April 8, 2019

"American tourist rescued after being kidnapped in Uganda" — "rescued" = the tour company paid a $500,000 ransom.

I'm deciphering euphemisms in Daily News headlines.

You have to read a way into the article to get to:
Endicott and Remezo were kidnapped at gunpoint Tuesday and held hostage for a $500,000 ransom.... The touring company, Wild Frontiers, paid a ransom in a “quiet and peaceful” handover, a source with knowledge of the exchange told CNN. Wild Frontiers did not return a request for comment.

“Pleased to report that the American tourist and tour guide that were abducted in Uganda have been released,” President Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon. “God bless them and their families!”
"Released" is a better word choice than "rescued."

I suppose people think that if there's a touring company, it's fine to go to whatever foreign country you've decided is on your "bucket list." I thought that before getting to the part of the article that quotes the woman's friend, using that awful term "bucket list": “She’s a very spontaneous and independent woman, she loves to travel and it was on her bucket list … to go to Uganda, to see the gorillas, to go trekking."

ADDED: My headline assumes the company paid the full amount that was demanded, but that is not clear. Would you like to tour a "wild frontier" under the protection of a company that is known to pay a big ransom to kidnappers? It helped the women in this case, but I would think kidnappers would now target people going with this company.

UPDATE, April 9: "Suspects are arrested for kidnapping American grandmother on safari as it's claimed she was released on the border on a motorbike after the Ugandan government paid $30,000 for her safe return" (Daily Mail). That's a big change in the story I read yesterday, which made it look like the company paid and like the amount was much more.

64 comments:

tim maguire said...

I imagine word is out now that Wild Frontiers will pay at least $500,000 ransom. (Or is it $250,000 per person?) I predict kidnapping of Wild Frontiers clients quickly becomes the norm.

Maybe they'll launch a new adventure package--the "Kidnapped!" tour.

TerriW said...

At least now she can cross "getting kidnapped" off her bucket list.

David Begley said...

Expect more kidnappings.

The touring company had insurance for this very risk.

Michael K said...

"Proof of LIfe" is a pretty good flick about the kidnapping and ransom business.

EDH said...

I suppose people think that if there's a touring company, it's fine to go to whatever foreign country you've decided is on your "bucket list."

And, hence, a jury would too. Why an insurance company might view $500k as a bargain and to come to "the rescue".

Won't prevent a lawsuit. I don't think a release of claims signed by the abductee before the ransom was paid would even hold up.

But they avoid the damages of a wrongful death.

Quaestor said...

At least now she can cross "getting kidnapped" off her bucket list.

However, she still has "getting kidnapped and being ransomed" on the list.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

People from my church go to Uganda every summer. No thanks.

Leland said...

Well, she saw the guerillas.

Leslie Graves said...

@TerriW: For sure. And now that very item has gone on the bucket list of several thousand more people.

gspencer said...

"For the next item on my bucket list I'm planning to back-pack as a single woman to all 56 Muslim-majority countries, plus the Gaza Strip if that evil Israel will let me in."

/s

Quaestor said...

Things to do before you kick the bucket:

...
...
...
Item 37: Stop using jejune euphemisms like kick the bucket.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

$500,000 is a lot of Danegeld. Probably enough to get rid of the Dane.

James K said...

“I suppose people think that if there's a touring company, it's fine to go to whatever foreign country you've decided is on your "bucket list."”

If they’ve committed to paying ransom, then the company probably takes a lot of precautions, or their insurer makes them do so. Maybe this was just a one in a million bit of bad luck?

rhhardin said...

Bite the bucket.

Bay Area Guy said...

Shithole countries of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your ransome notes!

Rob said...

Don’t assume that because the kidnappers demanded a $500,000 ransom, a $500,000 ransom was paid. There was very likely a negotiation resulting in a lower payment.

Henry said...

