Photo by Sherry V Smith via Shutterstock

Nineteen burnt bodies were found in two vehicles close to the U.S.-Mexico border on the night of Jan. 23. 

According to the Tamaulipas state police, 19 people were shot and then set on fire. No bullet casings were found on-site, leading to believe they were shot in a different location and brought closer to the border near Camargo to be set on fire. 

The North-Eastern state of Tamaulipas is known for criminal activity consistent with disappearances and killings. The area where the bodies were found is common for a gang in drug violence.

Camargo has a population of over 15,000 people and frequently sees violence between the Noreste and Gulf Cartels. 

Autopsy reports are currently underway, but authorities have said the remains’ are in poor condition, adding complications. 

Guatemalan authorities in Mexico have been contacted to help identify some of the victims believed to be Guatemalan migrants. 

These events come only weeks after thousands of Honduran migrants traveled through Guatemala and possibly Mexico to find a better life in the United States. 

Thousands of migrants attempt to travel to the U.S. from South and Central America every year to escape the violence and poverty. 

According to UN News, more than 800 migrants died in 2019 in an attempt to cross the Americas, making it one of the “deadliest years on record.” 

The United States Department of State released a statement regarding a travel ban “due to crime and kidnapping” in Tamaulipas.

“Organized crime activity – including gun battles, murder, armed robbery, carjacking, kidnapping, forced disappearances, extortion, and sexual assault – is common along the northern border and in Ciudad Victoria,” the statement said. “Criminal groups target public and private passenger buses as well as private automobiles traveling through Tamaulipas, often taking passengers hostage and demanding ransom payments.”

Global Conflict Tracker reported there has been an estimate of 150,000 deaths due to criminal-related violence since 2006.

Drug cartels are responsible for a large amount of crime-related deaths in Mexico. The top five drug rings include: Guadalajara Cartel, Sinoala Cartel, Tijuana Cartel, Juárez Cartel and Gulf Cartel. 

Written ByLauren Akabori

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