Victoria Razo

Photographer
 
Missing persons search brigade
Location: Veracruz, Mexico
Nationality: Mexican
Biography: Victoria Razo is a freelance photographer based in the city of Veracruz, Mexico. Her vision focuses on issues of Human Rights, migration, enforced disappearance, gender violence and environmental crises. Currently, she works as an photojournalist... read on
Public Story
Missing persons search brigade
Assignment for NPR

Composed of more than 300 people from 22 states of the Republic, including relatives of victims, groups, academics and activists, the search efforts of this Brigade will focus on Papantla, Poza Rica and Tihuatlán, in the northern area of the state of Veracruz; entity where in recent years several clandestine cemeteries of organized crime have been located.

More than 97% of the cases of disappearances were reported as of 2006, when Felipe Calderón, then president, declared war on the drug cartels.

Most of the missing are men in their 20s, and the majority are believed to have been victims of drug traffickers or organized crime gangs. Others may have run into corrupt politicians or police. Mexico has experienced unprecedented violence in the last decade. Homicides topped 35,000 last year, making 2019 the most violent year since Mexico began keeping those records.

The National Brigade undertook to investigate in ranches, neighborhoods, abandoned properties, focusing on points such as "La Gallera" an old ranch that served as a torture center to disappear people in a huge oven in Zacahuil, a typical dish of Veracruz food.
 
 
Integrada por más de 300 personas provenientes de 22 estados de la República, entre familiares de víctimas, colectivos, académicos y activistas, las labores de búsqueda de esta Brigada se centrarán en Papantla, Poza Rica y Tihuatlán, en la zona norte del estado de Veracruz; entidad donde en los últimos años se han localizado numerosos cementerios clandestinos del crimen organizado.

Más del 97% de los casos de desapariciones se informó a partir de 2006, cuando Felipe Calderón, entonces presidente, declaró la guerra contra los carteles de la droga.

La mayoría de los desaparecidos son hombres que tenían alrededor de 20 años, y se cree que la mayoría fueron víctimas de narcotraficantes o pandillas del crimen organizado. Otros pueden haberse topado con políticos o policías corruptos. México ha experimentado una violencia sin precedentes en la última década. Los homicidios superaron los 35,000 el año pasado, convirtiendo el 2019 en el año más violento desde que México comenzó a mantener esos registros.

La Brigada Nacional se abocó a investigar en ranchos, barrios, predios abandonados, enfocándose en puntos como “La Gallera” un antiguo rancho que sirvió de centro de tortura para desaparecer personas en un enorme horno de Zacahuil, platillo típico de la comida veracruzana.
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