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Ricardo Villarreal Speaks on the Kidnapping Conviction of “El Chileno”

El Chileno

By Jesús Aguado

Now that the General Prosecutor’s Office of Guanajuato has handed down a 60-year prison sentence to Raúl Emilio Escobar Poblete, convicted of kidnapping a Franco-American woman in San Miguel de Allende and wanted in connection with several other murders and kidnappings, ex-Mayor Ricardo Villarreal spoke on the subject.

It was during Villarreal’s administration that the public security secretariat, together with the state, managed to arrest “El Comandante” or “El Chileno,” as Escobar Poblete was known.

Villarreal, now the representative for Federal District II, said, “I’m happy that justice has been done in this very unfortunate San Miguel case. The city was held hostage for around 10 years by this criminal group. They kidnapped good people, and that affected everyone.”

He also commented that the threat Escobar Poblete brought to San Miguel during the decade he was operating in the city was the reason some investors preferred to put their money into other cities.

According to Villarreal, México has received several petitions from Chile—Escobar Poblete’s country of origin—for his extradition. He is accused of participating in the death of a senator in that nation in the ‘90s. Chile wanted Esobar Poblete to be put on trial there. However, since a sentence was handed down for the San Miguel kidnapping, he will serve that sentence in México, said Villarreal.

“He will be there for the rest of his days. That fills us with joy. If there is hope in the country, it is in coordinated work between authorities.”

He added, of Escobar Poblete, “He will never leave prison again, which is what someone that bloodthirsty deserves.”

Atención also questioned Villarreal about the increase of murders in San Miguel.

“We live in a complicated country,” he said. “There are 2,800 deaths per month in México—almost 100 per day—and San Miguel is not an island.”

He stressed that in Guanajuato, fuel theft has grown over the last six years, which led to criminal groups generating economic markets, developing personnel, and acquiring weapons.

“The problems will not be solved overnight,” he said. But he did say that the PAN party in the Congress is giving President Andrés Manuel López Obrador tools like the National Guard to fight crime. “Now the federal government must work,” he said.

Regarding homicides in San Miguel, he repeated that the city is not an island. What it is, however, he said, is a city where people can walk—even unaccompanied—at 4am with nobody kidnapping them.

He shared with the public the following message: “Sanmiguelenses should behave well. Nothing happens to people who behave well. We must all work every day to make things better.

“The most important thing is the peace and tranquility of our families, and this we market on an international level. That’s why we have more weddings than anywhere in Latin America. We are a municipality that works.”


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