Mexico Fires 7 Immigration Officials; More Decapitated Bodies Found In Durango
May 13, 2011 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — Mexican authorities fired seven high-ranking officials from the country’s national immigration agency Thursday, following a wider effort to clean up the government branch, according to the agency’s latest bulletin.
The fired officials headed the agency’s operations in the seven Mexican states that migrants most frequently transit on their way the United States.
The states include Tamaulipas along the US-Mexican border, where a group of kidnapped migrants accused immigration agents this week of putting them in the hands of local criminal gangs.
Migrants who cross Mexico to reach the United States have faced increasing levels of violence in recent years. In April of this year, authorities dug 196 bodies out of clandestine graves in the state, though to have been pulled off buses and killed by the Zetas drug gang.
In August 2010, the corpses of 72 Central and South American migrants were found in a ranch outside the city of San Fernando, also allegedly massacred by the Zetas.
The same day the top-ranking immigration officials were fired, eight decapitated were found in the northern state of Durango, dumped on the side of the road. One of the bodies was identified as Gerardo Galindo Meza, who was the deputy director of a city prison and had been kidnapped on Monday.
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Mexican businessman Ricardo Salinas Pliego is optimistic about the prospects for mobile phone company competing with Carlos Slim’s company.
- Republican Subcommittee Chairman Michael McCaul disputed Wednesday a statement by Homeland Security Department Secretary Janet Napolitano that security along the U.S. border with Mexico is better than ever before.
- A forensic doctor and relatives of a Cuban dissident who died were quoted in the official Granma newspaper Thursday as saying that he never complained of any police beating, showed no bruises and died of natural causes.
- Black Cubans, already with the worst jobs and lowest salaries, will need affirmative action as the government tries to slash its inflated payrolls, a black Havana economist and former Communist Party member wrote Wednesday.
- Honduran authorities say six suspected drug traffickers were shot dead in a gun battle with police.
- Venezuelan authorities captured a French fugitive who is wanted on kidnapping and extortion charges.
- Cementos Argos, Colombia’s largest cement company, is doubling down its bets on the U.S. construction industry, announcing Thursday a $760 million purchase of several cement plants in South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia.
- President Rafael Correa said Thursday that legislators could be removed from office if they don’t approve laws to implement the results of Saturday’s referendum.
- An 18th-century manuscript, pottery dating to AD 300 and other smuggled artifacts were returned to Peru by U.S. Customs officials on Thursday.
- Authorities say a 10-year-old boy who ran away from home in Bolivia to find his mother ended up in Chile.
- Brazil agreed to triple the amount of money it pays Paraguay for excess energy from the Itaipú Dam, located on the border of the two countries.
Oil refinery workers in Argentina agreed to halt their nationwide strike for 24 hours to resolve a pay dispute.
- Argentina’s National University of La Plata will aid NASA in constructing a satellite to monitor climate change.
- Chilean miner Jose Ojeda, who attached a note to a probe sent to rescue him and his 32 colleagues trapped in a mine last year, says he wants President Sebastian Piñera to give him back the note.
Image: Iván Cabrera @ Flickr.