Second survivor confirmed in migrant massacre as Latin America mourns
Authorities in Mexico have confirmed that a second person -- a Honduran citizen -- survived the massacre of 72 migrants last week in the state of Tamaulipas, but the man's identity and location are being closely guarded to protect his safety. The revelation came Wednesday, after Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa mentioned another survivor and his nationality, prompting the Honduran government to chastise Correa for releasing the information.
"There's no name for what happened in Mexico last week," Correa said, according to Agence France-Presse.
The investigation is delicate because of the international nature of the incident and because survivors of major crimes in Mexico are often at risk for reprisal violence. An investigator in Tamaulipas has already been reported missing. Fifty-eight men and 14 women from several Central and South American countries were killed execution-style near the town of San Fernando after refusing to work for the ruthless Zetas gang, the Ecuadoran survivor told authorities. Luis Freddy Lala Pomavilla, 18, was repatriated to Ecuador on Sunday and will be placed in a witness protection program.
Some of the bodies were moved to a morgue in Mexico City on Wednesday as the process to identify the remains continued. Those identified so far include 16 Hondurans, 13 Salvadorans, five Guatemalans and one Brazilian. Families seeking information on missing loved ones are crowding outside embassies and foreign offices in their home countries. Many are in mourning for victims of an incident that highlights the extreme risks that migrants undertake as they cross Mexico to seek better lives in the United States. Look for our upcoming special report from El Salvador.
"I haven't heard anything from him in a week. The last time we talked he was in Tamaulipas," one woman in San Salvador said of a loved one who went missing, according to MSNBC. "Some men called and asked for $400, and I sent it."
-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City
Photo: Workers begin examining the bodies of migrants killed in Tamaulipas at a morgue in Mexico City. Credit: Fernando Antonio / Associated Press