Patterico's Pontifications

4/28/2012

Organ Trafficking in Mexico?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:49 pm

This is a tragic story, but the last line raises more questions than it answers:

Four children who vanished on their way to primary school have been discovered suffocated and buried on a ranch not far from their homes in southern Mexico, according to Tabasco state authorities.

Three of the children being buried on Saturday were siblings and another was their neighbor in the colonial town of Tapijulapa.

Their ages ranged from 7 to 10.

. . . .

Their faces had been covered with brown packing tape, which caused them to suffocate, the agency said in its statement issued Friday.

The motive for the killings remained unclear, but officials said there was no sign of organ trafficking.

No sign of what now?

This reminds me of what the correspondent says at 3:14 of this Monty Python sketch:

As a Naval officer I abhor the implication that the Royal Navy is a haven for cannibalism. It is well known that we now have the problem relatively under control.

Is organ trafficking a thing in Mexico now?

Of course not! They now have the problem relatively under control.

56 Responses to “Organ Trafficking in Mexico?”

  1. Probably this is some cartel related deal — but man is it evil.

    Patterico (feda6b)

  2. Guatamala was rife with rumors of organ trafficking by “outsiders” – IRC one or more foreigners were killed by “outraged” villagers who thought they were there to kidnap kids as donors.
    Now, it looks like those rumors have migrated north into Mexico.

    AD-RtR/OS! (93973a)

  3. I’m not familiar with this website, and it appears less than friendly toward Americans, however, there are claims of this taking place even before the expansive control of the cartels,

    Mr. Wilfredo Guzman, spokesman for the Mexican Center for Children Rights stated: ” there are many children in the United States waiting for organs in order to survive. Therefore, dozens of Mexican midwives, nurses, doctors, lawyers, judges and even clerics, participate as accomplices in the theft of children from whom organs are extracted at clandestine clinics on the U.S.-Mexico border. The organs are transplanted to rich children right there!”. Victor Perera, a well known author, said “the baby trade is so lucrative…..that a baby can bring as much as $10,000 …that corrupt government officials are known to take part in it. One of the largest rings is allegedly headed by a top government official. Attempts to prosecute him have failed because of his parliamentary immunity, not to mention his influence over the court system and its judges”. The existence of a U.S.-Mexico “organ mafia” has silenced journalists in Mexico but one courageous Member of the Mexican Congress, Hector Ramirez Cuellar, has stated that he knows a child in his district who was kidnapped, had a kidney removed, and then was returned home with two thousand dollars. Mr. Cuellar said that he has information that points to a U.S.-Mexico connection and that the rings deals in children livers, hearts, corneas, kidneys, pancreas and other tissues.

    Apparently, this is yet another business enterprise for Mexico,

    “The bodies I saw were of young-looking women. They told me they were trying to break into the organ-trafficking business and that it was simply another way to make money

    Dana (4eca6e)

  4. there was also that poor syrian fellow what got suffocated

    I hope nothing like that ever happens to me or anyone I know

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  5. I would think that the anonymous people available to drug smugglers (drug addicts and/or prostitutes) would make poor organ donors. Given that just any organ won’t do — there are a number of matching criteria — I find this all a bit unbelievable.

    To make this work, you would need a higher quality supply of “donors” and an organized medical infrastructure, something that drug smugglers just wouldn’t have. It would take a lot of co-operation from “legitimate” operations to pull it off.

    That’s not to say it doesn’t happen in Mexico, but it seems less likely that somewhere like China.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  6. “Being myself familiar with what goes on in fundamentalist Christian worship, I think I can say with some authority that that sort of thing doesn’t happen very often and when it does there’s usually a very good reason for it.”

    see-dubya (b10e8d)

  7. UC-Berkeley used to sponsor (and maybe still does) an organization called Organs Watch that studies organ trafficking. Organs Watch sponsored a seminar in 2010 on organ trafficking that featured the Sam Shepard film “Inhale.” The premise of the film is organ trafficking that uses Mexican children, but I can’t tell if it’s based on fact or speculation.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  8. Apparently this is a real concern because El Paso news reporters have been covering the possibility of organ trafficking since January 2010:

    JUAREZ, MEXICO – There is nothing unusual on the outside of the one-storey building in central Juarez that operates as a rehabilitation centre. But the inside is a literal hell.

