Because if you dont [keep quiet] theyre going to kidnap you too.. He said that this was an injustice, since he was just a little boy. When the Zetas arrived in Allende a decade ago, they infiltrated the very . But the initial three-year delay in starting the investigation has complicated the pursuit of justice for the massacre. So the moment that we were leaving the place out of fear from the threats made by these people, and because the police were attending to them, the people of Los Zetas put the entire [deleted] family into the bodega or large barn I mentioned, along with various other people who I saw clearly but who I did not know. A center for car manufacturing northwest of Mexico City, Guanajuato averaged at least nine homicides a day in 2020, one of the highest murder rates in the country. They found that the Zetas committed numerous human rights abuses in Coahuila with impunity and that public institutions and officials played a role, by actions or omissions in the abuses (p.24). 202-994-7000 email@example.com, Special thanks to former National Security Archiveintern Emily Taylor for her assistance with this collection. We arrived and forced our way in firing shots, from there we took [Vctor Garza], his wife [Alma Patricia Prez], and their youngest son, I think that [his name was Julio Garza.] Sergio Aguayo is a prominent Mexican human rights investigator at the Colegio de Mexico, which last year launched an independent probe into the Allende massacre. [N]othing remained of them at all, in addition to which they burned and razed their houses. And from previously I knew that all of the Allende municipal police were linked to or worked for the Zetas.-Revised declaration of Christian Alejandro Lpez Tamez, December 17, 2014, Firefighter Jess Gerado De Len Ramos, too, spotted various units of the municipal police at the entrance to the ranch, including police director, Roberto Guadalupe Trevio Martnez, and shift commanders Maria Guadalupe Avalos Orozco and Rogelio Javier Flores Cruz, who he and others described as key links between the police and the Zetas. See Vanguardia, March 18, 2019.. Alone on a remote mountain road after witnessing the slaughter of nine close relatives, the wounded children who had survived a cartel ambush in . [His mother] told him that they were shooting up the house I could hear the shots and that she was shouting very desperately. And they went to the Ranch but did not find anyone, and told us that they had scoured the place but had not found anyone.- Complaint of Elvira Espinoza, November 4, 2011. American authorities eventually helped Mexico capture the Trevios but never acknowledged the devastating cost. Triggered a Massacre in Mexico" was published in 2017 by the investigative news agency ProPublica.. The name "Allende" is in honor of Ignacio Allende, a hero of Mexico's War of Independence.The town's folk hero is Arnulfo Gonzlez who was gunned down in the mid-1920s, and has a "corrido" sung by artists such as Vicente Fernndez and many others. Subscribe. Among other evidence is thestatementof a former Allende police official, Fernando Hernndez Reyes, who gave a vivid account of his involvement in the kidnappings. One former Allende police official interviewed during the investigation described how the payments were made. And what I did, in that place, together with [Chucho] was carry containers filled with gasoline and diesel to the bodega, which was filled with hay. About five estacasparticipated, and with [deleted] and [deleted] ten more joined. The National Security Archive marks this grim anniversary by publishing an extensive evidentiary history of the Allende massacre focusing on key documents and testimony from a 4,000-page dossier of investigative records that prosecutors in the state of Coahuila only began to compile almost three years after the fact. . The Zetas organizational structure includes counterintelligence, intelligence and tactical enforcement units.. Bone fragments found among the burned out ruins of the Garza Ranch, January 28, 2014 (Source: Document 41: Forensic Anthropology Technical Report, April 11, 2014). That is to say, the [Garza] ranch. Or do you want the same thing to happen to you or to your families?