There's a fantastic scene from The Killing Fields where Phnom Penh is about to surrender to the Khmer Rouge and in the chaos, the U.S. Consul reads this letter as people dash about the embassy:

"Dear sir, my family and I are planning

a touring vacation of Southeast Asia...

...and anticipate two weeks

in Cambodia touring the country.

Would you please send tour

information and brochures?

Thanking you in advance,

Wendell Payne."

Wendell lives in Wisacky,

South Carolina.

etbass said...

I feel nervous even going into Canada; much less a third world nightmare country.

David Begley said...

Uganda is just another lawless country. We are headed there. Fast. Nadler wants the AG to violate the law and turnover the unredacted Mueller Report. Aliens illegal cross our borders daily. Murders in Chicago hourly. Criminals not prosecuted in Chicago.

jaydub said...

"I suppose people think that if there's a touring company, it's fine to go to whatever foreign country you've decided is on your "bucket list."

Five of the seven most dangerous countries in the world for kidnapping are in this hemisphere, in order: Mexico, Haiti, India, Brazil, Philippines, Colombia, Venezuela. How many tourists do not go to one of those countries because they are afraid of being kidnapped? Probably none. Just do what you would do on the South side of Chicago, be careful and you'll probably be okay.

William said...

Pretty high up on my bucket list is avoiding the bucket. There's way too many buckets in some countries.

MadisonMan said...

I'm sure the spontaneous and independent woman is also very concerned about the environment and increases in CO2.

Hagar said...

TV news yesterday said the company paid a ransom, but substantially reduced from the original demand. Also the Uganda regime is seriously displeased about the bad PR for their tourist industry, so this is not over.

Mr Wibble said...

What is it with these idiot women? This woman, the two Norwegian idiots who were killed in Morocco... it used to be understood that there are large parts of the world that are dangerous, especially for young women.

Personally, I blame a toxic combination of feminism and Pintrist. We've convinced a generation of Western women that they are just as strong as any man and can fend for themselves under any circumstances (they can't, and most men would be stupid to go alone to these places), AND that the third world is some sort of giant theme park that is there to cater to their self-actualization.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

She’s a very spontaneous and independent woman, she loves to travel and it was on her bucket list

Cool. Good for her. She has now been SPONTANEOUSLY kidnapped. Bucket list----check.

However the INDEPENDENT part, not so much. It required a group of other people and half a million dollars of other people's money to get her released.

If she were really independent she would have done a 'Lara Croft' move or two and beat the crap out of her abductors. What a wimp.

Michael K said...

Just do what you would do on the South side of Chicago, be careful and you'll probably be okay.

You mean stay out ?

James K said...

What is it with these idiot women? This woman, the two Norwegian idiots who were killed in Morocco... it used to be understood that there are large parts of the world that are dangerous, especially for young women.

20-20 hindsight. Morocco is a pretty big tourist destination and not regarded as especially dangerous. It's not Libya or the Congo. Maybe these women took a stupid risk by going off on their own, or maybe it was just incredibly bad luck.

Howard said...

Lesson from OP and pussy comments: when you live in the bubble, never venture out of the bubble.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Just do what you would do on the South side of Chicago

I'll be sure to pack my MAGA hat, ski mask, rope, and bleach...

Freeman Hunt said...

I have an acquaintance who has lived in Uganda on and off for years. Loves it.

walter said...

"Endicott and Remezo were kidnapped at gunpoint Tuesday and held hostage for a $500,000 ransom. Two other tourists, a Canadian couple, were allowed to return to their camp."
Hmm..

Howard said...

walter make interesting point. kidnap fake to make adventure experience appear more authentic.

gilbar said...

i don't understand?

She wanted to 'see Uganda' before kicking the bucket.... She SAW UGANDA
Why did Anyone pay a ransom? Why didn't they all (including her) say:
"just KILL the bitch! She wanted to see Uganda before she died, and she has: KILL HER!

What is The Point of living After you've seen the guerilla?

