You gotta love Mexicans here in America that are busy continually trying to defend their massive invasion of the U.S. by claiming that they are “Hard working, industrious people” when the reality of the situation is that Mexican nationals now make up 36 percent of the California prison population.
I’m sure that the majority of these people are, with the exception of breaking our immigration laws, law abiding citizens, but you can’t ignore the facts. The facts are that a lot of people coming over the border to the south are nothing more than common criminals.
If saying the obvious makes me a racist, well then I am a racist. Let the bashing and name calling begin. Joe Pyloric
MEXICO CITY—Gunmen from a drug cartel appear to have massacred 72 migrants from Central and South America who were on their way to the U.S., a grisly event that marks the single biggest killing in Mexico’s war on organized crime.
Mexican marines discovered the 72 bodies—58 men and 14 women —on Tuesday after the lone survivor of the massacre, a wounded migrant from Ecuador, stumbled into a Navy checkpoint the previous day and told of being shot on Monday at a nearby ranch, Mexican officials said on Wednesday.
When the marines went to investigate, they were met with a hail of gunfire from cartel gunmen holed up at the ranch, which sits 90 miles from the U.S. border. One marine and three alleged gunmen died during a two-hour battle, which ended when the gunmen fled in a fleet of SUVs, leaving behind a cache of weapons.
The Ecuadorean migrant told investigators that his captors identified themselves as members of the Zetas drug gang, said Vice Adm. Jose Luis Vergara, a spokesman for the Mexican navy.
An Ecuadorean citizen escaped from a remote ranch in eastern Mexico and stumbled wounded to a highway checkpoint, where he alerted Mexican Navy marines. One marine was killed in a firefight after marines went to investigate the ranch.
“This illustrates that organized crime has no limits or moral qualms about what they are prepared to do,” Alejandro Poire, head of the government’s national-security council, told a news conference.
The incident highlights the extent to which Mexican drug gangs, which used to focus exclusively on ferrying narcotics such as cocaine to the U.S., have diversified into other lucrative criminal activities such as human smuggling and extortion.
At the going rate of $5,000 to $7,000 charged by smugglers to cross the U.S. border, the 72 people represented about $500,000 to the drug gang, said Alberto Islas, a Mexico City-based security consultant. The gang may have simply killed the migrants after they refused to give them more money than they had already given them, he said.
Mexican officials said they didn’t know why the migrants—believed to be from El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador and Brazil—were killed. Mexican newspapers, citing an unnamed federal official, speculated that the migrants were killed for either refusing to give the drug gang more money to cross the border, or for declining to join the gang’s criminal activities as drug couriers, gunmen or prostitutes.
Mexico’s War on Drugs.
Nearly 23,000 people have died in drug-related violence since 2006, according to the government, with northern border states experiencing the worst of the violence.
A study by Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission published last year found that 9,758 migrants from Central and South America had been kidnapped by presumed drug gangs between September, 2008 and February, 2009. The commission found that in many cases, government officials and police worked with criminal gangs in carrying out the abductions.
The commission said that the number of migrant kidnappings could be as high as 18,000 a year. It estimated the average ransom at $2,500—making the business worth an estimated $50 million a year..
Some 28,000 people have died in Mexico’s war on organized crime since President Felipe Calderón took power in December 2006 and declared an all-out battle against powerful drug-trafficking gangs that were gaining immense power and challenging the Mexican state.
The death toll is rising fast, including more frequent discoveries of mass graves. In May, authorities discovered 55 bodies in an abandoned mine near Taxco, a colonial-era city south of Mexico City known for its silver. Last month, another 51 bodies were found near a trash dump outside the northern city of Monterrey.
Both of those mass graves were sites where drug gangs disposed of rivals killed during a period of weeks or months. This latest incident could be the single biggest instance of bloodshed from a Mexican cartel to date, experts said.
Tamaulipas has become one of Mexico’s bloodiest states since the dominant local cartel, the Gulf cartel, split with its former enforcers, the Zetas. Mexican officials say that they believe the Zetas, initially formed by Mexican army forces who defected to the other side, are responsible both for the June assassination of a leading gubernatorial candidate in Tamaulipas and the recent killing of a local mayor in neighboring Nuevo Leon state.
The Zetas thrive on the publicity from their killings, said George Grayson, a Mexico expert at the College of William and Mary. “This kind of thing helps them burnish their image as the meanest, most sadistic, cruelest organization—not only in Mexico but in the whole of the Americas. That helps them raise money from targets of extortion, who are terrified of them,” he said.
Despite the dangers faced by migrants, desperate people from poor countries will continue to try to cross into the U.S., providing more opportunities for exploitation by gangs such as the Zetas, according to Williams Murillo, Ecuador’s former minister for migrant affairs.
Mr. Murillo, who now gives legal advice to Ecuadorean migrants, said he recently came across an Ecuadorean woman who crossed into Mexico with her young child. The child was taken by the Zetas who are now demanding a ransom, according to Mr. Murillo.
“Sadly, stories like this don’t stop people from risking their lives to try to get to the U.S. They just don’t see enough opportunity here in Ecuador,” Mr. Murillo said.
At least four of the bodies discovered were those of Brazilians, according to a spokeswoman at Brazil’s foreign ministry in Brasilia.
Brazilian consular officials in Mexico, she said, would soon travel to the site where the bodies were found to help try to identify the victims and determine whether any more of the bodies were those of Brazilians.