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

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Violence and unemployment dry up Tlapacoyan, Veracruz: young people and wealthier families flee

Translated by El Profe for Borderland Beat from Sin Embargo                             


In Tlapacoyan, the crime that causes the most pain and fear is kidnapping. This is recognized by its Municipal President, Ofelia Jarillo Gasca, of PAN-PRD. However, townspeople don’t report it as groups of kidnappers have exercised harsh control through fear. 

The mayor says that the insecurity situation is so critical in Tlapacoyan that 30 to 40 wealthier families have left. Almost everyone had to live in an environment of violence or endure kidnapping. Those people, he ads, were people with money, who generated jobs with their businesses and now have left, leaving a complex situation for the town. The municipality is also already a capital of migration, where month after month truckloads of young people leave in search of the American dream. 

By Ignacio Carvajal

Tlapacoyan, June 14 (SinEmbargo / BlogExpediente) - With almost 60 thousand inhabitants, Tlapacoyan does not appear in the data of the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System. For the agency that measures the incidence of kidnapping, extortion and homicides, this municipality in the north of the state shows very low statistics of violence. However, last week in this municipality three women were murdered and the town rebelled, blocking off the road.

The townspeople say that this discontent is mixed with fear and loathing, because although Tlapacoyan does not represent a hot spot for the authorities, the truth is there are constantly kidnappings, new victims of extortion and murders.

It is daily talk in the squares and at meals, the new businessman kidnapped; or the business that adds to the list of those who must close their doors due to harassment from thugs who ask for fees; or the son or wife of the producer, whether banana or citrus fruit, killed in a kidnapping or extortion attempt.

The reality is that in Tlapacoyan, the crime that causes the most pain and fear is kidnapping, acknowledges its Municipal President, Ofelia Jarillo Gasca, PAN-PRD. However, the townspeople do not report is as groups of kidnappers have exercised harsh control through fear.

"They tell them that if they report it, they will follow their children or their wife, that's how they have the information of where they’re located," he says.

The victims of kidnapping, she says, arrive at her office after selling cars, land and other assets, "they come to mourn, but they do not want to report it."

It is a phenomenon that has occurred since 2010, she says, when the cartels began to settle in the region. "I think they like Tlapacoyan because it has a lot of exits," she says.

You can go to Puebla, Martínez de la Torre, Xalapa or Plan de Arroyos. It strategically offers escape routes for criminals.


The mayor says that the insecurity situation is so critical in Tlapacoyan, that 30 to 40 wealthier families have left. Almost everyone had to endure an environment of violence or a kidnapping.

Those people, he admits, were people with money, who generated jobs with their businesses and now have left, leaving a complex situation for the town.

And this is not the worst of it, as the price of the Dominican banana, the emblematic product of Tlapacoyan, has dropped drastically. It pays less than 50 MX centavos per kilo. In some cases, producers prefer to let them spoil.

All this has generated a breeding ground where crime has found a workforce and victims for it to strengthen. The municipality is also already a capital of migration, where month after month truckloads of young people leave in search of the American dream.

The most modest estimate from the mayor is that about 5 thousand young people leave each year for the north. Those who stay in town are the people who cling to the roots and who can not leave.

The previous mayor, Enrique López, also had to leave town. He is a major gasoline entrepreneur in the north. He wanted to open another franchise, but the cartel kept asking for fees. During three attempted constructions of the new gas station, criminals came and asked for money. Better to leave town.

And like him, the mayor says, there are 30 to 40 “wealthy families who no longer live here because of latent insecurity."

Jarillo Gasca lived violence up close. She says that when she "managed to get out” with other banana producers to set up a packing plant, which besides generating employment would serve as a counterbalance with the packers, she was extorted.

Everything was going very well, the project was promising in the long term and the economy in the city would be balanced. But "they started threatening and extorting and it is not possible to give them what they ask, they asked for more than they earn, and they decided not to participate anymore.”

She says that she had just heard about a case of a banana producer friend who was kidnapped and whose son was killed. The way they learn about violent events is through social networks or word of mouth.

Most victims bear the pain before going to comply with the authority and put in a complaint. "If there are no complaints, we can not do anything," she laments.