AllenS said...

“Pleased to report that the American tourist and tour guide that were abducted in Uganda have been released,” President Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon.

What I immediately thought when I read that statement from Trump is that he made an offer to the kidnappers that they couldn't refuse.

Howard said...

if you go down there you better just beware of a man named Doctor Mike. He got a custom Continental an Eldorado too. He got a 32 gun in his pocket for fun and a razor in his shoe.

Howard said...

I don't usually go to Uganda, but when I do, its on a hunt guided by Selous Scouts.

Ice Nine said...

Uganda is not considered a particularly dangerous place by those in the know. Yes, I've been there (in the course of hitchhiking from Nairobi to Cape Town and back). It will of course now become somewhat dangerous for awhile -- until the Ugandan government hunts these guys down like they do poachers.

Adventure entails risk. It is not for everyone. For others it is a critical component of an examined life.

Caligula said...

The article doesn't say who received the ransom.

An Islamic group calling itself"Allied Democratic Forces" would seem an obvious suspect. But so would Uganda's government, which is said to be among the most corrupt on Earth (even by African standards). Or, given the prevalent lawlessness in that country, perhaps a crime of opportunity, perhaps executed with the purchased silence of corrupt government officials?

Because, truly, Uganda ain't Kansas. And "adventure" doesn't always mean a roller-coaster ride (i.e., not all danger is simulated).

gilbar said...

people i know are planning a backpacking trip up into the Wilderness section of the Wind River Reservation. They'll be miles away from cell phone coverage, and (usually) a few miles away from the nearest person. They're wondering about the weight of bringing spare fly rods.
I'm Assuming that they'll bring spare bear spray.
Bears tend not to negotiate for ransom

Fernandistein said...

In Trump's Russia, gorillas see you.

Fernandistein said...

Kidnapping Threat

"In 2018, the kidnapping threat in Uganda increased. A Reuters article[!] published in April referenced internal police statistics showing eight kidnappings reported in January and February alone. Those same statistics showed 24 kidnappings reported in 2017. Although the extent to which kidnappings are reported to police is unknown, it is true that public attention to the kidnapping threat reached an unprecedented high in early 2018. Fortunately, kidnappers have not targeted U.S. citizens in Uganda for nearly ten years. For more information, review OSAC’s report, Kidnapping: The Basics."

There were only four instances of gorillas kidnapped from the mist.

Ice Nine said...

gilbar - I've done that several times in the deep wilderness in Alaska. (If you're smart and know what you're doing) you don't carry bear spray -- you carry a .44 magnum.

Lucien said...

If something bad happens to the kidnappers then the lack of due process will be Trump’s fault.

walter said...

Howie,
Maybe the selective release of the Canucks is a variation on terrorists not taking black people

Wilbur said...

They're lucky they weren't raped before their "rescue". Say, that would really be spontaneous and adventurous, liked having a gun barrel shoved in your mouth and told to get in the truck. Now.

If you want to do risky things - as a critical component of an examined life, of course - then YOU assume the risk. Not the travel company, although they may have their reasons for bailing you out. Not the U.S. Government. Not me.

Just another Darwinian lesson.

robother said...

Of course, we don't know if the tour company paid, or simply acted as a conduit for the family and/or insurance carrier For that matter, whether the local tour company guys and driver got a piece of the action for identifying kidnapees with good ransom possibilities. The release of the Canadian couple seems suspicious. But, hey, any adventure you walk away from is a good one, or so they say in the adventure travel business.

Next up on her bucket list: gourmet dining with the cannibals of New Guinea. (Sophisticated adventure travelers usually save that one for last.)

rcocean said...

Oh Good lord. Your chance of getting kidnapped in Africa while trekking is less than being killed in a car crash. Your real danger in East Africa is disease. Despite all the vaccines, getting bit by tsetse fly or catching a drug resistant strain of malaria is possible. Not to mention getting a serious case of diarrhea.