-Declaration of Allende fire chief, December 17, 2014. By Theodore Bunker | Friday, 06 August 2021 02:11 PM EDT. Washington, D.C., March 18, 2021 - Ten years ago, the Mexican municipality of Allende was the site of one of the worst human rights atrocities ever seen in the country: a three-day wave of violence in which the criminal group known as Los Zetas kidnapped, murdered, and later burned the bodies of an estimated 300 . Local media, fearing reprisals, did not report the violence until years later. [W]e passed by the entrance of the ranch where I saw people practically in the street with hoods and black vests who had rifles [W]e passed by again on the way back to Allende, and through the opening I could seebecause from the road you could see all the way to the backthat there were about five or seven trucks, many people with rifles, and I also saw people piled up, like this was where the fire was coming from [I]t was something big like a bodega. Triggered a Massacre in Mexico,, Allende, el infierno: Los testigos de la masacre,, Exoneran a ex alcalde de Allende, Coahuila, ligado a masacres de 2011, this report from the University of San Diegos Justice in Mexico program, Mexicos bloody drug war is killing more people than ever,, Masacre de Allende: el silencio del general, U.S. Prosecutions Bring Mexico Corruption into Focus, Advirti EU riesgo ante mandos mexicanos corruptos, Six Years On, Ayotzinapa Investigations Advance, FiftyYears After Tlatelolco, Censoring the Mexican Archives: Mexico's "Dirty War" Files Withdrawn from Public Access, Transcripts of intercepted cell phones open new lines of investigation in Ayotzinapa case, US: Mexico Mass Graves Raise "Alarming Questions" about Government "Complicity" in September 2014 Cartel Killings, Mexico's San Fernando Massacres: A Declassified History. There were other people in civilian clothes who carried long arms, and these people were Los Zetas, since I realized that there at the [Garza] ranch were [El Pala,] whose name is [Fernando Ros Bustos]; [El Canelo,] whose name is [Germn Zaragoza Snchez]; [El Cubano], whose name is [Juan Rafael Arredondo Oviedo]; [El Pjaro], whose name is [Jos Alfredo Jimnez Aguilar]; [El Flacaman,] whose name is [Gabriel Zaragoza Snchez,] among other people, some of whom I did not know, but they seemed to be from the south since they wore sandals and carried machetes. Juan Ariel Hernndez Ramos, commander of the Allende police, who reported to the police director, is the most senior public official sentenced in the case. It is estimated that over 300 went missing or killed in March of 2011. Ginger Thompson, ProPublica A disturbing report released today by researchers at the prestigious Colegio de Mexico provides new details about a 2011 massacre in Allende, a quiet Mexican ranching town less than an hour's drive from the United States, and suggests that many more people were killed in the incident than estimated by Mexican authorities. The Archive pried open the files using a special provision of Mexicos access law requiring the release of information relating to human rights violations. A new detention order for Lozano was issued in March 2018, after the publication of the CNDH report, but little is known about how the case has progressed, and it is unclear whether prosecutors have ever filed charges against police director Trevio, who was seen outside the Garza Ranch and who witnesses say knew about the attacks ahead of time.. Later we took these people to the Garza ranch where we put them in the same house where we had the others. It was the case that among them I recognized several, since I knew them, because we were from the same municipality of Allende, Coahuila, where I live.- Declaration of Zetas member Jos Alfredo Jimnez Aguilar (El Pjaro), June 13, 2014. The Zetas told the other children he was too little and cried too much to leave him there with them, according to Espinoza. Three and a half years later, what stood out to these firefighters was the conspicuous police presence, the brutal treatment of the captives, and the threats directed at them by Zetas members. Jimnez told authorities that local Zetas leaders sent him to the ranch as part of an all-out assault on people and properties associated with the Garza family. As CrimeOnline previously reported, the victims were part of a faith group who lived in Sonora, an established faith-based city in Mexico, around 70 miles from Douglas, Arizona. The six-part drama series is inspired by the Allende massacre in Mexico. In the worst cases, civilian authorities were little more than subcontractors of the Zetas criminal organization, involved in shakedowns, kidnappings, drug trafficking and numerous murders, not over a period of weeks or months, but for many years. Una nueva serie de Netflix intenta . Hours later, his daughter was one of the last people to see him alive. For reference to U.S. training and other background, see our previous Electronic Briefing Book, especially Document 1 and Document 2. Tagged: Allende best of vice news 2014 Border CARTELS Coahuila crime & drugs Diego Enrique Osorno Drugs garza massacre mexico moreira the five springs villanueva zetas VICE News Get the latest . [W]hen the Zetas realized that we were there, they said to us, Youd better get the hell out of here, motherfuckers! Access request to Mexicos National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH), Freedom of Information Act request to DEA. Many victims were brought to a ranch outside Allende, owned by the Garza family. His mother had called around 9:00 PM to tell her son, Vctor Manuel Garza Prez, that her house was under assault. According to Thompsons reporting, [t]he wave of killings was unleashed after DEA agents shared the PIN codes with a specially vetted Mexican Federal Police (MFP) group known as the Sensitive Investigative Unit (SIU), which had a record of leaking information to violent and powerful drug traffickers., That report was followed by the2018 convictionin U.S. federal court of the longtime head of the SIU, Ivn Reyes Arzate, who prosecutors say conspired with some of the very drug cartels he was to pursue as director of the specially trained, U.S.