When going out and kidnapping someone becomes commonplace
Jessica Pequeno, 27, the daughter of a couple who owns a restaurant in Matola, a city on the outskirts of Maputo (Mozambique), left her home as usual last Monday, around 8 am and in a fraction of seconds she was tucked in. of a car by strangers and taken to an uncertain part. The girl was released by the kidnappers this Friday but her abduction raises many questions that need to be answered. For the first time in the usual abductions of businessmen in Maputo – Portuguese, Asians, Mozambicans and other origins – the daughter of a target who is not even a millionaire was taken. He is a middle class family, owner of the restaurant Burako da Velha, in Matola. In fact, all elements of the family work in the space, including Jessica and her husband, pastry chef. And if they work, they are certainly not that rich.
When you go out and kidnap someone, anyone, and thar becomes banal, you have to confront the government of Mozambique and its criminal police bodies for their apparent ineffectiveness in tackling a phenomenon that has been going on for years and that has been aggravate. Nothing is gained by the banality of evil. “Nobody would have predicted that they would be targeted people, it means that nobody is free to be placed in this situation”, commented Alexandre Ascenção, president of the Portuguese Association of Mozambique. The Mozambican police do not have sufficient means to investigate violent crime, it is one of the most heard arguments. Then investigate what the police, with the means available, have actually done to stop kidnappings. Do not leave a stone unturned to see if there are any links between elements of authority and organized crime. Use specialized help from third countries and cooperatives, such as Portugal, if necessary.
But Maputo cannot wait passively until the next citizen is forcibly tucked into a car or shot in the middle of the day at the entrance to the office like Agostinho Vuma, the president of the country’s main employers’ confederation, in July. Nobody wants what happened in Caracas to happen in the capital of Mozambique. The capital of Venezuela had an average of three kidnappings a day a few years ago and some of the victims were Portuguese businessmen, people who sweated the rags in the bakery to have a successful emigration story to tell.
All difficulties, from the weak capacity of the police to the fact that kidnappings are no longer carried out only by organized crime but also by opportunists, have been diagnosed at least since 2013. It is more than time to act, to define the fight against this crime as a priority and that the government of Filipe Nyusi involves the Attorney General’s Office and even the Parliament in the process.
This article is available in: Português