The Ministry of Foreign Relations of Brazil has received word from the Mexican government that at least four Brazilians are among the dead in a massacre in which 72 people were killed in the Mexican city of San Fernando in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas.
The bodies were found on August 24. According to Mexican authorities, the dead were illegal migrants making their way to the US. They were from Central America, Ecuador and Brazil. San Fernando is located about 150 kilometers from the border with the US.
Since December 2006, when Felipe Calderón took office as president of Mexico and cracked down on the drug gangs, it is reported that 28,000 people have died in the fighting.
As Calderón has tightened the screws on the drug traffic, the drug gangs have taken to exploiting illegal migrants as they travel through Mexico to reach the US, extorting fees or robbing and kidnapping them.
In some cases the illegals are forcibly recruited into the drug gangs and if they refuse, which seems to be what happened in San Fernando, they are simply killed.
The Brazilian embassy in Mexico is sending diplomats to the location.
A legislative investigative commission known as the Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito da Codeplan, at the Federal District Legislative Assembly, investigating a long running corruption scheme based in the local executive branch Planning Company (Codeplan), has issued its final report.
In the document, which was approved by four Federal District deputies (Paulo Tadeu (PT), Aguinaldo de Jesus (PRB), Raimundo Ribeiro (PSDB) and Cristiano Araújo (PTB)), the commission recommends the indictment of 22 people for corruption, including two former governors of the Federal District, Joaquim Roriz and José Roberto Arruda.
Roriz is presently leading the opinion polls for governor in the October general elections. Arruda has dropped out of sight after leaving jail a few months ago.
According to the author of the final report, deputy Paulo Tadeu, the corruption scheme, consisting mainly of bribes paid by companies that provided services to the government of the Federal District, began during the administration of Roriz and continued under Arruda.
According to the report, a total of 4.2 billion reais (US$ 2.37 billion) greased many various palms between 2000 and 2010. “The egregious administrative practices were exactly the same in both governments,” says the report.
A spokesman for the Roriz campaign called the accusations “…political and electoral. Obviously produced to get headlines in the media.”