FBI offers $40,000 reward for info on another US citizen kidnapped in Mexico

“The FBI has offered a $40,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of an American woman who was reportedly kidnapped in Mexico,” according to reports.

Monica de Leon Barba, a 29-year-old native of San Mateo County in California, was last seen on November 29, 2022, walking her dog home from work in Tepatitlán, Jalisco, Mexico.

CBS News reported, “De Leon was headed to a gym between 5-6 p.m. called Fit 4 Life in the Guadalupe Fraction when she was forced into a van ‘leaving the poor puppy alone in the street,’ her family and friends said on a community Facebook page dedicated to finding the missing woman.”

The FBI San Francisco field office wrote on Twitter, “You can submit a tip online at http://tips.fbi.gov, or call the FBI’s Toll-Free tipline at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).” U.S. officials believe that de Leon Barba was kidnapped and they have not said if they have any suspects in the purported kidnapping.

Former Western District of Texas U.S. Marshal Robert Almonte noted that kidnappings are the “bread and butter” of Mexican drug cartels and part of their “culture.” Almonte added, “It’s getting worse because the Mexican government can not get control of the cartels. The U.S. is going to get the brunt of that.”

In March, the Washington Post reported, “More than 550 Americans are reported as missing in Mexico, a little-known facet of a broader tragedy that has honeycombed this country with mass graves.” The outlet added, “Soaring violence and government dysfunction have fueled a crisis that’s left at least 112,150 people missing, according to government records here.”

The U.S. State Department has warned Americans not to travel to the Mexican states of Colima, Michoacán, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas due to the increased risk of crime and kidnapping. This is the third time in the past month that the FBI has offered a reward for information on Americans who went missing in Mexico.

Last month, four U.S. citizens were violently kidnapped at gunpoint in Matamoros, Mexico. The FBI offered a $50,000 reward for the information on the kidnapped Americans. Two of the U.S. citizens were killed. In mid-March, the FBI offered $20,000 for information about the disappearance of a 63-year-old American woman. Maria del Carmen Lopez was kidnapped from her home in Pueblo Nuevo, a municipality in the southwestern Mexican state of Colima.