They watched as gang members led their victims into a larger shed near the back. We told him, Yes. And I asked him why he, as the person in direct charge of the city, the top authority, had not asked for help from the military or the state or federal government, since I had explained that we did not have the weapons or the resources to take on these people? Both in charge of Los Zetas, Allende's is a much less known story. Other witnesses confirmed the testimony of the police commander. Somos. She toldProPublicathat, after separating the children from their parents, the kidnappers held them for several days before leaving the two older kids at a park. That we would turn a blind eye. Arts & Culture. Whereas, according to a 2016 interview of Coahuila attorney general Homero Ramos Gloria, the Mexican government has identified only 28 human remains and 54 . Mexico's defense secretary, Luis Cresencio Sandoval, was in charge of the military garrison in Allende when the massacre took place but has deflected responsibility for failing to stop the killings. Triggered a Massacre in Mexico" was published in 2017 by the investigative news agency ProPublica.. Or do you want the same thing to happen to you or to your families?-Declaration of Allende fire chief, December 17, 2014. They are included here in brackets. In a prior incident, testimony revealed that Vasquez participated in the massacre of numerous people in Piedras Negras and Allende, Coahuila, Mexico, at the hands of Los Zetas members in March of 2011. He gets up into the truck and with his hand he says goodbye leaving his suitcase there at the house because he was supposedly going to come back. A fire department volunteer described the scene as they approached. The George Washington University However, families of the victims in Allende touted the overdue government efforts as a publicity stunt. See reference here. About five estacas[9]participated, and with [deleted] and [deleted] ten more joined. [15] In 2017, Zetas member Marciano Millan Vsquez (El Chano) was convicted on federal charges in the United States that included his involvement in the Allende violence. The wife of another victim, a heavy machinery mechanic who worked for the Garza family, also went looking for her husband on the morning of the March 19. But there was not any kind of response from the police or any other authority.. MEXICO CITY (AP) Mexican drug gang bosses furious at suspected turncoats sent commandos aided by local police to seize dozens perhaps hundreds of people, murder them and dispose of their bodies in a town near the Texas border, yet state and federal officials ignored the massacre for years, according to a government-backed report released Sunday. Warning: violence in San Miguel de Allende. The series, called Somos., which means "we are," was . The above account was confirmed by several others, including one of the shift commanders. In February, 2014, members of the Army, Navy, State, and . However, I'm mortified at the . He told me that inside the jail Los Zetas were burning all of these people that I mentioned as well as my spouse who they burned inside that place after killing him, and more people from other parts of the state. And I did not know exactly what happened with them.- Declaration of Allende firefighter Jess Gerardo De Len Ramos, December 17, 2014, 14:50, The former fire department volunteer described a similar scene as the victims, including several elderly captives, were led to slaughter. Meanwhile, Mexico has announced the arrest of police officers allegedly involved in the killings. Witnesses said the recent killings came after CDN members entered the town days earlier in search of rival gang members. In the worst cases, civilian authorities were little more than subcontractors of the Zetas criminal organization, involved in shakedowns, kidnappings, drug trafficking and numerous murders, not over a period of weeks or months, but for many years. All threereceived lengthy sentences, but with no bodies to build a murder case, they were convicted only of aggravated kidnapping, a charge that seems woefully inadequate given the nature of the crimes. The Allende massacre - in which, according to the families of the victims, there were more than 300 people dead or missing - remained hidden for almost two years. [12]- Statement of Jos Alfredo Jimnez Aguilar (El Pjaro), June 13, 2014. There were not many of us. Vasquez then ordered that the father be killed. Villa Unin, just a 20-minute drive from Allende, has been the site of numerous acts of violence linked to the CDN in recent years. In April of 2014 . Much of the worst violence occurred at a pair of ranches owned by the Garza family and