Miguel and Vanessa are paralyzed. For three days they cannot leave their Mexico City apartment. They have entered a new phase of exile. First they lose their native state. Now they feel their nation slipping away. In Veracruz, fifteen crime reporters flee the city. Gabriel Huge gets a call informing him he will be killed. He flees, also.

Miguel had tasted threats before, as had his father. But things began to change in 2006, when the new president, Felipe Calderón, announced that he was hurling the Mexican army against drug organizations. Strange criminals suddenly appeared in Veracruz, guys who did not even know the streets, their reckless driving causing more car accidents. And killings. Miguel is covering a crime scene or accident, and someone shoves a gun in his mouth and lectures him on how he should do his job. Death threats mount.

One night in May 2010, a cop pulls Miguel over. Vanessa is riding along. The cop is hostile but allows Miguel to drive on. A few minutes later, the street is blocked by guys with AR-15s wearing federal police uniforms. They tell him, "Right now you are going to get really fucked up." ("Vas a ver, hijo de la chingada.") They take him, leaving the girl behind. They go behind a hotel, beating him all the way there.

A crime scene in Veracruz.
Miguel Angel Lopez Solana
A crime scene in Veracruz.


Related content: "Mexico's Magical Homicides"

At least four more vehicles arrive and a man with one glass eye and the look of the boss gets out and tells him that what he was doing could get him killed. Miguel asks the man if he is a Zeta and he nods. He asks Miguel if he wants to die and Miguel says no. The man says, well, you can go this time, but the next time we will kill you. They dump him where he was originally snatched. He calls his father, who advises him not to report the incident.

Miguel explains, "In Mexico, you learn to live with fear. You see bodies decapitated, you see police covered in blood. The fear just gets bigger and bigger. You see the decay of everything."

By July 2011, when Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz is butchered, she is the seventh Mexican reporter killed that year, the third in Veracruz.

On September 20, during the afternoon rush hour, two trucks block the viaduct by a high-end shopping mall in Boca del Rio, a suburb of Veracruz. Drivers watch men methodically dump 35 bodies, twelve of them women. The men then leave, and no one stops them and no police come. The bodies are marked with the letter Z to suggest they are members of Los Zetas, a criminal organization that began as a special military unit created by the Mexican government and trained by the United States to fight drug organizations. The unit was designed to be incorruptible. Almost immediately, the DEA began secret payments to the group. Eventually, its members left for the better employment benefits of the drug industry and became the Zetas. The dumped bodies in Boca del Rio are bound with plastic ties at the wrists and ankles, restraints only available to the police and army.

The official story, that the dead are Zetas, holds for a while and is widely reported in the U.S. press. Then it cracks. Reforma, a right-of-center pro-government paper, talks to the families of the dead and discovers that they are mainly petty criminals, drug addicts and prostitutes, if they had any criminal records at all. These facts are hardly reported in the U.S. press and soon vanish from the press in Mexico for fear of repercussion.

Miguel gets reports in Mexico City. His friend and fellow photographer Guillermo Luna has a cousin who is walking to get a bag of ice in Boca del Rio on September 16, Mexican Independence Day, when he sees some adolescents celebrating in the street. Police sweep in and take the kids.

A woman goes to the police station seeking her teenage son. She is told he is not in custody. Later she learns his body is one of those dumped by the fashionable mall. A video circulates on the Internet from a group called the Zeta Killers. They wear masks and sit at a table and claim credit for the killing. Miguel learns that they are really former Veracruz policemen playacting.

Miguel and Vanessa spend the rest of the year in limbo. The United States usually denies political asylum to Mexican reporters, because to grant it would constitute an admission about the real nature of Mexico. They return to her grandparents in Veracruz and hide. Then they fly to Reynosa, on the Texas border, and begin the paperwork for a U.S. visa. They return to Veracruz, get their car, and fling themselves into a new land.

They go to Corpus Christi and end up in a cheap motel as their tiny hoard of cash dribbles away. They cannot legally work. They yearn for Mexico. At times Miguel can hear his mother's voice.

The years passed, and at the beginning of the 1990s my father left Notiver...above all because they were censoring some of his articles and his columns.... Then my father ended up without a job and went to work as a taxi driver, saying that he knew the city perfectly from covering the news and it would be an easy job for him.

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seriously Charles ? seriously  Molly ?  

Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

     What kind of deranged, sicko would blame the deaths at the hands of criminals on the USA.   The war on drugs not withstanding the law is the law and murder is murder.   These crimes are committed not for the cause of freedom but for $$$.  The perpetrators are thugs who prefer to take from the law abiding people than being productive members of society.

     What the author has done is akin to blaming the government for an accident caused by someone running a stop sign.  After all the government placed the sign.




