Mexican police capture man who allegedly targeted Mennonites for kidnapping


Suspect also being accused of murdering one of his victims in Chihuahua state town

The alleged kidnapper being loaded onto an airplane bound for Chihuahua state.
(photo courtesy State of Chihuahua)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — Mexican authorities have captured a man who allegedly kidnapped two members of a Mennonite camp in Chihuahua state, and murdered one of them.

Noé Jafet M.R. was taken into custody near Mexico City on Tuesday and is being flown to Chihuahua to face multiple charges, state Attorney General Augusto Peniche said.

The alleged kidnapper in 2018 abducted a 79-year-old merchant from the town of Cuauhtemoc and held him for eight days until his family paid a ransom, Peniche said in a teleconference.

Nine months later, the same suspect kidnapped another Mennonite, Abraham Harms, outside of a restaurant in Cuauhtémoc, the attorney general said. His captors ended up murdering Harms on June 24, 2019.

Chihuahua authorities identified the kidnappers and issued an arrest warrant for Noé Jafet M.R. on murder and aggravated kidnapping charges. The suspect allegedly led a ring of criminals from southern Mexico engaged in a kidnapping enterprise.

The suspect was actually arrested a short time later, but a local judge set him free and the man left the state, Peniche said.

The attorney general appealed the release and the arrest warrant was reinstated.

Noé Jafet M. R. — Mexican authorities don’t release last names of suspects until they are convicted — was tracked to a Mexico City suburb and taken into custody on Tuesday. Chihuahua authorities on Thursday released video footage of the suspect being loaded onto a plane bound for the state.

Mennonites primarily from Canada settled in northwestern Mexico beginning in 1921 and numbered about 80,000 as of 1987, according to one study.

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