located outside of the city center along the highway. [7]A2005 FBI evaluationfound that the original Zetas had a military-style organizational structure that included counterintelligence, intelligence and tactical enforcement units. By 2010, Los Zetas had broken with the Gulf Cartel and independently controlled key narcotics smuggling corridors and strategically located cities in northeastern Mexico near the U.S. border. The Zetas started out as an enforcer gang for the Gulf Cartel . [8] The CNDH report does not name any of the victims, perpetrators or other witnesses it cites. Hit especially hard was the extended family of Jos Luis Garza Gaytn (also known as Junior and El Wichin). An Allende police radio operator who worked closely with the shift commanders said in his declaration that a ranking Zetas member[17]would sometimes come by the police station and take people from city jail cells with the full knowledge of the police director and commander, both of whom, he said, were paid by the Zetas. The town's mayor believes 30 to 40 Allende families were exterminated, and he has a list of 34 houses that were destroyed. Since the acts occurred on the dates of March 18, 19 and 20 of 2011, they were committed under the same mechanics not just in the city of Allende, Coahuila, but also in other municipalities in the northern region of the state, among others Piedras Negras, Coahuila.- Memorandum on links between various cases, March 5, 2015. So they formed them into rows of people and later took them to the ranch of the [deleted] where they killed and burned them together with people from Allende. For years after the massacre, Mexican authorities made only desultory efforts to investigate. It is not a series of drug traffickers, but of their victims: of those who try to survive . And outside the house there were four people with long arms who were dressed in black and had on bulletproof vests. Netflix drama series Somos. Among the first to be rounded up were people connected to El Wichins uncle, Rodolfo Garza, who owned a ranch directly adjacent to that of his brother Luis. Mexican Federal Police document bits of teeth recovered at the Garza Ranch, January 28, 2014(Source:Document 41: Forensic Anthropology Technical Report, April 11, 2014). That is to say, to transfer them to the Los ngeles Cemetery of this city and later to the ranch of the [deleted] to finish them off. 'We are.', Miniseries of Netflix which is based on the report by journalist Ginger Thompson, fiction this harsh reality. That things were going to get ugly.-Declaration of former Allende police shift commander, September 18, 2016. The 2011 massacre carried out by the Zetas drug cartel in Allende, Mexico was a shocking reminder of the brutality of the black market, which thrives under governmental drug . When the Zetas became aware of our presence, and that we were there to put out the fire, they said to us: You guys get the fuck out of here! Among them were the director, Roberto Guadalupe Trevio, shift commander Mara Guadalupe valos, known as La Lupe, and officer Bertha Rosario Tllez Vega, known as La Chayo.[1]. Criminals were shooting up the street and two police officers . Arriving at the ranch that night with three others from the department, Herrera said he could see that what was burning was a small room that was near the ranch. He saw that there were units of the municipal police out front. The call lasted for about a minute.-Complaint of Yuliana Lpez Ibarra, October 14, 2014, Shortly after the troubling March 20 phone call with his mother, Vctor Garza and Yuliana Lpez managed to escape to nearby Sabinas, but Vctor insisted on going for his parents, according to Yulianas statement. Bone fragments found among the burned out ruins of the Garza Ranch, January 28, 2014 (Source: Document 41: Forensic Anthropology Technical Report, April 11, 2014). En 2011, cuando el cartel de Los Zetas dominaba el noreste de Mxico, ocurri una masacre en la localidad de Allende, Coahuila, de la que poco se conoci. Several said the police director ordered that officers should not do anything or say anything about the carnage. [A]t that time I lived in La Colonia Presidentes, and I knew all of these people because they were from the town. May 29, 2021. Family members lost contact with Rodolfo and his daughter, Liliana Garza de la Torre, on the night of March 18. We continued to advance until we arrived at the ranch, where I saw that there were several police patrols from this city, colored white and blue, and a number of police, among others I remember [deleted], [Mara Guadalupe Avalos,] [deleted,] the director And it seemed like the police were guarding the place. An Army unit was sent to Rancho