Family of B.C. man missing in Mexico frustrated with police probe
Published Wednesday, May 22, 2013 8:18AM EDT
The family of a Canadian man who went missing in Mexico two weeks ago fear they are unable to trust the local police who are leading the investigation.
Diego Hernandez, a 22-year-old martial arts instructor from British Columbia, and his American friend Craig Silva, disappeared from the Mexican resort city of Puerto Vallarta on May 8.
The two were in the country to organize a mixed martial arts sporting event. Hernandez and Silva had withdrawn money from Silva's bank account to pay for some of the event's expenses, but soon after they obtained the money, they disappeared.
Family members are convinced that the two were kidnapped.
“Unfortunately these kinds of crimes aren’t uncommon in Mexico,” Hernandez’s aunt Amanda Morales told CTV’s Canada AM on Wednesday.
She said two separate eyewitnesses report seeing both Hernandez and Silva being taken from their vehicle and put into municipal police vehicles.
“That was the last time they were seen,” Morales said.
Hernandez’s father, brother and sister have all travelled to Mexico to help police in the search, but they’ve made little progress.
“They’re not getting a lot,” she said. “There’s a lot of stalling.”
Morales said her family turned to the Canadian consulate in Mexico for help, but they were told that it is up to local police to lead the investigation.
“That’s not what we want to hear when the witnesses said that’s who took them,” she said.
Morales said Silva’s bank card was recently used in Guadalajara, located about 300 kilometres east of Puerto Vallarta.
She is holding onto hope that Hernandez and Silva are still alive, but she’s frustrated that the investigation has made so little progress.
“We’re absolutely frantic and feel like there’s nothing being done,” she said.
A spokesperson from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada confirmed to The Canadian Press that consular officials are providing services to the family of a Canadian citizen reported missing in Mexico, and that they are in contact with local authorities.
Anyone with information is being asked to contact the Canadian or American Consulates in Puerto Vallarta.
A Facebook page has also been set up to spread the word about Hernandez and Silva’s disappearance.