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MMA Promoters Diego Hernandez and Craig Silva Missing for Two Weeks After Organizing Event in Mexico

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Kidnapping is one of Mexico’s most lucrative shadow-industries, with a startling 72 cases per day estimated by one 2012 study. So when a pair of foreigners with money mysteriously disappear, it’s hard not to assume the worst.

On May 8th, a Canadian martial arts instructor named Diego Hernandez — who had relocated to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, two years ago — vanished along with his business partner, an American named Craig Silva. The two men had just promoted an MMA event in Puerta Vallarta, and were last spotted in Silva’s black 2003 Chevy Trailblazer, which has since been recovered by Mexican authorities. Hernandez’s mother now suspects that a kidnapping took place, and that somebody close to the men might have been involved. The Huffington Post passes along more details:

Reached in Puerto Vallarta, Hernandez’s mother, Melissa Canez, said her son and Silva had been planning to withdraw money from Silva’s account to pay for some of the event’s expenses. Soon after they obtained the money, they dropped off Silva’s girlfriend at a local university and intended to pick her up after class, she said.

Canez said she suspected the two men were kidnapped when she was told the next day that they did not return to pick up Silva’s girlfriend…

“As soon as she said they hadn’t come back and they didn’t answer their phones, for me, I knew somebody had my son against his will because he would not do that. He wouldn’t just take off.”

The online newspaper Noticias PV says Puerto Vallarta’s director of public safety, Silvestre Chavez, didn’t learn of the men’s disappearance until five days later and has launched an investigation.

Canez said her son’s girlfriend filed a missing persons report within 48 hours.

Hernandez’s girlfriend also received a call from someone who claimed he saw the two men being arrested by municipal police on the same day they went missing, Canez said…

Since the missing reports have been filed, the local authorities and the Canadian consular have been of little help, Canez said.

She said she has seen surveillance footage of an unknown man withdrawing money at a bank using Silva’s card.

There is also apparently another surveillance video that shows Hernandez withdrawing cash at an ATM while being flanked by two masked people, she said. One of the men’s bank card was also used at a convenience store, she added…

The mixed martial arts event that [Hernandez] put on earlier this month was in collaboration with another business partner who was mostly in charge of the finances.

According to Canez, Hernandez was approached a few days before the event by somebody who wanted a percentage of the earnings. Her son refused, Canez said.

“I was terrified,” she said. “I said to him, ‘You can’t say no to those people…I think you should leave, like get on the plane right now.’”

Canez said the event was extravagant and televised, and Hernandez and his business partner were having trouble paying some of the expenses.

As a result, Silva, whom Hernandez has known for over a year, became a partner as well and offered to put up what Canez said was a substantial amount of money to cover the outstanding expenses.

All of those events have led Canez to suspect that someone close to Hernandez and Silva has something to do with their disappearance.

“I think that somebody tipped these people off that Diego and Craig were going to have a substantial amount of cash on them that day, I think they were followed,” she said.

“They know Diego doesn’t have money, and his family doesn’t have money…but in Craig’s case, those people who were close knew that he had some financial backing because how could he just come up with that money to invest overnight and become part of this whole thing?”

Canez said she hasn’t received any ransom calls, but she is not sure whether the same can be said of Silva’s family. She said she has been in touch with them, but they prefer to keep their distance.

“We want Diego and Craig home alive and we are not looking for anyone to be brought to justice, nor will we do any further investigating,” Canez said. “We just want them to be given back to us safe and sound.”

Puerto Vallarta police said no information would be given on the case at this time.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada confirmed that consular officials are providing services to the family of a Canadian citizen reported missing in Mexico, and that they are in contact with local authorities.

A Facebook group has been set up to collect tips about the men’s whereabouts. Word of the case has also spread through social media, with many sharing photos of the men on Twitter.

Hernandez and Silva’s story should serve as a warning to other MMA promoters trying to make a buck south of the border; let’s hope it has a happy ending.