Garza to investigate. Hours later, his daughter was one of the last people to see him alive. Suite 701, Gelman Library For years after the massacre, Mexican authorities made only desultory efforts to investigate. The human rights exception applies even to records from an ongoing criminal investigation, the kinds of files normally only accessible through high-profile leaks, such as the Panama Papers, or in piecemeal fashion and after lengthy delays through access to information laws. 1:07. U.S. Prosecutions Bring Mexico Corruption into Focus No one is sure exactly how many were killed, and the methods used by the Zetas to dispose of the bodiesincinerating them in barrels of gasoline and diesel fuelmake it unlikely that there will ever be a definitive count of victims.[2]. It was the case that among them I recognized several, since I knew them, because we were from the same municipality of Allende, Coahuila, where I live.- Declaration of Zetas member Jos Alfredo Jimnez Aguilar (El Pjaro), June 13, 2014. The files also include a statement from the caretaker of a Los Zetas safe house where the younger Sergio was held for several days after his abduction in August 2012 and before being killed and cremated by Los Zetas. Allende, Coahuila, municipio donde se perpetr una masacre, en 2011. premiering June 30. [9] Literally stake or post, an estaca is a term used by Los Zetas for its assassination teams. [11], [A]round nine oclock at night, I found myself at the circus that had set up in town, when suddenly a person by the name of [deleted] came up to me and told me that in the house of [my sister] they were hearing shots. It is not clear why members of the the military unit thatexamined the ranch did not secure the property or, evidently, take any additional steps to comprehend what was happening in Allende. Because if you dont [keep quiet] theyre going to kidnap you too.. A declassified DEA report from 2015said that the Zetas in late 2015 made a conscious effort to rebrand as the Cartel del Noreste (Cartel of the Northeast). More information on CDN is available here. The next day, the wives of other ranch workers came by the Snchez Robles house, looking for their missing spouses. October 2, 2018, Transcripts of intercepted cell phones open new lines of investigation in Ayotzinapa case It is estimated that over 300 went missing or killed in March of 2011. Triggered a Massacre in Mexico, by Ginger Thompson, ProPublica, June 12, 2017. Justice in Mexico 5998 Alcal Park, San Diego, CA. Allende is a small town southwest of Piedras Negras, Mexico and is the site of a massacre by the drug cartel, Los Zetas. Audio series examines DEA culpability in 2011 Allende massacre. Allende massacre. He said that as many as ten of his family members disappeared that day, including Vctor, Alma, and their youngest son Julio Csar. En el rancho Los Tres Hermanos rociaron los cuerpos con gasolina y los metieron de a uno en toneles de metal para prenderles fuego: "Despus de cinco o seis horas se cocinaron los cuerpos . He told me that we were not up for parties, she said. Prosecutors say they havepresumptively relatedthe Reyes and Garca cases. According to Thompsons reporting, [t]he wave of killings was unleashed after DEA agents shared the PIN codes with a specially vetted Mexican Federal Police (MFP) group known as the Sensitive Investigative Unit (SIU), which had a record of leaking information to violent and powerful drug traffickers., That report was followed by the2018 convictionin U.S. federal court of the longtime head of the SIU, Ivn Reyes Arzate, who prosecutors say conspired with some of the very drug cartels he was to pursue as director of the specially trained, U.S.-funded intelligence unit. With the help of these same police, we put them in the patrol vehicle. It's between them. Texting with her husband throughout the night, Sarah learned bits and pieces of what he and Arturo were up to. Photograph via . April 16, 2018, US: Mexico Mass Graves Raise "Alarming Questions" about Government "Complicity" in September 2014 Cartel Killings But he did not say anything to me. Lilianas brother, Rodolfo Garza, Jr., last heard from her around six or seven oclock that evening. [H]e was telling me that he wanted to look for the Zetas to see what they were asking for the return of his family. And they went to the Ranch but did not find anyone, and told us that they had scoured the place but had not found anyone.