Teen kidnapped from Mexican polygamist town talks to 3TVPosted: Updated:
Mike Watkiss talks to recently-kidnapped teen
Town fights back to try to ensure kidnappers do not continue to torture border state
UPDATE: Eric LeBaron was released by his captors. 3TV was told LeBaron was released Sunday and had to hike four hours out of the mountains where he was being held.
CHIHUAHUA CITY-The residents of a small Mexican town are speaking out and taking to the streets to save one of their own.
The group shouted, "Rescatenos a Eric!" which means, " Rescue Eric!" as they marched in protest of the kidnapping of a teenage boy.
A band of armed men kidnapped 16-year-old Eric LeBaron Saturday.
His brother said that their family cannot afford the ransom.
"They're asking for a million dollars," says Julian LeBaron.
"If we gave them the money it would ruin our family and it would ruin our community."
The community is a tiny farming town in the border state of Chihuahua.
The residents have roots in the U.S. and relatives on both sides of the border.
"We'd never had a kidnapping before," says former mayor of the small town, Clary LeBaron.
But it has happened to countless families in Mexico. Most suffer in silence.
Eric's relatives spoke out during delicate negotiations.
"Our main concern is to get our brother back," the family stated.
"We want to be an inspiration and the conscience for all afflicted people with kidnapping."
Paying a ransom encourages kidnappers to return and target others.
Families fear failing to pay can be risky for the victim.
Nearly the entire town came to the Chihuahua State Capital to pressure government officials.
These protesters are taking their fight beyond the streets.
They've met with the governor, state lawmakers, and the state attorney general to demand more be done to crack down on kidnappers who are terrorizing this border state.
"We protest because if we don't, we live like lambs among wolves," said one protester, "and we're not willing to live like that. We're unwilling to live in fear."
"La libertad no se vende!" could be heard throughout the march, a chant that means freedom is not for sale.
After camping out in front of government offices for three days, the marchers said they were going back home.
They left holding out hope that Eric will come home, too.
PHOENIX -- Kidnapping for ransom is becoming a very big and very ugly business south of the border.
Hundreds are kidnapped in Mexico every year and the ugly business is now hitting hard in one small Mexican community with strong ties to the state of Arizona.
It's a place called Colonial LeBaron, a polygamous safe haven set up decades ago in the Mexican state of Chihuahua by fundamentalists fleeing from Arizona and Utah.
But now this little town is being rocked, not by controversy, but by crime in the form of ruthless kidnappers.
Sources in Mexico tell 3TV that the son of one of the most famous polygamist families has been kidnapped in Chihuahua.
Eric LeBaron, 16, was recently kidnapped near the little Mexican village that bears his family's name, Colonial LeBaron.
According to Eric's older brother, Benjamin LeBaron, Eric was abducted by a group of heavily armed men. Those men are now demanding a $1 million ransom.