This is a source for analysis, interviews, and commentary on security in Latin America. Herein you will find rumors, the results of off the record interviews, and information you'll not find in international or United States news media.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Torture and human trafficking in Reynosa

Based on an informant's tip, Mexican soldiers kicked in the door at a house in Reynosa, Tamaulipas on 28 March. They found 55 immigrant hostages huddled together. The smell of urine mixed with screams as the heavily armed men barged in.

Blood splattered the walls and floor in one room used for torture. The culprit: a 2x4 spiked with nails used to beat and punish the immigrants as they waited for their family members in the US to pay the ransom: US$3,000 a head.

The leader - allegedly the son of a local police agent - and four others were arrested. After handcuffing the leader, he was hooded and pushed into a bathroom, where two soldiers allegedly filled a bucket of water and used a near drowning technique to force him to reveal the location of two other such houses.

This bust and the following reporting surfaced worries about human rights abuses among soldiers with the Mexican army. Through their work, however, we continue to receive proof that the Gulf Cartel - solidly in control in Tamaulipas - continues to operate human trafficking networks.

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