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A conductor has been held captive for over a year

It was a year ago this week that Mexican bandits, probably belonging to a drugs cartel, seized the conductor Rodolfo Cazares who works with a German orchestra in Bremerhaven. His family have paid four separate ransoms. They have been given no proof that he is alive.

Two Mexican governments have turned a blind eye. World leaders who visited Mexico have failed to take up his cause. The Pope has not responded. The French government have given Rodolfo citizenship (his wife, Ludivine, is French) and are making commendable efforts on his behalf.

Riccardo Muti has promised to take up the case with the authorities when he visits Mexico with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in October.

Until Rodolfo is released, Mexico must be regarded by the civilised world as a lawless state. Tourists and business people should avoid going there.  Any musician who is required to perform there has a moral duty to raise the case of the kidnapped ocnductor in every interview and from every stage. The continued incarceration of an innocent man is an affront to civilisation.

The latest update, in a North German newspaper, suggests that Rodolfo may be a victim of mistaken identity. Whatever the cost, he must be set free.

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  1. “Mexico must be regarded as a lawless state” – in that case why do you also advocate appealing to Mexican government leadership to intervene in his case?

    This is a very sad case and I hope and pray for his safe return, but inflammatory rhetoric does not help.

    • manolete says:

      mexico es un pais corrupto y con una ignorancia % porcentual grandisima sus escuelas ,sacan ingenieros por miles de miles perop con un conocimiento pauperrimo, en reynosa tamaulipas los transitos roban descaradamente al pueblo, policia esta acuartelada o en su casa que es lo mismo y les pagan, desde hace mas de 36 meses, los que gobiernan son los carteles del golfo y sinaloa, el robo de luz y gasolina es descarado y sin nadie que les diga nada por ser delito federal, verdaderamente tamaulipas es un asco es un narcoestado, y nadie pero nadie va a poder arreglar este mugrero, , las colonias son recorridas y vigiladas por la pandilla local y sus integrantes hacen y desacen, no hay negocio ni persona segura, cada dia esta peor de verdad no vengan a tamaulipas,su vida correria muchisimo peligro y mas aun si traen una camioneta buena aqui los alcaldes roban un trienio y se van a vivir a usa y los gobernadores no se diga ignoran al pueblo rodeados de soldados y guaruras pobre mexico pobre tamaulipas

  2. Alejandro Luis-Castillo says:

    I am a mexican composer and the media didn’t cover his case. I don’t know why the family didn’t push for national coverage in free media, I even heard about peasents talking about their situation on national radio. There are many organizations of the society that help the victims, maybe the family didn’t wanted to make it public here for some reason. I will pass it to those media and ask the music community to help. Just one thing, my country shouldnt be regarded as a lawless state for the sad situation of one person, even if he is a prominent musician. Havn’t you heard about millions of people in the streets all over our big country last weekend fighting peacefully for our rights? Its been clear that Mexico is not a big drug consumer, the big market for mexican drugs is the USA and some countries of Europe. Do you want to help? Stop selling weapons to drug dealers, stop buying illegal drugs. Mexico is awakening. We need support and solidarity, never an easy disqualification. Thanks.

  3. Peter Freeman says:

    Someone should inform the international lawyer Clive Stafford-Smith who takes on human rights defence cases pro bono.

  4. Valentina Lisitsa says:

    The only instance when boycott helped was when state of Wisconsin mulled over a law to permit “hunting” ( killing ) of homeless cats.I can think of a few countries which would qualify as lawless but they are just too darn lucrative for anybody in business or arts to raise a hackle.
    Mexico is a very complicated country with many problems , some are of their own making, some – as Alejandro correctly points out ( like current US Department of Justice selling arms to drug cartels – that led to 200+ people killed – both in US and Mexico ) are out of their control. To stop going for business or vacations in Mexico is precisely what drug cartels would love to happen so they can have the country all for themselves. Their “business” is of export nature . They don’t sell drugs to locals or tourists. They sell wholesale to US, Canada and Europe. They are PepsiCo and CocaCola of criminal world. Some years from now when drugs will be legalized by governments eager to get additional taxes while keeping their citizens conveniently stupefied , this period will be romanticized as “Wild West” beginnings of drug trade and HBO will create mini-series which will be happily watched by jobless happy smokers.
    The reason why the kidnapping of Cazares family didn’t have much publicity in Mexican press is because most of drug-related crime is not random . Cazares family ,as distinguished members of society as they are , had a misfortune to be close relations to top members of the feared Zetas cartel. Zetas’ nemesis, Matamoros ( you make the judgement which one is Coke and which one is Pepsi ) kidnapped 15 members of Cazares clan. Even though Cazareses paid over 100,000 Euro 5 members of the family, including Rodolfo are still being held captive. It was not until the government captured another Rodolfo Cazares, the feared drug lord of Zetas, the family spoke up because at this point it makes no sense for the rivals to hold the hostages.
    Here is one of local press, in Spanish:

    Here is a rather crude Google translation ( still gives a general idea )

  5. Baron Z says:

    Is he seriously blaming the U.S. for drug consumption? We can only consume what is sent here from other countries, what is not produced here. The drug trade is a constant assault on our resources. We are being bled for our success. But if we fail, no one will be any better off.

    • Paul Lanfear says:

      Don’t know too much about Mexico per se, but on a general point the US (and others) has exported arms, instability and, yes, terror for decades. Perhaps one could argue that the drug trade is just one of the bitter fruits of this?

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