Zetas Now Harvesting and Marketing Kidneys

Human rights commissioner in Tabasco, Jesús Manuel Argáez de los Santos tells Tabasco Hoy that Los Zetas is removing kidneys from migrants from Honduras and Guatemala snared by the cartel’s human trafficking operations. The story comes on the heels of arrests in New Jersey for a similar enterprise involving Israelis and a US rabbi.

Argaez de los Santos said that that the Zetas human trafficking operations includes sexual exploitation and the harvesting and blackmarket sale of organs.  Migrants travelling north from Guatemala and Honduras are kidnapped by the Zetas as they cross into Tabasco. Of the 20,000 such kidnappings a year in Mexico,  a quarter of these occur in Tabasco.

While 55% of human trafficking operations in the country are  in Tabasco, Veracruz and Chiapas, there are also significant related activities to the north in Tamaulipas,  home territory for  Zetas/ Golfo Inc.

Municipalities with the highest incidents of kidnappings of migrants:

Balancán, Tabasco
Tenosique, Tabasco
Villahermosa, Tabasco

Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz
Ixhuatlán del sureste, Veracruz
Sayula de Alemán, Veracruz
Nanchital de Lázaro Cárdenas, Veracruz

Tapachula, Chiapas
Comitán, Chiapas

Zetas are using the Internet to lure these migrants with bogus employment and migration offerings. The websites target potential victims–especially the young– by offering jobs and means to migrate north. When they cross into Tabasco or Veracruz, they are kidnapped and held at rancheros in rural areas where they can either come up with the money or be sent into prostitution, forced labor camps or lose a kidney.

Mexico ranks third worldwide in such human trafficking operations, behind Thailand and Russia. According to the human rights commissioner, trafficking in humans is not a crime recognized in Mexico’s penal code.


As an apt footnote to this, time to again recommend director Cary Fukunaga’s extraordinary  film, Sin Nombre .

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