The recent kidnapping of an American tourist in Mexico has garnered international attention and sparked concerns about the safety of travelers in the region. The man, who has since been identified as Felix Belmont, was abducted by members of a cartel and held for ransom before being rescued by Mexican authorities. His wife, who initially had no idea he had even left the US, is now speaking out about the incident and warning others about the dangers of travel in certain parts of Mexico.
In an interview with CNN, the wife – who asked to remain anonymous – revealed that she was unaware that her husband had left the country until she received a call from the FBI informing her of the kidnapping. She described the situation as a nightmare, expressing shock and disbelief that something like this could happen to her family.
“I had no idea that he was even traveling,” the wife said. “He never told me anything about it. I was completely in the dark.”
Belmont had reportedly flown to Mexico on his own, without telling anyone of his plans or itinerary. He was staying in a remote area near the town of Ajijic, in the western state of Jalisco, when he was taken captive by members of a local cartel. The group demanded a ransom of $4.5 million in exchange for his release, a sum that was not paid.
After several days of negotiations, Mexican authorities were able to track down Belmont’s location and stage a rescue operation, freeing him from his captors and bringing him back to safety. He was reportedly unharmed, but traumatized by the experience.
The wife noted that her husband’s decision to travel to Mexico alone and without notifying anyone was out of character, and that she had no idea why he would have done so. She urged others to take precautions when traveling to foreign countries, especially when visiting areas known for criminal activity or violence.
“I want people to understand that it’s not just about being careful when you’re abroad,” she said. “You have to be careful even within our own country, and make sure that you’re taking all the necessary steps to safeguard yourself and your family.”
The incident has raised questions about the safety of tourists in Mexico, particularly in areas where drug trafficking and organized crime are prevalent. The US State Department has issued travel advisories warning against travel to certain regions of the country, including Jalisco and other western states.
In recent years, Mexico has seen a surge in violence and crime, with drug cartels and criminal organizations waging war against each other and the government. This has led to a rise in kidnappings, shootings, and other acts of violence directed at both locals and tourists.
Several high-profile incidents of American tourists being kidnapped and murdered in Mexico have made headlines in recent years, fueling concerns about the dangers of travel in the region. Some have called on the US government to do more to protect its citizens traveling abroad, or to issue stronger warnings about the risks involved.
For the wife of Felix Belmont, the incident has been a wake-up call about the importance of staying informed and aware when traveling. She stressed that it’s not enough to simply assume that everything will be fine, and that travelers need to be vigilant and proactive in protecting themselves and their loved ones.
“I never would have imagined that something like this could happen to us,” she said. “But it did, and I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what we did.”
Despite the trauma of the kidnapping, Belmont’s wife expressed gratitude for the swift and effective response of Mexican authorities, as well as the support of friends and family during the ordeal. She said that the experience had brought them closer together, and that they were now focused on moving forward and rebuilding their lives.
“I’m just so grateful to have him back home safe and sound,” she said. “We’re taking it day by day, and trying to move past this as best we can.”