Eighteen people convicted of the abduction of 72 migrants who were killed by the Zetas drug cartel in Tamaulipas in 2010 have been sentenced to lengthy jail terms.
The federal Attorney General’s Office (FGR) announced Tuesday that a federal judge had sentenced 15 men and three women involved in the crime committed in San Fernando, a municipality south of Matamoros in the northern border state.
In August 2010, the navy found the bodies of 58 men and 14 women – mainly Central American and South Americans – on a farm after engaging in a gunfight with members of the Zetas.
Authorities were alerted to the massacre by a survivor, a migrant from Ecuador. The undocumented migrants were offered work with the Zetas but were killed when they didn’t accept, according to the Ecuadorian, who escaped after pretending he was dead.
The FGR said that the 18 people involved in the abduction of the migrants prior to their murder were all arrested in 2011. They were found guilty on charges including kidnapping, organized crime, possession of firearms and drug trafficking.
However, none was convicted of the murder of the migrants. The guilty parties received prison sentences ranging from 13 years to 58 years.
Documents made public by the Attorney General’s office in 2014 revealed that local police collaborated with organized crime in the murder of the migrants.
The presumed mastermind of the massacre, Martiniano de Jesús Jaramillo Silva, was arrested in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, in 2017. However, the regional leader of the Los Zetas Vieja Escuela (Old School Zetas) criminal cell in Tamaulipas spent only two days behind bars before he died of kidney failure in a Mexico City hospital.
An additional 193 bodies were found in 47 clandestine graves in San Fernando in 2011. The victims – both men and women – were also killed by the Zetas.
With reports from La Razón