Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Rescued migrants allege Mexican Immigration agents pulled them from bus, turned them over to drug gangs

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 |

AP


A group of Central American migrants recently rescued from kidnappers in northern Mexico has accused immigration agents of pulling them from a bus and handing them over to criminal gangs, public defenders said Monday.

The federal government said at least six agents from the National Institute for Migration had been arrested in the case.

The Central Americans were among 120 migrants from various countries who were freed by Mexicans soldiers in several raids over the past month in the northern state of Tamaulipas.

The migrants picked out the immigration officials from photographs shown to them by federal investigators, said Alejandro Roldan Velasquez, the director of the Federal Institute of Public Defenders, which is representing the migrants.

“These people identified some agents as accomplices of the crime,” Roldan told The Associated Press. “They were shown photographs of immigration agents and they identified them.”

The public defenders institute has been advising all 120 migrants under a new anti-kidnapping law that took effect in February, requiring that all kidnapping victims be provided with free legal assistance.

The migrants — 81 Mexicans, 33 Central Americans and six Chinese nationals presumably trying to reach the United States — were being held hostage at different houses in northern Tamaulipas, which borders Texas.

In a statement last month, the federal government announced the arrest of six immigration agents in Tamaulipas for “federal crimes.” Alejandro Poire, the government spokesman for security issues, confirmed at a news conference Monday that those agents were arrested in the case of the kidnapped migrants, although he provided no details on their alleged role.

“We must emphasize that there will be zero tolerance of anyone who calls themselves a civil servant and breaks the law or participates in these crimes,” Poire said.

The Mexican Attorney General’s office said in a statement that the six detained agents are suspected of kidnapping at least four migrants.

Federal security forces last month also discovered 40 clandestine graves in Tamaulipas containing 183 bodies. Investigators suspect many of the victims were pulled from buses by the Zetas drug gang, which has been kidnapping both Mexicans and foreign migrants to demand extortion money or forcibly recruit them.

Several Tamaulipas municipal police officers have been arrested for allegedly playing a role in the mass killings. Poire said investigators would determine if any immigration agents were also involved.

Roldan would not say how many agents were identified by the migrants. He also declined to say how many migrants accused agents of involvement, saying he could not provide more details about an investigation that is still in progress.

Officials from the National Institute for Migration and the Attorney General’s Office declined to comment, saying they were preparing a joint statement.

The public defenders institute said in its statement that the migrants who identified the immigration officers were all Central Americans. They are being held at secret locations under custody of the Attorney General’s Office because it was too risky to send them to migrant detention centers after they identified the immigration agents, the statement said.

Roldan said at least four of the rescued migrants had been repatriated to Central America at their own request. Others are seeking humanitarian visas that would allow them to stay in Mexico.

Mexican police and immigration agents have long been known to be involved in shaking down and kidnapping Central American migrants traveling along dangerous routes through Mexico to the United States.

The plight of migrants, however, has taken horrific proportions as Mexico’s drug war rages.

In August 2010, 72 Central American migrants were found massacred at a ranch in the Tamaulipas town of San Fernando, allegedly because they refused to work for the Zetas drug gang that controls much of the state.

The mass pits unearthed last month were also near San Fernando, but it’s unclear how many of the victims were migrants. Authorities have so far identified only five of the bodies, one of whom was a Guatemalan national.

The Interior Department has said the National Institute for Migration launched an aggressive effort to root out corrupt agents in September. At least 168 of the institute’s 5,000 employees have been suspended or fired for violating the rights of migrants, according to the department.

In January, officials told AP that the government planned a shake-up of the agency that would include the dismissal of several top directors and the reform of practices that have led to mistakes and corruption. No such shake-up has occurred.

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15 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

It's about time to stop being so criminal and corrupt. It is inhumane and reflects terribly on the whole country. Politicians should really try to get a grip instead of just pretending and going through the motions. It is sickening, disheartening and just plain shameful.

Anonymous said...

There appears to be a unusually large number of people in Mexico with badges that are used in every possible way to generate MONEY for the badge holder. Recent interviews with police chiefs confirm that it is EXPECTED that officers will extort,inflate fines,accept bribes--BUT IT MUST BE REASONABLE!! IF the "officers" get caught,they get fired?? I don't care how bad the Military is supposed to be AT LEAST THEY DON'T HAVE BADGES. Mexico is drowning in its oun corruption.

Anonymous said...

