Surviving the Gulf Cartel: Ivette Saldívar’s TikTok confession of her abduction ordeal

Overcoming her dark past, Ivette turns to TikTok, shedding light on the underbelly of cartel activities.

TikTok has become a platform used for not only comedy videos, viral trends, challenges, and dances, among other entertainment content, but also first-hand information told by the witnesses themselves, the protagonists, or on some occasions, the victims themselves.

Such is the case of Ivette Saldívar, who the Gulf Cartel kidnaped along with dozens of other people, but was freed almost by a miracle. This story surprises the video platform for the rawness of their stories, the heroic strength to resist until the end, and the struggle to stay alive.

Credit: TikTok / ivette.saldivar
Credit: TikTok / ivette.saldivar

Ivette’s kidnapping at the hands of the Gulf Cartel

During her TikTok video, she assured that the actions began on Monday, March 11, 2013, around 11 am or 12 noon in Reynosa Tamaulipas, when subjects in armored vans arrived at the housing unit where she lived and kidnapped her along with her little 3-month-old daughter; she was just 18 years old.

“I have always been a transparent person with the people around me. My daughter and I are a miracle”, she wrote in the description of the video she posted.

The kidnapping lasted approximately 15 days, during which she was kept inside the large trucks of the hired killers, who had at least 50 to 70 other people with them, who were locked up in safe houses and were killed and disappeared one by one. There were pregnant women, elderly people, and children in the group.

Although she was taken to this ranch where they put people in drums, they took her with them whenever they could, so she witnessed shootings, confrontations with the authorities, and an endless number of scenarios that marked her throughout her life; however, she said, they never threatened her, nor were they violent with her.

She also revealed that she never lacked food, milk, or diapers, as the hired killers themselves were the ones who bought all the things she needed so that she would not cry; unfortunately, the milk hurt her one day, so they took her to the hospital where she tried to ask a nurse for help, but she refused to protect herself.

I understand that she has family and is always looking to protect them. I trust social media, and this video will show up for her. I know we are going to be always present in her memory. Maybe she is uncertain. Friend, we are fine“, was the message he sent her through TikTok.

Among other details, she revealed that throughout the day, she was always accompanied by an alternative cell phone that she had to the one that was stolen. In her daughter’s diaper bag, she always carried a Nextel radio with which she was in contact with her mother almost every day. She even took advantage of the sleeping nights of the thugs to recharge her cell phone.


Commander Toro behind the kidnapping

In the video published on TikTok with millions of views, he assured that the person who ordered his kidnapping was killed years later. In an interview with content creator Gusgri, he revealed that it was Comandante Toro himself, Julián Manuel Loisa Salinas, head of the Reynosa Plaza.

He was identified as one of those responsible for the upsurge in violence in the state. He was hunted for a long time but managed to escape because he had strong support from hawks, cab drivers, hired killers, and even members of the local authorities. He was finally located on April 24, 2017, four years later, and died in an intense exchange of bullets.

She allegedly had contacted this guy a couple of times through a phone and asked him to talk face to face, to let her baby go, that her family would take care of him, while she proposed to work with them, or if necessary, to give her life in exchange. One fine day they finally made the appointment.

Supposedly the people who had kidnapped her warned her that she was dealing with a man who had an immense hatred for women, for which he used to mistreat them and allegedly rape them to such an extent that he would end their lives. “You’re not going to make it,” they would tell her after giving the order to bathe her.

Things in Reynosa at that time were hot on the part of the authorities; the pressure on the criminals was quite intense, so Commander Toro simply wanted to flee; the appointment did not materialize until days later, only to tell her that they would let her go free, but not before taking her car, and through corruption, even the house where she was kidnapped.

Ivette Saldívar immediately left everything behind, forgot about her house, which she could never recover, and fled to Veracruz, where her mother lived, as she was warned that she could not return until the death of the hitman boss. Despite this, she received intimidating phone calls with threats of death or even threats to harm her family.

It all ended the day Loisa was killed. The threats, calls, and messages through social networks stopped. Following the publication of the video, she said that even some of the current hitmen of this criminal cell had contacted her to apologize.