- Title: MEXICO: French citizen attacked in Mexico City in serious condition
- Date: 29th January 2009
- Summary: FRONT COVER OF REFORMA NEWSPAPER WITH STORY OF ASSAULT
- Embargoed: 13th February 2009 12:00
- Location: Mexico
- Country: Mexico
- Reuters ID: LVA3PJCO1HJNGZ18MRNL9O6IIQ9D
- Story Text: A French citizen is hospitalized in serious condition after being shot in the head by thieves targeting people who exchange money at Mexico City's international airport.
A French citizen who was shot in the head by thieves targeting people who exchange money at Mexico City's international airport was in a serious condition at hospital, doctors said on Wednesday (January 28).
Forty-eight-year-old biotechnology researcher Christopher Augur, who works at a Mexican university, was attacked in his car close to the airport on Tuesday. About 4,800 euros (USD $6,302) were stolen from him.
He was immediately taken to a local government-run hospital at midday following the attack.
The police said criminal gangs have been targeting money exchange businesses inside the airport. One criminal watches the exchange office and, when he identifies a victim, he calls his associates waiting outside. The victim is robbed, often by force, as he leaves the terminal.
Augur and his driver were apparently intercepted by two cars as they drove away from airport. A man got out of one of the vehicles and threatened Augur with the gun asking him to hand over the money.
He was airlifted and transferred to the private "Hospital Espanol" (Spanish Hospital), on request of his relatives and the French Embassy, on Wednesday Mexico City Health Minister Armando Ahued said everything was done to try and save Augur's life.
"(I give thanks) to neurosurgery, to our medical director of critical medicine, because their experience helped to save his life but we are not saying anything else on the contrary will occur (his death) but I would like to tell you, we have done everything we should in these cases and followed medical protocol established for these cases."
Dr. Martin Olivares, who saw to Augur, said he was unable to give a clear prognosis.
"I can't state for diverse circumstances (Augur's health forecast) due to the seriousness of the problem which can't be established with precision at the moment. The sequels are more important right now, avoiding secondary damage to advance and to continue preserving, up to the point where medical ethics allow, a perspective of life for the professor."
Police said similar attacks on foreigners have been reported recently.
In January, a diplomat from Guinea was also shot in similar circumstances close to the airport.
Some 5,700 people died in drug-related killings and organized crime in Mexico last year as drug gangs battled each other and government security forces.
The abduction of a U.S. anti-kidnap expert in northern Mexico last month, Felix Batista, remains a mystery with no clues to the man's whereabouts and no ransom demanded by his captors, police said Batista is one of least 17 U.S. residents kidnapped in Mexico since October last year, mostly in the violent city of Tijuana bordering San Diego, according to the FBI.
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