Mexican Police Charged With Massacre of Migrants in US Borderlands

Twelve officers have been charged with killing 19 migrants - Image Source: Wikimedia

TWELVE Mexican police officers will face trial for the brutal massacre of 19 migrants in the US borderlands whose bodies were discovered in January.

In January, authorities in the violence-plagued Mexican border state of Tamaulipas made the grim discovery of 19 charred bodies in a burnt-out pickup truck. The victims have been identified as a mixture of Guatemalan and Mexican nationals who had likely been en route to the nearby Texas border.

State prosecutors have confirmed that 12 police officers will face charges of homicide, abuse of authorities, and making false statements over the brutal crime. It has evoked painful memories in the region that saw 79 migrants slaughtered by local cartels in 2010, though the Mexican public was even more shocked to discover this recent atrocity was allegedly carried out by police.

Authorities found 113 bullet impacts on the scene, yet the lack of any bullet casings has baffled detectives. Of the 19 victims, two have been confirmed as being from Guatemala’s indigenous community while another two have been identified as Mexicans. Due to the severe burns across the bodies, it is difficult for investigators to establish the nationality or even gender of many victims.

Tamaulipas state is notorious in Mexico for its chronic levels of violence and is home to a grisly turf war between the Gulf and Zeta cartels who battle for control of the lucrative border smuggling trade of drugs and humans. 

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Written by

Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...