The government of Veracruz offers up to one million pesos for information on the capture of Jalit Cano Parra, alias "El Mamer," whose group accounts for numerous kidnappings. The last one was documented in Martínez de la Torre in recent days. Of that group, the authorities have apprehended about 13 members.
When the government took office last January, the mayor had only a few patrols and even all that fell apart. The municipal police didn’t even have bullets.

Currently it already has nine patrols and 65 elements of the municipal police. His plan, little by little, is to build the institution that was looted and abandoned by past administrations.

As a result of the protests for the murders of the three women, he says, the governor Miguel Ángel Yunes Linares sent him more officers for reinforcement. The mayor recognizes the governor’s work, but a great societal effort is necessary to overcome this crisis.

He will continue to knock on the doors federal authorities, Navy, Army, PF, in order to lower insecurity.


  1. American dream here . . American dream there . . .
    What about the Mexican dream ?!

    Why all the so-called dreamers are in Trump's USA ?
    I thought they HATE Trump
    and they HATE the USA
    and they hate all the white gringos.

    No ?
    You prefer their country than yours ?

    I know my comment won't be published.

    1. Lol shows what you know... nothing

      ~La Güera~

    2. America is the reason Mexico is the way it is we pay top dollar for drugs and everyone is doing them lawyers, doctors,judges, everyone including many hypocrites who are in the system itself, if we all stopped using drugs Mexico could be better off but this division of right and wrong or moral or immoral is just a facade and fuck the American Dream what is it? to pay taxes on shit I already own or pay taxes for time I worked or is it paying taxes on everything you buy American dream is shit I love my country but its full of uneducated morons who dont realize whats really going on everyday were distracted by BS and never get to any real issues one big puppet show man misdirection, one day hopefully we wake up from this because its not about white vs brown vs black, divide and conquer is the goal, only the rich know its better to keep the poor in the dark and we will never get anywhere without coming together, sorry for my rant but educate yourself before making a jackass comment

    3. 1st they r spoiled. They hate US but they live here. And cry Mi Mexico lindo. Thats bs. Stay ur country and fight the criminal s

    4. If u hate Trump leave

    5. If the U.S, were nuclear attacked, and no one could ever live there again. Where would everyone go? North towards the cold or south towards the warmth? That’s something I always think about when I hear Americans complain about foreigners. Should we continue to hate them for being here? And then one day down the road when society crumbles regret that animosity towards foreigners. Today we’re all good. Tomorrow who knows what the future holds for us all. - Sol Prendido

    6. 8:04 - Seriously wtf are you talking about? I dont see where the hate for Trump, the USA, or "white" gringos is ever mentioned in this article.

      On a side note, i dont think you needed to clarify that gringos are white. Pretty sure everyone here at BB already knew that.


    7. I agree with you my friend as a Chicano also. There needs to be a Mexican Conservative Party in the US, Univision vale verga it's all propganda.

    8. 6:20 who needs conservative chicanuses that oppose a taco truck (or two) on every corner of the USSA?
      it is not like there are a lot of jobs picking everybody's food or collecting junk from USSA Sidewalks.
      Generalizing about Univision lies is one more sucky mamon job, you need to be more like "specific" sugar, unless you are one more facking LIAR trying to tar and feather the American Press

    9. The American dream should not resort to entering illegal. Rather,a metaphor for acquiring the same in one's country.
      Running from uncertainty to another uncertain future does not help ones change.


    10. New State of the Art niukiuliar bombs kill people but do not destroy buildings and shit. More Mexican illegal aliens would come to the US the way have you paid your coyote yet?

  2. 8:04 I also would have thought that your comment wouldn't be published but it has been. My personal opinion is that stupid racist comments like this one shouldn't have space in this blog, and especially below an article that sheds light on the suffering of so many people. Freedom of speech shouldn't allow racists to rant wherever they please. By the way Mexicans don't hate white Americans. You are the only hater here, hating behind a screen instead of reflecting on the issues of the article, and mocking people you know nothing of.

    1. 5:49 once in a while it's OK, for pissing contests.

  3. i remember when a few wealth families from MTY left cause of los Z. most fled to Texas.

  4. It will become a ghost town, and the criminals will have no one to rob or kidnap.

    1. 6:32 criminals will always have each other to kidnap, extort or murder, and there will always be a politician to run things around...


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