HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Arrests 'Coyote' Linked to Tamaulipas Migrant Massacre
BRIEF

El Salvador Arrests 'Coyote' Linked to Tamaulipas Migrant Massacre

EL SALVADOR / 13 APR 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

El Salvador has announced the arrest of an alleged migrant smuggler who is accused of handing over a group of migrants who were murdered by the Zetas drug gang in Tamaulipas, Mexico, in 2010.

Carlos Arnoldo Ventura Castillo was arrested Sunday in San Salvador, more than a year after the attorney general issued an order for his arrest.

In August 2010, the bodies of 72 migrants from Central America, Ecuador and Brazil were found on a ranch in Tamaulipas. They had been traveling in a group to try to cross the border into the US, but had fallen into the hands of the Zetas drug gang who killed them execution-style, leaving few survivors, for reasons that remain unclear.

According to a press release from the attorney general’s office, Ventura is suspected of having been a key member in the smuggling organization that was hired to guide the group through Mexico to the United States. It is not clear if the smugglers delivered the migrants into the hands of the Zetas for payment, or whether they were coerced.

Ventura is the fifth person to be arrested over the case. Three more people are wanted in connection with the incident, including Jose Maria Negreros Sermeno, who is suspected of heading a trafficking ring in Guatemala.

InSight Crime Analysis

The apprehension of the suspected "coyote" could bring the authorities closer to understanding the Tamaulipas massacre. There is still no clear explanation for the killings, and many facts about the case remain unclear, including how many of the migrant group survived. One theory is that the Zetas may have thought the migrants were soldiers for a rival organization, but since the group included women and were foreigners, this is dubious.

Thousands of migrants are kidnapped in Mexico each year, according to a report by the country's National Human Rights Commission.

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

EL SALVADOR / 19 FEB 2018

Two months after a scandal over the abduction of a police officer by members of her own elite unit, El…

EL SALVADOR / 26 NOV 2015

The arrest of 12 judicial officials, accused of pilfering hundreds of thousands of dollars from criminal proceedings, highlights the urgent…

CHEPE DIABLO / 5 APR 2017

El Salvador's Attorney General's Office arrested José Adán Salazar Umaña, alias "Chepe Diablo," the alleged leader of the Texis Cartel,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…

THE ORGANIZATION

Coverage of Fallen Paraguay Prosecutor Makes Headlines

20 MAY 2022

The murder of leading anti-crime prosecutor, Marcelo Pecci, while on honeymoon in Colombia, has drawn attention to the evolution of organized crime in Paraguay. While 17 people have been arrested…