“This country murdered my daughter and thousands more”

Translated by Fulano from an article in El Mexicano.

GUADALAJARA, Jalisco, August 6, 2018 – Orlando is the father of two teenage daughters: Katia and Zulema who, together with his wife, Maricarmen, were kidnapped in April 2015 by a group of armed civilians who identified themselves as members of the Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG).

Katy, 17, was murdered in front of her mother and sister. The three women were tortured for a month and a half in a part of ​​Tlajomulco municipality, where two clandestine graves were located two years later.

Orlando, originally from Zamora, Michoacán, said his wife and daughters were mistakenly kidnapped because the vehicle in which they were traveling was the same model as the family of one of the leaders of the “Los Viagras” criminal group, an organization with which they are fighting over territory in Michoacán.

The chemical engineer and agricultural consultant the states of Michoacán and Jalisco said that his wife and daughters were kidnapped when they went from Zamora to Guadalajara to go to the high school where the two girls studied.

Orlando and Maricarmen decided to enroll their daughters in a school in the capital of Jalisco, due to the wave of violence that hit the state of Michoacán, their homeland.

Katia and Zulema had been together with their mother in Guadalajara for two years when they were intercepted by an armed group on an April afternoon as they were traveling to Tlajomulco. They were forced to board another vehicle.

According to Orlando, the armed civilians insisted from the onset when they were kidnapped, that they tell their kidnappers where Juan Carlos Sierra Santana, “La Sopa”, was hiding. He is one of the leaders of “Los Viagras”, who was murdered in 2017.

“Don’t be an idiot, you are La Sopa’s whore, this is his truck. Tell us where he is hiding, who he comes to Jailsco with and we’ll let you go,” recalled Orlando of some of the phrases that they shouted at his wife.

Maricarmen insisted they did not know what they were talking about and it was then that they took the three women to a camp belonging to the criminal group, where they were tortured.

Orlando said that after several days, after finding out they had no relationship with any of the rival cartel members, the members of the Jalisco cartel opted to ask for a ransom of 4.5 million pesos from their relatives.

It was a million and a half pesos for each, and Orlando said that amount was unattainable, even with the sale of his house in Zamora or a couple of properties where he thought one day of planting “berries” and bequeathing them to his daughters.

Unable to pay the ransom, Zulema and Maricarmen were forced to witness the murder of Katia, whose body was not found. 44 days after being kidnapped, they were released in the La Barca municipality, Jalisco, on the border with the municipality of Briseñas, Michoacán, but not before being warned by the Jalisco Cartel Nueva Generación that “this was going to happen to all the fucking Michoacanos.”

After being treated by a trusted docto, Maricarmen and her daughter Zulema left the country. Orlando stayed a while longer to sell his properties and to cope with a life with his family abroad.

“It does not hurt to leave Mexico because this is the country where we were born, but also murdered my daughter and thousands of other innocents,” said Orlando, husband and father of three of the many victims left by the war between the Jalisco and Michoacan cartels, worsening the violence in those states.

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