- BBC World News
Authorities in Tamaulipas, in northeastern Mexico, ordered the arrest of 12 state police officers for their alleged participation in the murder of 19 people, most of them migrants, on January 22.
“These arrest warrants have already been completed and in the next few hours the police will be placed at the disposal of the judicial authority,” said Attorney General Irving Barrios on Tuesday night.
In conference, the official said that the policemen were arrested on charges of aggravated homicide, as well as abuse of authority, poor performance of administrative functions and false reports submitted to an authority.
On January 22, the Tamaulipas authorities received an anonymous call that denounced the existence of two burning vehicles on a rural road in the municipality of Camargo, near the border between Mexico and the United States.
Upon going to the site, the authorities found the charred remains of 19 people in a cargo van, as well as another with marks of more than a hundred shots.
Forensics have determined that among the victims there were 16 men and one woman. Two other bodies were highly charred, so they are still working on determining their sex.
Of four people identified, two were Mexicans, suspected smugglers of migrants, while two others were Guatemalans.
It is believed that the rest were probably also from the Central American country, mainly from Comitancillos and San Marcos.
Dispute between criminals
Prosecutor Barrios said that the lines of investigation focus on a crime product of the dispute of groups that seek to control illegal activities in the region, such as drug and migrant trafficking.
It is known that that day there were more vehicles transporting Guatemalan and Salvadoran migrants who intended to reach the United States, in addition to “armed subjects who gave them protection and security.”
Several people in the Central American country have already had DNA tests convinced that their relatives are among the deceased.
This case reminded many of the massacre in 2010 against 72 migrants in San Fernando, also in Tamaulipas. Even the United Nations compared both events and stressed that the families of those victims continue to “in search of truth, justice and reparation”.
But the Mexican government categorically rejected last Wednesday that the circumstances of that crime for which there were no detainees responsible will be repeated.
“It is not a San Fernando, why? Because we are advancing in the investigation in a forceful way (…). There will be no impunity, and also the identification of the bodies, “said the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sánchez Cordero.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.