Body of official dumped beside road near scene of killing of 72 Central and South American migrants in Tamaulipas.
By: Jo Tuckman
A Central American migrant rests on a piece of cardboard by the tracks awaiting his next ride. It's impossible to tell when the train will come - there are no schedules.
The body of an official investigating the massacre of 72 Central and South American migrants killed in a ranch in the northeastern Mexican state of Tamaulipas was found today dumped beside a nearby road alongside another unidentified victim, according to local media.
El Universal said the body of Roberto Jaime Suarez was found on a highway. He disappeared two days ago in the town of San Fernando, along with a transit police officer. A second body was found and is thought to be the officer.
The wife of Roberto Suarez told the BBC he had been missing since Wednesday, the day after the migrants were found dead at a ranch in Tamaulipas state. Suarez was involved in the initial investigation of the massacre, which authorities have blamed on the Zetas drug cartel. The federal Attorney General's Office has since taken the lead in the case.
Mr Suarez was one of the first people to find the migrants' bullet-ridden bodies at the ranch near San Fernando. Mrs Aguilar explained that as far as she knew, her husband had never received any direct threats from local drug cartels.
However, she conceded that his most recent work as the chief detective working on the massacre case was highly sensitive.
Earlier, two cars exploded outside the studios of the national TV network Televisa in the state capital, Ciudad Victoria. There were no casualties, but the blasts added to a growing sense of fear in the aftermath of the worst single act of violence in the country's raging drug wars.
Meanwhile, investigators under armed guard continued the process of identifying the victims, with 20 named by midday on Friday, local officials said.
The migrants, 14 of them women, came from at least four countries, including Honduras, El Salvador, Brazil and Ecuador. They were found bound and blindfolded by the wall of a barn after navy personnel stormed the ranch on Tuesday.
Migrants gather around a local newspaper to read about a mass kidnapping of migrants by a criminal gang known as the Zetas.
The massacre was discovered after an Ecuadorian migrant, who had been left for dead with a neck wound, escaped. Luis Freddy Lala Pomavilla, 18, found his way to a navy road checkpoint.
He said the migrants had been kidnapped by armed men who identified themselves as belonging to the Zetas, one of the cartels fighting for supremacy in the state. He said the killing began after they refused offers to work for the cartel.
Interviewed at their home in a remote Andean village by Ecuadorian TV, Lala's family said he had left for the US two months ago after paying $15,000 to a people smuggler to organise the trip.
"I told him not to go, but he went," said one of his seven brothers, Luis Alfredo. His 17-year-old pregnant wife Maria said she had received a call a few weeks ago from Guatemala, indicating all that was well.
The Ecuadorian government has complained that the survivor's security has been put at risk by the publication of his identity around the world. Mexican newspapers said he had been transferred from hospital to a naval base. His family in Ecuador was put under police protection.
The massacre has focused attention on the vulnerability of US-bound economic migrants as they cross Mexico, a situation long denounced by activists, but largely ignored by the Mexican government until now. Since at least 2008 organised crime groups, particularly the Zetas, have preyed on migrants, primarily from Central America. Copycat groups might also be using the name of the infamously violent cartel to terrify their victims. A report published in 2009 by Mexico's national commission of human rights estimated that more than 1,600 migrants were kidnapped every month.
Typically, the aim has been to force relatives in the US to pay a ransom. Activists have also documented many cases of complicity within the Mexican authorities.
In a chilling testimony published in El Universal newspaper this week, a Salvadoran identified as Marisolina described being forced to cook and clean for the kidnappers as other migrants disappeared if they could not raise the ransom.
"They kept the ones who couldn't pay tied up in a room waiting to be killed," she said. "I would give them food in the morning and next day they wouldn't be there and new ones would be in their place."