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Survivor of migrant massacre returns to Ecuador

Segob interior ecuador migrant return

The sole survivor of last week's massacre of 72 migrants in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas has refused a humanitarian visa from Mexico and returned to his native Ecuador, officials in Mexico said Monday (link in Spanish).

Luis Freddy Lala Pomavilla, 18, was recovering under heavy guard after the massacre, in which suspected gunmen with the Zetas criminal organization captured, blindfolded and killed the migrants execution-style. Reports said the migrants had refused to pay ransom or work as drug runners for the Zetas. Lala managed to survive a bullet wound and escaped.

The massacre has become an international incident. When the citizenship of the survivor was discovered, Ecuador immediately requested that Lala receive extra protection while he recovered; witnesses or survivors to major crimes in Mexico often are hunted down later and killed (link in Spanish). Four countries have sent consular representatives to Tamaulipas to help identify the victims. Thirty-four of those have been identified so far: 16 Hondurans, 12 Salvadorans, five Guatemalans and one Brazilian.

Lala, the survivor, returned to Ecuador on Sunday night after Mexican diplomats turned him over to their Ecuadoran counterparts at a military hangar at Mexico City's international airport, Mexico's Interior Ministry said in a statement. In images posted with the official report, the faces of the survivor, doctors and military personnel are blurred to conceal their identities.

The massacre highlights the risks and dangers that Central and South American migrants face as they travel to the United States through Mexico, where their path increasingly intersects with the brutal warfare associated with the drug trade. A group of migrants from several countries reportedly demonstrated Saturday against the violence in the city of Saltillo, in Coahuila state.

Violence continues unabated in Tamaulipas. On Friday, car bombs went off at a Televisa station in Ciudad Victoria and outside a police station in San Fernando, the town where the bodies were discovered, and a top investigator into the migrant massacre was reported missing. On Sunday, a mayor in Tamaulipas was shot to death.

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Photo: The survivor of last week's migrant massacre in Tamaulipas is loaded onto a flight to his native Ecuador. Credit: Secretaria de Gobernacion, Mexico

Comments () | Archives (10)

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Let's not forget one thing: the Bush family is not only intimately tied with international drug smuggling, but has profited from such operations for decades. This is NO secret -- read the many available books on the subject. It would not surprise me one bit if the Bush Cartel had staged this massacre as a 'red flag' catastrophe in order to subplant another easy-to-hate 'face' on drug smuggling operations they themselves are involved with. And why not? The whole world already practically hates all things Mexican -- so this is perfect timing.

The Lap Dog Media is feeding you this crap in order to obfuscate the true facts. Right before midterm elections, this event plays right into the hands of the get-tough-on-immigration politicos who will only squeeze political gain from this.

72 lives mean nothing to them. YOUR FEAR, HOWEVER, IS VERY VALUABLE!

Yes -- this atrocity is horrible, and I feel for the victims. I am human. But besides emotions, I also have a brain -- and I smell 'political timing' on this one -- regardless of the tragedy.

C'mon people. Walk up. Look closer.....

I am astounded that the LA times and journalist of this article would not clearly see the danger in posting this young man's full name and almost in the same breath report that his identity was requested to be kept concealed by the Ecuadoran govt as a witness protection standard. Do journalists even have to read their own articles anymore??? Shameful!

What has the United Nations going to do? This is a global problem, not just a Mexican problem! The UN needs to step in in send in some peace keepping forces.

How can Mexican authorities ask This Men to show his Immigration Status after criticizing Arizona for doing the same? BOYCOTT Mexico!!!

What needs to be done is to execute the immediate family (mother , father, brothers, sisters, wife, children of any cartel gang member convicted or killed in the course of a drug or human trafficking related crime..

Mexicans are VERY family oriented, and their families know what kind of occupation they have. The threat of having their whole family wiped out along with the peer pressure from the family would prevent them from becoming involved with the cartels in the first place.

So not even fill the jails, just execute them. Mexicans are also very heavily Roman Catholic, so another thing to do is to refuse them a proper burial. Sentence them to Hell and throw them into a big fire pit in the Mexico City dump instead of giving them the respect of a proper burial.

Ret SFC........I concur.

Its so hypocritical of President Calderon to request of the U.S protection of Mexican Immigrants that come to or are in the U.S, but immigrants from Central America into Mexico are constantly being murdered and raped and pillaged by bands of thieves and corrupt officials.

Central American Immigrants into Mexico are treated like dirt , and some times shot at first sight at Mexico's southern border. Yet no one in the Mexican government will acknowledge this problem .

Where is their protection in Mexico?
What a country full of hypocrites !
Starting with their weak president !Ugh !

I think for safety reasons the article should omit the name of the survivor of this massacre, many authorities in Mexico and Ecuador had asked to keep that information confidential. Don't you know what are the Mexican cartels capable of? As soon as they find out where this kid is they will make sure he goes back to sleep for eternity.

You know, given how many relatives of Mexican-American soldiers are at risk in Mexico, and given the level of expertise we have aquired in places most don't care about, how about sending two Mechanized Combat brigades down there, use the intel we have and wipe these scum off the face of the earth. They are real good at picking off lone Mayors, Lawmen,Journos and innocents; how about trying on a REAL Army who will tear them a new one and clean out this nest of vipers. I think the Zetas and the drug cartel would look real good in body bags.

How can there be no comment on such a thing ? I am so very sorry for the young man, that is too much for any human being to have to live through.


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Ken Ellingwood
Daniel Hernandez
Efrain Hernandez Jr.
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Richard Marosi
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