One of two vehicles in which the bodies were found last weekend in Tamaulipas. One of two vehicles in which the bodies were found last weekend in Tamaulipas.

UN compares discovery of 19 bodies to unsolved massacres

Government disagrees, insists the latest incident is being investigated

The United Nations High Commission on Human Rights in Mexico has compared the discovery of 19 charred bodies in Tamaulipas last weekend with two notorious massacres in Tamaulipas and Nuevo León in 2010 and 2012.

“These deeds recall the massacres that occurred in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, in 2010 and in Cadereyta, Nuevo León in 2012, where the families of victims continue in search of the truth, justice, and reparations,” said UN representative Guillermo Fernández-Maldonado.

He said “the lack of truly safe, orderly, and regular migration alternatives pushes migrants to resort to human traffickers or dangerous routes,” and that this puts them at risk of being possible victims of “serious violations” of human rights.

In the 2010 incident in San Fernando, the military found 72 bodies of undocumented migrants at a ranch after an armed confrontation with members of the Zetas cartel. In the 2012 incident, authorities found 49 dismembered bodies dumped on the side of a road in Cadereyta.

Tamaulipas authorities continue to work on identifying the 19 bodies found in Camargo near the United States border. The bodies, which also showed signs of gunshot wounds, were found in two burned vehicles. According to area residents, the victims may have been Guatemalan migrants seeking passage to the United States, but authorities have not confirmed anything about the identities of the bodies except their gender.

Tamaulipas Security Ministry spokesman Luis Alberto Rodríguez told Milenio Television that authorities have been able to establish that 16 of the bodies are male and one is female. The gender of the two other bodies has not yet been determined, he said.

Interior Minister Olga Sánchez Cordero took issue with Fernández-Maldonado’s statement during President López Obrador’s daily press conference Wednesday, saying that the Camargo incident was not similar to the San Fernando massacre because the former is being thoroughly investigated.

“Every day since this event happened we have been in the [security] cabinet viewing the advances [the investigation] has made,” she said. “I can tell you with great certainty that they have advanced a lot.”

Guatemala Vice President Guillermo Reyes condemned the massacre while adding that his nation’s government was waiting for updated information to provide clarity in the case.

Mexican authorities have taken DNA samples of the bodies as part of their investigation, and the Ministry of Foreign Relations and Guatemalan congressional Deputy Douglas Rivero are making preparations for the victims to be repatriated to Guatemala if indeed any of them turn out to be from there.

Sources: Milenio (sp)

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