-funded intelligence unit. Netflix will release a series next month inspired by a story that revealed the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's role in setting off a massacre in northern Mexico in 2011, leaving dozens of people dead or missing. follows the lives of an ensemble group of fictional characters, all inspired by real-life . Contemporaneous records from the Mexican military, obtained through a separate access-to-information request, confirm that the Army receivedmultiple reports about the ongoing violence in and around Allende. The mayor of Allende in the Cinco Manantiales region of Coahuila said at the time of the slaughter that he was helpless to prevent the massacre. I want to point out that I did not know any of the dead And when we had them in the barrels [deleted] began to bathe the corpses in diesel so that they could then be set on fire, and I was then sent to keep a lookout a few meters from there to make sure that no one was coming. She told me that around 5:30 in the afternoon she came across the pick-up truck that came for my husband, and that had been circulating up and down Calle Independencia, and that her father was on board the truck together with about five other people, and that he was in the cabin in the back, in the middle, and that the truck was followed by two black late-model cars, Malibu or Impala, and the three vehicles headed for the mountain; this being the last time they saw my husband.- Complaint of wife of victim Rodolfo Snchez Robles, November 10, 2014. Meanwhile, criminal violence continues to soar in Mexico, with the Cartel of the Northeast (CDN), successor to Los Zetas, implicated in some of the worst cases. In a sworn statement, El Pjaro said the Zetas coordinated the kidnappings with high-ranking officials of the Allende municipal police department, who were present during the abductions and who carried the victims from the house to the ranch in a police patrol vehicle. Armando Castilla, the publisher of the newspaper Vanguardia de Coahuila, says his publication was the first to report the case, in December 2013. Lpez said he knew all of the municipal police very well, owing to the fact that there was a lot of contact with them., Upon seeing all of those police, I realized that they were keeping watch or guarding the place. Texting with her husband throughout the night, Sarah learned bits and pieces of what he and Arturo were up to. On homicide rate, see this report from the University of San Diegos Justice in Mexico program; On impunity, see, Mexicos bloody drug war is killing more people than ever, Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2017. And that if we didn't obey, they were going to fuck us and our families. But a few minutes later he called me saying that neither his father nor his sister were answering and that there were many trucks and armed men guarding the entrance to the ranch. To date, only a handful of Zetas and corrupt police officials have been convicted in a case that involves dozens of crime scenes, hundreds of victims, and the documented participation of numerous Zetas and public officials. For the family members, nothing has changed. Remembering the Allende Massacre. The same year, the Zetas member known as El Cubano was arrested in the U.S. and later extradited to Mexico in connection to the case. The money went through the [police] commander, which he then delivered to the RTs [shift commanders] and from them to the rest of us police officials. In Coahuila we were hearing the word being passed from municipality to municipality, about a large scale Zeta massacre in several towns of "The Five Springs", (Los Cinco Manantiales) including Allende. Nearly all of those interviewed agreed that the surge in violence and the general pattern of police cooperation with the Zetas was evident for at least a year or two before the March 2011 massacre. It was approximately 7:00 or 7:20 in the evening, which is the hour of the shift change. Edited by Michael Evans. Yesterday I heard machine guns right outside my door on Independencia. The Seminar on Violence of the Colegio de Mxico had access to many of these files in preparing its groundbreaking reports on Allende and a second report on how the Zetas gained control of authority structures in Coahuila, including the state prison in Piedras Negras. La masacre de Allende, Coahuila, forma parte de la historia ms siniestra de Mxico. Residents of the small town of Villa Union, 12 miles from Allende, said Tuesday . THE DOCUMENTS. Elvira Espinoza told investigators about the day, about a week later, when she found two of her three missing grandchildren at an orphanage in Piedras Negras. However, families of the victims in Allende touted the overdue government efforts as a publicity stunt. . Early in the morning on March 19, Arturo called his own mother, Elvira Espinoza, and told her that neither Liliana, who worked for her fathers ranch business, nor her parents were answering their phones. in Allende, Coahuila state, Mexico, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019. On the evening of March 20, 2011, Yuliana Lpez Ibarra heard the sounds of gunfire and the desperate cries of her mother-in-law coming through the tiny speaker on her husbands cell phone. The 2020 U.S. arrest of Mexicos former defense secretary, Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, for alleged narcotics ties has led Mexicos president, Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador, tofast-track a new lawimposing strict new restrictions on U.S. personnel in Mexico and that threatens to significantly curtail the exchange of intelligence and law enforcement information. Many needed the money. In 2011, Drug Enforcement Agency officials informed Mexican . This same Allende city officer tried once more the following day, advising the mayor to tell someone about what was happening; that he talk to the governor. She said Andrea, the six-year-old, blames herself for what happened to him. No one would tell her anything about the person who left the kids at the orphanage.. May 29, 2021. December 9, 2020, Advirti EU riesgo ante mandos mexicanos corruptos Witnesses describe in graphic detail how Los Zetas undermined and criminalized the public security forces of Allende, and how the latter routinely participated in kidnappings, murders, and other crimes on behalf of the group. Mexican President Consoles Family of Massacre Victims. Witness statements and other records from the Allende case file published here today corroborate Osornos account of the enduring tragedy and illustrate the extent to which the group continued to rely on compliant police to execute some of its most sensitive operations. Despite the brutality of the case, major U.S. TV and print outlets have largely ignored the kidnapping and murder of hundreds of people from Allende, Coahuila. His wife, Sarah Angelita Lira, said that Liliana had called to tell him that their uncles ranch was on fire, and that she was leaving the ranch, and that they were closing the gate., So my husband left. Arts & Culture. Declassified Investigative Dossier Examines Officials' Roles in Cartel Killings, 10th Anniversary of Worst Human Rights Episode in Mexico's Recent History, By Michael Evans, Senior Analyst, National Security Archive, For more information, contact: Schamus presents the trailer and key art for his new drama series Somos. That is to say, to transfer them to the Los ngeles Cemetery of this city and later to the ranch of the [deleted] to finish them off. Prosecutors say they havepresumptively relatedthe Reyes and Garca cases. But there was not any kind of response from the police or any other authority.. With the passing of the days, the identity of 14 of the victims from Guatemala have been confirmed (the police estimate there are 15, and the rest are possibly Mexicans). Elizondos wife,Etelvina Rodrguez, said she soon realized that many of the wives of those who worked at the Garza ranch were looking for their husbands.. Both in charge of Los Zetas, Allende's is a much less known story. It was around March 15, 2011, the then-director of the municipal police called all the elements to a meeting in the offices of the municipal police. In 2017, a group led by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)submitted a communicationto the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) detailing crimes committed against the civilian population in Coahuila, including murder, illegal imprisonment, enforced disappearance, torture and sexual violence, not just from March 2011 but from a seven-year period from 2009-2016. The horrifying persistence of brazen cartel attacks like these is a reminder of how little has changed in Mexico, especially in the border states of Coahuila, Tamaulipas, and Nuevo Len. 2130 H Street, NW Mexicos National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) has sinceposted the declassified volumeson its website, but they are not easy to find without a direct link. January 28, 2015, Mexico's San Fernando Massacres: A Declassified History The hooded figures spotted by Hctor Prez that night included the Zeta known as El Pjaro, who told authorities that he and a group of Zetas led by Jos Manuel Daz (Comandante 7) and Fernando Ros Bustos (Comandante Pala) had kidnapped Vctor, Alma, and their son Julio, and murdered them at the ranch later that night. [At the meeting] were the mayor, the city council secretary , the person in