Wednesday, August 24, 2011

San Fernando massacre: 1 year later

One year ago, Mexican authorities made a grisly discovery in San Fernando, Tamaulipas. A total of 72 migrants were massacred, allegedly by the drug cartel Los Zetas. The authorities would eventually find 193 bodies in the "narcofosas" of San Fernando.
Two suspects in the mass killings remain at large: Salvador Alfonso Martinez Esobedo, "La Ardilla," and Ramon Ricardo Palomo Rincones, "El Coyote." "La Ardilla" was cited as a presumed leader of a cell of Los Zetas.
The Secretary-General of the Republic (PGR) is offering rewards for both men: 15,000 pesos for "La Ardilla," 10,000 for "El Coyote." The authorities have detained 82 others for possible connections with the killings. Yet Fernando Batista Jimenez of the National Human Rights Commission criticized the PGR's handling of the case.
So far, the authorities have been able to return just 26 of the dead to their families in different states of the country, and one to Guatemala.
Of the 72 migrants slain, 58 were men and 14 were women, coming from nations to the south such as Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Ecuador.
The human rights commission described a wave of violence against migrants, noting that there were at least 214 reported mass kidnappings of migrants between April and September 2010 with 11,333 victims.
Rene Zenteno, undersecretary of population, migration and religious affairs in the Governing Secretary's office, called the San Fernando killings "one of the most lamentable affairs in the history of the country."

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