Olivier Tschumi was born in Switzerland. He has been living in Mexico for the past 20 years.
On the morning of December 19, 2010, Tschumi was kidnapped while he was jogging with his two dogs in a forest located in Cuernavaca.
On December 21, abductors demanded a ransom, but Olivier was not freed. Since then, there has been no sign of Olivier or his abductors. Tschumi’s family still does not have any information about Olivier after 23 months of exploring several courses of action. His family is not sure whether an inquiry will be launched.
For Tschumi’s relatives, the Mexican authorities’ silence represents torture, and shows their incapability of continuing the investigation. “There are days when we say Olivier is probably dead. The next day, we regain hope. Grieving our loss means admitting defeat. We need to continue pulling out all the stops until the truth is known,” Olivier’s sister confided. Despite this confidence, however, things are at a standstill. Corruption in the Mexican police force is so widespread that moving forward is complicated.
Recently, Mexico’s Assistant Attorney General’s Office for Special Investigations on Organized Crime (SIEDO) welcomed one of Tschumi’s family relatives to present two major files related to Olivier, but no concrete information was provided.
Olivier’s mother is 80 years old. She made enormous efforts to find her youngest child. She stayed in Mexico for four months. She pestered police, Morelos’ prosecuting attorney, and Swiss diplomats deployed in Mexico. She even participated in two police searches in the forest without success. Regular contact, ongoing pressure on authorities, private detectives, Mexican lawyers specialized in kidnapping, media coverage, help from humanitarian organizations, politicians, embassies, diplomats, and threats of hunger strikes have been many methods his mother has used to find her child. Nothing has worked out. It has been over 23 months since Tschumi’s family steered between hopes and despair.
Tschumi was kidnapped at dawn on December 19 while jogging with his two Irish Shepherds in a forest near his Cuernavaca home. Tschumi’s abductors have called several times to negotiate the price of their hostage’s bail. They demanded $300,000, but had to lower their ambitions and accept a $10,000 ransom. This was paid on December 21, 2010. As requested, the money was divided into two bags and thrown above an expressway bridge. One of the abductors called to report that only one bag was received – a pretext to keep Tschumi hostage.
Despite a fierce and daily battle, there has been no news of Tschumi. Today, his family must continue fighting to avoid this case from falling into oblivion and keep the pressure on authorities to prevent the file from closing. Isolated and on their own, family members are looking for help. Nobody has heard their cries nor seen their tears.
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