There was a huge commotion in Leos neighbourhood after a couple of girls were kidnapped and they never saw them again, the first one was from his own block across the street, after the parents started to frenetically ask the neighbours if they had seen her or something, most of them remained outside forming small groups, talking about what could have happened and praying for the girl to be safe. The first impression, and the one they all hoped for, was that the kidnappers were going to ask for money, soon the parents to receive that dreadful call, and luckily they would put her on the phone so she could say that shes ok. Some of the neighbours got desperate and and while crying at the emotion of the moment, told to the parents that they would lend them a little money, the police instructed them to be cautious about payments, but the neighbours kept insisting that as long as they bring her back unharmed, the money meant nothing, and of course it was just the talk of the wave, later with a cold mind would not be the same at all. The neighbours started to chat about the outside people who visited the block, since most of the residents were old ladies who did not have a clue of a way around, they had the habit of buying from people selling stuff door to door, they made a long list and tried to say who they could trust and who they didnt really know. Eventually talks about suspecting unknown people emerged, like that one old person who kept looking into the houses, that strange car that sometimes passed at high speed even when the street was full of holes, that new ice pop cart with loud music that could have lured her inside, the drug dealers in different points of the neighbourhood, the prostitution places around, the women on the near avenue who made their kids beg for money while they sat on the ground eating snacks, maybe one of her parents were involved in some funny business and they took her away.
But as the days passed and the ransom call never happened, they all feared for the worst, while they kept a positive attitude in front of the parents, behind their backs there were long talks that ended up saying that it was better if she was already dead by then, conversations about stories of girls turned into slaves, drugged and pleasing a multitude of men, about some sick man forcing her to become his wife, about her being sold and leaving the country, maybe her parents sold her, how well do we know them?
They put her photo on altars, they constantly prayed in many forms for her wellbeing, everyone dedicated their thoughts to that poor little girl, but nothing of that was going to bring her back against the will of the demon, not to diminish their beliefs but, it just didnt happen.
And what about Leo? what does it have to do with him? well, he was first in line at the neighbours small mob, he later became first commander of the pitiful neighbourhood defense force along with his next door neighbour friend, who he used to get close to the main line, he was there all along, from the prayers to supporting the parents, he became their friend and they saw him as a caring and smart young person who could ask for information to all kinds of people and helped them dealing matters with the police.
A few of the neighbours got scared and reinforced the security of their houses, nothing fancy, just some bars and such, Leos next door friend made a plan to place cameras all around the block, but nobody was going to spend money on that, some didnt have much, others rather kept it, if he could he would have paid it all by himself but his wife didnt give him any money, cause he had dilapidated so much during their marriage.
Then, when people was calming down, it happened again, a second girl got kidnapped on the next street, in front of the priest making center where she lived, one of her little brothers saw a strange construction worker taking her bike away, but nobody saw the girl, and the same story repeated.
Eventually everybody believed it was some band of robachicos (roba=steal, chicos=littles) that for some reason the police could never catch, probably they were paid to allow it, as it happens all the time in that country, and, that was it.
In the nearby supermarket, they told a certain girl a bunch of boring security rules she didnt follow because it got in the middle of the work, she was there to make some money after all, her family? nah, who cares? theyre poor, nobody likes poor people.