Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Migrants' testimonials reveal sophistication of Mexican crime syndicates

Saturday, July 23, 2011 |

Photo:Archive

Valley Freedom Newspapers

“La delincuencia está bien organizada.”

“The criminal element is well organized,” observed a migrant who was kidnapped last year as he traveled in Mexico toward the U.S. border.

His testimonial is part of a special report by the Mexican National Human Rights Commission regarding the kidnapping of migrants in Mexico. The report was issued in February.

Details that he provided coupled with the recollection of other undocumented migrants, mostly from Central America, reflect that although the conduct of the criminals is barbaric, their planning is shrewd and advanced.

As the U.S. Department of Justice pointed out in its February 2010 National Drug Threat Assessment, the cartels are “highly sophisticated” organizations composed of multiple drug trafficking organizations and cells with specific assignments such as drug transportation, security, enforcement or money laundering.

They even keep a registry of the people they kidnap for ransom in order to further their enterprises.

Testimonials indicate that numerous migrants are kidnapped because the “pollero” (smuggler) failed to make arrangements with the criminal organizations who say they control the rail lines and even the Rio Grande itself. In other instances, the criminal organizations don’t believe the migrants who say they are not accompanied by a smuggler.

One migrant gave this testimony regarding his captor: “He operated a computer in which he said he had access to all of the information. There was a machine to send faxes and he talked a lot in English, both by telephone and on the computer.”

The victim described one of his kidnappers as a young man with a northern Mexican accent and tanned skin who said he was from the state of Chihuahua. The young man handled the computer in the living room in the house where some of the kidnap victims were kept.

“He said that he could access all the information from any country. In fact, he told someone that his brother is in the United States and has been in prison two times,” the migrant recalled in his testimonial.

“Nos tienen fichados,” the victim said, apparently referring to the way the kidnappers book them into their system.

His testimonial did not include information about where he was kidnapped.

In another statement to the human rights organization, a migrant from Honduras who was kidnapped near a shelter for migrants in Nuevo Laredo said one of the kidnappers had a camera connected to a computer and took some photographs of the victims. This occurred in a house where the victims were taken.

“While they beat us, they would film and would take photographs of us. They send the photographs to our relatives in the United States by electronic mail,” the migrant said.

A 25-year-old from El Salvador recounted that when he was kidnapped, he called his uncle in Oklahoma and one of the kidnappers asked for $2,000. His uncle gave the money to a person who contacted him in Oklahoma.

Another victim, a 23-year-old from Honduras, called his sister in California. She deposited the money where she was told and the kidnappers released him.

A victim from Nicaragua called his brother in New York, who deposited $1,000.

The family of another migrant also paid $1,000. And although he was released, he lives in fear.

“I am very afraid because they photographed us. They have us registered,” the migrant recounted. He said he is afraid the kidnappers would be able to identify him.

Other kidnap victims were ordered to call their families, say that they were in Phoenix and ask for $2,000.

Some migrants were brought to Reynosa and were then brought into the United States for $600, but because the kidnappers also had a house in Houston, the victims were kept there until family members paid the full ransom.

Similar information was reported in testimonials obtained by Belen, Posada del Migrante in Saltillo, Coah., and in conjunction with the organizations Frontera Con Justicia and Humanidad Sin Fronteras.

According to another testimonial in the human rights report, one victim’s family paid $10,000.

The victim recounted: “In front of me, they would cut the fingers of those who would not pay. When they screamed, they would call their relatives at that moment so that they could hear how they were torturing us.”

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19 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Ok so I'm just going to throw in this crazy idea out there. Seeing as how most of the time these illegals seem to pay cartels more than 4k in US dollars to smuggle them across the border. So why don't they save themselves the trouble, violence, time, and horrid experience and do it right and use that money to pay for the necessary paperwork. Only one type of immigrant can't get to the US legally, that would be criminals, I'm pretty sure they can't get legal paperwork with a criminal record. And if criminals can get legal paperwork to cross into the US then the illegals are just plain idiots.

