Guatemalan households bury family members killed close to US-Mexico border | Human Rights Information

Guatemala’s president calls for justice after 19 charred bodies were found near the U.S.-Mexico border in January.

The families of some of the 16 Guatemalan migrants killed near the Mexico-US border in late January began burying their remains in the town of Comitancillo, where 11 of the victims came from, on Saturday.

The charred bodies of the victims arrived in the region near the Guatemalan-Mexico border Friday night after being sent straight across the U.S. Texas border from Mexico’s other side, Reynosa.

“Not anymore. No more violence against migrants,” said Reverend Mario Aguilon Cardona at church services for mourners in the city’s football stadium.

Ricardo Garcia said his daughter Santa Cristina Garcia, 20, went north to earn money for an operation for her younger sister. Her remains returned in a coffin Friday.

“She sacrificed herself for others. She was a good girl, ”said Garcia.

Family members mourn the loss of Marvin Tomas, a Guatemalan migrant who was murdered along with 18 other people in the northern Mexican state of Tamaulipas in January [Johan Ordonez/AFP]The Guatemalan government has declared three days of mourning.

The bodies were found along with three others in a charred pickup truck in Camargo across the Rio Grande from Texas in an area gory for years from turf fights between the remains of the Gulf Cartel and the old Zeta’s Cartel.

A dozen Tamaulipas State police officers were arrested in connection with the killings.

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said Friday that his government is continuing to liaise with the Mexican authorities to ensure that “those responsible for such a deplorable act” are punished.

He said the crime must be solved so that nothing similar happens again.

On March 13, people visit Rubesly Tomas Isidro in the village of Las Flores in Comitancillo, Guatemala [Johan Ordonez/AFP]Relatives of the dead first alerted that something terrible had happened in Camargo.

Since the bodies had been cremated, it took weeks for DNA tests to positively identify them, but families in Guatemala had already begun to grieve.

The families suddenly lost communication with their relatives around January 21st, believing they were near the area where the Mexican authorities made the gruesome discovery.

Giammattei confirmed this month that five Guatemalans survived the attack and are under protection in the United States.

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