Kidnapping of Martha Nieves Ochoa Vasquez

Nieves being kidnapped

The Kidnapping of Martha Ochoa occurred on 13 March 1981 when the M-19 revolutionary movement abducted Martha Nieves Ochoa Vasquez, the sister of the criminal Ochoa Brothers, from the university that she attended. M-19 leader Ivan Torres himself took part in the kidnapping, and they shoved her into their car after pushing her friend aside.


The kidnapping

On the afternoon of 13 March 1981, a car stopped on the street in front of a university in Medellin, and two men (Ivan Torres and Alejandro Ayala) exited the vehicle. They rushed over to Martha Ochoa and her friend, with Torres grabbing Ochoa and throwing her into his car as Ayala held her friend back, throwing her on the ground twice. The car proceeded to speed off, and the hostage-takers demanded that a ransom be paid for Ochoa, who was the sister of the criminal Ochoa Brothers. Both Pablo Escobar and Gustavo Gaviria of the Medellin Cartel refused to pay a dime for her, while Jorge Luis Ochoa refused to pay for her release. The conversation was tapped by the DEA agent Javier Pena, who found out that the cartel bosses were heading to a meeting at Las Margaritas.

MAS raid

MAS camp

The MAS camp after the raid

After the meeting at the Las Margaritas hotel in Medellin ended, Pablo Escobar ordered his men to hunt down the M-19 fighters, with his new paramilitary group Muerte a Secuestradores (MAS) attacking the M-19 jungle camp. The M-19 fighters returned to find several dead guerrillas tied up to trees, and a message threatening to attack the guerrillas' families unless they handed over Ochoa was found, written in blood. Torres vomited, and he decided to release Ochoa unharmed. Escobar had the M-19 kidnappers hanged from a tree in a park, and he sent the picture to the newspapers to warn the communist guerrillas. Torres came to Escobar with the Sword of Simon Bolivar and asked him to execute him with the sword if he must, but Escobar spared Torres and told him that he would work with him to liberate Colombia.