charge of civil protection the police director and me. Herrera said he knew many of the victims as well. . Many thousands disappeared in Mexico's drug war. And as I am originally from here in Allende, and this is a small town, for this reason I know these people. An important moment seems to have come in March 2015, when state investigatorssaw a familiar patternemerge in three seemingly unrelated cases. He didnt have anything to do with crime, nor did his family, since they were kidnapped by mistake.. De Len said that he already knew that all of the municipal police of Allende were associated with or worked for the Zetas., When I saw all those police I realized that they were keeping watch or guarding the place, that is to say the [Garza] ranch In addition to the police I already mentioned, I noticed that there were more people wearing civilian clothes, some hooded, some not. The U.S.filed additional charges against Reyesin January 2020. FOR almost three years residents of Allende, close to the Mexican border with . And after five or six hours during which the corpses were cooked it was then around five or six oclock in the morning. The police radio operator said that the director, Trevio, and the commander, Hernndez, were paid as much as five times what ordinary officers were given. ALLENDE, Coahuila - Only abandoned and destroyed farms and the self-imposed silence of the inhabitants of Allende remain after the massacre perpetrated in this city in . And he said this openly, because almost all the police received money from those people And that according to that meeting, they had told him that if we saw strange things related to Los Zetas, that we would not do anything or say anything. SALTILLO, Mexico In the waning days of January 2014 state and federal security forces along with military troops fanned out across the scrubland of Coahuila in northern Mexico, reportedly in search of human remains.. Over 20 days, some 250 masked agents combed the ranches and towns of Allende, Nava, Acua and Piedras Negras, across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas, for the victims of a . During Mexico's unknown massacre, Los Zetas carried out a systematic extermination by killing and incinerating more than 400 people in Allende and the surrounding towns. November 6, 2013, National Security Archive The situation was especially dire in Piedras Negras, where Los Zetas had turned the state prison into a center of operations. LAS CRUCES - On Feb. 10, 1990, two men walked into a Las Cruces bowling alley and shot seven people execution style including four children robbed the bowling alley's safe and set . And also El [Chucho] killed a person, but I did not see who. And this began to occur more or less in the years 2010 and 2011, which was about when Los Zetas got started in the region.- Declaration of former Allende police official, November 12, 2014, 15:20. So I left the ranch in my truck and went home, and since that date I dont know anything about what happened to my husband.- Declaration of wife of heavy machinery mechanic for Rodolfo Garza, July 23, 2014. The cartel allegedly turned this storage shed, which held equipment and animal feed, into an incinerator for the . And you could see that they were unloading large barrels, and the odor of diesel or gasoline was evident. They watched as gang members led their victims into a larger shed near the back. Thompsons reporting and the U.S. investigations strongly suggest that the former SIU chief may have been part of a criminal conspiracy that sparked the Allende massacre. Over three consecutive days in March 2011, a series . Germn Zaragoza Snchez, better known as El Canelo, was a top Zetas boss in Allende and managed a group hawks who monitored and reported on the movements of state and federal security forces. The plan, he said, was to kidnap and kill everyone. When more Zetas and various patrols of the municipal police arrived later they knocked down the main gate of the Garza ranch by ramming it with a truck, according to Jimnez. Allende, el infierno: Los testigos de la masacre, Zcalo (Coahuila), July 10, 2017. El Pjaro said that a group of victims that had been tied up inside the ranch house were later taken out back to the bodega where they were killed with a shot to the head. Forensic specialists from the Mexican Federal Police examine one of the primary crime scenes from the 2011 Allende massacre on January 28, 2014. The government should do more to find them. An Allende police radio operator who worked closely with the shift commanders said in his declaration that a ranking Zetas memberwould sometimes come by the police station and take people from city jail cells with the full knowledge of the police director and commander, both of whom, he said, were paid by the Zetas. I want to point out that all of the police at that time were getting money from the Zetas, some by obligation and some by choice. In April of 2014 . The new Netflix series, "Somos.," (We