In June 2007, Eduardo Valseca was kidnapped in Mexico right before his wife’s eyes. He was tortured and beaten in the months that followed while Jayne, his wife, tried to negotiate his release. NBC News’ ‘Dateline: The Ranch’ shines a light on the terrifying few months in Eduardo’s life and how Jayne dealt with everything when it happened. Eduardo returned home months later. In the late 2010s, the authorities suspected two men of the kidnapping, one of them being Ricardo Palma Salamanca. So, if you’re wondering where he might be today, here’s what we know.
Who is Ricardo Palma Salamanca?
After Eduardo Valseca was released from captivity, the Valsecas moved to the United States. However, they had to wait for several years before getting any answers regarding who could have kidnapped him. Then, the authorities arrested two men just months apart in 2017 and 2018 — Raul Julio Escobar Poblete and Ricardo Palma Salamanca. The arrests stemmed from another kidnapping that happened in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where the Valsecas used to live.
Some abductors had held a French-American woman for ransom in San Miguel. Once they began getting restless upon not getting the money, the group cut off one of the woman’s fingers. They wanted to ship it to her family as a warning. So, one of them hired a taxi and asked the driver to deliver the package to someone at a restaurant close by in May 2017. However, the driver was suspicious of the package and called the authorities.
Inside, the police found a severed finger and letters. They arrested Raul, who had been following the taxi. As the news of Raul’s arrest spread, his associates began fleeing the country. Ricardo had gone to Cuba with his women partner and children before flying out to France, where he was arrested in February 2018. The authorities also learned of his criminal history and his previous connection to Raul.
Ricardo, a Chilean national, was part of the military wing of the Communist Party in that country during the 1980s. He killed senator Jaime Guzman in 1991, for which he was sentenced to life. Furthermore, Ricardo was convicted of being part of the kidnapping of an influential person in 1991, receiving another life sentence for it. But in December 1996, Ricardo performed a risky escape from a prison in Santiago, Chile.
In an operation headed by Raul, a helicopter swung low into the prison compound, picking up Ricardo and three other men in a bulletproof basket. After the escape, both ended up in Mexico, eventually settling in San Miguel de Allende under fake identities. At one point, they even opened a cafe there. The authorities believed that the two men were part of a kidnapping ring that abducted several people in Brazil, Mexico, and Spain. The two men were also suspected of abducting Eduardo.
Where is Ricardo Palma Salamanca Now?
After Ricardo Palma Salamanca was arrested in France, Chilean authorities filed for his extradition. However, they hit a roadblock when the French Office for Refugees and Stateless Persons granted him refugee status. Ricardo claimed there wouldn’t be a fair trial in Chile, adding that he was tortured into confessing to Jaime Guzman’s murder. The Court of Appeals in Paris, France, denied the extradition in January 2019. As a result, Ricardo, now in his 50s, remains in France while Chile continues to try and have him extradited. In 2020, a documentary regarding his life, titled ‘El Negro,’ was released.
Read More: Where is Raul Julio Escobar Poblete Now?