In January 2020, Víctor Huerta Jouvín, from Guayaquil, 46, was extorted with an alleged rape complaint and, five days later, he was kidnapped in downtown Guayaquil. There began the “nightmare” that he narrates in his book Decoy 17, the second edition of which he launched in July.
How was he extorted?
They asked me for $500,000 so as not to put an arrest warrant on me for a rape complaint, which does not exist. The administrator (of the urbanization where I lived) accused me of having drugged and raped a young lady for 17 hours, that’s why it’s called the book Decoy 17. But they didn’t know that I have cameras, where you see the decoy watching television , going to the bathroom, eating, while I was asleep. There was (the girl’s) will, which proves my innocence. She found out that she had the recordings and called me to meet with me. I told him to meet with my lawyer.
How did the kidnapping happen?
Leaving the lawyer’s office, downtown, I went to the Governor’s Office to speak with Governor Pedro Pablo Duart, because I wanted to know what measures could be taken to protect my family and me, but he was not there. I went out and was walking through the pink zone, and a car brakes and in less than four seconds ‘inside’.
What criminal gang was behind it?
He called a relative, someone who identified himself as the gang’s negotiator, a man with the surname Salcedo, who I later learned defended Jorge Luis Zambrano, alias Rasquiña, and a former vice president.
Did they know you had kidnapping insurance?
Yes, through subsequent investigations we found out that there was a list of people with anti-kidnapping insurance.
How was your captivity?
According to the Police, I was in Naranjal, on a farm, in a four by four meter house, with black walls, a zinc roof and a light bulb in the center. They had me hooded, tied up, on the cement floor. The smell of creolin was strong, and as I suffer from rhinitis I couldn’t breathe well. It was January and it felt suffocatingly hot, like in a sauna. They left me in my underpants. I cried (…), on the second day I began to talk to myself, to shout that they kill me, I prayed…
What was the most difficult?
On the fourth day they entered a beggar, they took off my hood and in less than a minute and a half, because it is recorded, they macheted him… his left arm, his right knee and his head. The head was placed on a stick, next to me, and for about two hours I saw the suffering face with open eyes in a pool of blood. They recorded that on video and sent it to my dad and the negotiators.
How was the negotiation?
It was a million (dollars), because it was what the insurer (from the United States) could pay (…), the payment was on the fifth day, at 1:00 p.m., on the river that divides the department of Nariño ( Colombia) with Carchi. The day before, the gang’s negotiator asked for the data and they knew that a plainclothes policeman was going to come to deliver the money in $20 bills in a bag.
After collecting the money, where was he released?
In (the streets) Víctor Emilio Estrada and Ilanes. I ran, I ran like crazy for about six blocks, because I was afraid they would catch me again. I ran until I reached the church (in Urdesa) to hide. It was Wednesday, it was full and I saw the farthest door (of the confessional) and I went in. There was a father, William González, confessing. I threw myself on top of him crying, I hugged him and we hugged for about half an hour. He thought that he wanted to kill me, but I told him: ‘No, father, what I want is to live.’ (YO)