Cartels would have paid the agents to kill and kidnap the migrants on their way to the U.S. border.
The Attorney General’s Office of the Mexican state of Tamaulipas arrested twelve police officers for their alleged involvement in the murder of 19 migrants, whose bodies were found shot and burned near the U.S. border on January 22.
“The 12 officers in custody face charges of homicide, abuse of authority, and making false statements,” Tamaulipas’ Attorney General Irving Barrios said without informing the motive the policeman might have had.
Local outlets suggest cartels would have paid the agents to kill and kidnap the migrants. Police in border territories often accept bribes when the migrants’ smugglers owe money to the drug gangs.
The bodies were found piled in a charred pickup truck in Camargo City, across the Rio Grande River that divides Tamaulipas from Texas, U.S.
According to authorities, there is evidence that the crime scene was altered. The 113 bullets fired at the truck holding the bodies were not found.
“That truck was part of a larger convoy of vehicles transporting migrants to the US border,” Barrios informed, recalling that the vans were also carrying armed men to provide protection.
The Prosecutor’s Office noted contradictions between the police report and the 12 agents’ statements. It also found out that the van where the bodies were found belongs to the National Migration Institute.
Two Guatemalans and two Mexicans of the 19 victims have been identified so far. However, their names have not been released by officials yet.