A state judge on Thursday convicted 11 former police officers in the January 2021 killing of 19 people, mostly Guatemalans, in the northern state of Tamaulipas in the so-called “Camargo massacre,” one of the worst massacres of migrants in Mexico.
The Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office said in a statement that a local judge convicted the 11 former state police officers of qualified homicide, abuse of office and crimes against the administration of justice for the deaths of the 19 people. In addition, another agent was convicted of abuse of office and crimes against the administration of justice after cooperating with prosecutors and describing the incident.
After a trial that lasted more than three months, local judge Patricio Lugo Jaramillo found enough evidence against the former police officers, who will be sentenced in the coming days to prison sentences of up to 50 years. The new hearing to determine the sentences for the defendants, including a woman, was scheduled by the judge for next September 19, the prosecutor’s office said.
The Camargo massacre
The events occurred on January 21, 2021 in the community of Santa Anita, in the municipality of Camargo, very close to the border with the United States and where the migrants were heading, including 16 from Guatemala and one from Honduras.
There were 19 victims in total as the remains of two Mexicans were identified, who authorities said were human traffickers bringing Central Americans to the border.
The victims “lost their lives from gunshot wounds and were subsequently burned,” the Tamaulipas prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
The murdered migrants were mostly from the town of Comitancillo, Guatemala, and were from low-income families who were heading to the United States in search of better life chances.
With flags and flowers, Guatemala welcomes the remains of migrants burned in a massacre in Tamaulipas, Mexico
Violence against migrants in Mexico
Lawyer Yesenia Valdez, coordinator of the local organization Foundation for Justice, which supported the families of the Guatemalan victims, told The Associated Press that this case shows the serious violent situation in Mexico and the links between criminal groups and public security forces of the Mexican state.
Valdez explained that all the facts have not yet been established in the case of the Camargo massacre, as the chain of command and the possible involvement of immigration officials in the transfer of the 19 deceased to the border with the United States have not yet been investigated. Joined.
In 2010, there was also a massacre of 72 migrants, mostly Central Americans and some South Americans, in Tamaulipas. An Ecuadorian who was wounded by a bullet in the face survived the massacre.
According to investigations, gunmen from the criminal group Los Zetas shot and killed the 72 migrants after they refused to join this criminal organization.