Miriam Rodríguez, the mother who hunted her daughter’s murderers until they killed her

Tamaulipas.- The loss of a child It is one of the worst pain that a mother can suffer, but the same that many families in Mexico suffer; This is the case of Miriam Rodríguez, whose ordeal began with the kidnapping and murder of his daughter Karen, from that moment his life had the sole objective of finding the culprits of his death and taking them behind bars.

It was on January 23, 2014 when the 20-year-old, Karen Salinas Rodriguez, did not return home after being deprived of her liberty in San Fernando, Tamaulipas.

Karen was in her car when a group of armed men blocked her path and took her by force and then assassinated her, but not before collecting several ransoms from her family playing with the hope of Miriam Rodriguez to see his daughter alive again.

However, the payments to have Karen back did not end there, since the desperation of a mother led her to meet a member of the Zetas who, after promising to help her in exchange for 2,000 dollars, disappeared days later with him. money and without taking the young woman back.

That man may not have brought his daughter, but he did open the way for Miriam to begin a tireless investigation based on “Sama,” the nickname by which the young Zetas member was known. In this way, the woman stalked with a meticulous obsession for years, since 2014, those responsible for the murder of her daughter until little by little she managed to get half of them to jail.

Impunity was not an impediment for Miriam to achieve her goal by arming herself with costumes, false identifications and always carrying a pistol for her protection, Miriam posed as an electoral official, pollster and health worker, in this way she managed to get names, addresses and details of the murderers without suspicions being the relatives of the same who released them.

Three years were enough for the woman to be able to bring behind bars almost all of those who had taken Karen’s life, some of them had even tried to give up the job of killing: one was a car salesman, another a Christian, a nanny and another was a taxi driver.

Miriam Rodríguez was murdered while trying to bring justice to her daughter. Photo: New York Times

A dozen criminals were imprisoned by the mother in her desperate search for justice, she had become an icon of activism, embodying the struggle of thousands of mothers, fathers, brothers who have lost part of their blood at the hands of organized crime .

At the same time, that fame made Rodríguez vulnerable: no one had dared to challenge the drug cartels in this way, especially one as ruthless and bloodthirsty as the Zetas, and much less hunt down and imprison their members.

Aware of the danger to her own life, Miriam had asked the Mexican government for some kind of protection with bodyguards. His fear was fulfilled as an omen: in March 2017, more than 20 inmates escaped from the Ciudad Victoria prison, Tamaulipas, among them were some of Karen’s murderers who had come to fall there due to the mother’s investigation.

Three of these subjects came aboard a van to Miriam’s house on May 10 of that year, just on Mother’s Day, and shot her to death just outside the house. Miriam was shot 13 times. Her husband, who was watching television inside, found her face down on the street, her hand in her bag next to the gun she always carried with her.

His case silenced San Fernando, a community marked by organized crime violence, scene of the massacre of 72 migrants in 2010, innumerable kidnappings, mass graves everywhere. Until in 2020 he was once again shaken by a case similar to Karen’s, when Luciano Leal Garza, a 14-year-old teenager, was kidnapped after being tricked with a fake Facebook profile.

As with Karen, Luciano’s family paid several ransoms without the minor being returned to them. His case reached the ears of Luis, the 36-year-old son of Miriam Rodríguez, who could not help crying when he found out.

Family members and neighbors searched tirelessly for the teenager, until authorities found his lifeless body last October, in a shallow grave passing a grove of acacia trees north of San Fernando. The place had been littered with trash by the killers.

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Luciano’s case stirred something among the inhabitants of San Fernando, who this time decided to break the silence and raise their voices to demand justice. They organized search brigades with volunteers, his family traveled to Mexico City to pressure the government, which sent soldiers and intensified the search, until they finally found Luciano’s body.

With information from the New York Times.

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