There used to be a time when the municipality of San Fernando in north-eastern Mexico was known for farming, fishing and a quiet way of life. Today, it is associated with death.
This week, a young Ecuadorean with bullet holes through his shoulder and cheek told the story of how he and his travelling companions on their way to the US in search of work had been kidnapped in San Fernando by the Zetas, one of Mexico’s drug cartels. “They pulled us out of the truck violently and demanded money,” he told authorities after managing to escape, according to local press reports. “They said that they were Zetas and that they would pay us $1,000 every two weeks [if we joined them] but we didn’t accept and they opened fire.”