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

Monday, August 28, 2017

El Fuerte: Founder of Las Rastreadores Finds her Son after 3 Year Search

Translated by Yaqui for Borderland Beat from Debate

Identified remains found in El Fuerte are the son of Mirna Medina Quiñónez

Extra Material from Sin Embargo
Second Debate link
By: Noel Vizcarra Aug 27, 2017

Los Mochis, Sinaloa.- It took three years and a month for Mirna Nereyda Medina Quiñónez, leader of the group known as Las Rastreadoras de El Fuerte, to find her son Roberto Corrales Medina, who was deprived of his freedom and subsequently murdered on July 14, 2014 when he was selling CDs at a gas station in the municipality of El Fuerte.

Roberto Corrales Medina DEP: 1993-2014 (RIP)
Mirna Nereyda was fully convinced that someday she would find her son, and so it was ............

On July 14, 2014, Roberto Corrales Medina arrived from the municipality of Choix at the gas station located at the main entrance of El Fuerte where he worked, with his box in which he kept his merchandise ready to offer music for all tastes, without imagining what awaited him.

It was 17:45 on a hot afternoon, when a black Explorer  SUV type vehicle stopped and someone spoke to him. Roberto left his box next to one of the gas pumps at the  station and went to answer the call of the occupants of the vehicle.

That was the last time he was seen alive as the subjects forced him into the unit and took him away. His merchandise was abandoned and he no longer answered his cell phone. When he disappeared, Las Rastreadoras were born.

How was the Group Formed ?

Senora Medina Quinonez Speaks: "When they do this to you they do not know the pain that they are going to cause you, the anguish that you  will  submit to , nor do they care, they take part of your life".

El Grupo de Las Rastreadoras de El Fuerte, (Trackers/Rakers/Searchers), were formed when Mirna Nereyda Medina Quiñónez began looking for her son days after the "levantón"/ kidknapping happened. She said she got tired of going to the Regional Attorney's Office of Northern Justice  (now Vice-Chancellery) to ask for progress and results.

Mirna Nereyda was fully convinced that someday she would find her son some day, and so it was.

"At first I was going with Roberto's father through the mountains, hills, canals to look for our son," said Mirna on several occasions. They even hired people to help them search for desolate places.

Mothers of families who had children who disappeared in El Fuerte, Ahome and Choix were contacted simultaneously, and word spread thanks to the media and social networks in which she shared the photos of her son. It was in the Mochicahui area where they found the first skeletons in pits.

The first thing they checked were the victims clothing, which was  brought in the hope that it would be their son's. Sometimes the mood swelled and waned, but she never gave up. "This is very hard, but we have to continue until we find them."

"Previously, I had already gone with El Grupo de Las Ratreadoras, (the Trackers/Rakers/Searchers), to that same place, but for being off by several meters of distance I did not find the pit".

The news was confirmed yesterday; when the woman originally  from Guasave received a call that was  transferred to the Attorney General's Office in Culiacan because the authorities had to inform her of the results of DNA studies on her son's skeleton which was found on July 14, 2017 on a hill in the vicinity of Ocolome, El Fuerte.

The news was communicated directly to her and her partner. The DNA tests that were done to  her son's remains coincide with his relatives and that was the news Mirna Medina Quinoz, Roberto's mother, had looked for day and night, for weeks, months and now years.

A Mother Hoping to Find the Skeletal Remains of her Son
Mobilizing: How and When It Began

The majority of the disappearances were concentrated in the municipality of El Fuerte, Ahome and Choix.  Mirna Medina has been invited to speak to  various organizations in the country and also abroad about her work.

International Recognition:

As a result of her untiring efforts and dedication to the search for their loved ones, the organization Las Rastreadoras of El Fuerte obtained a great international recognition. Organizations such as Human Rights Watch, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and Amnesty International acknowledged their titanic work, and last year they were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by a national body.

Likewise, they joined the international caravan "Hasta Encontrete" (Until We Find You) to bring their complaints to different countries, including the United States, Canada, Guatemala, as well as several cities in Europe and various areas of Mexico.

Sitting behind her desk in the newly opened office of the group Las Rastreadoras, Mirna Nereyda remembered the last time she saw her son, who said goodbye to her to move to the municipality of Choix to meet with her father, his grandfather, which she is close to.

"When we go out looking for bodies and find one, all the mothers want it to be our child, but at the same time we keep that light of hope to find them alive and we while hope it is not so, these are very difficult feelings found, but we ask God to Deliver them to us as they are."

With more than 400 folders of the missing, the families made up of women and some men, parents and siblings, who have joined in the unique goal of finding the remains of victims of violence by unknown hands that  have been  taken and buried in some lonely place, they work every day to try to find them, their loved ones, some of whom have been told lie under the ground at their feet.

In the years of her son's search, Mirna Nereyda received information about places where her body could be and, with the support of other mothers who have missing children, and staff of the State Attorney General's Office, they started  the searching process but had not been successful.

