I receive a couple dozen emails per year asking for help in finding missing love ones. 99% disappear in the state of Tamps.
I tried by best to help families, but it is a daunting task, and an emotional one. I will say the family of this man is doing everything I would do in the same situation.
My lone success was a just turned 18 year old who I did find for the elated family. me and a BB reader assured his safe return to SLP. When I get frustrated I think of that kid. but If I did not have personal connections with BPs, border sheriffs and casa migrantes the story most likely would have had a tragic end. I wanted to write an article about it but I wasn't sure if it related enough to narco news. He did agree as well as his cousin who contacted me to an interview.
But I did not pursue it. at left is "Julians" foto at a casa migrante, with a backpack we gave him with supplies for his bus trip home. We took him to the bus stop just before boarding and made sure he left safely. His cousin called me and reported he made it back home safely.
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
He was last seen in Nuevo Laredo after he was turned back at the Laredo border crossing, because he didn't have the proper vaccination records for Maya, his Basset Hound. His Pontiac minivan was found, and his dog was found, but no sign of Marc Menard.
Here's an article from last July. K. Mennem has also written about this case on his Hell on Earth blog.
Quebec man's disappearance in Mexico has family searching for answers Marc Ménard of Laval was last seen near the violent border town of Nuevo Laredo in March. He is now one of 27,000 people missing in Mexico since 2006.
By: Myles Estey Mexico, Published on Mon Jul 15 2013
MEXICO CITY—After three months on a road trip through Mexico, Marc Ménard of Laval, Que., was ready to head back north in March. He spoke to friends and family from San Luis Potosi on March 12 and 13, and seemed excited to return.
When he got to the Laredo, Texas, border crossing on March 14, Mexican customs agents told him that his travel companion — a basset hound named Maya — could not leave Mexico without proper veterinary documentation, according to his family. This forced Ménard to return to the border town of Nuevo Laredo, known for its drug violence. He has not been seen or heard from since.
The 44-year-old bus driver had been travelling through Mexico and Guatemala since December, visiting Mayan sites, tourist towns and friends. When regular Skype and Facebook updates to his wife and 18-year-old daughter stopped abruptly, their worry turned to panic.
“Everyone is so furious and so upset,” said Marie-Joseé, a relative of Ménard who did not want her last name used due to risks associated with her search. “It is very hard for most of us to sleep.”
Marie-Joseé, who has spent time in Mexico, believes car trouble may have forced Ménard to the side of the road. She thinks he may have then been kidnapped to work for a drug cartel — a documented occurrence in the north — or mistaken for a rival.
The family received no ransom call, and Ménard’s bank registered his last withdrawal on March 12.
Acting on an eyewitness report, local police detained a suspect on March 15. He remains in custody while a second suspect described by the witness remains at large, Marie-Josée said. The police recovered Menard’s minivan in late April, though the man found driving it does not appear to be a suspect.
“No one will talk about the case,” Marie-Josée said. “How can they have someone detained for several months, and there is no progress in the case?”
Last week, neither the Tamaulipas state prosecutor’s office nor the federal prosecutor’s office had information on the case or its progress. A spokesperson with the attorney general’s office could not confirm details on Friday.
Canadian Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Amanda Reid said privacy laws prevent her from offering specifics on the investigation, but said “consular officers are in direct contact with the family . . . as well as with local authorities, in order to obtain additional information.”
Foreign Affairs has advised against all non-essential travel to the Nuevo Laredo region since September 2010, Reid said.
Ongoing turf wars have made gun battles and massacres common in Nuevo Laredo, one of Mexico’s most dangerous cities.
It is also a hot spot in Mexico’s epidemic of disappearances. Since former president Felipe Calderon began a militarized fight against the cartels in 2006, almost 27,000 Mexicans have vanished, along with more than 70,000 killed.
Nik Steinberg, the senior Human Rights Watch researcher in Mexico, says that authorities “routinely neglect” to follow logical lines of investigation, leaving the majority of disappearances unsolved.
“The federal government needs to take immediate steps to develop the tools that are critical to efficient investigations,” he said. For example, there is no national database of the disappeared, or of Mexico’s thousands of unidentified bodies, he said.
Family members of the victims often pick up this slack and drive the investigations themselves.
Graciela Perez has been looking for her 13-year-old daughter, Milynali, since she disappeared with Perez’s brother, Ignacio, and three of her nephews while driving through central Tamaulipas last August.
Perez, along with a handful of helpful authorities, has uncovered important clues, and hopes her ongoing search will bring her daughter home.
“My daughter turns 14 this month, so imagine how hard it is, knowing she might be in the hands of criminal.” said Perez, fighting back tears. “But also imagine how many people here have no information, nothing to even go on.
“All we want is for the authorities to follow up on clues, and keep up the search.”
There have been positive signs. Pressure from vocal family members such as Perez has forced the current administration to create a task force aimed at finding missing people.
Quebec Premier Pauline Marois further buoyed hope for Menard’s case when she said she spoke about it with Mexican authorities on a visit to Mexico last month.
Marie-Josée speaks frankly about the possibility that Ménard could be dead, but continues to hope he is being held against his will, and that the detained suspect holds the key as to where. Either way, she says, the family just wants answers.
“All we would like is for the police to do their job, and to do it quickly.”
Quebec premier Pauline Marois, who has led a trade delegation in Mexico since Tuesday, told reporters she discussed Menard's case with Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Meade. She met with President Enrique Pena Nieto on Thursday.
Marois said she wanted to "offer any help" and take "all useful steps" in the case, but did not provide further details.
Relatives of Menard hope Marois can make the investigation move forward, said Marie-Josee, a person close to Menard who asked that her last name not be published.
She said Mexican authorities have not provided any updates since May 13.
"We greatly regret that the (Canadian federal) government has not put pressure on the Mexican government," she said.
Nuevo Laredo police told the family that a man detained on March 15 was linked to the theft of Menard's minivan and that his alleged accomplice had fled.
She saying "she's family of Marc Menard, and they know that 2 of the 3 boys were arrested for other crimes (after kidnapping Marc) and that since that moment it wasn't possible to know what they did with Marc.
They are Zetas!"
It doesn't sound good, but he could be alive. Stranger things have happened.
Those that say, don't know. Those that know, don't say.