Spanish electro-pop band return home after being kidnapped by Mexico's notorious Los Zetas drugs cartel

  • @timwalker

A Spanish electro-pop band have returned home from Mexico after being subjected to a terrifying, 30-hour “virtual kidnapping” by the notorious Los Zetas cartel.

The Barcelona four-piece, Delorean, performed at last weekend’s Mutek Festival and were at their Mexico City hotel on Monday when they received a call, saying they should vacate their room due to a security threat. The caller turned out to be a member of the Zetas, a criminal gang known for its brutal torture and murder methods.

Bandmates Ekhi Lopetegi, Guillermo Astrain, Unai Lazcano, and Igor Escudeo were told they would be killed if they did not follow the caller’s instructions. Warned they were being watched and could be shot at any moment, they moved to a second hotel, dumped their phones and bought new handsets. In fact, the band never met their captors, who communicated only by phone.

Under orders from the kidnappers, the band contacted their families in Spain to demand ransom of 5m pesos per person, a total of 20m pesos (£940,000). The family members contacted the Spanish authorities, and several international police forces, including the Mexican Federal Police, collaborated to track the band’s location – where, after 30 hours, they were found safe.

In a Facebook post, the band described their ordeal as “an experience where the threat of death was real due to the psychological manipulation inflicted on us by our kidnappers… While it would be convenient to blame Mexico, that would not be sound. This could have occurred anywhere in the world. Our hope is that this situation will bring attention to the abuse that we were subjected to by our kidnappers, so that other travellers do not fall victim in the future.”

Before the kidnapping, Delorean were preparing a world tour to promote their fourth album, Apar. Two other Spanish musicians, John Talabot and Pional, have cancelled Mexican tours following the incident.