United by the pain that hurts and embarrasses them, Las Rastreadoras inaugurated its management offices on July 1, 2016 to support those who are unfortunately in the same conditions and to be able to find a light that leads them to locate them. They settled on the Colonia Don Eme, located on Benito Juarez Street, between Santos Degollado and Emiliano Zapata, in the city of Los Mochis, Sinaloa.

"I do not know if we did not search well, twice they told me that he was in Hornillos, that he was in Vivajaqui and then in Mochicahui and then in front of a gas station near Guamuchil, I think he is between Mochicahui and El Fuerte, but I also resist the thought of him dead and I just want him to be alive. I will not rest until I find him, my son, wherever he is".

Mirna Nereyda is considered a woman with a lot of strength, but she says she does not know where her feet and head are. "I am crazy, losing your son is the worst thing that can happen to you, it's a very strong pain that you have inside, but that makes you fight, and even more if you have a lot of people behind you."

The families of the group do not cry for justice, although in the end they say:

"We know that justice will come from the actions of everyone, but now we only want to rest from this pain that we can not describe, because not knowing where to cry for our own flesh leads us to live a miserable life, without rest. There are just too many missing to stay a day without thinking about them."

The group of women has been so committed to the group that if one of them dies "of ​​circumstance", the others will not forget their sons and continue with their search. They also promised that even if they find the body of their loved ones they will continue to support the others until the end.

"They call us 'the trackers' because they say that we are like bloodhounds, because we give and we give and yes, it is true," said Mirna, who in turn expressed that she no longer had a life, since it was over when they took her son.

Mirna Nereyda Medina Quiñónez burst into tears when she found bones, nails and other parts of her son Roberto's body in the pit where his executioners buried him, located near Ocolome, El Fuerte.

Last July 14 of this year, three years of the disappearance of Roberto Corrales were commemorated.

The women of Guasave, Juan Jose Rios, Los Mochis, Choix and El Fuerte, helped Mirna that day more than ever to look for the remains of her son, they searched without fatigue for some indication that would help them find the whereabouts of bodies; In total there were more than 60 people between men and women who helped to track/ rake/ search and dig that day.

Skeletal remains were located in Ejido Ocolome, El Fuerte.

From a very early hour they joined together with mixed feelings and tears in their eyes, Mirna thanked all those people for the unconditional help they had given her on that day, since three eternal years had passed and the remains they found were those of her Robert.

Each shovel of earth that was extracted from the pit was passed to a strainer to try to recover any remnant of his blood.

"Do not let anything happen to you Liliana," Mirna suggested to the person who was casting away the earth and who quickly answered: "How do you think I'm going to get something, its as if I'm looking for my own son, her  friend worries ".

The search became tense and dramatic at times because Mirna suddenly would burst into tears, but immediately her companions approached to embrace her and ask her for strength.

"It is painful, Mirna, but what more would I want than to find my son, even if it is in these conditions," one of her companions told her as she dug with her in the pit.

In that place they located more skeletal remains, the earth was impregnated of human fat, and it gave off a fetid smell.

Senora Mirna Nereyda Medina Quinonez
at the site where she herself found the remains of her own son
The days passed, and on August 25, 2017, the leader of las Rastreadoras received the news that the human remains found that day in Ocolome, El Fuerte, did indeed belonged to Roberto Corrales .........

With a firm step, Mirna returned to the place where her executioners buried Roberto, knelt, took her hands with some earth and burst into tears.  "Why did they do this to you? You did not deserve to go through this," she shouted as her inseparable companions surrounded her and gave her words of encouragement.

Mirna and her family placed a metallic cross with the name of their son Roberto Corrales Medina, which was nailed in the place at the end of the recovery of more skeletal remains.

"It is a place of pain, of mourning, it is a kind of tomb to honor where my son was. There Robertito will rest next to the grave of his grandfather, who loved him so much," said Mirna to those who accompanied her in the search.


"I thought I would die without finding him."

Roberto Corrales Medina disappeared on July 14, 2014 and was also located on July 14, but in 2017.

Curiously, he was born in 1993 and his body was number 93 located by Las Rastreadoras in the  tireless search by his  mother and her group of searchers in the north of the region.

Standing by the grave where her son Roberto was buried, Mirna confesses that in her mind that she knew he had passed away and she was going to die without finding him.

"It's a difficult situation, but yes, I finally found him; I thought that I was going to die without finding  him and I asked my companions to promise me that if I died they would continue to look for him. I'm going to take some time, it would be very cowardly of me to leave many mothers alone who are looking for their children and I will continue to support them, they have the confidence that together we are going to achieve our goals''.

When did you know that the remains located here were those of your son Roberto?

"They tested the DNA for me and his dad and that tested positive, but from the moment we located the remains I knew they were his, my mother's hunch could not fail me. They are many years of struggle,  heartbreak, so many bad experiences to be able to achieve this.

