Blog dedicated to reporting on Mexican drug cartels
on the border line between the US and Mexico

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mexico's forgotten victims of the drug war

Guillermo BarrosMail & Guardian

Mexico's battle with its powerful drug cartels has seen almost 35 000 deaths since 2006, but it has also seen the disappearances of an unknown number of others, often without trace.

A United Nations (UN) commission will on Tuesday receive information from distraught families and rights groups about 250 people who have disappeared in recent years in northern Mexico, the area worst-hit by the drug violence.

In most cases, the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) blame organised crime for the disappearances, but in around 50 they allege participation by security forces.

Some victims are petty criminals, some are illegal immigrants, others are simply caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Yolanda Moran is convinced that soldiers abducted her son, Dan Jereemel Fernandez, a father of four, in December 2009 in Torreon, in northern Coahuila state.

One week after the abduction, police arrested a soldier driving Fernandez's car.

"I talked to the soldier but he didn't want to say anything to me," Moran told Agence France-Presse. "His statement helped them to arrest three other soldiers. But when the four soldiers were transferred to a Torreon prison, an armed gang broke in and killed them."

'They don't exist'

Another soldier also suspected in the crime was arrested in March 2010 and, shortly afterwards, killed during a prison fight, according to Moran.

In the investigation, authorities are now seeking a former soldier suspected of leading a cell of the violent Zetas drug gang, which was founded in the 1990s by elite military deserters.
Fernandez's family is one of 118 to have sought help since 2007 from the Fray Juan de Larios Centre for Human Rights, set up in Saltillo, Coahuila.

The UN working group on forced or involuntary disappearances is visiting the town on Tuesday.

Many families believe the authorities are barely investigating their cases and the Mexican government is failing to act.

"There are more than 34 000 killed, but no one knows how many are missing. They don't exist. Everyone ignores them," Moran said.

'Dirty war'

The scale of the phenomenon has become more apparent with the discoveries of hidden graves used by the gangs to hide their victims' bodies.

One grave discovered in June contained 55 bodies.

In a sinister case two years ago, a henchman for the Sinaloa cartel in Tijuana said he had dissolved about 300 bodies using acid.

The cases bring back painful memories of forced disappearances between the 1960s and 1980s, in a "dirty war" against the extreme left. At least 789 disappeared then, according to an official report.

The method reappeared in the past four years -- coinciding with the deployment of 50 000 troops to take on organised crime since 2006 -- according to the 24 NGOs making up the National Campaign against Forced Disappearances.

NGOs hope that the UN delegation will encourage Mexican officials to intensify investigations into missing people and create legislation to prevent and persecute the crimes.

"I hope that the group will understand the situation and pressure the government to listen to us," Moran said.



  1. heres a link to another blog where it says the vicente zambada son of el mayo zambada was trafficking drugs under ther protection of the FBI and DEA

  2. Hey BB, you guys should post this article:

    Sounds like a good option for NINIs that aren't doing shit for their country.

  3. Hasta
    I saw this and was appalled. Ni-Nis are not such by choice. There is nothing wrong with going into the military and nothing wrong with having it be mandatory...FOR EVERYONE. No group should singled out for any reason. Better would be the mandatory service OFF ALL youth, no exceptions for school or wealth.

    Ni-nis are without education because of a system designed to limit education to the majority of children which are the POOR. To further into HS or higher it takes money. A university student of DF wrote to me on BB and said there is going to be changes, good changes which include HS for all children. I embrace that idea.

    Now we need qualified teachers. with good pay and benefits to attract quality candidates and stimulate interest in some of the best and brightest to go to university and become a teacher. Those teachers will make a huge difference in Mexican society.

  4. At this point whether ninis are in the situation they are in, because of a fault in the State, society, or X reason, pointing the finger does not solve anything.
    As I'm sure you well know, the Mexican government does not have capacity nor the institutional strength to give a viable option of progress to all this unemployed, uneducated youth.
    The reality is that there are somewhere around 300,000-7million ninis in Mexico that would serve their country better as cannon fodder in the military, than being time bombs in the outside, just waiting to pick an AK-47 on the side of drug cartels.
    Que los manden al matadero, si no van a haceer nada con su vida, que al menos sirvan para matar mugrosos.

  5. I kno this is off topic but anyways
    i like this narco web site becuase it doesnt have so much advertisment . i tryed getting on diario del narco .com but for some reason my anti virus blocked it with this warning :
    "The page you are trying to access has been identified as a known exploit, phishing, or social engineering web site and therefore has been blocked for your safety. Without protection, such as that in the AVG Security Toolbar and AVG, your computer is at risk of being compromised, corrupted or having your identity stolen. Please follow one of the suggestions below to continue."
    anyways keep up the good work.

  6. Hasta

    the figures are incorrect. I have been working with the educational systems..state and federal since I have been in Mexico. I have tons of data...real data and hope to find time to put it all together soon for a friend I write for, maybe I will post on forum. I appreciate your thoughts but it is NOT whether the government is at fault, it is...not a doubt in the mind of anyone who is familiar with the situation. Yes sometimes the homelife is an attributing factor, but many children from loving but poor homes also go to narco life.

    You are incorrect that the federal government does not have the capacity to construct a quality education for all. Even Mexico and Calderon admitted this 6 mos ago, and supposedly are correcting the system and offering equal access to all children. This will provide opportunity in employment. The illiteracy rate is up and grossly under reported. Children do not have the rights that children in countries such as the US.

    I also worry about not only those caught up in what I call The Ponchis Generation, but also average children subjected to seeing violence, lots of violence, and without help have become numb, turning off their ability to feel for self preservation. I worry about what this will result in when the children are adults? How will they be as adults? Spouses? Parents? That scares me. This generation especially those living in the areas of great violence have the cards stacked against them. WHen I came to Mx Children never spoke about Narcos. and now it is an open topic as well as children expressing their desire to belong to a cartel.

    It breaks my heart.

  7. "the figures are incorrect. I have been working with the educational systems..state and federal since I have been in Mexico. I have tons of data"

    Without evidence to back that up, that is just hot air. How many ninis does your data suggest there are out there?

  8. Buela, there are plenty of times I disagree with you, but this time I have to support every word you have written. Your credentials are well-known and respected on this site.

    As a resident and running a large factory in Monterrey for the past 11 years, I have seen the helplessness and hopelessness of the people.

    Education is not the only solution but it is a critical first step to empowering the youth to strive for a better life, byt giving them the tools to move to the next step.

    Hasta's "facts" are not supportable. Yours, on the other hand, are exceptionally well-documented.


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