February 8, 2014
The remains of at least 500 people have been found in just 10 days in which an operation started searching for missing people of at least 11 municipalities of northern Coahuila.
The Assistant Attorney General for The Investigation and Search of Missing Persons in Coahuila (Subprocuraduría para la Investigación y Búsqueda de Personas no Localizadas de Coahuila), Juan José Yáñez Arreola, reported that the remains of around 500 people were found in northern Coahuila.
“The majority of the remains are nearly whole bone units, some of them were found burnt because someone had tried to disintegrate them by incineration”, reported Yáñez Arreola to the newspaper El Siglo de Torreón.
Among the remains, skulls, bones, and charred barrels were found. The barrels were used to dissolve the bodies, of which only fragments were found.
Yáñez Arreola stated that the remains will be analyzed by forensics experts and that the DNA results of the bones will take four months and later be compared to those with missing persons cases.
The human remains were found in various narco ranches and farms in the municipalities of Zaragoza, Allende, Acuña, Piedras Negras, Guerrero, Monclova, Morelos, Jiménez, Hidalgo, Villa Unión and Nava.
The search was part of a macro operation in which more than 250 military troops, federal police, and state security corporations, the support of a helicopter, four dogs, and specialized radars to detect bodies up to eight feet under were used. The team was responsible for looking for more than 300 missing persons.
The investigations included 20 statements of former officials who were summoned to testify about the disappearances of people in the northern part of the state. Former mayors and police chiefs of the 11 municipalities mentioned came to testify.
The majority of the 300 people who were being sought for by the authorities disappeared in 2011 in the municipalities of Allende and Nava, in the region of Cinco Manantiales (Five Springs), when an organized crime group kidnapped around 80 families.
According to eyewitnesses, on that occasion, members of Los Zetas took the towns of Allende and Nava and destroyed dozens of homes, where they used heavy machinery.
More accurate data on the tragedy was revealed by Mario Alfonso, “Poncho” Cuéllar, accountant of Los Zetas, and his accomplice Héctor Moreno, during the trial that followed against José Treviño Morales, brother of Miguel Ángel, “Z40”, in Austin, Texas.
The accountant and the head of drug trafficking in Piedras Negras pointed out to U.S. prosecutors that they smuggled between 500 and 800 kilos of cocaine per month, generating revenues of approximately $16 million.
The money, he said, was sent to Mexico in airtight plastic bags hiding in the fuel tanks of vehicles. On one occasion, he added, United States agents seized $800,000.
According to Héctor Moreno, in 2011, Miguel Ángel Treviño and his brother Omar, “Z-42”, accused him and Cuéllar of passing information to the DEA. After that, they determined to escape with about $5 million, which angered “Z-40” and “Z-42”.
The bosses warned them that if they didn’t return the money they would kill all of their family and friends.
The threat was carried out.
At that time, dozens of gunmen arrived at Allende and Nava in search of family, friends, and acquaintances of Cuéllar and Moreno. With heavy machinery, they destroyed around 80 houses and took at least 80 families; they took advantage of holding the municipalities for rape, blackmail, murder, and to steal properties from entrepreneurs and farmers.
“They started killing the families belonging to Allende, Piedras Negras, Múzquiz, Sabinas…Because of this, they killed 200-300 people in Allende, Coahuila”, said Moreno.