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Employer: Anti-kidnapping consultant kidnapped in Mexico

  • Story Highlights
  • Felix Batista, anti-kidnapping consultant, abducted in Mexico
  • Former military officer was in Mexico on "personal business," employer says
  • Kidnappings, violence have reached record levels in Mexico in 2008
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MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) -- An American anti-kidnapping consultant was kidnapped in Mexico, according to the Houston-based security firm he works for.

Felix Batista was abducted outside a restaurant December 10 in Saltillo, the capital of Mexico's Coahuila state, the firm said.

The former U.S. military officer is a contract consultant for ASI Global LLC and was in Mexico "on personal business," ASI Global President Charlie LeBlanc told CNN.

He said the FBI is investigating the incident along with Mexican authorities.

Kidnappings and violence reached record levels in Mexico this year.

Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora said this month that organized-crime killings soared to 5,376 in 2008, more than double the 2,477 deaths in Mexico in 2007.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon met over the summer with the country's 32 governors to unveil a plan to combat the nation's staggering rise in kidnappings.

The plan includes building special prisons for kidnappers, bolstering the justice system, cleaning up corrupt police forces and clamping down on kidnapping tools such as prepaid cell phones and money-laundering.

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