Local immigrant activist in Tenosique debating whether to leave the area for his safety after three members of a local criminal organization were set free by the Tabasco's Attorney General's Office for lack of complainants.
By H. Nelson Goodson
June 11, 2013
Tenosique, Tabasco, Mexico - On Monday, Rubén Figueroa, from the Mesoamerican Migrant Movement organization and aid to Franciscan Priest Tomás González Castillo, 39, operator of La 72 Immigrant Refuge Shelter in Tenosique announced on his Facebook account that authorities had released from custody three suspects involved in alleged extortions and immigrant kidnappings for ransom. Figueroa identified the suspects as Melvin Alexis González Alvarado, 33; Roger Omar Garcia Chavez, 29; Juan Carlos Serrato Núnez, 24, all three from Honduras and Eugenio Caridad Bolianas Azucena, 44, from El Salvador.
Figueroa confirmed to Hispanic News Network U.S.A. (HNNUSA) on early Tuesday that González Alvarado, Núnez, Azucena were released late Monday night from custody and Chávez who threaten to kill Figueroa is being charged with a minor crime.
Authorities on Saturday confiscated a cellphone from González Alvarado, the leader of the kidnapping gang. The cellphone had information of a ransom that was paid totaling $500 dollars by family members to free José Hernández from Honduras who was kidnapped in Veracruz, the Diario de Tabasco reported.
The three suspects were taken into custody by the Ministry police and the Municipal Public Security agents on early Saturday afternoon along with Chavez who threatened Figueroa's life for exposing their criminal organization of extorting undocumented immigrants from South and Central America while they travel through Tenosique on their way to the U.S. border.
In the last seven months, Figueroa and Franciscan Castillo have been vigorously exposing the criminal activities that occur along the freight train (La Bestia) route to Veracruz against thousands of defenseless immigrants that fall victims of a multi-million dollar organized criminal operation in four states, Chiapas, Tabasco, Veracruz and Tamaulipas. Both Figueroa and Castillo were previously threaten with death and decapitation, but have continued their quest to bring justice, security, law and order to Tenosique and the southern border between Guatemala and Mexico where criminal organizations flourish with the help of corrupted local, state and federal officials who dismiss cases against those criminals involved in extortions, murder and other felony crimes perpetrated on foreign immigrants.
In March, three other suspects, José Alberto González and Jorge Alberto Alvarado, both from Honduras and José Osmaro Cruz Gálvez from El Salvador were taken into custody for making threats to behead both Figueroa and Castillo, including making death threats to staff members and volunteers at the shelter, including the extortion of undocumented immigrants and being members of a criminal organization that charge quotas to immigrants between $100 to $300 dollars to board a freight train known as La bestia (Beast) in the Tenosique, Tabasco to Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz train route. Then in April, the three suspects were released despite complaints filed by Figueroa and Castillo. The suspects later filed a state defamation complaint against Figueroa and Castillo for accusing them of criminal activities.
Every year, an estimated 140,000 undocumented immigrants make their way from Central and South America through Mexico on their way to the U.S. border. In the last 6 years, at least 70,000 immigrants have disappeared or reported missing in Mexico and only 80 have been located alive, according to Figueroa.