Will Mexico’s New President Seek Justice for the Disappeared? – The Nation.

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            </aside>One night last March, Jessica Molina was awake in bed, recovering from surgery at her home in the Mexican border city of Nuevo Laredo, when she heard pounding at her front door. Her husband, José Daniel Trejo García, a car mechanic, slept through the noise and didn’t stir until Mexican Marines in full combat gear burst into the couple’s bedroom.<aside class="ad right most-popular-plus-ad grey_back">
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“They entered in a completely straight line, as if it was an operation,” Molina recalls. “There were around six who came into the bedroom, and 11 in all in the house.” A red laser dot appeared on Trejo García’s forehead as a Marine trained his weapon on him.

Molina says she heard the Marines say twice that they had the wrong house, and she tried to calm her husband, assuring him that it was all a mistake. But the Marines insisted that Trejo García used the alias “Willy” and was the suspect they were looking for. He shouted in protest as the Marines pulled him out of bed and forced him, shoeless, out of the house.

The other Marines in the house went after Gabriel Gaspar Vásquez, a friend of the couple’s from the southern state of Oaxaca, who was resting in Nuevo Laredo before attempting to cross into the United States. A Marine who noticed the couple’s security cameras asked Molina where the information from them was stored. They seized not only the data contained in the security cameras, but also the couple’s modem, their CPU, a scanner, a computer, watches, phones, and a stash of dollars and pesos. In total, the Marines were in the couple’s home for 32 minutes.

“When they dumped my purse, while they were taking him away, my passport fell out, and one of them turned around and asked, ‘Are you a US citizen?’ And I said, ‘Yes, sir,’” Molina adds, because she was born in Houston. Upon learning this, the Marines’ attitude toward her changed immediately. “Respect her—she’s a US citizen,” said the one who emptied her bag. “I think my citizenship saved my life,” Molina concludes.

Yet Trejo García and Gaspar Vásquez haven’t been seen since that night of March 27, 2018, when the Marines dragged them from their beds and took them away. They are among the 51 recorded cases of disappearances at the hands of Mexican Marines between January and May of last year in Nuevo Laredo. And they are part of a much longer list of people who have disappeared in Mexico since the country’s War on Drugs took off in December of 2006—officially, that number is more than 37,000.

The crisis over these disappearances in the past 12 years is perhaps the deepest wound in this battered country inherited by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as AMLO. In his inaugural speech on December 1, López Obrador mentioned the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers’ college in the state of Guerrero who have been missing since September 2014. On his first working day as president, he issued a decree authorizing resources for a new investigation into their disappearance.

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