- Complaint of Elvira Espinoza, November 4, 2011. And I remember what he said to me: Don't be an ass. [I]n fact, he sometimes came and went inside the cells to beat those who were locked up. Ten years ago, the Mexican municipality of Allende was the site of one of the worst human rights atrocities ever seen in the country:a three-day rampage that punctuateda larger wave of violencein which theLos Zetas criminal groupkidnapped, murdered, and later burned the bodies of as many as 300 victims, many of them from Allende but also from nearby towns like Villa Unin and Piedras Negras, a city 35 miles to the north that lies just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. By Theodore Bunker | Friday, 06 August 2021 02:11 PM EDT. When we arrived at the ranch, they went inside the houses and I began to hear many shots fired and people shouting, and they began to throw the bodies of dead people in the bed of the truck, and later they tellme Get down here, asshole, and tie up this fucking bitch I tied up a man who seemed to be a worker at the Garza ranch, but I did not know this person. [14] In many cases, the names of the people identified by firefighters Lpez Tamez and De Len Ramos are legible behind clumsily applied redactions. . Declassified Documents on the San Fernando Massacre & Violence against Migrants in Northeastern Mexican States . * * * * *. Document 1 August 25, 2007 Shutdown Slows but Doesn't Stop Central Americans Headed North U.S. Embassy in Mexico, cable, sensitive, 3 pp. Yesterday I heard machine guns right outside my door on Independencia. As CrimeOnline previously reported, the victims were part of a faith group who lived in Sonora, an established faith-based city in Mexico, around 70 miles from Douglas, Arizona. Contemporaneous records from the Mexican military, obtained through a separate access-to-information request, confirm that the Army receivedmultiple reports about the ongoing violence in and around Allende. Forensic specialists from the Mexican Federal Police examine one of the primary crime scenes from the 2011 Allende massacre on January 28, 2014. To date, prosecutors have managed only a handful ofconvictions in a case that involves dozens of crime scenes, hundreds of victims, and the documented participation of numerous Zetas and public officials. Alone on a remote mountain road after witnessing the slaughter of nine close relatives, the wounded children who had survived a cartel ambush in . If you experience a barrier that affects your ability to access content on this page, let us know via ourContact form. The study sought to determine the treatment and reparations of the State to the victims of the massacre of 72 migrants in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, in August 2010, and the disappearance of an unknown number of people in Allende, Coahuila, in March 2011. Most of the victims were later shot and killed, after which the Zetas crudely cremated the bodies, dousing them in gasoline and diesel fuel and burning them overnight until nothing remained but ashes and tiny bone fragments. Jimnez told authorities that local Zetas leaders sent him to the ranch as part of an all-out assault on people and properties associated with the Garza family. A new detention order for Lozano was issued in March 2018, after the publication of the CNDH report, but little is known about how the case has progressed, and it is unclear whether prosecutors have ever filed charges against police director Trevio, who was seen outside the Garza Ranch and who witnesses say knew about the attacks ahead of time.[16]. In July, Coahuila state investigators gave them a nearly identical set of questions; among them: Did they know about the disappearances as they were happening? And when I finished tying him up, I put him in the back of the truck, and there were already bodies in the trunk.- Declaration of Zetas member, September 19, 2014. She said Andrea, the six-year-old, blames herself for what happened to him. No one would tell her anything about the person who left the kids at the orphanage.[10]. In 2017, a group led by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)submitted a communicationto the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) detailing crimes committed against the civilian population in Coahuila, including murder, illegal imprisonment, enforced disappearance, torture and sexual violence, not just from March 2011 but from a seven-year period from 2009-2016. So the moment that we were leaving the place out of fear from the threats made by these people, and because the police were attending to them, the people of Los Zetas put the entire [deleted] family into the bodega or large barn I mentioned, along with various other people who I saw clearly but who I did not know. At the same time, President Lpez Obradors desire to weaken or abolish the institution charged with guaranteeing those rights, INAI, represents a looming threat to human rights transparency