Reporting on the Mexican Cartel Drug War

Forced Disappearances Increase in Tamaulipas

Saturday, September 29, 2012 |

Translated by Vato for Borderland Beat

13 year old Milynali is an US citizen, she disappeared returning from the US

El Diario. 9-24-2012.
Distrito Federal.(EFE) -- Forced disappearances have increased at an "alarming" rate in several Mexican states, like Tamaulipas, one of the most violent states in the country, where the press has been silenced and complaints to "incompetent" authorities are the exception, according to victims and activists.
In that region in the northeast part of the country, which the organization Mexico United Against Crime (MUCD: Mexico Unido Contra la Delincuencia) considers "practically a zone of exception", or a "failed state", Milynali Pina Perez, a 13 year old girl, disappeared more than a month ago, along with three cousins and her uncle.
In an interview with EFE, Milynali's mother, Graciela Perez, narrates her tragedy, and with it that of many families who have lost track of a loved one in a country with more than 24,000 disappeared persons, according to the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH: Comision Nacional de Derechos Humanos). 

"I'm not afraid," says the 43 year old teacher of English, convinced that the only way to find her daughter, a U.S. citizen, and her four relatives is to carry out her own search because the authorities haven't done anything. 
Mother is unafraid to sepak out
Her daughter, her brother Ignacio and three of her nephews disappeared August 14 in Tamaulipas when they were coming back from a trip to the United States.

The last phone contact they had with their family, originally from the city of Tamuin, San Luis Potosi, was when they were in Ciudad Mante, only two hours from their destination. Their uncertainty grew when her relatives stopped answering their phones, recalls Perez. The next day, they filed a complaint with the Public Ministry.

The five persons, who were traveling in a pickup truck back to Tamuin, are classified as "disappeared" because no group has asked for ransom payment, she explains. 

The Public Ministry (PM: investigating and prosecuting entity) says that that zone is "very dangerous" and that's why (it's agents) do not go to the scene of these incidents to obtain information. While the military personnel who arrived a few months ago to Ciudad Mante are looking for the family, they have no capacity to investigate, says the ministry. "Nothing disappears by magic," states Perez, who confesses that her family "is devastated" and feels "powerless" at the lack of results.

"We have tried the government (agency) road and have accomplished nothing," she points out after naming, one by one, the doors she has knocked on, from the Presidency to the Fiscalia (State Attorney General's office), through the U.S. Consulate in Matamoros and the FBI.

"I feel that my daughter is alive," says Gabriela, with tears in her eyes, who tried to find out from a photograph shown to her by the military whether her daughter was among the ten bodies found in a clandestine grave in Xicotencatl, near Mante. 
Vanished between point A and B, only 79 miles to Tamuin
She traveled to Mante to make an identification, but when she got there, the body had been buried, and she had to be satisfied with a photograph, which left her full of doubts, which is why she wants a DNA comparison test to be sure.

Before a cadaver goes to a common grave, authorities are required to take DNA samples and prepare a file with all of the victim's information and compare it with reports, but many times this is not done, MUCD's Juan Francisco Torres Landa tells EFE.

Graciela believes, "because of the way they operate," that the Zetas deprived her relatives of their freedom to use them as "merchandise." Vicente Hernandez, a friend of the family, explains that the Gulf Cartel and its former armed element, "Los Zetas", are disputing control of this (drug) corridor to the U.S. 

The way they operate is they "capture people to extort, exchange prisoners or to cover their escapes. They also keep victims in safe houses and expose them when the authorities arrive so they can make their escape," he says.

All this takes place without the authorities doing anything about it. Residents don't file complaints, many have been threatened and fear for their lives, says Graciela, who goes on to say that businesses won't even allow her to put up photographs of her disappeared relatives.

"You can smell the fear" in southern Tamaulipas, the forgotten part of the state, in contrast with the north, which captured the limelight in 2010 with the death of 72 migrants, most of them from Central America, in the municipality of San Fernando," she says.
The bodies of the 72 migrants executed in Tamaulipas in August 2010
This is why she has resorted to (filing) a formal complaint, to draw attention  to her case and to many other cases in Tamaulipas, where authorities refuse to provide information about persons reported as "disappeared."   Questioned by EFE, Ruben Dario Rios, the spokesman for the state Attorney General, limited himself to providing the reporter the statistics found on the agency's web page, where among the most common crimes were vehicle and home robberies. 

Homicides, disappearances and kidnappings do not even show up on a list of the ten most common crimes in a state that, according to Torres Landa, is in a "state of emergency: "If police officers admit that they cannot carry out a field investigation...because they feel defenseless, that sounds very much like a failed state." 

This situation is not limited to Tamaulipas. "The list (of states) now is really very long," proof that Felipe Calderon's strategy of attacking crime indiscriminately, "has failed miserably," he adds.

