Veracruz: Mexico’s Cartels War Zone


The Mexican coastal state of Veracruz has long been covered in the blood of homicide victims amid ongoing tension and wars between cartels.

Marcela Zurita, a resident, has been digging numerous wells in the past three years in search of her missing son’s body. Her 30-year-old son, Dorian, disappeared six years ago. She has taken it upon herself to clear wells in hopes of finding her son’s body. She has since found more than 100 mass graves—none of them Dorian’s.

The wells are infamous body dumping grounds for the Mexican drug cartels. Local authorities hadn’t shown much effort in trying to locate or investigate cases. Most victims are never found.

In May 2018, over 93 people were murdered each day, with the death toll reaching 2,890 by the end of the month. It was the bloodiest month ever recorded since the Mexcian government began releasing homicide data in 1998.

The government deployed military forces to combat the rising crime. Authorities were also sent out to investigate the killings, some of which were committed by the very people investigating.

Twelve-year-old Jesús Ruiz grieves as he stands before the coffin containing the remains of his father, Mexican journalist Jorge Celestino Ruiz Vazquez, in Actopan, Veracruz, on Aug. 3. The Committee to Protect Journalists said Ruiz Vazquez was the third journalist killed in a single week in Mexico. Felix Marquez/AP

‘Killed in Broad Daylight’

Local journalists continuously expose numbers of murder cases in the country. The number of those working in Veracruz, however, is dwindling.

Veracruz is considered the deadliest place to be a journalist. In 2019, more than 12 reporters were found killed. Some were stabbed, while others were shot in broad daylight.

Victor Fernando Alvarez, a Mexican journalist, was found Saturday after disappearing on April 2. On March 30, a female reporter named Maria Elena Ferral was shot while leaving a public notary office. She was hit at least eight times before the culprits drove away.

Threatening and killing journalists in Veracruz became a common occurrence. Reporters often reveal receiving death threats from high-ranking political figures. Many are kidnapped without ransom. Some of the missing who turn up bear signs of torture before ultimately getting killed.

An estimated 99% of homicide cases involving reporters go unpunished. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador vowed to combat violence in Mexico when he came into office. However, he is often recorded criticizing media, calling it a weapon for the opposition—a statement mimicked by state and local government officials.

Source: Latin Post

The Mazatlan Post