in Mexico. Many others disappeared and were presumably killed in the weeks and months that followed in the wake of the massacre. Others were simply picked up off the street. From the highway, smoke could be seen coming from the interior of the ranch. Three and a half years later, what stood out to these firefighters was the conspicuous police presence, the brutal treatment of the captives, and the threats directed at them by Zetas members. He said that this was an injustice, since he was just a little boy. But he never came back. They began to see Allende not as an isolated spasm of violence but rather as one of the most explosive episodes of a wider problem of criminal violence and systematic subversion of legal authorities throughout the region. Among the evidence are the first complaints filed by the loved ones of those who went missing, the sworn declarations of Zetas members, Allende police and other city officials, the statements of firefighters and others who witnessed the violence, along with hundreds of pages of forensic reports, crime scene photos and related material. El Pjaro said that a group of victims that had been tied up inside the ranch house were later taken out back to the bodega where they were killed with a shot to the head. Other convictions include Germn Zaragoza Snchez (the Zetas members known as El Canelo) and Fernando Hernndez Reyes, an Allende police officer. A longtime resident of Allende, Herrera knew or was familiar with many of the people he saw at the ranch, including the Zetas, their police accomplices, and many of the victims. Netflix will release a series next month inspired by a story that revealed . He said the process reduced the corpses to pure butter., [I]n those days they kidnapped many people [Where] they killed them and burned them was a ranch There, they made me burn one body since I saw what was happening Others were burned at the [deleted] ranch, but nothing was left, because they told me that only pure butter remained after cooking them.- Declaration of Germn Zaragoza Snchez (El Canelo), April 8, 2014, 10:00. The official, town council secretaryEvaristo Rodrguez Chapa, said he called police director Trevio to let him know what was happening, to which he replied: Dont even fart, you asshole. With the passing of the days, the identity of 14 of the victims from Guatemala have been confirmed (the police estimate there are 15, and the rest are possibly Mexicans). The acrid odor of diesel fuel hung in the air. He got in the truck and returned to Allende, or at least thats what I think I dont know what happened to [Vctor] nor to his parents. She said she later learned he had been kidnapped from their house and turned over to a criminal group, probably Los Zetas. 92110 United States [email protected] +1 619-260-2299. One installment revealedthat officials from the Mexican Army and the top civilian intelligence agency (CISEN) within days knew key details about the massacre, including that Poncho Cuellar had fled to the U.S. with a stash of cartel money and was talking to the DEA. That if any citizens asked us for help that we would not pay attention to avoid getting into trouble. And that if we didn't obey, they were going to fuck us and our families. According to testimony, the police would also arrest and detain people wanted by the Zetas, keeping them in the city jail until the Zetas arrived to take them away. After about a half an hour, my husband called my son on his cell phone but he did not answer his phone, which worried us since he always answered.- Complaint of Claudia Snchez, October 18, 2013, Snchez soon learned that there had been a number of disappearances around the city that night, and that one of Gerardos friends had also gone missing. January 28, 2015, Mexico's San Fernando Massacres: A Declassified History Of particular importance was the November 2014 testimony of a woman from Piedras Negras whose husband, himself a member of the Zetas, had been kidnapped, detained, and later killed by the group in 2010. THE DOCUMENTS. The situation was especially dire in Piedras Negras, where Los Zetas had turned the state prison into a center of operations. Over the course of six episodes, "Somos." gives a platform to the victims of the Allende massacre to tell their stories. On the afternoon of March 20, aman reported the March 18 disappearance of his wifes parents and five other family members. Sergio Aguayo is a prominent Mexican human rights investigator at the Colegio de Mexico, which last year launched an independent probe into the Allende massacre. At the moment the cooking of the corpses was finished, the ashes were thrown in a well, and later covered with earth, and they flattened it so that no one could see anything.