This has been a known fact for almost a year, several Catholic Priest, who run houses for immigrants, were demanding a meeting with Garcia Luna over this...

Ardent said...

Wait a second now! Just whose corruption are we really seeing here? Is it just that Mexican authorities are the only corrupt ones or is it also that we all should know by now, that the US government has encouraged just this sort of 'enforcement' of immigration laws south of the Border by funding it through multiple accords with the Mexican government as they turned a blind eye away from what happens to the victims?

What I am saying is that it is the US government itself behind the funding of this Border enforcement that often turns into murder and mayhem. The US government knows how Mexico's government does its 'enforcement' for us in the North.

Anonymous said...

how many more innocent people are going have to die before this u.s. government decides that this war on drugs must be fought at the source, not at the end result of things.they go to all these other countrys to help ,why not mexico . Are the mexican people less deserving of th u.s. help, than iran or iraq.can someone tell me why there is a double standard when its comes to mexico. this a counrty of for the most part,of hard working people thar just wants a better life . but this country of ours the u.s a.puts up so many barriers for them just to visit and or come here to live with there families u.s.a. wake up please.

Anonymous said...

Ardent I just hope you are not an American citizen,your concept of logic and reality are so twisted to satisfy a need to US bash that you must have been imprinted as a child in North Korea.

Ardent said...

Flame me all you want, AnonyMoe 7:28, but anybody in the US with half a brain knows that the US government has the Mexican government doing 90% of its own Border work for Big DC in the North.

Closure of the US-Mexican border has always begun way down south on the Guatemalan-Mexican border and then on throughout Mexico itself, as the US government has actually funded the Mexicans in their corrupted policing officials' robberies ands murders of migrant workers.

It's not my logic that is twisted, but twisted is how the US government has been doing its actual braking of immigration. They have used a corrupted Mexican government as paid US mercenaries.

To hear the truth spoken out loud hurts you dumb Right Wingers, doesn't it? Too damn bad!

Anonymous said...

Ardent, nobody believes your "truth". Even if it is true, no one believes it, it sounds totally ridiculous. So no right wingers are getting mad. In fact you look like a conspiracy nut

Anonymous said...

Ardent also believes in the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus.The other shooter on the grassy knoll, that the US flew planes into the twin towers, that it was a missle that hit the pentagon, that the Holocaust didn`t happen, that Pearl Harbor was the USA`s fault, and on and on and on. When I first started reading BB, I thought Ernest1 (ardent) would have a good, yet different point of view that could open my eyes and mind and intellectually be stimulating. Another view point from some of the folks on here. Now I realize he`s a bitter person that has lived nice and freely in the USA, and probably has attended more than one flag burning ceremony. It`s ok, my friend gave his life so people like Ardent have the RIGHT to spew whatever points of view they want in the United States of America. Not Mexico, Not Spain, not Russia, Not Canada,not anywhere but the USofA. Thanks Ardent for making me realize my friend didn`t die in vain. He died for people like yourself. You are the very essence of FREEdom. You prove to me with every letter you type that FREEdom is, and never had been FREE.

Ardent said...

Oh spare me the rot about how you soldiers are defending supposedly my freedoms, Anonymous 7:30 am. And you are the same guy that accuses me of believing in the Tooth Fairy and Santa and yet you come up with this typical Right Wing militarist crap you 'spew', to use your own dumb ass vocabulary back at you? You're more interested in your own GI benefits than you are in any of my freedoms. In fact, you guys hate any freedom I have to speak out against what you guys want, which is the right to assassinate and torture world wide without hindrance.

Yes, you USA Right Wingers don't want to believe that Mexico's government enforces US restrictions on immigration for your beloved Big Corporate DC government... Like you don't believe or even know that the Mexican government is the US government's #1 ally in all of Latin America, which is something that every Latino down the Americas knows but you guys pretend that you don't, so inanely and stupidly.

Yes, Mexico's government carries out the will of its Senior pardner, the White House. How stupid to think that is just some fairy tale just totally invented up by that Ardent hippy guy to irritate BB's resident Right Wing klan. You guys are real dummies! Real first class dopes.

'Ardent, nobody believes your "truth". Even if it is true, no one believes it, it sounds totally ridiculous. So no right wingers are getting mad. In fact you look like a conspiracy nut.'

Yes they do believe it, AnonyMoe. Everybody in Latin America knows about the 1,000 ton gorilla called Uncle Sam that sits on the Spanish speaking part of the Americas. Do you truly believe that they don't? You calling the Monroe Doctrine a conspiracy theory by a conspiracy nut named Ardent? Look who's a screw loose here, Bud? It's you.

Anonymous said...

One third of the Mighty US Military is composed of Mexican Americans, if you want to talk about paid mercenaries the US Government uses Mexicans all over the world. And if you follow the domino theory it´s only a matter of time for this to reach every major city in the US. You guys fail to realize that everything the Zetas are doing was learned in the US at the College of the Americas. The Nextel radio systems all Mexican Cartels use is controlled by the US Government, all the stolen vehicles the Cartels use have OnStar. The US Government controls the satalites all they have to do is track a cluster of stolen vehicles and take them out from the sky. But they are not doing this because the Merida Initiative provides merchandise bought from US Companies for use in the drug war. The millions and millions that are being provided are in form of hardware to stimulate the US economy, they are not sending cash you morons.

Ardent said...

You defintely have a good point...

'One third of the Mighty US Military is composed of Mexican Americans, if you want to talk about paid mercenaries the US Government uses Mexicans all over the world.'

It's very sad to see these folk prancing around as honorary Anglos, too. In this regard I think first off of Tex-Mex General Ricardo Sanchez from Rio Grande City who was head boss of the US military in Iraq at the time that he authorized the worst abuses and tortures at Abu Ghraib prison.

It does seem that Mexican American community as a whole are being led by the US military down the same route the Puerto Ricans once tread, of becoming and being the AngloSized agents of choice for the Pentagoon in Latin America. And following along are the men of the more economically privileged areas of Mexico, the NE/ Monterrey area always being especially one of the most conservative parts of Mexico. Many of them would much rather serve in the US army than the Mexican one.

This same pattern is used with the military looking to Jewish Israel in regards to being heir mercenaries in the Arab world, since most US citizens are unable to master even just a few words in Arabic, let alone being able to communicate in Arabic to greater degree. Plus the Pentagon loves the Maronite Christian Lebanese for just the same reason, since these Arabs were collaborators with the colonialist French from way way back, and are already to kill for the Pentagon just for their pure love of spilling Muslim blood .

'You guys fail to realize that everything the Zetas are doing was learned in the US at the College of the Americas.'

Then later the US government and military can wash their hands of the mayhem they helped organize, because the US Anglo community remains so utterly clueless about it all.

Anonymous said...

I am in shock! I don't believe this!
Hahaaa! Got you!
But of course, that's what the mexican immigration officers do! They're all corrupt and worthless!

Anonymous said...

All of ards posts can be summarized thus:

It's not me, it's you.

You USA Right Wingers are all alike.

Most people/mexicans/latin americans agree with ard.

Most conspiracy theories are true.

Ard is so full of bitterness, anger and hatred that he can't control himself long enough to make a coherent point or to express a relevant opinion.

Ard's life is so bereft of human relationships that he can't stay off of these boards. Sad because all the venom he spews is really just reaching out to people.

I don't comment much so I don't use a name. Would like to say that BB does an excellent job of covering drug war related news which is getting harder to do. The mexican media and the govt have a deal like the old PRI days so that nothing negative is published and lots of stuff is just ignored.

For example, the 12 yr old school girl who was tortured and killed in Torreon, Coahuila - one very short report in Proceso - nothing since.
BB, can you find anything on this?

Ardent said...

Oh, thank you so much for my very own psychological profile written by one Joe Borderland Beat Six Pack Guy.

'Ard's life is so bereft of human relationships that he can't stay off of these boards. Sad because all the venom he spews is really just reaching out to people.'

It's not me, it's you. Hahaha! You got that one right! Hey! What if I am right about that? Perhaps it is you that writes using 'venom', and not me???

'I don't comment much so I don't use a name.'

Then try selecting a profile for yourself, then giving yourself a BB e-name and then you won't be called AnonyMoe Right Winger perhaps when somebody replies to you. It's just that easy! You can do it, too!

TITLE OF ARTICLE here....'Rescued migrants allege Mexican Immigration agents pulled them from bus, turned them over to drug gangs'

So MY POINT is, Anonymous 11:00am, ... about this article is...

EXACTLY.

'Ard is so full of bitterness, anger and hatred that he can't control himself long enough to make a coherent point or to express a relevant opinion.'

I just made it (a coherent point) for you, since you are 'challenged' here so very to find any meaning in what I say.. Do you agree with my point?

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