The Tamaulipas Massacre: The End Of The American Dream In Mexico

2021-02-20   |   by CusiGO

Before noon, the bad news reached the village of tulelan in the steep mountains of San Marcos, Guatemala. “Don Ricardo: our child is dead, burned to death, no trace, nothing.” It’s a father to father call, and a wolf to client call: Ricardo Garcia Perez’s tour guide, entrusted to his first daughter, told him somewhere along the Mexican American border that he was always joking about the 20-year-old girl, traveling in Central America, for the sake of the country To help his family, it’s just ashes. Bolero’s own son was among the dead.

It was Saturday, January 23. News began to report the discovery of 19 burned bodies on a rural road at the junction of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, an area in northeastern Mexico that has become a graveyard for immigrants in the past decade. Guatemalans were among the victims. It was just a rumor. But for parents like Ricardo Garc í a p é rez, who took their children from a remote community to Coyote’s home in comitancilo in less than two weeks, without any sign in a few days, a phone call is enough. They are convinced that the people in the charred white van are them, and their photos have been circulated on social media. In the Holocaust, they invested everything they owned, and some even pawned their land.

“My daughter was not murdered by thieves or criminals, nor was she a drug dealer. “My daughter was killed by a wrestler,” said don Ricardo, now on a slope of the cemetery in the village of tularene, when he built the tomb of St. Christina Garcia with the help of several relatives. Although he lost the second of his 11 children less than a month ago, the burly man with dark hair and burned skin from field work did not lose his smile or calmness. “I have to follow her example. She was kind, loving and smiling, “he explained. When the Mexican authorities return her body to this city in western Guatemala, she will rest in a colorful shrine, in the graves of two other immigrants who died in the Tamaulipas Massacre: her neighbors, Ivan gudil, 22, and rolibetto Miranda, A 24-year-old computer teacher, with two children, the third on the road.

In order to pay for her daughter’s trip to Florida, one of her family friends, don Ricardo, and his wife Olga, were waiting for her there. They applied for a loan from her. They mortgaged their house contract, a adobe wall, a roof and land on a hillside. They also gave up ownership of four land lines around it – the equivalent of two football fields – where they grew corn to support their families.

With their collection of 25000 quetzales (about 3200 dollars, 2650 euros), the couple can prepay coyotes and buy clothes, shoes and a new mobile phone for St. Christina. They gave the tour guide less than a quarter of the 110000 quetzales he asked for (more than $14000). But they believe that once their daughter comes to the United States, she will be able to pay off her debts, just like immigrants who have moved north from the community for decades.

On January 12, when he said goodbye to his mother and ten brothers, the young man was calm. For months, despite his perseverance, he insisted on his parents’ financial support. Before leaving the room with four beds, St. Christina said she didn’t want to cry and promised that everything would change as long as I came to America. His plan is to work during the day to pay off debts, perform cleft lip surgery for his youngest sister Angela (one year and four months old) at night, and intervene in her father with eye problems. Besides, he wants his family to have a better house.

Her father accompanied her to the comitancilo center, where she would begin her journey. “I’m not going to die. “I’m going to work,” he said quietly as they said goodbye. “His last words were: ‘if Santa comes to America, your life will change’,” Don Ricardo recalled. At Coyote house, St. Christina met with others who were on their way to Mexico the next day. Among them are his cousin Marco antulio, a 16-year-old teenager who is the oldest of nine siblings, and his neighbor Ivan gudiel, a 22-year-old newlywed with an 8-month-old son who dreams of sending money to his mother to treat diabetes.

Marvin Tom á s, also known as left-handed, is a promising left-handed member of the local youth team of the third Guatemalan division. When he was 22, he went to college on weekends and was the breadwinner of his family. He also wanted to build a better home for them and allow his mother, who had been widowed shortly before his birth, to operate on a hernia he had been suffering from for more than a decade. But 50 gchar (less than $6.50) a day’s work, or the money he earns as a temporary bricklayer, can only make ends meet.

