Tips For Surviving An Executive Kidnapping

A Spanish woman who worked for IBM in Mexico suffocated to death after she was abducted by kidnappers.

The 36-year-old senior executive with IBM took an unlicensed taxi near her workplace on September 13, 2016. Kidnappers then grabbed her from an ATM in the Mexican city of Toluca.

The kidnappers contacted the woman's family the day after they kidnapped her. The kidnappers received a ransom payment of just under £8,000.

The Spanish foreign minister said he and the woman's family believed that the woman would be returned "safe and sound" after the kidnappers received the ransom.

Police found the abducted woman's body in a stream near the village of Mirasol two days after she disappeared. Her hands and feet were bound, and a bag was over her head. Police said she died from suffocation the day after she was abducted.

The murdered executive lived in an exclusive neighborhood in Mexico City and had been in the country for three years. Gerard Couzens and Chris Kitching "Kidnapped niece of Spanish football president found dead with hands and legs bound together," (Sep. 21, 2016).


Although most kidnapping-for-ransom victims survive, unfortunately, this is not always the case. Knowing what to do and how to act if you are abducted can help increase your chances of survival.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) offers advice for executives to minimize their chances of dying during a kidnapping.

Your best chance for escape during an abduction is at the beginning, while you are still in a public area. Even if you do not have a way to escape, make as much commotion as you safely can to let those around you know that you are being kidnapped.

After you are forced into a vehicle, do not struggle. Kidnappers are more likely to harm or detain longer executives who are confrontational. Follow your captors’ instructions. Do not resist if your captors try to drug you. If their goal is to make you unconscious, it is better to be drugged than beaten.

If you are conscious while you are bound, focus on calming your mind and paying attention to every detail you can see, hear, and smell. Do your best to memorize the route. This information is extremely helpful should you have the chance to escape, or for authorities to find your kidnappers after you are released.

If your kidnappers interrogate you, be cooperative but avoid sharing any information that could be used against you. Keep your answers short and never admit to any accusations. Maintain your pride without being obstinate or antagonizing your captors.

Once you are put in a holding cell, observe your environment to try to surmise the layout of the building. Learn everything you can about your captors, including their names, numbers, rank, physical attributes, and habits. Memorize their schedule and try to find any vulnerabilities that you could use to escape.

Try to establish a rapport with your captors by talking about family, sports, and hobbies. Actively listen to your kidnappers, but do not praise or debate their cause. Ask them to teach you their language if you do not know it.

Speak normally, without whining or complaining. Once you build a relationship with your kidnappers, you can ask them in a reasonable manner for anything you need to be more comfortable.

If authorities come to rescue you, follow their instructions. Drop to the floor and remain still, or stand still, to avoid being shot in the confusion. Do not run. Do not resist if the rescuer handcuffs you while determining if you are the victim or one of the kidnappers.

To read more tips for surviving a kidnapping, visit

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