    A confidential source told US and Mexican authorities that he saw women’s bodies lying on the floor. He also was present when dead men were hauled inside the building by a group of hit-men.

    The source said: “I asked one of the men in charge at the place about the women’s bodies.

    “I knew about women in Juarez disappearing. Everyone knew that about Juarez. This had to be one of the main ways in which they vanish.

    “The bodies I saw were of young-looking women. They told me they were trying to break into the organ-trafficking business and that it was simply another way to make money.

    “He said they wanted to sell organs from the men’s bodies as well. He said all this very matter of factly.

    “This was no rehab centre. They sold drugs in there, and people were in and out all the time. The centre actually had a government permit for the place. A man and his two sons kept the centre going.”

    However, note this is a UK news website, not an El Paso website, so it may not be reliable.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  9. The El Paso Times’ reporter, Diana Washington Valdez, is real but organ trafficking isn’t her only theory about Juarez deaths.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  10. Last comment: It appears the idea of organ trafficking started with a 2001-2003 Mexican investigation that speculated the deaths of 14 women might have been due to organ trafficking. (See Diana Washington Valdez’ report “The Killing Fields” at pages-153-154.) The report indicates the allegations were not substantiated. I imagine the mere possibility of organ trafficking troubles those who lose loved ones to Mexican violence.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  11. I read the Organ Watch/Berkeley article too, DRJ, but could make a decision one way or the other. If you read the link I posted up at #3, it makes references of concern re organ harvesting from kidnapped Mexican children back to 1994, so if it indeed has some veracity, the time frame would be much earlier.

    Daily Beast has an article by a UC Berkely anthropologist who went to the underground world and researched it in 2009 stating that organ trafficking, including children, is not just an urban myth.

    One one hand, it would be another commodity to be sold by a corrupt third world country to the black market , however, Kevin M points to some unlikelihood of this in Mexico – however, there are some who suggest that an active ogran-mafia exists. If so, I would guess they would have to be working in collusion with various transplant centers and/or hospitals like UCLA.

    The existence of a U.S.-Mexico “organ mafia” has silenced journalists in Mexico but one courageous Member of the Mexican Congress, Hector Ramirez Cuellar, has stated that he knows a child in his district who was kidnapped, had a kidney removed, and then was returned home with two thousand dollars. Mr. Cuellar said that he has information that points to a U.S.-Mexico connection and that the rings deals in children livers, hearts, corneas, kidneys, pancreas and other tissues.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  12. The Juarez report is troubling, too, but I hope it’s “just” violence and not violence+organ trafficking. I guess the result is the same but it bothers me more.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  13. So it’s that common that they feel they need to deny it without being asked?

    nk (875f57)

  14. Whether it was organ trafficking or no, monsters who kill children …. Why?

    On another thread, methods of execution came up and I replied, sarcastically, with the Apache way. I recommend it in this case, sincerely, without sarcasm.

    nk (875f57)

  15. Whether organ trafficking or murdering children, reprobates for certain.

    The Apache way would be okay with me.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  16. Comment by Patterico — 4/28/2012 @ 1:23 pm

    Probably this is some cartel related deal — but man is it evil.

    And probably the same people who killed them spread around a story that they were killed for their organs, partly as a red herring – something that’s not actually medically possible except if you come prepared with doctors and technicians and refrigerated trucks, and arrange a match beforehand, like they do in China.

    This kind of story about organ stealing is being spread around worldwide.

    Sammy Finkelman (f913b2)

  17. This kind of organ trafficking is not medically possible!

    It’s a red herring.

    Sammy Finkelman (f913b2)

  18. When the Mexican police say it is not substantiated what they probably mean is that no organs were missing.

    The victims are probably not picked at random. And this is not people used in sexual orgies.

    They could be family members of people who have run afoul of some drug gangs, as nowadays they like to take revenge on family members.

    Sammy Finkelman (f913b2)

  19. I would start with every customer of the drug cartels, to the smallest strung-out Yuppie. Do we really need them, anyway? Dry the swamp. And the swamp is illicit drug users.

    nk (875f57)

  20. nk is channelling Daryl Gates, who was crucified by the LAT for saying IRC that the way to deal with the drug problem was to hang junkies from lampposts.

