Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mexican Massacre Investigator Found Dead

Body of official dumped beside road near scene of killing of 72 Central and South American migrants in Tamaulipas.

By: Jo Tuckman
Guardian

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."

15 comments:

  1. Why the fuck they report his name on the news i wonder about mexico incomplices or there acting so stupid.death penalty but no so stupid.bola de putas cobardes de zetas de mierda

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  2. This violence will never be stopped using the current techniques. The price has to be higher than the reward - that means either changing the reward for the price - not for the timid

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  3. This comment was posted via internet in Mexican new article regarding the investigators death:

    "Por: copiado BLOG DE MIER 21,51 hrs OJO SEDENA, OJO MARINOS | 27/Ago/10 miren este comentario lo copie de youtube de donde viene la nota de los 72 muertos de san fernando.LA PREGUNTA ES ESTA YA CHECARIAN LAS AUTORIDADES ESTE RANCHO KE AKI SE MENSIONA OJO. mira yo soy de san fernando tamaulipas y se donde paso eso y la verdad me sorprendi pero si ustedes tienen alguna posibilidad de hablar con las autoridades federales informen esto unos veinte minutos antes de lleger a donde paso esto ay un rancho que se llama la monitora y pa acabarla es propiedad de el govierno alli ay una noria mui mui profunda que no se le ve ni el fondo era de agua diganles que busquen alli.y no ban a encontrar 72 ban a encontrar mas de 200 personas TODO SANFER LOS SABE 911"

    For those who don't speak Spanish, it is a comment which had been copied from a video about the migrant massacre on Youtube. The comment is requesting assistance/action of the Mexican marines.

    It tells of a ranch supposedly owned by the government, called La Montinora (roughly 20 minutes before the ranch where the migrants were massacred). on this ranch this is a very deep water well. The person comments hundreds of bodies are located there.

    While I do not know if it is true, I do know many Mexicans, seeking security and anonymity, have taken to reporting acts in newspaper comments, etc

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  4. How about the United Nations,so far neither Mexico or the US have hunted down the massive criminal element, they are now demanding protection money in Texas from businesses up and down the river,or lets welcom Mx culture to Texas??

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  5. 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' (Ezekiel 33:8-9)
    turn from your ways. there is only one Judge that will accurately judge you for your crimes, not just the one. the unseen, the unknown. Turn away now that you can. dont make others as guilty as you are.

    'Oh impío, ciertamente morirás "(Ezequiel 33:8-9)
    alejarse de sus formas. sólo hay un Juez que con precisión lo juzgará por sus crímenes, no sólo el uno. lo oculto, lo desconocido. Apártate ahora que puedes. No hacer que otros tan culpable como tú.

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  6. I keep hearing a rumor that police stopped the bus with the immigrants right before they were killed, any information about this? Everyone keeps hearing this versions and even the media knows about it, but they are afraid to report on it, or follow up. They need to suspend all municipal police in Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon immidately or the intimidation and executions will continue.

    I live in Tamaulipas and I can assure you that at least 75% of all Zetas are municipal police!!!!

    This is what os going to happen, they will arrest a few people, but once the news go away, they will continue to do nothing. Calderon and the Mexican government is a total failure!

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  7. FREE FREDDY...
    the poor guy is begging his mother to get him to the US, where she is & he will be safe. Mexico says they can only get him back to Ecuador, or stay in Mx...great choice. Seems the us could bring him in as political asylum or great hardship SOMETHING.

    Check this update in El Paso News...I did not know to laugh or cry at the first sentence,,,4 days later the feds are stepping up...because there is EVIDENCE drug traffickers MAY be involved....WTF?? Ya think??? if they stepped in immediately 2 lives would have been saved..

    http://www.elpasotimes.com/newupdated/ci_15925995

    The Trapped Fly has a insightful piece on the "72" as I call the atrocity. Titled "THE DAY I WISHED I WASN'T MEXICAN"

    An Amen from Buela

    http://thetrappedfly.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/the-day-i-wished-i-wasnt-mexican/

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  8. @ 4:26

    I agree with you. Remember a few months back Monterrey fired 50% of the force for corruption? Are you saying state or fed should replace municipal? and you're so correct, they make a big photo oportunity of "investigation" then nothing. Impunity.

    are you in Matamoros?

