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Police, the Death Squads in Veracruz: Kidnapping, Killings and Disappearances of Youngsters

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 8:34
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Translated by Otis B Fly-Wheel for Borderland Beat from a Sinembargo article

Subject Matter: Police and Los Zetas in Veracruz
Recommendation: No prior subject matter knowledge required

The Police in the Mexican state of Veracruz created units that employ dirty war tactics to kidnap, kill and disappear youngsters, suspected of being informants or mules of the narco cartels. The Police during their patrols surveil the youngsters, but don’t register any arrests. Then they are lifted and given over to squadrons who specialize in interrogation and torture.

Reporter: Lev Garcia
The Police of the Mexican state of Veracruz, infested with corruption, created units that employ dirty war tactics to kidnap, kill and disappear no less than 15 persons, the majority of them youngsters, suspected of being informants and mules of the narco cartels, according to accusations presented to the State Attorney Generals Office.

The denunciations presented this past week against ex Police chiefs of Veracruz, show all the signals of violations of human rights, similar to the campaigns against the guerrillas in the 1960′s and 1970′s.

The Police during their patrols surveil the youngsters, but make no arrests. Then enter the death squads specializing in interrogation and torture that function in the same academy as the Police, at later kill or disappear the bodies, according to the accusations.

It is widely known that corrupt Police officers in Mexico hand over young people to drug cartels in different regions of Mexico, in the case of Veracruz it is notable for the high ranks of the accused; they are the form head of state security and the heads of at least two Police divisions, which suggests that the disappearances were state policy during the administration of Governor Javier Duarte, who is being held prisoner to answer charges of corruption.

“This is the first time that an important group of people are consigned in number and hierarchy, and that it is possible to demonstrate that there is a structure, an organized apparatus of power that agrees, plans and executes an elaborate, generalized and systematic policy of disappearing people,” said Juan Carlos Gutierrez, a Lawyer specializing in human rights.

“The paradigm is the strategy of the prosecution to build to build a case theory that speaks of a power structure designed to commit disappearances”, he added.

The federal and military police were accused of systematic torture and disappearance when they persecuted leftist rebels in the mountains of the state of Guerrero, in the south, in the 1960s and 1970s.

But unlike Guerrero, the disappearances in Veracruz in 2013 and 2014 did not happen in remote mountains, they were blatantly perpetrated in urban settings. The squads kidnapped, tortured and released a female Police officer who travelled in a taxi after her shift, according to the indictment.

Jacqueline, as the witness was identified in court documents, apparently took the wrong taxi, the Police accused the driver of transporting a small amount of cocaine. In southern Mexico, taxi drivers often work as mules. (Otis: and often end up in execution videos). But neither the taxi driver nor Jacqueline were arrested, charged for forced to appear before a judge.

In her statement to the court, Jacqueline described a procedure similar to the one allegedly used in other cases. They forced them to exit the taxi and handed them over to the Police squad known as “Los Fieles” or “The Faithful”, who took them to the Police academy known as El Lencero, where according to her she was tortured and beaten.

According to the documents read in court, the pattern was repeated in at least 14 other cases. The victims were mostly young people picked up in the streets or in vehicles suspected of acting as halcones for Los Zetas.

Apparently the were picked up by Los Fieles if the initial investigation discovered suspicious messages on their cell phones. Then they were taken to the Police academy, where they disappeared without a trace.

Nineteen Veracruz Police officers, active or retired are being tried for ” forced disappearance. These include the former secretary of public security, the chief police commander and his directors of special forces, prisons and police. The victims include two women and two minors. Hundreds of graves have been found in Veracruz, but only a few corpses have been identified.

Commander Zenteno, a prisoner could clarify how the forced disappearances operated with Duarte







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