Friday, August 27, 2010

UPDATED 8/27- Even More Borderline Psychosis: 72 Migrants Slain at Remote Ranch by Gunmen

The sole survivor of a brutal massacre alerted Mexican authorities to a bloody scene at a remote ranch in Tamaulipas after stumbling into a military checkpoint Monday.

Mexican Marines with helicopter support were directed by the wounded survivor to a ranch roughly 90 miles from the Texas/Mexico border. As the Marines moved in, gunmen opened fire on the marines, leaving one marine and three suspected cartel gunmen killed by return fire while more suspected gunmen escaped by truck.

At the ranch, the military discovered the 72 bodies. According to the sole survivor, an Ecuadorean national, the victims were illegal immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador and Brazil who were attempting to enter the USA illegally via the Texas/Mexico border.

Authorities also discovered a cache of arms and ammunition as well as a number of trucks painted to look like military vehicles at the crime scene. The perpetrators are suspected to be from Los Zetas, the one-time enforcers for the Gulf cartel comprised mainly of former soldiers and police officers, who have also been extorting, kidnapping and murdering illegal immigrants that transit through their territory en route to the USA.
Earlier this year, the Zetas and Gulf Cartel were locked in a bloody turf war to secure lucrative smuggling routes through northeastern Mexico. However, the Zetas have been known to kidnap and ransom migrants or press them into service as drug couriers or prostitutes.

UPDATE- 8/27: The lead investigator in the massacre and an unnamed policeman from the nearby town of San Fernando have reportedly disappeared. There were unconfirmed reports circulating in the Mexican press early Friday that the bodies of the two men were found dumped by the side of the road near where the 72 migrants were massacred.
Speaking of the Mexican press, two car bombs were set off in Ciudad Victoria on Friday with one of them targeting the local Televisa TV station [NYSE: TV]. There were no reports of casualties, but the station lost its signal for several hours. The other car bomb was apparently targeting a transit center.

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