Like them, most of the people who took part in the trip were less than 25 years old, some even under age. They came from large families. Due to the lack of opportunities, they fled comitancillo, a town with about 60000 residents, and almost 90% of the population lived in poverty. More than 26% live in abject poverty. Since the 1980s, because of the violence, political and economic instability in the region, the country has become an emergency export for millions of Central Americans. Five million American citizens.

The origin of the migrants killed in Tamaulipas is no different from that of thousands of Guatemalans who go the same way every year. If they are not the victims of the Holocaust, their death will be ignored in the eyes of the whole world, as often happens in their lives. In many remote villages and farmhouses, the names of immigrants can’t even be seen by Google’s eyes. You can only take an off-road vehicle or walk for a few hours on the dust and steep paths in the mountains. Most families live on what they produce very little – mainly potatoes, corn and beans – raising chickens and turkeys, herding cattle and sheep, or earning money from working in fields or construction sites.

Contrary to remittances, there are few signs of a Guatemalan state. Traditional Adobe houses include brick houses and concrete houses built with money from immigrants. “People in America built houses and bought a car. Olga P é rez, sitting in the same room where she fired Santa Christina, said: “they’re not rich, but they can support their family now.”. Her youngest children play around her and have not been to school since the epidemic began.

For his daughter and a group of immigrants from comitancilo, leaving is the only possible bet on a better future; the bet has been cut off, about 60 kilometers from the United States. Ten days have passed since they left their hometown and were killed in northern Mexico, and they have contacted Guatemalan families and those who will receive them on the other side of the border several times. The next day, some of them called from tustra Gutierrez in Chiapas. A few days later, they talked to them from Puebla. Then St. Christina told her mother and a relative in Lynn, Massachusetts, that they had been robbed and that their cell phones and almost all their money had been taken away. But she was very happy, because during the journey, she made friends with other girls, where she could live apart from the men.

The last time he called me, he said, “I do live a pure life. The wolf who brought us made us good Then he showed me with his camera that he had a TV, a private bathroom, a shower and food, and he said, “I’m very happy today,” recalls Oscar, St. Christina’s 21-year-old brother. After that conversation, some immigrants contacted their families again from St. Louis Potosi. Then they told them that they were going to cross the border soon and they would call them as soon as possible. They never contacted again.

The border between new Leon and Tamaulipas is a mosaic of family farms, sorghum fields, oil wells and mosques. Among them are ants: hundreds of trucks and trailers covering the Monterey renosa Nuevo route, disguised as one of the most profitable activities on the border – Immigration corridors.

The trail of St. Christina disappeared in St. Louis Potosi, 600 kilometers south of Monterey. Their bodies appeared on an isolated road in ejido, Santa Anita, camago, 200 kilometers northeast of Monterey, already in the Tamori Peco area. Three days after a woman reported her husband missing, they were found shot, charred and abandoned in a remote place.

For more than a decade, Tamaulipas has been one of the most dangerous steps for immigrants. In 2010, a criminal group killed 72 central and South Americans in San Fernando, on the Gulf Coast. The next year, authorities found nearly 200 bodies in the city’s catacombs. Most of them are immigrants. In 2012, 49 bodies, including immigrants, were dismembered and left on the road to renosa in cardretta, near Monterey.

The government then accused the Zetas of being behind the massacre. In the case of 72 immigrants from San Fernando, one detainee, said to be a member of the Zetas, was killed to prevent them from being recruited by their rival Gulf cartel at the border. He said they had given them the option to join his team and most of them refused. That’s why they were killed.

Whether it’s San Fernando or carderetta, the reason is not clear. But it is always suspected that the criminals have direct or indirect complicity with the local authorities. Ten years later, suspicion of camago has become inevitable.

In early February, 11 days after the body was found, the Tamaulipas prosecutor’s office reported that at least 12 policemen from an elite group were involved in the massacre. Prosecutors avoid elaborating on the role of agents in the Holocaust. But he said they were charged with murder, abuse of power and false reporting. He added that the police themselves changed the scene of the crime. The absence of cartridge cases in the area has attracted the attention of investigators from the beginning. Who would worry about such a massacre after picking up the cartridge case?