There's a reasonable zone between cycling around the world on your own and depending on the "Kindness of Strangers" and shutting yourself up in your house.

walter said...

She could have experienced kidnapping etc so much closer in Mexico City.
Maybe tour guides can get the intrepid into a "migrant" caravan.

Ice Nine said...

Speaking of assuming, Wilbur, you are doing that with facts not in evidence. No one involved here asked YOU to bail them out. The tour company bailed them out for obvious business/legal reasons. I most certainly wouldn't have bothered you.

Darwin might well have thought highly of that venturesome sea creature that struggled onto the beach on his dorsal fins.

rcocean said...

If want danger, go drive at rush hour in Washington DC. Now, that's scary.

bleh said...

I agree about the touring company becoming a big fat target. In this case, the "stick" of American military firepower would have been much more effective than the "carrot" of negotiating a ransom.

bagoh20 said...

Hey Honey,

I'm too busy to go, because of all the work I have right now, but I booked you a tour with this great company in Africa.

Charlie Eklund said...

Why were the Canadians allowed to go on their way? Every savvy kidnapper know that one Canadian dollar paid as ransom is only worth 67 cents when compared to ransom dollars paid in exchange for an American hostage.

Sam L. said...

"Would you like to tour a "wild frontier" under the protection of a company that is known to pay a big ransom to kidnappers?" No. NO!

walter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martin said...

"Released" is a better word choice than "rescued."

And "ransomed" is a better word than "released," though I would not expect many to use it, in part because it will encourage more kidnapping, and in part b/c it draws attention to the initial failures.

Ken B said...

DBQ nails it: the last thing this woman is, is independent. What she is is heedless.

Ice Nine said...

She might well be "very independent;" none of us know. What I do know is that the notion that being hauled around, dined, sheltered, cotton-sheeted and otherwise catered to by some package African tour company attests to her purported independence is farcical.

Mr. Groovington said...

I’m on a 1 1/2 year solo ride from Cape Town to Cairo, with 6 1/2 years behind me so far in 2nd and 3rd world countries. I was very nearly grabbed in southern Colombia during violent protests. That was the closest I’ve been to serious trouble.

There are various types of coverage for anything from repatriation to a hospital of my choice internationally, if I have a bad accident, to kidnapping, being caught in a terrorist incident, and everything in between. One service I’d recommend is MedjetHorizon, but would recommend researching options and would consider purchasing more than one service. Also, private security is available nearly everywhere.

Nichevo said...

Wilbur said...
They're lucky they weren't raped before their "rescue".

Who says?


Polack, Nigerian, Nigerien or Seychellois,

They all know what comes next after "Take off your clothes."

Milwaukie guy said...

Time to raise the price from $25,000 to $275,000.

R.J. Chatt said...

She was lucky. What if the kidnappers weren't working for the tour company? The adventure might not have gone so smoothly. I'm a little doubtful the kidnapping was spontaneous and the kidnappers just happened to know the itinerary, where to hold the captives, and whom to call for the negotiation.

I felt a little guilty about my cynicism so I read an article about the ordeal. Apparently the abductees were touring a wildlife park in a car with an elderly couple who managed to escape. Also, after the rescue the kidnappers escaped as well. ("The kidnappers managed to escape after the rescue, and Ugandan forces were still searching for them." CBS news reports)

twgin said...

from an article:

A US defense official told CNN that the US military had provided support to Ugandan security forces. The support included intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets and liaison officers, the official said.

If this is accurate, as in perhaps an “eye in the sky”, I wouldn’t be surprised if the kidnappers have already been dealt with and are currently pining for the fiords.

The only question is how to disseminate this information in order to best discourage future kidnappings...

Nichevo said...

The only question is how to disseminate this information in order to best discourage future kidnappings...


"All that was left to bring back to the camp was the kidnappers' bloodied heads..."