about 30 kilometers from Oaxaca city.

The parents filed complaints with the state Attorney General’s Office after the youths disappeared and uploaded their photos on social media to call for help. One of the boys left a letter to his parents telling them not to worry because he had gone to work in Monterrey, Nuevo León, and would send lots of money.

Security officials tracked the youths’ movements through their cell phone locations. Their path led them to a house in the east side of the city.

When security personnel arrived at the property they were told that there was a children’s party going on inside. When they entered the property they discovered that the youths were being held hostage and that their captors planned to take them from Oaxaca.

One woman was arrested and the five youths have been reunited with their families.

With reports from El Universal 

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