Editor's Page

Plea From the Father of a Kidnapped Son


Dear Friend,


This is a desperate plea from Gustavo Belluscio and his family.


My son Pablo Belluscio of Buenos Aires was kidnapped on September 22 at 12:30 a.m. by an extortionist gang of criminals over a month ago, and they cut off two joints of his right index finger and sent them to us – together with indescribable and “explicit” videos. And further, they threaten to continue amputating and to kill him.


They demand an amount of money impossible for us to raise. He is in the hands of sadistic extortionist kidnappers. Today it’s our beloved Pablo, but tomorrow it could be the son or daughter of any Argentine family, because there have already been over 40 cases in less than two months, and the figure is increasing.  


This is all surrounded by sepulchral silence, we desperately need all possible collaboration from all the mothers and fathers of the whole world. We don’t want money, we only want this to become known to everyone, we must make it known, not cover reality with a blanket of silence, regardless of how horrible it is. 


The means we consider to be helpful is simple and peaceful: send emails to the Argentine government, the Federal Police, radios, newspapers, television, saturating them with requests for information by all friends and friends of friends, using the maximum pressure, that this not be silenced, that no one is unaware of it.


I, Gustavo Belluscio, and my family will be eternally grateful. Our beloved son Pablo is in mortal danger as tomorrow could be the son or daughter of any family. It is terrible that a family is obliged to pay the mutilators, executioners of its own son.


This is a country where the people must pay for the cutting down of members of their families. IT CANNOT BE, THIS CANNOT BE SILENCED, it must be revealed to the whole world, and especially saturate the press, justice, government, police, etc. of the Argentine Republic.


Thank you, friend, it is not only Pablo, it is for ALL AND ANY ARGENTINE CHILD AND/OR OF ANY NATIONALITY.


Grateful from my heart whoever you may be and God bless you.

On November 6, 2003, Pablo was released after his family paid a ransom of 147,500 US dollars. He was found wandering in shock on a highway dressed only in his underwear. A guard for a gaited community spotted him, gave him a jacket and sent him home in a taxi. He had been in captivity for 43 days. Physically - except for missing two-thirds of his right index finger - he seems to be all right. His psychological condition is unknown. Meanwhile, his father had sent the above message not only to the press, but by email to everyone he knew, with the request to forward it. It eventually reached thousands of Argentines who finally felt that this was the last straw. Huge demonstations took place place in Buenos Aires, with citizens demanding an end to these horrors. Do demonstrations affect criminals? Of course not, but Gustavo Belluscio and the public were demonstrating against the government, banging their pots and pans. The last time this happened the previous government (De la Rua) fell. There is strong suspicion, almost certainty, that the corrupt Buenos Aires provincial police are involved in these kidnappings, either organizing them or providing "free zones" for their perpetration, then getting a cut of the ransoms. The president (Kirchner) screamed, yes, yes, we must stop this. And suddenly, after Pablo was released, eight people from a shanty town were arrested. No one knows yet if are really really guilty or only "the usual suspects". The government expressed its satisfaction that Pablo had been freed.

But Pablo's father isn't finished. He sent another message saying expressing satisfaction isn't enough. He wants the ransom money back, "if only to burn it", for if not it will finance more kidnappings. Police chiefs are being purged, the Federal Police have organized a special task force for kidnapping cases, the armed forces may even be used.

To be fair, this government is relatively new and seems to be sincere in its desire to reverse the trend of violence and insecurity. But the mafia is well entrenched in police and political circles, corruption is the order of the day and poverty is epidemic. [Editor]