This is the first line of Nadya Labi’s piece in the latest Atlantic:
On a humid Thursday afternoon in February, I am riding in a rented van in Central America with a man who abducts children for a living.
Hooked? Here’s more from her profile of a Gus Zamora, professional kidnapper:
From the porch of the yellow house, Helen texts that the grandfather hasn’t gone to karate. As it becomes clear that, once again, Helen is being too closely observed to initiate the snatchback, Todd grows visibly frustrated and wonders aloud whether one solution might be to slow down “the old man” long enough to keep him from impeding the snatchback. “What if you hire a couple of lowlifes…?”
“It would take me time to fucking do that,” Gus says. For all his tough talk, he doesn’t seem eager to break down doors.
“Okay, okay,” Todd says. “I was just thinking. I don’t mean hurt him, but just to, to delay him, to stall him.”
Gus doesn’t respond. He later tells me that he hasn’t been paid enough for that kind of job.
As you might imagine, there are some hefty moral questions at play here. The piece does a great job of letting you decide for yourself. Read it.