Cagepotato Comments

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queenofthebitches- June 6, 2013 at 6:39 pm
Let me set all you ignorant asses straight.. Number 1, Craig was not in mexico on VACATION, he's lived there for 8 years, NUMBER 2, Soultaker how do you know they are dead? DID YOU KILL THEM??, NUMBER 3, Craig was NOT his business partner, He was just there supporting his friend DIEGO.So before you all go running your traps, get your facts straight first! Diego was promoting an event, NOT craig. and soultaker, just by your comments, i believe your involved!
Cora_Corral- May 23, 2013 at 4:54 am
If you think Lillian`s story is shocking,, two weaks-ago my girlfriend's half sister earnt $6240 grafting a thirteen hour week from home and the're friend's sister-in-law`s neighbour has been doing this for five months and brought home over $6240 in their spare time on line. use the steps on this site,
Mr_Misanthropy- May 22, 2013 at 12:00 am
Gabachos nos usan pa limpiar sus culos
Nos tratan como mierda de puerco
Tengan huevos y sean hombres
Un pinche viaje al norte

Siglos pasan y nuestra raza se jode
Cabrones gabachos, nos dan verga y miada
Forzados a la pobreza,
Somos pinches mayates
Tu venganza sera tu destino oscuro

Matando Gueros - !!Viva la raza!!
Matando Gueros - !!Estilo Pancho Villa!!
Matando Gueros - !!Satanas de cuida!!
Matando Güeros - !!Matando Gueros!!

Machete en mano y sangre india caliente
Fuerza satanica, buscando venganza
Al norte nos vamos a ponernos a mano

Matando Gueros - !!Viva la raza!!
Matando Gueros - !!Estilo Ricky Ramirez!!
Matando Gueros - !!Satanas de cuida!!
Matando Gueros - !!Matando Gueros!!

Machetes, pistolas, fierros,
Mata un güero, acepta las leyes del diablo
Venganza para nuestra gente
Te meto un pinche garrote en la pansa cabron
Ven pa'ca ven pa'ca cabron te mato güero.

Asi, Viva México Cabron.
El Guapo- May 21, 2013 at 11:56 am
If they're not found by Sunday, Cain will rescue them. First he has a little biz of his own to attend to Saturday night.
Joking aside, I hope they're alright. Mexico can certainly be shady, but they mostly just kill their enemies and let their kidnap-for-ransom victims walk.
Thumblaster- May 21, 2013 at 10:12 am
Sounds like both guy's were wearing their bad idea jeans "i don't usually get prostitutes , but hey I don't know the next time i'll be in haiti". Thats close to doing bussiness involving shadey people and lots of money in mexico. What ever happend to belfort's sisster anyone know? I know thaf kiddnapping did'nt happen in mexico , but they all look the same to me.
WMD37- May 21, 2013 at 9:52 am
I've seen enough Breaking Bad to know how this little "mishap" will pan out...
crappiefloper- May 21, 2013 at 9:40 am
Soooo.... Is the event canceled?
soultaker- May 21, 2013 at 9:13 am
These guys are dead. They do not mess around in Mexico. If they want a percentage, you either agree or leave. They said no and they were dead men walking. They are setting an example for the next guy that wants to do anything in your town. they took the no as an insult and kidnapped them. They do not want ransom. They would have contacted the family. They already have the money and they are making a point. They are at the bottom of a well.
queenofthebitches- June 6, 2013 at 6:41 pm
how do you know they are dead? are you involved in it? or did you kill them yourself?
cman- May 21, 2013 at 8:42 am
Neighbor : "let's go to Mexico for vacation this year, it's so cheap and close"
Me: 'let's go to Somalia where they just kill you and save time but at least die somewhere more exotic"

But let's also just keep that border open.....
Guerrero azteca- May 21, 2013 at 7:53 am
This is extremely sad and I truly hope they get out of this alive.

But guys you have to understand than even though these could happen to innocent people, most of the time these kind of things happen to people involve in some king of shady business. When promoting an MMA fight, especially in Puerto Vallarta, you´re going to be dealing with a lot of sketchy characters. I´m sure they knew that and took a huge risk.

A random tourist who´s walking down the street is not going to get kidnapped.

Finally, I´m not speaking out of my ass here, I was born in PV and have lived here all my life.
Fried Taco- May 21, 2013 at 7:33 am
And that is why you never leave the resort when you go on vacation.
anderson wanderlei paulo thiago alves silva- May 21, 2013 at 7:26 am
Did not read most of it
amsterdamheavy- May 21, 2013 at 7:15 am
Hope they are OK. Fucking around promoting events in Mexico would seem to be a...less than cautious thing to be doing in a country where criminal cartels are in open warfare with the government.