The discovery of two pickup trucks next to the body, one of which is Toyota Sequoia, has become another controversial point in the case. In December, the National Institute for migration (INM) intercepted the same car as it rescued dozens of immigrants from a house in the metropolitan area of Monterey. The fact that the trafficking network was able to recover a van captured in one operation raised doubts about the corruption of the Institute, as well as about its level of impunity.

Details of the van and progress in identifying the body suggest that the komitancilo team had at least two local guides on the last leg of the journey. One is the boss of Toyota. This information, together with the information circulated by the prosecutor’s office, fosters the assumption that the police mistake guides and immigrants for criminal gangs and shoot them. Then, when they find their mistake, they pick up the cartridge case and light the vehicle they are in.

Although Mexican authorities did not report on the likely route the group might have taken, the location of the trucks and bodies indicated that they had passed through Monterey at some point. Sources in the Tamaulipas government told the country that the most logical thing was that from the city they “went to general Bravo and Dr. Coase, and then they caught the gap.”. “Gap” is a precise concept and a metaphor for the region: the lonely road, often land, is part of an invisible circuit. A quiet route that locals avoid.

On a Tuesday in early February, at a food stand in doctor boss Plaza, a taco salesman explained that many people there would move to Texas “because of insecurity.”. On the square, a city official told him about the violence: “everything here has become dangerous because of their war since 2009.” He also said that he did not see immigrants from kamago, but if he saw them, he would not say, yes, they might pass there.

“They”, like “gap”, is a precise and ambiguous concept: it is organized crime, drugs, northeast cartel, Zetas’ split, Gulf cartel. mafia. Tamaulipas government officials say criminal groups that use these roads to sell weapons, drugs, people or anything you can imagine.

One of the most common routes to Camargo from there is through ejido La Canela, the only asphalt road to the U.S. border, with the exception of the federal highway and freeway, Dr. Coss’s neighbors explained. The further you go along this road, the more you can get hold of traffic signs, billboards, house walls, and even the asphalt itself by supporting and opposing the Northeast cartel and Gulf cartel paintings. Near cinnamon, an abandoned safety station, a rusty car and white Zetas painted on the floor salute the driver. A few days later, the army reported that five gunmen had been killed in a conflict in the same area. During a helicopter trip, the military said they found tarps in the middle of the camp: a drug company. According to this statement, the gunmen attacked the plane with 50 caliber rifles, but they responded and killed five people.

In shelters in Monterey and renosa, the kamago massacre had an impact on migrants, although no consideration was given to return. Marcos Antonio Castro Zelaya, 43, couldn’t find the name of a cometancilo immigrant on the register of Casa indi, near downtown Monterey. But they’re not there.

Zelaya, they call him Zelaya in the hotel, he’s Guatemalan, and he’s trying to understand what’s going on with his countrymen. He talked about his own experience in kamago a few years ago and detailed a series of complex agreements and payments between the hyenas and the local Mafia, which they call the key to solving the road problem here. Then he told the story of a group of Hondurans to illustrate the dangers of the border. “One day, a boy showed up here and began to tell them that he could use 500 pesos (about $27) to cross the city of acunia (coavera). And I said to them, be careful, for sometimes they take the Mary to blackmail them. The immigrants agreed, but instead of taking them to acunia, coyotes took them to new Laredo. One of them noticed and fled to the mountain. “The lives of immigrants are very ugly,” Zelaya concluded.

In renoza, the massacre scared hundreds of migrants waiting for the trump era border node to loosen, but not enough to open up a 1000 kilometer road. Miriam Morales, 29, said she and her seven-year-old daughter lived there for two months. He said he and his guide came out of chikimura, Guatemalan, but later changed wolves four times in Mexico. It passes through Chiapas, Puebla and St. Christopher in St. Louis Potosi. At that moment on the road, she said, she and 100 other people were packed into a trailer and taken to Miguel aleyman, west of the border city of kamago. They stayed in a hotel for three days, and when they finally got out and crossed the Bravo River, the border patrol caught them in less than two minutes. “They’re waiting for us.”

Morales learned about camago immigrants through Facebook. “It’s a pity to see him,” he said. “I didn’t know they did this to people.” In any case, that fear is not enough to shake one of his few certainties: that he will not return to Guatemala. Your bet is the same as everyone else, either lose all or lose all.

