Gato Ortiz and Kidnapping

A strange set of tweets were unleashed late last week having to do with former Monterrey and Jaguares goal keeper Omar "el gato" Ortiz. The first wave suggested that the net-minder had been the victim in a kidnapping ring. But as the story unfolded, it turned out that he was part of a kidnapping ring.

He was arrested over the weekend.

It is said that Ortiz' job was to pick out wealthy targets that ran in the same social circles that he did. One of the alleged victims of this group may have been singing star Gloria Trevi's husband.

Over the past 20 years, kidnapping in Mexico has unfortunately become industrialized. It had become such a problem that I remember going to a party in Mexico City where the amount of bodyguards was almost as big as the guest list.

I have heard many terrible stories about kidnapping, and sadly, a lot of the offenses found their genesis with someone who was close to the victim -- friends and even family members. One such story was brother1 having brother2 kidnapped because brother1 owed brother2 money. Brother1 then got the ransom money which he used to pay his debt to brother2. "No hard feelings, right, bro?"

My family was not lucky enough to escape this epidemic unscathed. Almost 20 years ago, my grandmother was kidnapped as she was leaving her house in Acapulco. The road was blocked, she came to a stop to see what was going on, and....

What followed was a sleepless week of harrowing and tenuous negotiations with the captors. Getting proof of life, getting ransom demands, setting up drop points, the whole deal. We were extremely fortunate that this ordeal had a happy ending. We got her back, she moved out of Acapulco, and needless to say, added a security detail. Unfortunately, we never did find out who was behind the whole thing, and we'll probably never know.

So I will have a hard time showing any compassion for Omar Ortiz. His once promising career has come to an end, thanks in part to series of self-inflicted wounds: he had been suspended by the FMF for two years after testing positive for steroids in May of 2010, and now has confessed to taking part of two kidnappings.

I don't live in Mexico anymore, but it's hard not to notice the current state of the country. It is my hope that it will improve because the country and its people deserve better. And hopefully that will start to happen when impunity is no longer perceived as a basic human right.