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  9. "chivis said...: are you in Matamoros?"

    Yes, how did you know??? I thought this was annonymous??????????

    WTF???????????

    I think federal polce should replace all municipal and state police (like NOW!), but federal forces (and military)should be rotated frequently to avoid being infiltrated, and monitored very closely. Better yet, the US should bring law enforcement to clean house, that will be the olny impartial way to prevent reinfestation from the lure of $$$$

    Also the government has failed to hit all the currupt politicians (primarily municipal an state) and the big empresarios, who are untouchable and corrupt to the bone.

    We all see it, why doesnt the government????????

    Calderon is just pissing against the wind!!!

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  10. @ 8:01

    you stated you were in Tamaulipmas I just took a guess, you did not have to answer, I was going to ask you a question if you were...but I will not..sorry I did not expect you to come unglued. Yes this is "anonymous"to the extent that these things can be, I have no way of knowing where you or anyone is..think...if I knew why the hell would I ask?

    Good thinking with the feds or state police though I personally trust feds more because they deploy so broadly.. relationships form easily at state level. Municipal is horrible, most are corrupt. Its blatant, no pretence. impunity allows anything to come in..

    a life sentence should be imposed for any politician or person serving in a position of fiduciary is convicted of aiding in anyway cartel. SInce working in Mx I am stunned to see how the people who befriended me so warmly are some of the people I read about as being with dirty hands. So sad for me, I am just working hard to make a better life for the children of Mx. I probably have to exit sooner than I want to and move to another country and work there.

    I am conflicted with Calderon, well intentioned I think but misguided and dilatory..

    Hey sorry again,..don't worry I am a harmless humanitarian..

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  11. Ovemex:

    I think you're on to something.

    Can anyone answer how often law enforcement officers (both federal and state)in Mexico follow through with anonymous tips?

    This is probably a U.S. law enforcement term, but usually anonymous tips (reliable or not) are checked out. A tip is usually enough to support reasonable suspicion and initiate an investigation or at least surveillance. It wouldn't be enough for a search warrant (because you need probable cause for a warrant signed by a judge), but it would work to check out any ongoing/potential criminal activity.

    Granted, I know what you guys are going to say... How are law enforcement officers going to work for the general public, when they also answer to (in this particular situation) Los Zetas.

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  12. @anonymous 4:26 pm
    I have not heard the immigrants from THIS massacre were stopped by police, but it has been said police, immigration officials, and train conductors get paid for each migrant...
    Here is a video from Universal TV...Two migrants saying how they were sold to Zetas.
    http://www.eluniversaltv.com.mx/detalle.php?d=19912

    and here is a post I submitted yesterday to BB about the same.
    http://www.borderlandbeat.com/2010/08/zeta-slaves-story-from-inside_28.html

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  13. @Valentina:

    I don't have any actual statistics, but lately, many Mexican news articles of arrests, cateos, rescuing hostages(kidnapped), drug seizures, etc, etc, have stated the Mexican Army and Marines were led to the place, or people by anonymous tips. (most of these major operations which lead to this detentions are done by the military)

    People are scared, but fed up. I think many are realizing that citizen participation is a MUST. Maybe they do not feel safe enough to call the anonymous military hotlines, but they feel secure in providing information in forums and as online comments in news articles.

    Like I said, I don't have actual statistics, but just by reading various online Mexican Newspapers, reading the comments/anonymous tips, and then reading about the RESULTS, I'd say it's true..It is happening..

    Still the problem is the corruption in the judicial offices..It's heartbreaking, actually outrageous that people are speaking up and outing these criminals, the soldiers are putting life and limb on line, only to have the bastards released within days..

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  14. The current technques are not working. The U.S.A. must directly get invovled. People of Mexico, the current politicians are NO GOOD, We are better off letting the U.S.A. take over Mexico. True democracy, huh"" I bet if the whole entire nation of Mexico voted on a better system of life between U.S.A. or Mexico "" you know the U.S.A would get the most votes. There is alot of work to get done.

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  15. This is important post about central American migrant rests.The body of an official investigating like that private investigator.

    ReplyDelete

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