The prayer of immigrants: “to leave is to die. Arrival is never final. ”

On the day of the Tamaulipas massacre, Edgar Lopez and Lopez were born. On January 22nd, I was 50 years old. Unlike other immigrants, he is not pursuing the American dream; he returned to the United States to find his own life. On August 8, 2019, he was arrested in the largest raid in the country in 10 years, and nearly 700 people were eventually arrested. That day, immigration police raided several chicken processing plants in Mississippi. He works in one of them. He was arrested and charged with using a fake ID card. After nearly a year in detention, he was deported in July 2020 to Guatemala, a country that had not been involved in for 22 years.

In Mississippi, he not only quit his job, but also his wife, three children aged 23, 22 and 11, a grandson he loved so much – Michael, 4, who he called Edgar his father – and a six-month-old son he would never know. He also left his parish of Santa Ana, where he was actively involved as a community leader. “I call every day. His widow Sonia Cardona said in a phone call from Carthage, “I think it’s because the family is here and the grandchildren are here.”.

In that city in the south of the United States, Edgar Lopez had half his life. The other is calculated in Manchu, in the village of chicajara in komitancilo. From his deportation to his attempt to return to the United States, the house he lived in looked a bit dark. Her four sisters are now taking turns with her father, don Marcelino, a 94 year old hunchback who can no longer hear, wandering around the yard in a daze.

“He wanted to come back, but didn’t tell us he was leaving,” said his brother-in-law, Margarita Orosco. Before they first immigrated in the late 1990s, they all worked as businessmen in Guatemalan city. According to his widow, Lopez was deported once in 1997, but he came back, making it difficult for his lawyers to take him away from the detention center after the raid in 2019, despite his stable and exemplary life there.

In chicajara, they knew little about life in Mississippi. They said he called occasionally to send money for medicine when his father was ill. One day, they heard that he was arrested in a raid, and a year later, they sent him back to comitancilo, where he worked on family corn and legumes. On the day off, when he met his sisters and nephews, he told them he missed America. “He said he was very happy with his family there and he felt sorry for his grandchildren and children. “He showed me their pictures on his cell phone,” said his political niece, Berta Lisa L ó PEZ. That’s why Edgar can’t help but turn back to the local coyote.

Donald Trump’s government’s immigration policy deprives immigrants like him of all hope, even though they lead a blameless life and are front-line workers. Since he became president of the United States, Joe Biden has proposed an immigration reform that gives priority to legalization of basic workers, such as those employed in the Edgar chicken factory. But it was too late for him. Two days after Biden took office, Edgar discovered his death in Tamaulipas.

From that day on, until her body was identified, Sonia Cardona received calls from Mexican blackmailers who tried to profit from the tragedy and asked her for money in exchange for handing over her husband.

In Guatemala, a day after receiving a call from coyotes, family members of immigrants who left comitancilo went to the capital for DNA testing to determine the charred remains. They never suspected that their loved one was dead, but the road to official confirmation and repatriation of the bodies was long and painful, and it was not over.

To get through the waiting, they set up altars and tie ties in their houses to commemorate the dead: the place where adults live is black, and the place where minors live is white. Over time, the identities of 14 Guatemalan victims were officially confirmed (an estimated 15, possibly Mexicans), and Mexico announced the arrest of police officers involved in the Tamaulipas massacre. It won’t change anything for your family. Their only consolation now is to accept the remains to end the mourning. Olga, St. Christina’s mother, lamented, “I just pray to God that my daughter will come to her land and be buried.”. “Let them take my body, because it hurt me. She’s still suffering, “he said.

Angela L ó PEZ is also the mother of young comedian Marvin Tom á s, whose only hope is to look after her son’s body. “We’re just waiting for the bodies. The cemetery is nearby, “said the woman sitting next to the altar, where her son slept, on a mat on the ground. When his body is returned, the left-handed will be buried next to the village of Las Flores, where he lives with his mother and three of his five sisters, just meters from the Municipal Stadium where he dreams of becoming a football player.