By: E. Gómez and A. E. Muñoz | Translated by Valor for Borderland Beat
April 16,2016—The Brigada Nacional en Busca de Personas Desaparecidas en Veracruz: Buscándolos nos Encontramos (National Brigade in Search of Disappeared Persons in Veracruz: Looking for Them, We Found Ourselves) made their first discovery: 11 clandestine graves with charred remains, after four days of exploratory work.
“That’s how a disappeared ends in Mexico, it’s the horror that the Mexican government buries,” said Mario Vergara, a member of Los Otros Desaparecidos de Iguala (The Other Disappeared of Iguala).
This past Friday, with data from an anonymous source, the brigade left from Amatlán de los Reyes towards a coffee plantation in the community of San Rafael Calería, next to Córdoba, the hometown of Javier Duarte de Ochoa, the governor of Veracruz.
The marked point was located under some vanilla and cedar trees. After cordoning off the area, the families began monitoring the area. They sought subsidence, a point where the rod that detects pits nailed easily.
The anonymous messenger described the place as a large “kitchen”, where the criminal group Los Zetas disintegrated their victims. After burning them with diesel and gasoline in steel drums, they would bury the remains in small hollow spaces and covered them with dirt.
The brigade members didn’t have to dig a lot. At half a meter from the surface, they found vertebrae, kneecaps, and remains of femurs. They were porous and calcined. They seems to have been buried for a long time because from digging, the dirt was rooted.
“Here is the proof that Mexico is a clandestine cemetery,” said one of the mothers of the group Voces Unidas por la Vida-Sabuesos de Sinaloa (Voices United for Life-Bloodhounds of Sinaloa).
Later, the activist Juan Carlos Herrera said indignantly: “The governor has the bodies of missing persons buried in the courtyard of Córdoba, his homeland.”
In one hour, the families of Veracruz, in the company of relatives of missing persons in Coahuila, Sinaloa, Michoacán and Iguala, discovered 11 graves and had to stop working, not for lack of evidence, but because they finished the material needed to identify the findings.
“We thought it would be three or four, but there are more here, we don’t have any more material to open up the graves, identify them, and protect them,” said Alma Rosa Rosas, of the group Voices United for Life-Bloodhounds of Sinaloa.
Three hours after Araceli Salcedo Jiménez, from the Colectivo Familias de Desaparecidos Orizaba y Córdoba (Collective Families of the Disappeared Orizaba y Córdoba), reported the discovery of the graves, staff from the attorney general’s office of the state based in Córdoba arrived at the site to pick up the remains.
Attorney General’s Office: They Aren’t Human Remains
During the night, the attorney general’s office reported that after the first expert proceedings, the remains located in San Rafael Calería do not correspond with human remains. “After carrying out the first steps contained in international protocols in people search, the specialists only found scraps of wood and synthetic fabrics.”
In response, members of the National Brigade in Search of Disappeared Persons issued an ultimatum in the sense that if the government of Veracruz doesn’t retract its “absurd and full of lies” statement, they will break their relationship on Friday and on Saturday, they will be prohibited from entry onto the premises. “They offend our intelligence and minimize the citizen process, if it is like this, we will act with the Federation,” said Juan Trujillo Herrera.
Yesterday, families of missing persons in Veracruz asked the president of the National Commission of Human Rights, Luis Raúl González Pérez, to form a committee to investigate this problem, which they said, during the government of Javier Duarte, became a “pandemic”.
The district attorney in the state has 1,550 registered cases of missing persons, “but we know that the dark figure of the facts can be from 10 or 15 for each one denounced. I’m almost sure that the figure is between 10,000 and 20,000 disappeared in the state,” said Lucía de los Ángeles Díaz, from the collective Solecito de Veracruz (Little Sun of Veracruz).
Lucía, mother of Luis Guillermo Lagunes, 29, abducted from his bedroom three years ago, said that at least 70% are cases of forced disappearance. “The police in Veracruz does what it wants, without any control or restrictions. It has committed more crimes than the criminals,” she said.
Source: La Jornada