Even though the "road is uncertain", Graciela says she will keep on knocking on doors until "someone turns around and sees me."          

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37 Borderland Beat Comments:

Anonymous said...

Did I miss sonething? Forced disappearances?

Anonymous said...

Man what a shame what was the parents thinking letting her travel to mexico

Anonymous said...

8:58 PM
Read it again, "...when they were coming back from a trip to the United States"

Anonymous said...

Wut u mean by forced? Weird title for the story

better then you said...

First off the low life scum that commit these crimes against not just innocents but children deserve to be chopped up and i would be glad to participate. Weak punks that need a gang and a gun to feel adequate. I have no respect for the trash that thinks they have such a life. They were born trash and will die trash. Secondly, people do not travel to Mexico thinking it won't happen to you especially with children. You are only hearing a small part of the story. The whole country is being hurt financially bc of gang war. When honest people cant make a living they to sometimes resort to criminal lifestyles which makes it even more dangerous. We cant all pick up a gun and go get vigilante justice but we can help. If you do drugs quit, tell your friends to quit, spread the word about the situation in mexico as well as the rest of the americas , do something . Everyday i see these wanna be gang bangers with their pants hanging off the ass looking stupid as hell with no sense. Its sad what a joke. Listening to their shit music going no where in life. They sale a little bit of drugs and think they are something special. Stop saleing dope and no body will call you because your nobody .

Anonymous said...

"Man what a shame what was the parents thinking letting her travel to mexico"

They had probably read what some fools post here about travelling to Mexico and how it's so safe blah, blah, blah.... Only someone with a death wish travels to Mexico these days.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:46, forced "without your will or consent". bad huya forcing you to go with them even if you don't want to, doesnt get more pre school than that

Anonymous said...

Mexico is not safe at the moment, I myself would Not allow My Children to go to Mexico... But some people especially people from there living in the US believe it cant happen to them! EVERYONE is at risk, No one is immuned from violence && Death does not discriminate. The Mother isn't a bad Mother for allowing her Child to go, To each their own. Shes going through a very difficult time, A lot of us don't know how She feels... While others sadly do know. Mexico was a wonderful place besides all this drug war going on... Its a place where You can go visit someone and They want to feed You and Make You feel at home. The people are so inviting and welcoming, Such a shame its gone to hell over something so worthless. God bless the innocent children and hardworking citizens of Mexico, God bless You all

Anonymous said...

I keep telling everybody dont go to border cities all of them are highly dangerous once u step over to mexican border citis ur death rate goes up 75 pct naturally it pains me to hear another sad story the plazas in border cities are hot the usa should have issued a travel warning since the capture of el coss and its gonna get hotter!

Anonymous said...

so sad. that is a dangerous route. I know truck drivers, 2, that dissapeared there, it is getting more difficult to get truck drivers going that hwy and to reynosa from monterrey. everbody so scared.

to the poster who asked about forced dissapear that is what it is called oppose to those who dissapear by thier own volition

Anonymous said...

Forced disappearance. Much nicer than kidnapped, gang raped and slaughtered.

The police won't investigate? Mexico is without doubt a failed, narco state. I love the country but it is done. A revolution is what's needed. Score anyof this starts to be fixed.

God bless all those in pain because of this situation.

Anonymous said...

The Mexican government and the media use the term "forced disappearance" when a person is picked up, either by criminals or government agents, and simply disappears. They are not consided kidnap victims because there is no demand for ransom. As one of the commenters states, these victims do not disappear of their own volition. They are "disappeared" by force.

Anonymous said...

Whats up with all these people saying Mexico is not safe, although they dont live there and most likely dont have family there? Not all of Mexico is like the border cities. The border cities are were it is extremely dangerous but NOT all of Mexico is same.

Anonymous said...

Yet people can't stay away. Mexico is a beautiful place but extremely dangerous right now. Common sense will show. In coming Nov.-Dec. So begin the fiestas in all of Mexico. Many paisas will make their treks back home.God watch over them and everybody.

Anonymous said...

How about just " disappearances" without the " forced"?

Anonymous said...

September 30, 2012 2:14 AM Sure there are safe places but you can't just say it's the border cities. I would not go to Monterrey or Torreon or many other places that are not on the border. For Americans it's easier to just say, don't go to Mexico. Period.

Anonymous said...

by border cities it is not referring to only cities adjacent to the us but cities in the 6 border states, BC, Son, Chih, Coah, NL,Tamps
that includes torreon & Monterrey

Anonymous said...

This theme brings back memories to me. A mother's daughter is murdered by the daughter's boyfriend, the mother seeks justice, her long drawn out campaign comes to a damning end when she is gunned down right across the street of a government build, the gunman believed to have been, ¿guess who? ... the daughter's boyfriend!, 'THE BASTARD'

http://observers.france24.com/content/20101222-marisela-escobedo-murder-mexico-ciudad-juarez-violence-women-rubi-marisol

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1339800/Marisela-Escobedo-lost-daughter-drugs-war-gunned-demanding-justice.html

Does anybody remember this story? How did you feel about her tragic end?, an invitation to speak on this is 'now'.

