No Justice For Small Towns Attacked By Mexican Cartel

A group of quiet small towns south of the Mexican border were attacked brutally by approximately 60 gunmen linked to the Zetas cartel, a violent group, in spring of 2011. They went about undergoing a door-to-door extermination campaign that continued for weeks and left an unknown number of people dead or missing. In the five years since the brutal slaughters in northern Mexico within the state of Coahuila, there has not been a full investigation or attempt by the government to seek to meet the needs of the victims and their families, as a preliminary report that was released Sunday by a panel of scholars and human rights investigators notes.

A human rights investigator who advised the panel, Mariclaire Acosta, spoke about terrible and “blatant” attacks which have gone unanswered for.

“It’s horrifying because it was all so blatant. This wasn’t a hidden crime. It all happened out in the open, and not one government agency did anything to stop it.”

As shocking as the crimes and the manner in which they were handled by the Mexican government seem, this type of violence has become quite normal in a nation where hundreds of thousands have been killed due to drug-related violence either by way of drug traffickers or corrupt officials. The Mexican government and justice system are often complicit and are not capable of fully investigating and bringing in the guilty parties.

Pro Publica shares how Mexican citizens are attempting to find ways to get to the truth of the ongoing violent crimes by the cartel.

“Sunday’s report suggests that Mexicans have begun to look for ways, at the very least, to get to the truth, rather than sitting idly and wait for justice from their government. They are increasingly calling for help from external experts, both at home and abroad, to oversee investigations into the most egregious crimes. And government leaders — who may or may not be committed to real reforms, but seem prickly about public opinion polls — are relenting.”

The experts that worked on the report stated that the focus was on giving answers, which may assist the families affected and finally allow the community to heal after so much bloodshed. The report also urges the government to apologize to citizens for leaving communities, such as the ones in Coahuila, so unprotected. The publication relays details from the report in regard to this.

“The victims, their relatives and society have the right to know what happened and to be treated with dignity. Until now, the term that best describes victim’s experiences is abandonment.”

The report that was released Sunday also links the crimes and violence that grip Mexico with the United States. The link involves the attack in 2011 which was begun by the leaders of Zetas cartel when they discovered that they had been betrayed by their own. They sent henchmen to Allende and additional communities surrounding the town to get revenge on the traitors, as well as anyone related to them. Being so close to the American border, a number of victims’ fled to seek safety in the United States. American authorities offered protection to a few of the traffickers in exchange for cooperation and information, yet the report states that the U.S. authorities have refused to share what they know about the deadly attacks.

The report implicates United States authorities in assisting to keep the truth from the victims and their families.

“The opacity of the United States obstructs the truth,” the report found.

It called the massacre an example of “bi-national criminal violence” and added that American authorities “hold important information for understanding what happened in Mexico.”

[Featured Image by John Moore/Getty Images]