Translated by Jesús Ronquillo / Circuito Frontera
The migrant population is one of the most vulnerable communities, as their transit through different cities, states and even countries has made them victims of different crimes. In Ciudad Juarez they are the main “target” in the crime of kidnapping.
So far this year alone, approximately 40 migrant victims of kidnapping have been registered on this border, according to data from the justice table of security in Ciudad Juarez.
However, these are only the cases reported to the corresponding authorities, since many of the cases are not reported.
Meanwhile, according to information requested for transparency by Circuito Frontera, in 2022 there were 13 cases of kidnapping of migrants in the state, of which one corresponds to the municipality of Jiménez and 12 to Ciudad Juárez.
Of these cases, five of the complainants were from Guatemala, five from Honduras and three from El Salvador, according to the State Attorney General’s Office (Fiscalía General del Estado FGE).
From January to April 2023, six cases of the same crime were registered, one in January and five more in April.
In addition to these cases, there is a last complaint for events that occurred on May 9, where two men and a woman were kidnapped by Municipal Police officers, who held them captive for 12 days.
In this regard, Guillermo Asiaín Aguilar, member of the justice table of security in Ciudad Juárez, pointed out that, of the cases registered on this border for the crime of kidnapping, 9 out of 10, the victims are migrants.
Ángela Sánchez Miramontes, also a member of the civil organization, pointed out that there are 40 victims in 9 kidnappings reported by the authorities on this border so far in 2023.
“There are nine kidnappings accumulated so far this year, from January to May, and there are approximately 40 victims. All migrants. There has not been any kidnappings of businessmen as in the past. Now, all the (kidnapping cases) there are, have been of migrants”.
He mentioned that in terms of registered crimes against the migrant community it is very complicated to measure, because not even the authorities themselves have the record.
“Neither Municipal nor State Public Security nor Prosecutor’s Offices have a record of the nationality, nor of the victims, nor of the perpetrators of what arrives. So this is a very big area of opportunity, because even statistically it is very important to measure, if indeed, people in mobility are really causing a detonation or impact on the crime rate”.
Asiaín Aguilar added that they have no record of other types of crimes committed against the migrant population, although they don’t rule out the existence of such crimes.
“We have no complaints, but we do not doubt that they exist. Right now the migrant community, I insist, it’s very complicated to identify the problem due to the situation of the context, where they are (…) So, we do not doubt that they área being victims of different crimes, what we do know is that it is very complicated to prove it. Even to follow it up”, he said.
Municipal Police: alleged kidnappers
Through a press release, the FGE announced that two Municipal Police officers, identified as Saulo D. G and Juan Manuel R. I, were brought to trial for allegedly committing the crime of aggravated kidnapping.
It was informed that the arrest was made with the collaboration of the Public Security Secretary of Ciudad Juarez, and that once the two were charged, a Control Judge ordered them to remain in custody.
According to the narrative of the facts presented in the statement, on May 9, 2023, the victims arrived at ciudad Juárez airport from México city
At approximately 6 p.m. where a driver of the Uber platform was waiting for them and while driving along Sanders Avenue, inside a parking lot, they were intercepted by a crew in a pick up truck.
Two men got out of the vehicle, one identified as Saulo D. G., and took the victims to an address in Ciudad Juarez, where they were met by Juan Manuel R. I., who asked them for the phone numbers of their relatives in the United States.
The victims were threatened with a short weapon and then taken to various local homes, where they were kept deprived of their freedom for 12 days.
During this period, the victims were permanently guarded, threatened and beaten by other participants, who forced them to communicate with their relatives to demand the amount of 30 thousand dollars.
In a hearing held on Tuesday, June 13, after hearing the logical-legal arguments of the prosecution, arguments of the defense and their replies, the Control Judge ordered the indictment for the crime of Aggravated Kidnapping, as established in Articles 9, Section I, paragraph a), in relation to Article 10, Section I, paragraphs b) and c), as well as Section II, paragraph b), granting a term of six months for the closing of the investigation.
However, it should be noted that, according to the laws and regulations in force, the accused are presumed innocent until their responsibility is declared by means of a sentence issued by the judicial authority (Article 13 of the National Code of Criminal Procedures).
What does the Municipal Police say about this?
Regarding this case, the Secretary of Municipal Public Security, Cesar Omar Muñoz Morales, indicated that the police officers were immediately dismissed from the corporation, and that only one of them was on active duty.
Also, the Municipal Police participated in the arrest of the agents, and will be watching the results of the confidence tests of the officers of the corporation.
However, he clarified that these exams are applied by state authorities, although psychological tests are applied internally.
“Internally, we carry out several evaluations, including psychological evaluations. We are working on the psychological-mental issue of the elements. We also evaluate their skills and abilities year after year”, he added.
He was asked about other elements dismissed for not complying with the confidence test requirement, to which he replied that there were, although he did not specify how many.