Mexican actress portrays own kidnapping
Laura Zapata says she hopes to educate as well as entertain audience
— reported by the Houston Chronicle
In November 2002, she and her sister, Ernestina Sodi, were kidnapped outside a theater in Mexico City. Zapata was released after 18 days to collect the multimillion-dollar ransom, but Sodi was held for another 16 days. The criminals were after the fortune of their victims’ even more famous sister, Mexican pop star Thalia, and her husband, music industry mogul Tommy Mottola.
Three years later, Zapata is struggling to come to terms with her terrifying ordeal through Captives, which opened in this central Mexican city last week. Despite the melodramatic dialogue, the play offers a rare glimpse into the bizarre and terrifying daily life of a kidnap victim, and the unexpected relationships that can develop between captive and captor.
Mexico, by one recent estimate, surpassed Colombia last year as the world leader in reported kidnappings for ransom. There were 194 cases reported in Mexico during the first six months of 2005 compared with 172 during the same period in Colombia, according to the Citizens Council for Public Safety, a Mexican anti-crime organization.
Mexican victims are more likely to be killed than their Colombian counterparts, the group says, and the violence is getting worse.
In 1995, three Mexicans died at the hands of their captors. During the first half of 2005, that figure was 42, compared with 17 in Colombia, the group says.
I remember when this happened. I admit that, until this made the news, I hadn’t paid attention to what was going on in Mexico City. It’s dangerous. It’s very dangerous. And it’s just getting worse.