Photographs of Zynthia Cazares’ brother, husband and father, all still missing
Matamoros, Mexico — They have spotted their stolen vehicles at stoplights, driven by the same gunmen who used them to take their entire family captive last July. They have reported the brazen abduction to every branch of Mexican law enforcement, only to be ignored, or directed someplace else.
For the women of the Cazares family who were kidnapped with their families for ransom — and who are still searching for five missing relatives — the official response to their horrific ordeal has been even more excruciating than the crime itself. Even now, they say, after months of trying to goad the Mexican authorities into action, they still see criminals they recognize living large here in this border city, as untouchable as kings.
“We’re completely impotent,” said Zynthia Cazares, 30, an American citizen who was among those abducted and whose husband, brother and father are still missing. “No one will help us.”
Six years into a mostly military assault on drug cartels, impunity across much of Mexico has worsened, and justice is harder to find. Criminals in Mexico are less likely to be punished now than even just a few years ago, say current and former government officials and experts who have studied Mexico’s ailing judiciary, because the authorities have been overwhelmed by increases in violent crime while corruption, fear and incompetence have continued to keep the justice system weak.
Many areas now veer toward lawlessness: in 14 of Mexico’s 31 states, the chance of a crime’s leading to trial and sentencing was less than 1 percent in 2010…and since then, experts say, attempts at reform have stalled as crime and impunity have become cozy partners.
“Crime goes up, diminishing the likelihood of punishment, which causes crime to rise again,” said Alejandro Hope, a former senior intelligence officer for Mexico. “And so we go.”
On our side of the border we get the same crap press releases the Mexican government hands out on their side. The War on Drugs is succeeding – especially with the help of politicians in Washington, DC. Hogwash!
Remedies for a criminal drug culture are simple and well established in countries where decisions are grounded in science and medicine — not religious morality and ten cent slogans.
Authorities on both sides of the border might consider getting down to business and clearing the criminals out of government, disarming the gangsters on the street. It starts by taking the profit out of prohibition. It didn’t work the last time we made a big deal of it. It still doesn’t work.
RTFA for the details, the story of this tormented family, the silence and stonewalling of a useless government.