MEXICO CITY — The criminal gang behind the slaying of 72 migrants late last month is suspected of killing those close to the case in an attempt to shut down further investigation.
Officials said late Tuesday that they thought two bodies recovered earlier in the week are of a prosecutor and a local investigator looking into the massacre, which was discovered Aug. 24.
The bodies had ID cards identifying them as state prosecutor Roberto Jaime Suarez Vazquez and Juan Carlos Suarez Sanchez, a local security official. Both had been assigned to investigate the massacre, the attorney general's office of Tamaulipas state said in a statement. Officials are conducting DNA tests to confirm the identities.
They're the latest, but not the only, people slain in the aftermath of the killings of the 58 men and 14 women, whose bound bodies were found slumped against a wall at a ranch in San Fernando, near the Texas border.
Also this week, police discovered the bodies of three of the alleged gunmen who carried out the massacre, a sign that the criminal gang behind the migrant abduction and murders may be systematically eliminating those who carried out the massacre and might be potential witnesses.
Alejandro Poire, a spokesman for President Felipe Calderon on security issues, said an anonymous caller helped authorities find the three bodies on a road in Abasola, a town in northeast Tamaulipas state, and that were later identified by a survivor as among the gunmen in the massacre.
Poire said Wednesday that Mexican marines had arrested seven more members of the Los Zetas drug and crime syndicate in Tamaulipas thought to have been involved in the migrant killings. "These arrests will plainly help clarify what happened in San Fernando," he said.
The slayings of the 72 migrants — who arrived from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — drew diplomatic protests from around the hemisphere.