Eyewitness: the Survivor of a massacre of 72 people – on a ranch 85 miles south of Brownsville

The survivor of a massacre on a ranch 85 miles south of Brownsville trudged into a navy checkpoint — a bullet wound in his neck — with a tale almost too gruesome even for a country locked in the throes of a vicious and bloody drug war.

The 72 illegal immigrants killed in San Fernando, Tamaulipas, were on a bus bound for the United States when, between Saturday and Sunday, were intercepted by a convoy of Zetas. According to the testimony of the only survivor of what it is until now, the worst massacre in the wave of violence by organized crime in Mexico, several SUV’s blocked the path of the bus carrying the victims and forced them out at gun point. They warned them that they were Los Zetas.

One by one the 58 men and 14 women, including minors, were placed against the wall in a cellar of the ranch. Then they were forced to keep their heads down and were shot with bursts of high-powered weapons. After the barraged of gunfire directed at the victims subsided, the murderers then shot each individual person on the head at point blank, the coup de grace.

Among those that were executed, there was Luis Freddy, originally from Ecuador, who pretended to be dead. The final shot aimed at his head entered at one end of his neck and exited through the jaw. He waited there, spread out, until the perpetrators left and he managed to escape. “I only remember hearing the laments and the pleas of some of the people who were there. Then I heard shots, and when everything was over I stood up to get help,” he said.

He was the only survivor. What is a mystery is how he managed to travel the nearly 22 kilometers (more than 13 miles) from the crime scene to the point where he contacted the Mexican marines to ask for help.

While asking for help, Luis managed to say that “the killing had just happened.” He stated that the thugs had offered them work as sicarios and that they would earn as much as a thousand dollars every two weeks. They all rejected the offer and the rejection caused their ultimate death.


Ecuadorean citizen Luis Fredy Lala Pomavilla,rests at a hospital in Matamoros, eastern Mexico, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2010. A Mexican drug cartel massacred 72 Central and South American migrants within 100 miles of the U.S. border that they were trying to reach, according to Lala Pomavilla who said to be a survivor who escaped and stumbled wounded to a highway checkpoint where he alerted marines.

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