Mexican Police Find 72 Bodies in Border Town

Posted on August 25, 2010

In what is believed to be the biggest dumping ground for the bodies of victims in drug cartel related violence, Mexican police found 72 bodies at a ranch near the northern border with Texas. 

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The related Associated Press story  suggests the victims may have been illegal immigrants mostly from Central America:


MEXICO CITY (AP) – A survivor has told police that 72 people found dead at a ranch near the Mexican border with Texas were migrants kidnapped by an armed group, a federal official said Wednesday.

The bodies of 58 men and 14 women were discovered Tuesday when Marines manning a checkpoint on a highway in the northern state of Tamaulipas were approached by a wounded man who said he had been attacked by gang gunmen at a nearby ranch.

A federal official said that man had identified himself an illegal migrant. The man said he and other migrants had been kidnapped by an armed group and taken to the ranch in San Fernando, a town about 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Brownsville, Texas, according to the federal official, who had access to the investigation. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the was not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

The official said police believe the migrants were mostly from Central America—a population that has been increasingly targeted by drug gangs who demand money from U.S.-bound foreigners or who kidnap them to claim ransoms from relatives in the United States or their home countries.

Investigators have not determined who was behind the massacre, but the federal official noted that the area is controlled by the Zetas drug cartel, which has diversified into kidnapping migrants.

The scale of the massacre of migrants appeared to be unprecedented even by the gruesome standards of Mexican drug cartels.

It was unclear if all 72 were killed at the same time—or why. Another federal official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said investigators believe the victims were killed within recent days.

We need not only secure the border to protect ourselves from drug smugglers and drug cartel gang members from crossing illegally, but also, if the border is secured, it would look less like an open invitation to illegal immigrants trying to enter our country undetected.   Perhaps securing the border as a deterrent would keep these people home and ALIVE.