Six dead and one survivor, tragic balance of the kidnapping of seven teenagers in Mexico

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After three days of agonizing search around Villanueva, a small municipality in the Mexican state of Zacatecas, the authorities have located the bodies of six young people, between 14 and 18 years old, kidnapped last Sunday when they spent the night together at a family ranch. Along with them, the Police have rescued alive a survivor, whose identity has not been revealed, who is recovering from his injuries in a local hospital. As revealed by the State Attorney General, Francisco Murillo, two people have been detained in Genaro Codinas, a municipality 70 kilometers from the scene of the events, as allegedly responsible for this kidnapping that has once again shown the serious security crisis that the North American country is going through under the policy of hugs, not bulletsimposed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

The disappearance of the seven young people occurred around 4:00 in the morning, when a group of armed men broke into several vehicles at the El Potrerito ranch, property of the parents of one of the victims, and took the teenagers away. for reasons that are still unknown. Héctor Alejandro Saucedo Acevedo, 17 years old, was on the property along with two first cousins, Jorge Alberto René Ocón Acevedo, 14; and Sergio Yobani Acevedo, 18; as well as four very close friends, Óscar Ernesto Rojas, 15; Diego Rodríguez, 17; Jesús Manuel Rodríguez, 18; and Gumaro Santacruz, of the same age. They all studied together at the local high school and were very close. Their disappearance has shocked the town of Villanueva, with barely 14,000 inhabitants, which has mobilized to try to find them.

“I love my son, I love my children,” the mother of one of the victims screamed desperately before the media last Tuesday while participating, along with other relatives and neighbors, in a blockade of more than nine hours that was imposed in federal highway 65 that connects Zacatecas and Guadalajara. The pressure and indignation grew as the days passed without getting answers. The actions of the authorities also generated a lot of tension. Several neighbors reported that on the night of the kidnapping, several shots and screams were heard from the El Potrerito ranch; The Police reject this hypothesis even though, coincidentally, they had a surveillance module installed just 200 meters from the property.

“Only words, no action, what are the immediate reaction forces for? (…) They say they are looking for 300 elements, well we don’t see them, if it were the son of a politician they would have already found him, they would bring drones and the helicopter,” claimed one of the relatives before the media. The authorities also did not want to acknowledge that it was a kidnapping, claiming that no ransom request had been received. However, several families received threats on their mobile phones and several videos in which the young people were allegedly seen walking through the streets. a hill. Although the anti-kidnapping protocol was not activated, more than 300 agents from the Army, National Guard and Police were deployed during the operation.

After three days of searching, road blockades and tension in the streets of Villanueva, a command that flew over a remote and rural area by helicopter identified three bodies from above. When the agents arrived on foot at the designated area, “which is difficult to access, since there are no roads to get there,” as confirmed by the Prosecutor’s Office, they found one of the injured victims, along with six bodies that have been transferred to the capital of Zacatecas to be identified. According to several local media, these are the young people kidnapped last Sunday at the ranch The Potrerito. The survivor of the tragedy was immediately transferred to the State General Hospital, where he is “stable” and recovering from two head injuries.

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