- Declaration of Zetas member, September 19, 2014, The focus on eliminating physical evidence and destroying crime scenes almost certainly played at least an ancillary role in impeding justice in the Allende case. Many of the victims were ordinary laborers at the Garza properties. 'Somos.', the fictionalized retelling of the massacre that took place in the town of Allende, is now streaming on Netflix (Netflix) 'Somos.', which began streaming on Netflix on June 30, may involve a fictionalized perspective of the victims of the shocking massacre that took place in the town of . The job netted Jimnez about eight thousand pesos ($700 USD) per month, plus expenses. The National Security Archive marks this grim anniversary by publishing an extensive evidentiary history of the Allende massacre focusing on key documents and testimony from a 4,000-page dossier of investigative records that prosecutors in the state of Coahuila only began to compile almost three years after the fact. "Nos rene la necesidad de enfrentar como pas y como Estado . And also El [Chucho] killed a person, but I did not see who. What actions had they taken to guarantee the security of the people of Allende? [T]he director, who almost never left his office, knew all about this. A cartel war has transformed once-tranquil Guanajuato into one of Mexico's deadliest states. As many as 40 houses and seven ranches were sacked and burned, according to aMarch 2018 CNDH report, the inhabitants beaten and dragged awaykidnapped in broad daylight. A disturbing report released today by researchers at the prestigious Colegio de Mexico provides new details about a 2011 massacre in Allende, a quiet Mexican ranching town less than an hour's drive from the United States, and suggests that many more people were killed in the incident than estimated by Mexican authorities. 6/27/2017 (written by Lucy Clement La Rosa)- Over six years ago, a small ranching community near the Texas border of Mexico bore witness to the vengeful assault of Las Zetas, one of Mexico's historically violent drug trafficking organizations. Many needed the money. And when we met with him, he told us that things were going to get hot. The tenth anniversary of the Allende killings comes as allegations of narcotics-related corruption among top Mexican officials have brought U.S.-Mexico security ties to their lowest point in many years. Oneformer member of the Allende policeinterviewed in July 2014 told investigators that from the moment that I joined the ranks of the municipal police I realized that all of the people I mentioned previously, including the mayor, the police director, police commander, and the shift commanders, were linked to the Zetas criminal organization., One of the first witnesses to talk about the police departments links to Los Zetas was anAllende municipal official in charge of road maintenance, who in January 2014 told investigators that everyone knows about [the March 2011 Allende massacre] but is too afraid to say anything.. Finally, the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice recently confirmed, in a FOIA denial letter to the National Security Archive, that its investigation of the DEAs links to cartel violence in Mexicofirst announced in 2018is ongoing, a probe that may have significant implications for the Allende case and for U.S.-Mexico security cooperation more broadly. -Declaration of Allende volunteer firefighter, December 17, 2014. Zaragoza said up to 60 Zetas assassins may have participated in the Allende operation, sweeping up people in the surrounding towns and dropping them off at the Garza Ranch. And he told me to get out of the house and to go to my moms house [W]hen I got to my moms house, my husband called again to tell me that things were getting really ugly; that they had broken into my house and stolen our truck.- Complaint of Sarah Angelita Lira, November 11, 2014. The recent violence is also a reminder that Mexican authorities have largely failed to protect the countrys civilian population from historically high levels of violence or to alleviate the effects of an ever-deepening security crisis. Prosecutors say that Reyes took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from the cartels during his 13-year career at the SIU, including large payments from the Sinaloa and Beltran-Leyva cartels, among others. The plan, he said, was to kidnap and kill everyone. When more Zetas and various patrols of the municipal police arrived later they knocked down the main gate of the Garza ranch by ramming it with a truck, according to Jimnez. The missing from the Allende massacre are among the 13,000 the . purple photosynthetic plating sponge,