San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Kidnappers Release U.S. Hotelier in Honduras

TEGUCIGALPA – The general manager of the Gran Hotel Sula, one of the leading hotels in the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula, has been released by his kidnappers after spending a week in captivity, police said.

Tom Jacobson, a U.S. citizen, was set free Sept. 28 in the western province of Copan, which is on the border with Guatemala, police told reporters.

Jacobson was forced out of his vehicle by several gunmen in the Gran Hotel Sula’s parking lot on Sept. 20. The executive’s son, whose age was not released, managed to escape and called for help.

It is not clear if the Jacobson family or the hotel company paid ransom to win the release of the executive, who is said to be in good condition, police said.

The family asked police not to intervene in the case for fear of endangering the 55- year-old Jacobson’s life.

The Gran Hotel Sula opened in the late 1960s and at one time was the most modern hotel in San Pedro Sula, the second-largest city in Honduras, located 243 kilometers north of Tegucigalpa.

So far this year, more than 40 kidnappings have been reported in Honduras, with several victims being killed even though their families paid the ransom demanded by kidnappers.



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