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Finally a memorial for those dissolved by acid in Tijuana

Push-back against early release of El Pozolero

"My name is Deut Favian Perez Barraza. I was a victim of a forced disappearance June 11, 2008. Until today my mother looks for me. I ask for my return home." - Image by Crisstian Villicana
"My name is Deut Favian Perez Barraza. I was a victim of a forced disappearance June 11, 2008. Until today my mother looks for me. I ask for my return home."

February 4 marked the 13th anniversary of the detention of El Pozolero (Ignacio Meza), a construction worker who used acid to dissolve more than 300 bodies for the Arellano Felix Cartel in Tijuana. (Pozolero means someone who cooks pozole, a Mexican stew.)

The collective Unidos por los Desaparecios de Baja California gathers in the lot called La Gallera, where they come to pray at a memorial for the missing.

La Gallera is in the Ejido Ojo de Agua close to Maclovio Rojas neighborhood, about 45 km east of downtown on Highway 2 to Tecate.

They think there are more than the 300 victims the government says are buried here. Fernando Oceguera, the director of Unidos por los Desaparecidos, says that numbers could be up to 1200 bodies. Between 2006 and 2009, when the Arellano Felix’s Cartel controlled Tijuana’s drug trafficking El Pozolero was paid $600 USD weekly, according to authorities.

Oceguera’s son disappeared in 2007 when the federal government's war on drugs escalated and violence increased drastically. Although he hasn’t found his son, he’s not giving hope. Since then, Oceguera and other members of the collective had focusing their life looking for their loved ones, and the idea of doing a memorial in La Gallera will give thousands of families a place to pray.

“We had the chance to sensitize neighbors around about what happened in La Gallera end, they gave us permission to take care of the lot. “Without a body, we have no grave. For instance, in Dia de los Muertos they have no place to bring flowers, candles, or pray. That’s the idea.”

"You are not alone, sister. We are looking for you."

It was not until Oceguera reached out the Baja California’s governor at that time, Francisco Vega, who recognized them as the new owners of the lot.

“We had it to knock so many doors to get donations and make it real. Now with an investment of 3 million pesos (approximately $145,000), it’s becoming real.” This April the Victims Memorial will be official.

Oceguera argues that the crime committed in La Gallera is one of the most horrible atrocities in Mexico since the war on drugs policy started in 2006.

Last week Oceguera and the collective received information that El Pozolero could be released this year. He went to Mexico City to pressure the prosecutors office for organized crime not to let Santiago Meza's sentence be reduced. El Pozolero has still half of his sentence to complete.

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"My name is Deut Favian Perez Barraza. I was a victim of a forced disappearance June 11, 2008. Until today my mother looks for me. I ask for my return home." - Image by Crisstian Villicana
"My name is Deut Favian Perez Barraza. I was a victim of a forced disappearance June 11, 2008. Until today my mother looks for me. I ask for my return home."

February 4 marked the 13th anniversary of the detention of El Pozolero (Ignacio Meza), a construction worker who used acid to dissolve more than 300 bodies for the Arellano Felix Cartel in Tijuana. (Pozolero means someone who cooks pozole, a Mexican stew.)

The collective Unidos por los Desaparecios de Baja California gathers in the lot called La Gallera, where they come to pray at a memorial for the missing.

La Gallera is in the Ejido Ojo de Agua close to Maclovio Rojas neighborhood, about 45 km east of downtown on Highway 2 to Tecate.

They think there are more than the 300 victims the government says are buried here. Fernando Oceguera, the director of Unidos por los Desaparecidos, says that numbers could be up to 1200 bodies. Between 2006 and 2009, when the Arellano Felix’s Cartel controlled Tijuana’s drug trafficking El Pozolero was paid $600 USD weekly, according to authorities.

Oceguera’s son disappeared in 2007 when the federal government's war on drugs escalated and violence increased drastically. Although he hasn’t found his son, he’s not giving hope. Since then, Oceguera and other members of the collective had focusing their life looking for their loved ones, and the idea of doing a memorial in La Gallera will give thousands of families a place to pray.

“We had the chance to sensitize neighbors around about what happened in La Gallera end, they gave us permission to take care of the lot. “Without a body, we have no grave. For instance, in Dia de los Muertos they have no place to bring flowers, candles, or pray. That’s the idea.”

"You are not alone, sister. We are looking for you."

It was not until Oceguera reached out the Baja California’s governor at that time, Francisco Vega, who recognized them as the new owners of the lot.

“We had it to knock so many doors to get donations and make it real. Now with an investment of 3 million pesos (approximately $145,000), it’s becoming real.” This April the Victims Memorial will be official.

Oceguera argues that the crime committed in La Gallera is one of the most horrible atrocities in Mexico since the war on drugs policy started in 2006.

Last week Oceguera and the collective received information that El Pozolero could be released this year. He went to Mexico City to pressure the prosecutors office for organized crime not to let Santiago Meza's sentence be reduced. El Pozolero has still half of his sentence to complete.

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