Anonymous said...

Enough with this NRA crap you post on every article. Whoever is your boss should fire you and find much less obvious shills.

Anonymous said...

Texcoco Mex said

What?

Anonymous said...

Imagine where all of these nations would be today, had they not had Ronald Ray-Gun and
the warmongers go in and Economically supress their growth during the 80's, Wars cripple growing economies. Take your medicine Teabags,
you dont see the correlation between the 2 events?

Santiago said...

Anonymous @2:29 AM

I don't think the US grants many work visas for non-skilled labour. It's not a matter of money, it's just that it's an extremely long process (lot's of people want to get in) with a very low probability of success. I'm from Mexico and I know that even getting a US tourist visa can be an enormous hassle and that many, many people are denied even that.

Anonymous said...

So they learned how to use excel spreadsheets. I dunno if id call that organized

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what's so sophisticated about them using a computer?

Anonymous said...

How about closing the borders altogether and posting our soldiers all along the border. Surely we don't need them in Afghanistan or Iraq and Libya? Anybody else agree with me?

Anonymous said...

there really aint nothin to woopti doodle about using a comp.but i do think it goes way beyond that these mothafukkas runing billion dollar business that takes brains and a lot of discipline im talking about the sinaloa cartel.the infrastructure is more than armed men riding in stolen trucks.honestly i think they find them disposable to their advantage(the armed men).chappo is runin the country from behind closed doors thats pretty damn sophisticated 2 me ...........mexican raised in the us

Anonymous said...

I see some still stuck on stupid as they keep believing Chapo or any of these boss of bosses is at the top. Yall must be smoking that new type crack or somethin. These supposed cartel bosses are simply the ones assigned to enforce the enforcers. They aint no real bizness men, nahmsaying. There's all types of investors on top of their shoulders calling the real shots. One man alone cannot weild that much power. Think fam, think. Damn.

Anonymous said...

Ok so I'm just going to throw in this crazy idea out there. Seeing as how most of the time these illegals seem to pay cartels more than 4k in US dollars to smuggle them across the border. So why don't they save themselves the trouble, violence, time, and horrid experience and do it right and use that money to pay for the necessary paperwork.

DO IT RIGHT..UHMM AND NECESSARY PAPERWORK?...OK WHY DON'T YOU ASK THE US EMBASSY AND CONSULATES IN MEX...1000'S OF APPLICANTS ARE DENIED EVERY MINUTE,HR, DAY...SOME DO APPLY...LIKE THIS TEACHER I KNOW..HE HAS A HOUSE, 2 ACTUALLY, A DECENT JOB AND INCOME, SOME MONEY IN HIS BANK ACCOUNT, ENOUGH TO PAY AND MAKE THE TRIP THE US, WAS HE GIVEN THE VISA? NO...THEY SAID HIS SALARY DIDN'T SEEM LIKE A PERSON THAT COULD AFFORD A LEISURE TRIP TO THE US...REALLY...

NOW, I KNOW THIS GUY, HE LIVES ON THE BORDER, HE HAD ABOUT THE SAME STATUS, INCOME WISE, AS THE TEACHER, BUT THERE WERE RUMORS HE WAS DOING MONEY LAUDERING....DID HE HAVE A VISA? YES, HE CROSSED THE BORDER EVERY DAY...I SWEAR I KNOW THESE PEOPLE I AM NOT MAKING ALL THIS UP...HE IS EVEN LIVING ON THE US SIDE NOW, AND APPLYING FOR ASYLUM...ON THE BASIS OF BEING THREATENED BY CARTEL AND FEARING FOR HIS LIFE

Only one type of immigrant can't get to the US legally, that would be criminals, I'm pretty sure they can't get legal paperwork with a criminal record.