    AD-RtR/OS! (45c403)

  21. FOR DANA:

    why take only 1 kidney and return the kid with $2 grand when you could take both kidneys, toss the kids body in an open sewer ditch and keep $4 grand?

    ROBERT RUDZKI (df8e96)

  22. Teddy Roosevelt, actually. Take out the water pund scum, mosquitoes can’t breed.

    nk (875f57)

  23. *pond*

    Yellow Jack?

    nk (875f57)

  24. Sounds like a helluva deterrent to illegal immigration.
    You cross our border you lose your soul.
    We could solve the debt crisis with all the useable organs. The chicoms are paying top dollar.

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  25. FOR #19 NK:

    is this demand-side reduction?

    if all illict drugs were made legal, big pharma would produce clean, standard consistent doses with an info sheet.

    this would be much safer than the stuff you buy on a street corner @ 0200 in a bad district, cut with who knows what…

    the huge profits the drug cartels enjoy would vanish overnite and they would have to get McJobs flipping burgers in Tijuana for minimum wage… ;-]

    ROBERT RUDZKI (df8e96)

  26. Let’s do that in ten years, but there’s no political will for that right now. There is political will for police kicking down the door to Hollywood cocaine parties. And we can move on from there.

    nk (875f57)

  27. sickorinos,

    I know what you’re saying. It’s a cultural thing. The Chinese will never donate their organs, they will never meet the Jade Emperor without being complete, but they have no trouble buying them or killing people for minor reasons to get them.

    nk (875f57)

  28. i was no where near there… organs aside, i had nothing to do with anything

    SteveG (e27d71)

  29. nk,
    Death Row in China is a main source of organ harvesting.
    Imagine getting the heart of Manson!!

    sickofrinos (44de53)

  30. A news story inserts a rumor-mongering / urban myth non-sequitur. Shocka.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  31. They tried this in Justified. It did not turn out so well.

    JD (2585aa)

  32. DRJ @7 – The State Department puts out large “Trafficking In Persons” publications with subsections by countries. Inside their 2009 report they say that human organ trafficking is the province of the World Health Organization, which is very much concerned with the black market and non-altruistic donation of human organs, pre- or post-mortem. In that 2009 Trafficking In Persons report, the State Department said the WHO estimated 10% of world-wide kidney donations were black market.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  33. Taco Bell chihuahua: “Here, liver liver liver!”

    Icy (3eea39)

  34. 32. But it’s not killing people in the street or on the road, and taking out their kidneys!

    Sammy Finkelman (e9b54a)

  35. “32. But it’s not killing people in the street or on the road, and taking out their kidneys!”

    Sammy – I don’t know about killing people in the street, but the State Department Report references forced taking of organs. You would have to look at WHO reports before reaching a conclusion such as yours.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  36. Sammy – From your own stomping grounds:

    “Some 911 calls in Manhattan will now bring out two ambulances, one hurrying to the scene and one lagging slightly behind.

    The first one will try to save the patient’s life. The second one will try to save the patient’s kidneys, in case the first ambulance fails.

    After months of grappling with the ethical and legal implications, New York City medical officials are beginning to test a system that they hope will one day greatly increase the number of organs collected for transplant.

    For five months starting Wednesday, the city will deploy a specially trained team that will monitor 911 calls for people who may be in danger of dying, like those having a heart attack. If efforts to resuscitate the patient fail, the team will quickly move in and try to save the kidneys; normally, patients who die outside hospitals cannot be donors because if too much time passes after the heart stops beating, the organs are unusable.”

    “Dr. Goldfrank said that he would like to see the program expanded to other types of deaths, perhaps even from car crashes or homicides, but that at this point, government agencies were reluctant to allow that. “If we prove that you can take the body and successfully do this, that will be the next step,” he said.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/01/nyregion/01organ.html

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  37. They asked for my father’s corneas. At age 78 he had congestive heart failure, with all the attendant wasting of organs, but he still had perfect vision. I refused, we also come from a culture that does not agree with transplantation.

