Mexican Police Helped Drug Cartel Massacre 314 Migrants

Originally published on December 25, 2014, at NationofChange.org

After years of silence, the office of Mexico’s Attorney General declassified a document admitting police officers had participated in the kidnapping and massacre of hundreds of migrants throughout northern Mexico. While working for Los Zetas drug cartel, police provided illicit protection, assisted in kidnappings, and turned a blind eye to the investigation of numerous mass graves. Caught in a turf war between the Gulf Cartel and the Zetas, at least 314 migrants have died at the hands of the police and cartels.

According to a recently declassified memo sent from the office of Mexico’s Attorney General to The National Security Archive, local police in the city of San Fernando in northern Mexico have been working for the Zetas for years. A DEA cable from 2009 noted many Zetas had been recruited from an elite Mexican Army unit known as the Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales (GAFE). No longer operating as the enforcement arm of the Gulf Cartel, the Zetas expanded into new territory and asserted control through murder, intimidation, and corruption.

In August 2010, San Fernando police officers set up roadblocks and pulled at least 72 mainly Central American migrants off intercity buses. Instead of detaining the migrants, police officials handed them over to the Zetas who extorted fees for safe passage across the border and forced them work as drug mules. The Zetas executed everyone who could not afford to pay or refused to smuggle drugs across the border. The bodies of 58 men and 14 women from Central and South America were later discovered at a remote ranch in San Fernando.

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Cartel Leader Commits Suicide After 36 Corrupt Cops Arrested

Originally published on October 16, 2014, at NationofChange.org

In response to the disappearance of 43 students last seen in police custody and the recent discovery of ten mass graves, hundreds of protesters torched the Guerrero state headquarters on Monday demanding the immediate resignation of Governor Angel Aguirre. Infiltrated by a local drug gang called Guerreros Unidos, the police detained the students last month before handing them over to the violent cartel. Suspected of colluding with Guerreros Unidos, the mayor and police chief have fled in disgrace and a formal search has been launched to find them.

Committing an act of civil disobedience, students from the Ayotzinapa Normal school stole three buses to travel to the state capital of Chilpancingo and solicit donations for a demonstration. As the students were returning home from fundraising on September 26, municipal police officers opened fire killing three students and wounding 25 others. A few hours later, masked gunmen appeared at the crime scene shooting at two taxis and a bus transporting a local soccer team. Three more people were gunned down including a child on the bus.

According to witness testimony and recent confessions, local police detained the students before handing them over to members of Guerreros Unidos. Although the police denied killing anyone, State Attorney General Inaki Blanco Cabrera found bloodstains in the back of their pickup trucks. One cop admitted to handing over at least ten students to unidentified gunmen. An alleged Guerreros Unidos gang member later confessed to executing 17 of the students and burying their bodies on a hillside outside of town.

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