The Colombian women who were rescued by the police in Mexico were not kidnapped, but remained in the place where they were found by the authorities of their own free will. This is what is now known, after several comments and even a video of the private party in which they were participating where they are seen dancing and in a cheerful attitude. The women were found in a motel on the Villahermosa-Cardenas highway, in the state of Tabasco.
Two days after the police operation, the Mexican prosecutor’s office is studying the new version, which claims that the foreign women are not part of a network of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, as initially reported. This is so because of the statements of the girls themselves. It has transpired that one of them, Mariana Garcia Muñoz, who appeared in the first video a few days ago that started this case, explained in her statement before the prosecutor’s office that all of them are in Mexico of their own free will and that they freely engage in prostitution. “I just realized that they were looking for us all over Mexico with those videos they made; we are here of our own free will,” the girl told the prosecutor.
Dismantling a lie
The case caused a major stir both in Mexico and Colombia, since a Mexican television program reported the fact. A well-known morning show reported the alleged kidnapping of nine Colombian girls by a drug cartel, including a video of one of the girls in which she told her mother in an anguished attitude that she had been kidnapped and asked for help.
Until then, no one had reported the hypothetical disappearance, which had been going on for more than a week. After the newspaper report, the Colombian consular authorities mobilized and, in cooperation with the Mexican justice system in the state of Tabasco, began investigations that led to the rapid location and subsequent release of the escorts. This provoked several reactions of congratulations and joy, including from the Colombian president, Gustavo Petro.
In a few hours, after verifying the state of health of the released girls, the rumor began to circulate that it was not true that they were being held by force, a version confirmed by the girls themselves and which is now being studied. The denial has come from the alleged kidnapped girls, who now claim that the video that originated everything was recorded by one of the girls in a state of drunkenness. In addition, it was confirmed that the girls numbered eight, and not nine as it was initially said.
Mariana Garcia, the girl who appears in the distress video that motivated the whole operation, acknowledged to questions from the prosecution that she was drunk at the time she recorded it. “I was kind of drunk (…). Because I was rather sentimental with her, that’s why I was asking for forgiveness and everything,” Garcia explained to the prosecutor in the case.
The President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, explained that most of the girls entered the country as tourists and that their legal situation in Mexico is being reviewed. The Aztec president wanted to emphasize that the Colombian women are in good health, without going into the new version of events.
“The important thing is that they are healthy, safe, the information we have is that they entered as tourists, most of the ladies entered as tourists”, said the president in his usual morning conference.
Nothing more has been announced as to whether or not the foreigners can be expelled, once the 180-day period offered by the tourist status in Mexico has expired, nor if there will be any criminal consequences, at least for the girl who recorded the video which started a judicial, police and diplomatic operation that has mobilized two countries, including the highest political spheres of both. Most likely, the girls will return to Colombia in the next few days, once the Mexican judicial authorities close their investigation.
The prosecution will continue to investigate
The Mexican prosecutor’s office, for its part, promised to continue with the investigation to verify the veracity of this new version. The judicial authorities also want to know the truth of what one of the girls initially stated, when she claimed that in Villahermosa there was a house with between 50 and 70 Colombian girls who had their passports withheld and who would be forced into prostitution.
The prosecutor ordered protective measures for the eight girls while the proceedings continue. In addition, she is in permanent contact with the National Migration Institute and Interpol to verify the situation of these young women. The Mexican authorities want to guarantee that they are certainly not victims of any human trafficking mafia and that, as they have now said, they are passing through the state of Tabasco of their own free will.