Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Three Men Freed From Mexican Federal Custody After Threatening To Kill Tenosique Franciscan Priest

Tomás González Castillo and Ruben Figueroa

Tensions are rising at the Tenosique La 72 Refuge immigrant shelter in Tabasco after three suspects from a local criminal organization affiliated with Los Zetas are freed from custody.

By H. Nelson Goodson
April 9, 2013

Tenosique, Tabasco, Mexico - On Tuesday, both human rights activist Ruben Figueroa from the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement and Franciscan Priest Tomás González Castillo, 39, operator of the 72 Refuge immigrant shelter continued to exposed the local and federal government's decision to free from custody three suspects who threatened to kill and behead Figueroa and Castillo. Federal Police and the Mexican military on March 17, arrested José Alberto González and Jorge Alberto Alvarado, both from Honduras and José Osmaro Cruz Gálvez from El Salvador for making threats against Figueroa and Castillo and other undocumented immigrants who filed a criminal complaint against them for extorting immigrants and making death threats against staff and volunteers of La 72 shelter. 
The three suspects are members of a local criminal organization (CO) composed of Central Americans and Mexican nationals affiliated with Los Zetas, whose leader has also vowed to kill Figueroa and Father Castillo. The CO controls freight train quota passenger payments ($100-300 dollars) and exploit undocumented immigrants trying to get on the train between Tenosique, Tabasco to Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz. The CO operates a multimillion dollar transportion and smuggling routes of undocumented immigrants (human trafficking) who often become victims of violence, rape, murder, kidnappings, prostitution rings, drug trafficking and armed robbery or forced servitude. Also immigrants have been targeted and killed for organ removal to supply the underground black market organ trade operated by drug cartels and CO's. Bodies have been found with organs missing througout the long and dangerous freight train (La Bestia/Beast) route leading to the U.S. border. 
Local authorities bury the bodies in unmarked graves at local cemeteries despite identification documents have been recovered from the bodies. The local authorities make no effort to contact foreign embassies in Mexico that immigrants have been found murdered and identified as foreign nationals.
Federal Police and municipal police have been assigned to provide security at La 72, but Figueroa reported that one of the suspects that was freed was seen talking to police and immigrants just outside the refuge shelter property. His presence at the shelter heightened tensions that led to staff and volunteers to take extra measures and precautions for their safety. Between 80 to 100 undocumented immigrants spent the night at the shelter, which provides free food, a place to rest and spend the night as immigrants make their way to the U.S. border. More than 300 undocumented immigrants cross the Guatemalan-Mexican border each day looking for a better future in America.
An estimated 20,000 of undocumented immigrants are kidnapped every year by criminal organizations and drug cartels to get ransom from family members. In the last six years, more than 70,000 undocumented immigrants have disappeared while traveling through Mexico, only 80 of those missing have been located alive, according to Figueroa. 
On Friday, a memorial wall was inaugurated at the Marte Military Camp in Mexico City for those estimated 70,000 victims who have been killed or missing during Mexico's war against the drug cartels. The monument "Memorial a las Victimas de la Violencia en Mexico" bares not a single name of a victim.
Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong, Mexico's Government Secretary confirmed that more than 70,000 victims have been murdered, including thousands that have been reported missing during the 6 year war that Calderón waged on organized crime and drug cartels in Mexico.
Many of those numbers provided by Chong don't include an additional 70,000 undocumented immigrants from South and Central America that have disappeared in Mexico. An estimated 140,000 undocumented immigrants composed of men, women and children travel each year through the Tenosique, Tabasco-Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz train route and from other parts of Mexico bordering with Guatemala. 

No comments: