Satellites track Mexico kidnap victims with chipsA mio modesto parere si tratta di puro teatro hi-tech: uno strumento passivo come questo non serve a nulla, sicuramente non come gli antifurto satellitari attivi. Il vero problema è localizzarle, le vittime dei sequestri e ai rapitori basta pochissimo per accorgersi delle presenza del chip sottocute e rimuoverlo a forza.
22 Aug 2008 00:36:26 GMT
By Mica Rosenberg
QUERETARO, Mexico, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Affluent Mexicans, terrified of soaring kidnapping rates, are spending thousands of dollars to implant tiny transmitters under their skin so satellites can help find them tied up in a safe house or stuffed in the trunk of a car.
Kidnapping jumped almost 40 percent between 2004 and 2007 in Mexico, according to official statistics. Mexico ranks with conflict zones like Iraq and Colombia as among the worst countries for abductions.
The recent kidnapping and murder of Fernando Marti, 14, the son of a well-known businessman, sparked an outcry in a country already hardened to crime.
More people, including a growing number of middle-class Mexicans, are seeking out the tiny chip designed by Xega, a Mexican security firm whose sales jumped 13 percent this year. The company said it had more than 2,000 clients.
Detractors say the chip is little more than a gadget that serves no real security purpose.
The company injects the crystal-encased chip, the size and shape of a grain of rice, into clients' bodies with a syringe. A transmitter in the chip then sends radio signals to a larger device carried by the client with a global positioning system in it, Xega says. A satellite can then pinpoint the location of a person in distress.
Cristina, 28, who did not want to give her last name, was implanted along with seven other members of her family last year as a "preventive measure."
"It's not like we are wealthy people, but they'll kidnap you for a watch. ... Everyone is living in fear," she said.
The chips cost $4,000 plus an annual fee of $2,200.
Non è teatro invece la violenza che si sta scatenando in Messico. L'altro giorno a Ciudad Juarez, la mitica (in negativo) località di confine alla periferia di El Paso, dove quest'anno sono morte ammazzate 780 persone, una squadra di intervento della Croce Rossa ha ricevuto ripetute minacce di morte attraverso le frequenze dei walkie-talkie che i soccorritori utilizzavano per coordinare la ricerca di vittime di una sparatoria. "Non avvicinatevi se non volete morire anche voi" hanno detto gli inattesi pirati dell'etere. Agli infermieri non è restato altro che tornarsene alla base. Chissà mai che la situazione non migliori inviando laggiù un contingente dell'Esercito italiano...
Red Cross gets radio threats in Mexico border city
By MARINA MONTEMAYOR
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (AP) — Red Cross workers stopped treating gunshot victims for several hours in a violent city across the border from Texas after receiving death threats over their radio frequencies, officials said Wednesday.
Two voices were heard over Red Cross radios Tuesday night threatening to kill emergency workers who cared for gunshot victims in Ciudad Juarez, local Red Cross chief Jorge Diaz said.
The Red Cross ordered its personnel to stop treating shooting victims while it decided on additional security measures, Diaz said. City government spokesman Jaime Torres said service resumed Wednesday afternoon, after police were sent to accompany ambulances.
The first voice used a vulgar expression to threaten emergency workers and the second warned that Red Cross personnel "will fall one by one." The identities and motives of the speakers were unknown.
Two months ago, the Red Cross was forced to restrict service in Ciudad Juarez, a city of 1.3 million that is home to the powerful Juarez drug cartel. The local Red Cross hospital stopped providing 24-hour emergency service after gunmen killed four people then being treated for gunshot wounds. Emergency service there now ends at 10 p.m.
Police protection for ambulances further strains a city police force that is already under siege. Many officers in Ciudad Juarez have been killed — some after their names appeared on hit lists left in public.
Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz announced a plan Wednesday to recruit soldiers with at least three years of army experience to serve on the city's depleted police force. Under an agreement with the Defense Department, the city will try to draw soldiers with higher salaries and more benefits than they now receive.
Thousands of army troops are already battling drug gangs in hotspots across Mexico under a campaign started by President Felipe Calderon. But relentless bloodshed has prompted opposition leaders to question the effectiveness of the government's fight.
More than 780 people have been killed in Ciudad Juarez this year, making it one of the worst-hit cities in a national wave of violence. Most of the killings have been drug-related.
On Monday, Mexican motocross champion Rene Tercero Reyes was killed along with a friend and brother-in-law when gunmen stormed a home in Ciudad Juarez, said Alejandro Pariente, spokesman for the regional deputy attorney general's office. The motive for the attack was unknown.
Tercero Reyes, a five-time national champion, lived in the city of Chihuahua but had traveled to Ciudad Juarez for a weekend competition. More than 200 people on motorbikes protested his death Tuesday.