FNS: Eight Migrants Murdered in Similar Way over Eight Months in Arizona
- FNS: Eight Migrants Murdered in Similar Way over Eight Months in Arizona
Date: 10/22/2002 2:40:17 PM Pacific Daylight Time
While stories about the Ciudad Juárez serial killings appear periodically in the US, Mexican and world press, not much media attention has been given to the related murders of eight undocumented migrants in Maricopa County Arizona over the past eight months. Four of the murders have occurred over the past 60 days.
At a Phoenix press conference on Friday, October 18, Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County declared war against the criminals who have carried out the execution-style slayings between March and October, 2002. Arpaio said that between 300 and 400 agents supported by planes will be involved in the investigation.
According to Rubén Beltrán, the Mexican consul in Phoenix, three of the eight victims have been identified as Mexican citizens and one has been determined to be a citizen of Ecuador. Three other victims that have been identified by name may also be Mexican citizens, according to Beltrán.
Discovered in different parts of Maricopa County, the victims' bodies were found with their hands bound by tape, telephone wires, or handcuffs. Seven of the victims were killed by large-caliber bullet shots to the head or body and one was beaten to death. The victims, all male, were between 18 and 45 years of age.
Arpaio believes that the victims may have been killed by human traffickers when they could not afford to pay for their entry to the US. Another theory is that the immigrants may have been kidnapped and later killed when friends or family failed to pay ransom.
Arpaio, a former DEA agent assigned to Mexico City, stated that there is little evidence pointing to a drug link. However, the sheriff's office has not thrown out the possibility.
While Arpaio recognized that he had no leads in the case, he said he would go "door to door" if necessary to find the "vicious killers." Arpaio also stated that he will ask for the help of Mexico's Attorney General.
Source: El Diario (Ciudad Juárez), October 19, 2002.
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