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Land Dispute to Blame for Marine's Disappearance in Mexico, Aunt Says

A U.S. Marine reservist who disappeared in Mexico last month along with his father and uncle may have stumbled into an ongoing land dispute between his family and a neighbor, family members said Tuesday.

The FBI announced Monday it's looking for information about the May 14 disappearance of 25-year-old Iraq War veteran Armando Torres III of Hargill, Texas. He, his father, Armando Torres II, and uncle Salvador Torres were taken from the ranch in Mexico, not far from the border.

Patricia Torres, the reservist's aunt, said Tuesday that her father-in-law — Armando Torres Sr. — had sold a piece of his ranch in La Barranca, Tamaulipas, to a neighbor. When that neighbor stopped making payments on the land, Salvador Torres took it back.

"That's when everything started," Patricia Torres said from the porch of her nephew's trailer home. "That's when they said they were going to have revenge and that they were going to regret it. After a month passed by, this happened."

In addition to the criminal investigation by Mexican officials, the FBI has opened a concurrent international kidnapping investigation.

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Comment by Rich Roth on June 14, 2013 at 10:32am

Land disputes have been an ongoing problem in the last few years.  It seems to range from extortion where land is requested by Cartel, or even want a be Cartel members.  After a few threats, often the land even homes are sold at prices of 100 to 200 dollars American.   Land is often then sold either at great prices to unsuspecting buyers, that take out note's and then find they can not even visit the land on orders from Cartel, or people who insinuate they are with a Cartel.  Land is sometimes sold to people and businesses that are extorted to buy the land and then make payments on land they will never see.

In some cases Banks must have some knowledge of what is going on, and either turn a blind eye, or are part of the problem.  In other cases the banks have no idea, and just make what look to be valid loans, not knowing they are paying off Cartels with the proceeds. 

Rich Roth

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