    I would give organs to my daughter, my brothers, and my first wife, but as a general principal I do not approve of transplantation. There have been examples of abuse of the system — Mickey Mantle, the most egregious — Steve Jobs was worth something to the world but still ….

    nk (875f57)

  38. daleyrocks, #36,

    In China, the ambulances follow the firing squads. (They claim that now they use lethal injection.)

    nk (875f57)

  39. “I refused, we also come from a culture that does not agree with transplantation.”

    nk – I have no idea what cultures or religions have taboos against the practice. The parent’s of my middle son’s college girlfriend allowed her body to be harvested when she was declared brain dead at age 20 after being hit by a drunk driver. She and they were Jewish.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  40. daleyrocks,

    Thanks for the WHO information. Mexican organ trafficking is on WHO’s radar, although it’s not the main place.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  41. What a sad loss, daley.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  42. Mutilation of the dead. It predates Christianity in Greece. Achilles suffered horribly for dragging Hector behind his chariot. There’s another story about Athena and the father of Diomedes, she removed her aegis when she saw him mutilating a corpse he had just caused. Greeks are a lot like Muslims and Jews in that respect, they do not do embalming, have a quick funeral.

    nk (875f57)

  43. I have no sincere love for Greece, but culturally I am a slave to my upbringing.

    nk (875f57)

  44. And please accept my sympathy, too, daleyrocks.

    nk (875f57)

  45. Leigh Brackett, wonderful writer: “The land makes us. If we were born in a different country, we would be a different people.”

    nk (875f57)

  46. Thanks DRJ and nk. Event now a few years back.

    I found both the State Department and WHO information interesting to browse.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  47. I signed up as an organ donor… i was unaware that the legal document was preemptive upon a visit to mexico. Hopefully they’ll only take something I have two of…

    SteveG (e27d71)

  48. Gee, in the old days when you visited a foreign country all they did was pick your pocket!

    Icy (0c68d7)

  49. Leigh Brackett; she whose last act on this earth was to write the script for the best of the Star Wars films.

    Icy (0c68d7)

  50. It is said that in The Big Sleep she, Faulkner, and Chandler never talked to each other, and it was up to Hawks, Bogart and Bacall to make something coherent from the book.

    I, myself, am taken by her Skaith stories. Can’t go wrong with a hero who does not feel fear.

    nk (875f57)

  51. *could be because both Faulkner and Chandler were terminal drunks*

    nk (875f57)

  52. “normally, patients who die outside hospitals cannot be donors because if too much time passes after the heart stops beating, the organs are unusable.”

    So how can this Mexican story have any credibility?

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  53. “So how can this Mexican story have any credibility?”

    Sammy – If they are harvesting organs of people who die outside of hospitals in New York, why can’t they do it in Mexico?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  54. NK,

    I think the film “The Big Sleep” is like “Giant,” and “Gone with the Wind,” in that, the first half of each is absolutely spectacular, but then the second halves all drag…but in fairness to the novels, that’s often the difficulty of attempting to condense hundreds of pages of novel onto merely 120 pages of script…(although “Giant” and “GWTW” are each unusually long films.)

    Anyhow, I think the second halves of “Giant” and “GWTW” spend way too much time indoors than should be allowed for a couple of outdoors epics, and the second half of “Sleep” gets way too talky, with too many scenes of people pointing guns at each other, all the while talking expository dialogue for the benefit of the audience.

    There’s an anecdote about how Howard Hawks asked Chandler why this character did this or that in the novel, and Chandler is said to have replied along the lines of, “I don’t know, I haven’t figured that part out yet !”

    Naturally, that’s a conversation that took place several years after the novel had been published.

    Elephant Stone (0ae97d)

  55. So how can this Mexican story have any credibility?”

    Comment by daleyrocks — 4/30/2012 @ 2:41 pm

    Sammy – If they are harvesting organs of people who die outside of hospitals in New York, why can’t they do it in Mexico?

    This is not being done illegally, or sub rosa, it’s all very close to hospitals, in the city,
    and they have specially trained teams using equipment – basically a second ambulance, and all they are trying to take is the kidneys, which are .the easiet to extract and preserve.

    The story was from December 1, 2010 and said a 5-month trial would start on Wednesday (December 1)

    I don’t know what happened.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)


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