CIUDAD VICTORIA, Mexico (AP) — A dozen state cops have been arrested for allegedly killing 19 folks, together with Guatemalan migrants, whose our bodies have been discovered shot and burned close to the U.S. border late in January, Mexican authorities introduced Tuesday.
Tamaulipas state Lawyer Common Irving Barrios Mojica mentioned all 12 officers have been in custody and face costs of murder, abuse of authority and making false statements.
The killings revived recollections of the grotesque 2010 bloodbath of 72 migrants close to the city of San Fernando in the identical gang-ridden state. However these killings have been finished by a drug cartel, whereas it’s seemingly many individuals will discover it extra stunning that the Jan. 22 slayings allegedly have been carried out by regulation enforcement.
“Within the aforementioned acts of Jan. 22, no less than 12 state cops participated,” Barrios Mojica mentioned.
The legal professional basic didn’t say what motive the officers may need had, although corrupt native and state police in Mexico are sometimes within the pay of drug cartels.
Cartels in Mexico typically cost migrant smugglers for crossing their territory, and kidnap or kill migrants whose smugglers haven’t paid or paid a rival gang.
The our bodies have been discovered piled in a charred pickup truck in Camargo, throughout the Rio Grande from Texas, in an space that has been bloodied for years by turf battles between the remnants of the Gulf cartel and the outdated Zetas cartel.
Authorities have mentioned 4 of the lifeless have been recognized to date — two Guatemalans and two Mexicans. Their names haven’t been launched by officers, however kinfolk of one of many lifeless Mexicans mentioned he labored as an immigrant trafficker.
Of the 19 our bodies examined by specialists, 16 have been discovered to be males, one was confirmed as feminine and the 2 others have been so badly burned their gender had not but been decided.
The forensic outcomes confirmed the fears of households in a rural Indigenous farming group in Guatemala who’ve mentioned they misplaced contact with 13 migrants as they travelled towards the US.
The truck holding the our bodies had 113 bullet impacts, however authorities have been confused by the truth that virtually no spent shell casings have been discovered on the scene.
Initially, that led investigators to take a position the shootings could have taken place elsewhere, and the truck pushed to the spot the place it was set on hearth.
However Barrios Mojica mentioned the state cops charged within the killings knew their shell casing may give them away, so most likely picked them up.
“There’s rising pressure behind the speculation that the crime scene was altered, because of the absence of casings,” he mentioned.
In describing the hours that led as much as the killings, Barrios Mojica mentioned the truck carrying the victims was apparently half of a bigger convoy of autos transporting migrants from Guatemala and El Salvador to smuggle them throughout the U.S. border. He mentioned the vehicles additionally carried armed males to supply safety.
Barrios Mojica didn’t rule out that the rationale for the killings could have been a dispute between drug gangs, which combat over territory and the correct to cost migrant smugglers for passing by “their” territory.
The bloodbath is the newest chapter in Tamaulipas’ historical past of police corruption. Most cities and cities within the state noticed their municipal police forces dissolved years in the past, as a result of officers have been typically within the pay of the cartels. A extra skilled state police pressure was purported to be the reply, a perception that got here crashing down with the arrests introduced Tuesday.
A repeat of the 2010 bloodbath has lengthy been one of many Mexican authorities’s worst nightmares.
In August 2010, Zetas cartel members stopped two tractor-trailers carrying dozens of largely Central American migrants and took them to a ranch within the Tamaulipas city of San Fernando. After the migrants refused to work for the cartel, they have been blindfolded, tied up on the ground and shot lifeless.
In 2019, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador mentioned, “We don’t need a repeat of horrendous, regrettable acts like San Fernando.”
Relations of migrants from Guatemala’s province of San Marcos are so satisfied that 13 of the 19 charred corpses have been their family members that among the households already erected conventional altars to the lifeless, with flowers and images.
A number of the kinfolk in Guatemala advised of receiving calls from the migrant smuggler who took the group of 10 males and three feminine north, telling them their relations have been lifeless. Relations mentioned they misplaced contact with them round round Jan. 21.