Wednesday, December 6, 2023

8 years after Los Zetas’ massacre of 72 migrants, ‘no real investigation’

Eight years after 72 undocumented migrants were killed in a massacre in Tamaulipas, authorities still haven’t conducted a “real investigation” into the crime, charges the head of an NGO that represents the families of 10 victims.

Ana Lorena Delgadillo, director of the Foundation for Justice and the Democratic Rule of Law (Fundación Justicia), told the newspaper El Universal that despite 11 people being charged in connection with the San Fernando massacre, allegedly committed by the Zetas drug cartel in August 2010, not one person has been sentenced.

“To date, we don’t really know what the truth is. There is no real investigation of the state to find out to what extent there could have been complicity of authorities,” she said.

Documents made public by the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) in 2014 revealed that local police had collaborated with organized crime in the murders.

At the time, Delgadillo said, the release of the information was an important step toward finding the truth, but lamented that the amount of information released was limited.

Now, she says, while the PGR has allowed Fundación Justicia to see its investigative file, it has repeatedly refused to furnish it with copies which, in turn, could be passed on to the families the NGO represents in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Brazil.

“For us it is very regrettable that this information doesn’t get to the families in Central America, they don’t have access to the information,” Delgadillo said.

One of the most recent developments in the case was the arrest of Martiniano de Jesús Jaramillo Silva, the presumed mastermind of the massacre, in Ciudad Victoria last November.

However, the regional leader of the Los Zetas Vieja Escuela criminal cell in Tamaulipas spent only two days behind bars before he died of kidney failure in a Mexico City hospital.

The massacre came to light when authorities found the bodies of the 58 male and 14 female victims on a farm in August 2010 after a survivor, a migrant from Ecuador, reported the incident.

He said they were offered work as gunmen for Los Zetas with a salary of US $1,000 every two weeks but were killed when they didn’t accept.

To mark the eighth anniversary of the massacre, representatives of Fundación Justicia along with human rights activists and priests yesterday participated in a ceremony to place memorial crosses on the ranch where the bodies were found.

Father Pedro Pantoja, an advisor at the Casa del Migrante (Migrant Shelter) in Saltillo, told El Universal that 72 crosses — one for each victim — were erected. He said a meeting with the wives of massacred migrants will be held at a later date in Guatemala.

“It wasn’t just a genocidal massacre . . . it was a cry of terror for all Central American migration,” he said.

“[Our] hearts are full of indignation, sadness and pain. As defenders [of human rights], we have to take on their pain, place ourselves in their flesh.”

Source: El Universal (sp)

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