Mexican military with rescued Cubanos-Foto: Pérez
Last Sunday a Mexican military intelligence team made entry into a Zetas safe house in a popular tourist district in Cancun and extracted more than a dozen Cuban refugees who had been held prisoner there since September 1.
They were among nineteen young Cubans who had fled their island nation on makeshift boats and headed west into Mexican waters where, per arrangement with the “Miami mafia”, they were plucked up by a speed boat and brought to Puerto Juarez and into the hands of Los Zetas and their Cuban-American partners.
Once ashore, the four women in the group were separated out and put on trucks and driven away. The remaining fifteen men were stuffed into an Escalade with Florida plates and motored to the safe house in Cancun where their captors demanded $10,000 per head. When the Cubans balked, it was the usual routine: they were beaten and tortured until they came up with names and phone numbers for relatives in the US to come up with the cash for either their release or transport north to the US/Mexico border.
The only ones arrested thus far are both Cubans–Distán Farrádez Ullo, who rented the house and Tristán Barragán, who was guarding the prisoners whengrupo especial de Inteligencia Militar rolled through the doors.
Fernando Diaz Martinez with the Instituto Nacional de Migración–Mexico’s INS–said the Zetas/Cuban human trafficking operations have risen to such a level that they are on the agenda for Calderon’s next national security meeting.
Meanwhile the four young women haven’t been seen or heard from in the fifteen days since they were driven out of Puerto Juarez and into the night.
Find more on this en espanol at Milenio
July posting on the Zetas Cuban-American connections here.