LMAO...THEY CROSS THE BORDER EVERYDAY, THEY GO TO SPURS, MAVERICKS, COWBOYS, SUNS, PADRES, ETC,, GAMES...THEY OWN BUSINESSES, THEY ARE RESTAURANTEURS, PRIVATE CUSTOMS AGENTS, POLITICIANS, OWN THE GROUNDS/INDUSTRIAL CORRIDORS ON MEX BORDER TOWNS WHERE US/FOREIGN MAQUILAS ARE...YOU NAME THEM...DRIVE FORD 150 TRUCKS THEY DON'T GET SENT TO SECONDARY INSPECTION....

And if criminals can get legal paperwork to cross into the US then the illegals are just plain idiots.


NO...HOMELAND SECURITY ARE THE IDIOTS...I ALREADY GAVE YOU 2 REASONS...UNDER THEIR NOSE MAN...
IF ONLY THE US CHARGED 5 0R 6 000 DLLS FOR A TOURIST VISA...THEY COULD GET RID OF THEIR DEFICIT SO BOEHNER AND OBAMA WOULDN'T BE IN SUCH DISPUTE OVER THE BUDGET OR ON THE VERGE OF DEFAULTING

Anonymous said...

I disagree, id say chapo is at the top. To say "a businesman" is at the top is dumb. Chapo is a businessman. In fact he's the ultimate businessman, he's more powerful than any Fortune 500 guys. He's worth way more than a billion, he's got thousands of armed men and shell corporations at his disposal. The businessmen are the one in his pocket, not the other way around. Don't get it twisted fam.

Who do you think is calling the shots? Mark zuckerburg?

Anonymous said...

...11:44@...You seem to know what's happening with these people that are RESPONSIBLE and are the real movers and shakers of the EVIL THATS BEEN PERPETUATED HERE...
...Since the declined of the ECONOMY WORLD WIDE, IT'S appears that these PEOPLE are supplementing their income in many other ways, and IT'S possible that the men IN SUITS, AND UNIFORMS, AND THE ONES WITH MONEY, ARE THE PERPEUATORS OF THE EVIL AND RESPONSIBLE FOR THE OPPRESSION....
...you can dress a DOG IN A SUIT, they can have THE SCENT of nice cologne, but, guess what??? It's still a dog..
..."As a DOG RETURNETH TO HIS VOMIT, so a fool returneth to his folly"...

Anonymous said...

@7/25-12:13AM,

One, "El Chapo" is not a business man! He is a top tier criminal nothing more nothing less. It's in poor taste that Forbes Magazine even placed him on a list of richest individuals..because of the means by which he has obtained his fortune. To say he is more powerful than any other billionaire is a stretch as well. In Mexico, or maybe some other Central/South American country that could be true but his power is not without its limits. His sphere of power doesn't extend to far outside of Mexico no one in the U.S. fears "El Chapo" or even now who he is for that matter.

Anonymous said...

beach, beer, you guys are so smart you figure it out (of course) goin to the beach

Anonymous said...

Juan esparragoza Moreno,is the real boss of the Sinaloa cartel,he was amado carillo Fuentes right hand man and now he's chapos right hand man,this guy could easily run the Sinaloa cartel,but he rather stay second or third to not catch too much attention.

Anonymous said...

Who actually runs these kidnapping rings? Is it the big cartels (Gulf, Sinaloa, Zetas) themselves or is it kidnapping gangs who may pay a fee to the cartels for permission to operate?

Anonymous said...

All cartels have kidnapping rings.

Anonymous said...

"Ok so I'm just going to throw in this crazy idea out there. Seeing as how most of the time these illegals seem to pay cartels more than 4k in US dollars to smuggle them across the border. So why don't they save themselves the trouble, violence, time, and horrid experience and do it right and use that money to pay for the necessary paperwork. Only one type of immigrant can't get to the US legally, that would be criminals, I'm pretty sure they can't get legal paperwork with a criminal record. And if criminals can get legal paperwork to cross into the US then the illegals are just plain idiots." - You, amigo, have no idea how long this process takes. You are taking about something that can take 10+ years.

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