The CIA's role in the international drug trade, dating back to 1949, is not a theory but a well-documented "fact." The sources include former CIA and DEA agents.


"CIA are drug smugglers." - Federal Judge Bonner, while head of the DEA


In 1989, 'The Kerry Committee' found that the United States Department of State had made payments to drug traffickers, concluding that members of the U.S. State Department themselves were involved in drug trafficking. Some of the payments were made even after the traffickers had been indicted by federal law enforcement agencies, or even while these traffickers were under active investigation by these same agencies.




* Shortly after World War II, The OSS (the predecessor of the CIA) formed a strategic alliance with the Sicilian and Corsican mafia. 


* During the 1950s, In order to provide covert funds for forces loyal to General Chiang Kai-Shek who were fighting the Chinese communists under Mao Zedong, the CIA helped the Kuomintang (KMT) smuggle opium from China and Burma to Thailand, by providing airplanes owned by one of their front businesses, Air America.


* During the long years of the cold war, the CIA mounted major covert guerilla operations along the Soviet-Chinese border. In 1950, for their operation against communist China in northeastern Burma, and from 1965 to 1975 [during the Vietnam war], for their operation in northern Laos, the CIA recruited (as allies) people we now call drug lords. 


* Throughout the 1980s, in Afghanistan, the CIA's supported the Mujahedin rebels (in their efforts against the pro-Soviet government) by facilitating their opium smuggling operations. - A small local trade in opium was turned into a major source of supply for the world markets including the United States. This lead ultimately to Afghanistan becoming the largest supplier of illicit opium on the planet, a status only briefly interrupted when it was under Taliban control.  


* Also during the 1980s, the Reagan Administration funded a guerrilla force known as the Nicaraguan Contras (even after such funding was outlawed by Congress) by cocaine smuggling operations. - An August 1996 series in the San Jose Mercury News (by Pulitzer Prize-winner Gary Webb) clearly linked the origins of crack cocaine in California to the CIA and the Contras.


* In November 1996, a Miami grand jury indicted former Venezuelan anti-narcotics chief and longtime CIA asset, General Ramon Guillen Davila, who was smuggling many tons of cocaine into the United States from a CIA owned Venezuelan warehouse. In his trial defense, Guillen claimed that all of his drug smuggling operations were approved by the CIA.


* The Dirección Federal de Seguridad was a Mexican intelligence agency created in 1947, and was in part a CIA creation. DFS badges were handed out to top-level Mexican drug-traffickers and were a virtual license to traffic.' "The Guadalajara Cartel" (Mexico's most powerful drug-trafficking network in the early 1980s) prospered largely because it enjoyed the protection of the DFS, under its chief Miguel Nazar Haro, a CIA asset.


For far more detailed information kindly google any of the following: 


"The Big White Lie: The CIA and the Cocaine/Crack Epidemic" by former DEA agent Michael Levine

"Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion" by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb

"Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs and the Press" by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair

"The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade" by Alfred W. McCoy

"The Underground Empire: Where Crime and Governments Embrace" by James Mills

"Compromised: Clinton, Bush and the CIA" by Terry Reed, (a former Air Force Intelligence operative) and John Cummings (a former prize-winning investigative reporter at N.Y Newsday). 



 @Anthonyvop1 "What kind of deranged, sicko would blame the deaths at the hands of criminals on the USA."

Knowing the truth hardly makes someone a 'deranged sicko'!  These criminals were created by- and are financed by our horrible misguided laws.  None of this would be going on without the US or its prohibition.  The only 'deranged sickos' are those who support the Drug War and want this disgusting carnage to continue forever.

Anthonyvop1 topcommenter

 @StanTheMan Always blame the victim.  Are you part of the PR wing of the Democratic Party.


Sure.  The murders and rapes are not the fault of the criminals.  We forced them to be bad. 


 @Anthonyvop1 Gosh, i typed conspiracy theory in google and none of these were in the top thirty.  And i'm not paranoid, they really are out to get me.


 @Anthonyvop1 "Always blame the victim."

Huh?  Who is doing that?  The blame lies both on the perpetrators AND the cause.


"Are you part of the PR wing of the Democratic Party."

That is laughable.  The Democrats are equally to blame for the Drug War.  The Liar in Chief has ramped it up, especially against medical marijuana to levels never before seen.  You should note that the only candidates in the upcoming presidential election who support ending the Drug War are Republicans and Independents.


"The murders and rapes are not the fault of the criminals."

Of course they are, but our laws which created them, fund them and give them the only reason that they do it are also to blame.  What rapes?


"We forced them to be bad."

We didn't force them.  We give them the reason to do it.  Without that reason, they would not.  You and your ilk are giving them the incentive and you want to continue to do so for some reason.  Why?

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