La Unión Tepito recruits migrants through deceits

The report of missing members of a family of migrants alerted the authorities of the alleged recruitment of migrants for La Unión Tepito

La Unión Tepito recruits migrants through deceits
Central America migrants in their journey to the U.S. - Photo: Juan Carlos Reyes García/EL UNIVERSAL
English 10/07/2019 19:09 David Fuentes Mexico City Actualizada 19:09
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The disappearance of a family from El Salvador (a woman and her 7 and 2-years-old daughters) from a shelter in Iztapalapa, Mexico City, started the alerts of authorities since the father, who filed the report, revealed that allegedly “La Unión Tepito” harasses and co-opts migrants.

According to what the father of the missings girls, Óscar Daniel N., alleged members of the criminal group roam the shelters for migrants and tell them that in exchange of “certain favors” o for “working for them for a while,” they will receive support and help to get to the North of the country.

He told that his worries are based on the allegation that “La Unión Tepito” is recruiting Salvadoran, Honduran and Guatemalan migrants for the retail sale of drugs and other “jobs”, and revealed that he has friends – who arrived with him in the February caravan – and that in their two-months stay they have already joined the gang and have stayed to commit crimes.

Because of this, last month Óscar Daniel N. reached out to the Attorney’s Office of Mexico City and presented photographs of his daughters, his wife and gave distinguishing marks; he explained that they arrived in the February migrant caravan and sought to make it to San Diego, where some friends promised to help them.

As stated in the investigation file CI-E-FIZP/IZP-A/UI 1S/D/0-0056/06-2019, that was opened to report the facts for “missing or absent,” the family made up of 24-year-old Katherine, 7 years-old Belinda Nayeli, and 2 years-old Debbie Alexa, were in the shelter “Casa Scalabrini” in Mexico City, in the Cerrada de Lerdo street, in Barrio San Pablo, Iztapalapa.

In the area, according to the denouncer, “roam smugglers and “enganchadores” of La Unión Tepito.” As narrated, his wife told him on Thursday, June 14th that she had got a contact that assured her that he could take them to the U.S. trouble-free, but he told her that it might be a deceit.

Óscar Daniel N. suggested her wife to have a new life in Mexico City and registered in the support programs of the Federal Government, but his wife ignored him and now he cannot find her.

Alert in SSC

The alleged recruitment of migrants from local criminal groups worries the authorities of the Secretariat for Citizen Security (SSC), dependency that has registered an increment in crime incidence. Migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have been involved in crimes; last November, a Honduran woman was arrested for selling drugs in Xochimilco.

The same agency reported in March that two Salvadorans were captured after committing burglary.

An internal investigation revealed that near the Jesús Martínez Palillo Stadium, of the sports compound Magdalena Mixhuca, several “private companies” went to offer jobs to the migrants, with labor improvements superior to those offered by the federal and local government.

The report details that a “licenciada” took 10 Hondurans to work in the pisca in a ranch, and another 10 women went with someone called Arturo Ibarra, who only told them that they would work with him near a local market.

Another person, who the migrants identified as “Licenciado Ronny Turcias,” recruited other 10 Guatemalans and took them in a van; another group went with the alleged representative of a hirer, and five more with “EngineerCruz Garfias; none of them has come back and their whereabouts are unknown.

Out of the more than 8 thousand migrants that passed through Mexico City between September 2018 and May 2019, no one has a single registry or document to know if they are working according to the law or if they have joined organized crime.


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