I'd have gone hunting him myself, I was 'that' upset. Is he (he = it) still free today?

SenB.

Anonymous said...

I add this:

http://www.mariselaescobedo.com/official.html

Anonymous said...

Unexpected disappearances

Anonymous said...

Sorry but Border cities are city's on the border. So are cities in Alaska border cities to Canada and Russia too?

Anonymous said...

I don't want to get into the middle of a pointless argument, but I have to agree I often see places like Monterey, far from the border, referred to as 'The border city Monterey'.

Most knowledgeable sources say stay away from the border region, and name the border states. there are safe cities within but it is a good rule of thumb. Baja is really considered 2 parts one having violence and the lower being very safe, but i think that is the only distinction of the border states.

Anonymous said...

ha ha, I like that, Forced Disappearances, it's a Brain Teaser for me, gets me thinking, gets those wheels turning. And what about Forced Captivity? ha ha. Same thing with " I personally feel that it never should have been done." Do we need to use the word 'personally'? because the message is coming from' me' yet that's the way we very often say it when we speak to others.

Forced Captivity? Well what about Forced Confession? If somebody points a gun at you and threatens to kill you if you don't confess to something, if you're innocent and the guy with the gun expects to hear you say that "you're guilty" you're being forced to say something -- FORCED, Yes, but it is not a confession.

Forced Disappearance / Force was used, and the person has Disappeared, Forced Confinement ... Someone's Prisoner, dead or alive we don't know, but it is very bad news.

mp

Anonymous said...

Well said

Anonymous said...

Abduct, or more colorfully said, Disappeared By Forceful Means

A person can by his / or her own will 'Disappear'

If done by someone else's will & actions, Forced Disappearance & the person has Vanished


R. Scooter

Anonymous said...

Beautifully said.

Anonymous said...

Tried to post that up in my words ofcourse, but it got posted on google for some reason

Anonymous said...

Alot of Mexico is more or less like this.Parts of yucatan,it seems like every state has this kind of happennings in some part of the state atleast, except guanajuto if I'm not mistaken.

Anonymous said...

That's seconded.

Anonymous said...

Dr. M.p. the trial was fixed and he walked. We remember because it was not that long ago.hopefully when that pos meets his fate it will make headline news. That poor women, what she should have done is executed the three judges who let him go!!!

Anonymous said...

You're mistaken... Ive driven there three times a year evey year for over 20 years to SLP and ZAC including this year.. yea its bad yea its gotten worse pero todo mi mexico no esta de a tiro jodido so if you don't know and you don't go, don't say shit. You scare people who don't have a clue.

Anonymous said...

^^^^ thank you.

Anonymous said...

"yea its bad yea its gotten worse pero todo mi mexico no esta de a tiro jodido"

"You scare people who don't have a clue."

You're admitting that there is a problem. That's great that you personally haven't had problems. You sound real smart, so I'm sure you're more aware of your surroundings. People that "don't have a clue" would be more vulnurable in these situations. Maybe they need to be scared....

Anonymous said...

As a man reading this story,it breaks my heart.
What kind of man,could hurt a 13 year old girl?
They are the most innocent,beautiful form of life we can make,yet,we have"men"because it was men,that can hurt or abuse them?If a man can do this,what good is that man in any walk of life,in any community,in any work,in life itself?I would argue,that if a man can hurt a little girl,he is capable of anything at all.Simply put,he is no good for life.We as a society should have absolute zero tolerance to anyone that can hurt children,zero tolerance meaning forfeiture of your life.Hurting and taking young children is a conscious and willful decision on an adults part,they know exactly what they are doing,but as usual people whine about their rights.They forfeited their rights when they chose to behave like an animal.Even animals protect their young not hurt them.Anyway,,,everyone got opinions.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

You're mistaken...
i saw your post and said to myself i had to respond. I do not have to see the crocodiles under the water to know that they are there, yet year after year Wildebeest and zebra are attacked by crocodiles as they cross the Mara river http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthpicturegalleries/9492711/Wildebeest-and-zebra-are-attacked-by-crocodiles-as-they-cross-the-Mara-river.html

some wildebeasts and zebras make across the mara river but some don't that does not mean that your next trip to slp will be so lucky.

Anonymous said...

Because the parents knew she was gonna go missing right?? You jackass.

Anonymous said...

Why oh why oh why are people continuing to travel to Mexico during a cartel war? Why? If you're a man and captured you are sure to get your head lopped off and if you're female, you will be forced to pleasure a lot of cartel folks before you are capped. Stay out of Mexico.

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