Friday, April 22, 2011

Mexico Security Memo: April 19, 2011

Mass Graves in Tamaulipas At least 173 bodies have been found in mass graves in Sinaloa, Durango and Tamaulipas states over the past week, though there is little information available on the graves discovered in Sinaloa and Durango. The last official body count available to STRATFOR for the mass graves in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, stands at 145, but that tally may increase as recovery efforts continue. On April 13, the Mexican government announced a reward of up to 15 million pesos ($1.28 million) for information leading to the capture of Omar Martin “El Kilo” Estrada Luna, an offer that apparently was effective — three days later, Mexican marines arrested the Los Zetas plaza boss and 11 other Zeta operatives. Estrada Luna is believed to be responsible for at least 217 murders in the vicinity of San Fernando, including the 145 people whose bodies were recovered from mass graves over the past week and the 72 migrants killed Aug. 24, 2010, on a ranch outside of San Fernando. According to the Mexican marines, Estrada Luna has also been implicated in the murders of Juan Carlos Sanchez Suarez, the secretary of public security for San Fernando, and Public Ministry agent Roberto Jaime Suarez Vazquez, the lead investigator of the Aug. 24 mass murder. In both mass-murder events, migrants headed to northeast Mexico — either to relocate to Tamaulipas state or to cross the border into the United States — were taken at gunpoint by Los Zetas operatives. According to an Ecuadorian survivor of the massacre last summer, the migrants were being press-ganged into working for the cartel and, when they refused, the migrants were killed. The same appears to have been the case with those in the mass graves found last week...STRATFOR

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