Are), offers a respectful but powerful look at the Allende massacre, one of the most brutal episodes of Mexico's war on organized crime, which sets it apart from other narco-series. Meanwhile, Mexico has announced the arrest of police officers allegedly involved in the killings. Reading Pulitzer Prize-winner Ginger Thompson's oral history of a little-known 2011 massacre in the Mexican border town of Allende, and of the role, the U.S. government played in triggering it, is an experience at once intimate and vast.Hearing the voices of survivors, whether they were perpetrators . After three days of abuse, on the night of March 20, the Zetas took him to the Garza ranch and put him to work managing the incoming truckloads of corpses along with a few living hostages. After what happened to my spouse in May 2010, approximately one year later, in June 2011, [his captor] started looking for me according to him because my ex-spouse put him in charge of telling [me] what had happened to him He told me many things related with acts of violence in the region and I knew from his own words that he was an assassin for the Zetas cartel, and as we built some trust, I asked him various things.- Complaint of wife of murdered Zeta, November 13, 2014, He told her how the Zetas had killed someones grandson, probably a reference to Mauricio Espinoza, whose grandmother, Elvira Espinoza, was one of the first to report disappearances in Allende. He went on to say that now that Mexico has reformed its National Security Law, authorities from the U.S. could find themselves connected to another massacre similar to the incident in Allende. 8 min de lectura. [H]e was telling me that he wanted to look for the Zetas to see what they were asking for the return of his family. The slowly unfolding investigation of the Allende massacre finally gained some momentum with the establishment of a special task force in 2014. (AP) MEXICO CITY -- Gunmen killed 15 people at a car wash . Authorities investigating the massacre reported numerous hijackings of passenger buses on Mexican Federal Highway 101 in San Fernando, and the kidnapped victims were . Following the title sequence is a short paragraph introducing the story of Allende, a Mexican border town unexpectedly overtaken by a powerful drug cartel that . One former police official who attended the meeting said that Trevio told them that things were going to get hot that there had been a meeting with Los Zetas and the mayor, and that things were going to get ugly., As a result of the meeting with the mayor and Los Zetas, Trevio ordered police personnel not to leave the offices for anything, even if there were reports. The officer said they were told that if we went out it was under our own risk, and that they would fucking get us.. 'Somos.', the fictionalized retelling of the massacre that took place in the town of Allende, is now streaming on Netflix (Netflix) 'Somos.', which began streaming on Netflix on June 30, may involve a fictionalized perspective of the victims of the shocking massacre that took place in the town of . Hit especially hard was the extended family of Jos Luis Garza Gaytn (also known as Junior and El Wichin). Witnesses Described Defendant's Participation in the 2011 Allende Massacre, Where Over 100 Men, Women, and Children Were Slaughtered by the Zetas Cartel PLANO, Texas - A Mexican national and high-ranking member of the Los Zetas cartel received a life sentence for drug trafficking violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting .  The CNDH report does not name any of the victims, perpetrators or other witnesses it cites. September 26, 2019, FiftyYears After Tlatelolco, Censoring the Mexican Archives: Mexico's "Dirty War" Files Withdrawn from Public Access In towns like Allende, Los Zetas relied mainly on local recruits and corrupt officials to protect their narcotics operations, shake down local businesses, and keep watch for rival gangs and other threats. Ten years ago, the Mexican municipality of Allende was the site of one of the worst human rights atrocities ever seen in the country:a three-day rampage that punctuateda larger wave of violencein which theLos Zetas criminal groupkidnapped, murdered, and later burned the bodies of as many as 300 victims, many of them from Allende but also from nearby towns like Villa Unin and Piedras Negras, a city 35 miles to the north that lies just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. The collection of testimonies found in the files of Coahuila state prosecutors depict a town almost completely beholden to the criminal groupfrom the mayors office to top police commanders to ordinary cops on the street. Ten years later, the case has wide-ranging implications after investigative reporting in the U.S. and Mexico have linked the massacre to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and top Mexican security institutions. In a country where more than 90% of crimes go unsolved, searching.