"Yes, what they do to us is not worth living through, is a very tough fight, and yet in some ways I already won, but many are still fighting. This is very heavy for me, but I did it because on July 16, 2014 I made the promise to Roberto that I would find him and here he is, we will take every bit of him that we can find."


  1. Thanks for this article BB, people's eyes need to be unfolded to the ignorance of people claiming Sinaloa is a peaceful place. All Mexico is a sh!t hole when it comes to innocent people getting killed. I don't think that guy with the cd's was selling drugs but who knows?..

    1. Sinaloa is a violent shithole.

    2. Thats a bit strong, most of Sinaloa is quite beautiful even the desolate parts, from all accounts. Your generalization does you no credit

    3. OTIS
      Is there anything your not expert on,shut up

    4. Strong indeed!
      Citizens are held hostages in a country run by criminals. Government corruption and incompetence are what's driving such activities.
      Can only imagine the heartbreaking families who have to bear each day where their love ones are residing. The torture and agony of not sleeping and wishing for some hope.
      It's a shame that government goes on with such ignorance.

      Prayers to those who live in darkness.


    5. Well, if the people from sinaloa would just be real about their drug problem it would be nice. Instead all you here is "stuff like that only happens in tamaulipas or Juarez,in sinaloa sicarios don't kill innocents" bull crap

    6. Como saben que era inocente? Yo no lo se.. Y uds no saben nada. Si se ponen a pensar em pudo bien andar vendiendo droga o por su lugar de trabajao ser un puntero que vendia cds y ala vez comunicaba de gente extrana. Como estaba en la entrada podria ser un puntero. Podria ser vendedor de deoga o inocente. NO en sinaloa tambien muere gente inocente pero no como en otros lugares es muy raro que pase eso.

    7. @0712, He's not saying he's an expert, he gave his view probably based on emperical observation. To some LA, NYC or Miami are also shut holes, but to many they are quite beautiful places. Your personal view may be different based on your own experiences.

  2. blo territory killing innocents that's what there known for

    1. The guy owed money , it doesnt sound like an innocent person

  3. Those woman are some of the most cabronas of mexico it's sad but it said her son was kill in a ajuste de cuentas since he son own a Drug Debt Wich he could not pay

    1. @7:59 Thanks for your tremendous disrespect to everyone, the living and the dead.

  4. hope she can now find peace now I admire their work and bravery sinaloa woman are gold

  5. Narco estado lleno de depredadores.

  6. DEP Roberto Corrales Medina.
    Felicidades pero mi simpatía Sra Neyeda.

    1. So everyone is absolutely convinced Roberto was completely innocent. No involvement with narcos whatsoever. He was posted at the main entrance to his community "selling cds", which is what a lot of halcones do for cover. Plus he was wearing a $500 belt when he died. Yeah, totally innocent, all the circumstantial evidence means nothing.

  7. Cada quien save en que se mete, sad but its reality.

  8. Que dios lo tenga en el cielo se lo ha merecido...Power to the people...muerte a secustradores...

  9. Corruption and organized crime is a cancer that cannot be cut out. It can only be healed from the inside by real change to society.

  10. Why did they kill him? Maybe he was lookout for another group? A lot of lookouts tend to be roadside sellers of merchandise food stands and gas station workers. There's is few gas stations in this area so that would be an ideal place for a lookout and it's on the only highway in the area so every single vehicle could be identified

  11. May she an the rest of parents of the missing find peace in their hearts...God bless them....

  12. He may not have paid for protection for his business. Mexico is lawless, and it is time for prayer that God intervenes to protect the good people of Mexico. Tourists should boycott Mexico, its not safe, and maybe that will awaken the people.

  13. He was a halcon reporting for BLO
    Like many humble people does in mexico
    But they got no other choice
    Its being an halcon or getting your family killed
    And i i.agine that carrizales got in a dituatuon like this
    Not by his own
    They make im do that by the force

  14. he was a lookout . i personally knew the guy

    1. Pues, I am sorry for his family and friends. It is irrelevant to me what he was or was not doing. The point of this story is not his death, but the deaths and disappearances of the 10s or 100s of thousands and the magnitude of the entire human tragedy with which those among the living have to live with and through. Not to mention the LACK of assistance.
      These women carry the true Mexican spirit. By god, if no one will do something for them they will do it themselves.

  15. Se nos fue el Brayan.

  16. I don't think the son was completely innocent, he was either selling something else on the side, or he did not pay the drug tax for selling, he could of been a lookout, for one group and the other group found him, another cartel took over the area without his knowledge and wanted to send a message, he could of been an addict, owe a drug debt, or refuse to work for the cartel as a solder or lookout, who knows, only the person or people that killed him knows why he's dead.

  17. esta señora tiene mas huevos que todas las autoridades de Mexico. Mi más sentido pésame por la pérdida de su hijo.

  18. You would think the government would use helicopters with ground penetrating radar to locate grave sites.


    1. @8:47. E42. You are assuming that the government wants to find them.

    2. You do make a good point!



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