HomeNewsBriefDisappearance Statistics Highlight Turmoil in Tamaulipas, Mexico
BRIEF

Disappearance Statistics Highlight Turmoil in Tamaulipas, Mexico

HUMAN TRAFFICKING / 3 AUG 2016 BY LUIS FERNANDO ALONSO EN

Tamaulipas has some of the highest missing persons rates in Mexico due to major migrant routes that traverse the border state and an ongoing territorial battle between the Zetas and Gulf Cartel organized crime groups.

Data released by Mexico's National Security System (Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública) show that Tamaulipas has the highest number of reported disappearances of any Mexican state with 5,583 missing persons. Following Tamaulipas were the states of Mexico state and Jalisco, with 2,830 and 2,390 disappearances respectively.

A small percentages of cases are reported to federal courts, which provide a breakdown of disappearances by nationality as well as location. Tamaulipas accounts for the third highest number of those cases, with 149, behind the states of Guerrero, with 273, and Veracruz, with 190. The data represents the number of disappearances brought before state and federal courts up to April 30, 2016.

A majority of the missing persons reported are Mexican, but there is a significant number of missing persons from various other nations. Federal court filings include reports of missing people from nations as varied as Poland and India. In Tamaulipas, the federal court system reported missing persons from Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, Honduras, the United States and Peru. The publicly available data can be downloaded here.

InSight Crime Analysis

The high number of missing persons in Tamaulipas is disturbing, but unsurprising. Given that the state is both a major route for migrant traffic heading to the United States and a key battleground between two organized crime groups, the number of people who have gone missing in Tamaulipas could possibly be much higher than the cases reported to state and federal officials.

    SEE ALSO: Mexico News and Profiles

Currently, both the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel are vying for control of Tamaulipas. The Zetas, who in 2014 operated in 5 federal jurisdictions, are now only present in Tamaulipas according to a government assessment, and the Gulf Cartel is reportedly contesting their control.

Migration through Tamaulipas has long been dangerous, with multiple actors taking advantage of migrants. The issue made international news in 2010 with the infamous "San Fernando Massacre" of 72 migrants. As the Mexican government continues to crack down on migration in coordination with United States policy, migrants are being further squeezed by criminal actors.

As long as Tamaulipas remains both a contested territory for highly aggressive organized crime groups and a major migration route, the number of disappearances will remain high.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

GULF CARTEL / 15 MAR 2022

Mexican armed forces have captured the reported leader of the feared Northeast Cartel, but this arrest may only stoke further…

CHAPITOS / 3 NOV 2022

In Sinaloa, Mexico, chemicals used for methamphetamine production are damaging the environment and, it appears, the health of locals.

COCAINE / 17 FEB 2022

The discovery of two bodies hanging from a bridge in Ecuador may be the starkest sign yet of the country’s…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…