MEXICO: 72 Migrantes


Award-winning journalist Alma Guillermoprieto describes the process of creating a website to memorialize the 72 migrants who were murdered in Tamaulipas in 2010.

In August of 2010, in the northern state of Tamaulipas, some 100 miles from the U.S. border, the bodies of 72 undocumented migrants were discovered. Most had their hands tied behind their backs and had received a bullet to the head. They had been killed in the preceding 24 hours — that much we know thanks to a young Ecuadorean who survived the massacre — but almost every other fact about them was a mystery. No independent organization or journalist was allowed to interview the survivor before he was flown out of the country by the Ecuadorean government, but according to the account provided by the authorities, members of the notorious drug-trafficking group, the Zetas, herded all the victims off a bus traveling to the United States on August 22nd or 23rd, took them to an abandoned ranch on the outskirts of the town of San Fernando and asked them to join their group as henchmen. When the group unanimously refused, they were shot. It remains an uncorroborated story.

Alma Guillermoprieto
Publication date: 
August 18, 2011
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article