In January 2020, 46-year-old Victor Huerta Houvin from Guayaquil was extorted with a statement of alleged rape, and five days later he was abducted in the center of Guayaquil. This is where the “nightmare” began, which he talks about in his book Decoy 17, the second edition of which was published in July.
How was he extorted?
They asked me for $500,000 to keep me from issuing an arrest warrant for a rape claim that doesn’t exist. The administrator (of the urbanization where I lived) accused me of pumping up and raping a young lady for 17 hours, so the book is called Decoy 17. But they didn’t know that I have cameras where you see that the decoy is watching TV, walking in bathroom, eat while I sleep. There was (a girl’s) will proving my innocence. She found out that I had notes and called to meet with me. I told him to meet with my lawyer.
How did the kidnapping happen?
Leaving the attorney’s office in the city center, I went to the governor’s office to speak with Governor Pedro Pablo Duart because I wanted to know what steps could be taken to protect my family and me, but he was not there. I get out and walk through the pink zone, and the car slows down and in less than four seconds is “inside”.
What criminal group was behind this?
He called a relative who posed as the gang’s negotiator, a man named Salcedo, who, I later learned, had defended Jorge Luis Rasquinha Zambrano and the former vice president.
Did they know you had kidnapping insurance?
Yes, on subsequent investigations, we found out that there was a list of people with kidnapping insurance.
How was your captivity?
According to the police, I was in Naranjal, on a farm, in a house four by four meters, with black walls, a zinc roof and a light bulb in the center. They laid me in a hood, bound, on a cement floor. The smell of creolin was strong, and since I suffer from rhinitis, it was difficult for me to breathe. It was January and it was suffocatingly hot, like in a sauna. They left me in my underpants. I cried (…), on the second day I started talking to myself, screaming that they were killing me, I prayed…
What was the most difficult?
On the fourth day, they went into the beggar, took off my hood, and in less than a minute and a half, because it’s written down, machete his… left arm, right knee and head. They put the head on a stick, next to me, and for about two hours I saw a suffering face with open eyes in a pool of blood. They videotaped it and sent it to my father and the negotiators.
How did the negotiations go?
It was a million (dollars) because that was the amount that an insurer (from the USA) could pay (…), the payment was on the fifth day, at 13:00, on the river separating the department of Nariño (Colombia) from Carchi. The day before, the gang’s negotiator had asked for the details, and they knew a plainclothes cop was going to come in to deliver the money in $20 bills in a bag.
After collecting the money, where did they let him go?
On (the streets) Victor Emilio Estrada and Ilanes. I ran, I ran like crazy for six blocks, because I was afraid that they would catch me again. I ran until I reached the church (in Urdes) to hide. It was Wednesday, it was full of people, I saw the farthest door (confessional) and entered. Father, William Gonzalez, confessed. I rushed to him from above, crying, I hugged him, and we hugged for about half an hour. He thought I wanted to kill myself, but I told him, “No, father, I want to live.” (HEY)