Police Torture Victims File Complaint (El Sol de Tijuana, 10/23/12)

Ciudad Mexico – Victims from Arteaga, Cherán and Tiripetio accompanied by Union of Democratic Lawyers (UAD), fearfully filed criminal complaints with the Attorney General's Office, against elements of Federal and Local police who took part in operations at normal schools at those locations.

According to the complainants, the victims were subjected to criminal acts such as torture, abuse of authority and arbitrary detentions that kept them incommunicado. The lawyers who provided legal representation of the aggrieved, warned that the complaint has been filed the Public Ministry of the Federation with case number AP/PGR/MICH/M-II/1166 preliminary/2012.

Also reported was the existence of more than 30 victims of psychological and physical torture, "In some cases they received electrical shock, at the hands of the federal police within the premises of the Prosecutor of Michoacan and even in the presence of members of the Commission on Human Rights of that entity”, they stressed.

Regarding the latter, they said the submitted complaint should continue forward so that charges are removed against the accused by the CDHEM. However, despite there are nearly 40 victims of torture, only nine came to complain to the Attorney General, "since the rest are afraid of reprisals by the State and Federal Governments". http://www.oem.com.mx/elsoldetijuana/notas/n2743766.htm

Caravan of Mothers Seek Missing Migrants (El Sol de Tijuana, 10/23/12)

General Escobedo, Nuevo Leon - Anxious until the bus stops and ready for exit, they carry banners of the Central American countries where they come from. Around their necks hang laminated photos of their missing loved ones. They encounter a group of photographers, full of hope, confident that there will be tracks that will finally allow them to leave behind years of uncertainty and despair. Perhaps someone saw a son or father who disappeared while trying to get to United States in search of work. Or learn that a daughter is well.

"The goal is to come to look for them. That is the intention of all the mothers who have come in the caravan, to get the Government to help us," said Virginia Olcot, who has no news of her husband since September 2009, since arrived in Sonora on the border of Mexico and United States. It was the third time these women came on this caravan from Central American spending six years touring Mexico in search of missing relatives when they went to United States. Even if they do not find their loved ones, they are comforted by generating interest in the torture of migrants missing in Mexico.

The organization that sponsors the trips reports about 70,000 Central American migrants have disappeared in the past six years, according to calculations in collected reports from independent groups. Some have been found in the most cruel circumstances: hundreds of potential migrants were found killed in the community of San Fernando in the northeastern State of Tamaulipas that borders the United States: first it was 72 dead, mostly Central Americans massacred on a farm in 2010, and nearly 200 bodies, some Mexicans, found in clandestine graves about six months later.

Extortion of migrant families is common since the organized crime business of transporting these people to the North in recent years has fallen. The los Zetas Cartel in particular, specializes in holding migrants in houses at the border and threatens to kill them if their families do not pay ransoms. It is believed that many migrants were forced to work for the Zetas or others and were killed by refusing to do so.

This year, 38 women, mostly Hondurans, El Salvadorans, Guatemalans and Nicaraguans will travel 4,600 kilometers (2,800 miles) in 14 Mexican States, starting from the Guatemala border to Reynosa, one of the main entry ports to the United States, on the Texas border. During their journey they stop at festivals and Catholic masses to meet organizations that defend human rights and missing persons. They visit migrant shelters, patiently interview and show pictures of their loved ones to people who might have seen them, telling their sad stories in each city where they stop.

The initiative paid dividends to Olga Marina Hernandez, 52, a Honduran who came last year in search of her son Gabriel Hernández Salmerón, 31, who had not had news since he left his country five years ago.

A local newspaper published the photo of the young man, which was seen by the girlfriend of the Honduran, who got in touch with the caravan. A few weeks after her return to Honduras, Hernandez received a call from her son, who had studied to be evangelical preacher in General Escobedo, a poor suburb of Monterrey, after recovering from an addiction to drugs. "I am now glad because I am not going to continue to think about that where he is, wondering if he was killed", said the woman.

The caravan, this year, made the meeting of five families possible. Since these caravans began six years ago, hundreds of families have found loved ones who had no news. Last year, the German organization Medico International, a nonprofit began funding the caravan, which allows it to cover a longer distance and includes a visit to San Fernando, where the bodies of many migrants were found. The caravan now has two buses involved in the display of identifying posters that are escorted by police.

The caravan not only helps families reconnect, but also trys to place pressure on Governments to change their immigration policies, said Martha Sánchez Soler, Coordinator of the Mesoamerican migrant movement, which organizes these campaigns. "The fight against drug trafficking is not working and turns migrants into goods for organized crime," said Sanchez. "In fact, what the Governments of the United States and Mexico did was give the administration of migrant groups to the criminals." http://www.oem.com.mx/elsoldetijuana/notas/n2743588.htm

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