Thaddeus disappeared after crossing into the U.S. through Ojinaga

Zaira says she woke up startled in the middle of the night when she heard her cell phone vibrate and saw an unknown number on the screen. 
It was the early morning of Thursday, November 4 last year.
“I left your brother on a hill,” a voice on the other side of the call warned him. He didn’t hold the walk and I’m not going to wait for him anymore.” 

The phone number was of the coyote that Tadeo Salvador Nieves Muñoz had hired to cross it into the United States through the Ojinaga pass, in Chihuahua. 
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Tadeo, a 24-year-old of 1.85 years of height and brown eyes, was born in San Miguel Octopan, a small town of just 14 thousand inhabitants that belongs to the municipality of Celaya, Guanajuato. There he did sporadic work loading and unloading trucks and painting real estate, until one day he arrived at his mother’s house saying he wanted to try his luck on the other side of the border.

“We all told him that crossing without papers is very dangerous, but he had already made his decision,” Zaira says.
Thaddeus, who among his particular signs include a pair of tattoos – one on the high back with the legend ‘Maria’ and another on the left foot with a diamond with deer horns and the legend ‘Thaddeus’ – left his village on October 30. He was wearing dark blue jeans, black Air Force sneakers, a military-style T-shirt, and a backpack with some other clothes. 
That same 30 he arrived in Chihuahua capital, where he dialed his house to warn his mother that he was fine. 
“They didn’t talk much, he just asked him to give him the blessing before jumping to the other side.” 
The next day, the young man left with another group of migrants for Ojinaga. Apparently, everything was going well. But soon Thaddeus exhausted his food and water reserves, and apparently could no longer stand the road.  
The coyote, then, called his sister in the early morning of the 4th, when many hours had passed since the young man was alone in the middle of nowhere. 
“He left him lying on a hill, just like that! Zaira angrily exclaims during the telephone interview with Animal Político. He abandoned him like a dog. Without worrying in the slightest about what might happen to him.” 
The trafficker only sent him by phone the coordinates of the point where he had left Thaddeus, so that they could send someone to look for him. Zaira alerted her father, who lives in Arlington, Texas, who immediately set off and arrived at the scene a day later, where he found no trace of his son.
The hours passed and panic began to take over the family of the young migrant, until November 6 when he managed to communicate by telephone. 
“He couldn’t talk much because he had almost no battery,” Zaira says. “He told us that he had not eaten or drunk for four days, and he begged us to go find him.”
According to Zaira, the young man also told them that he was not tired, that this was not the reason why he could not continue walking with the rest of the migrants: “He told us that he had no blisters on his feet, or anything. That the problem he had was that he had no food or water left. He was crying out for water so he could continue. But no one gave it to him and they abandoned him.”
After the call on the 6th, Thaddeus sent his location by phone and his father moved to the point, in another area of hills in the middle of the desert. But neither did he find it that day, nor the next three with his nights included in which, desperately, he combed the area several times. 
The family then sought out Mexican immigration authorities for help and also the state prosecutor’s office in Guanajuato and Chihuahua. In addition, they repeatedly sought out the coyote to claim and demand that he help them find Thaddeus. 
“But the guy just washed his hands. He told us that he didn’t know anything and that it wasn’t his problem.” 
Then, he stopped answering calls. As did Tadeo’s phone, which since that November 6 has not shown signs of life again.
Identical cases
Zaira says that her brother’s case is very similar to that of Omar Reyes López, a 20-year-old from Hidalgo who, after surviving seven days in the desert when he tried to cross without documents into the United States, disappeared on November 2 in Ojinaga, Chihuahua; just a couple of days before Thaddeus’ case. 
“They are almost identical cases: they disappeared in the same area and on the same days,” says the woman, who clarifies that the only difference is that Omar disappeared while on the Mexican side of the border, in Ojinaga, and Tadeo on the American side. 
In none of the cases, the family has the remotest clue of what may have happened to them, although the context of violence that vive the area of the Aldama-Ojinaga-Guadalupe pass makes them fear the worst. 
“Omar was not swallowed by the earth; Omar has someone, and we just want him to be returned to us,” said Sheila Arias, aunt of the young man from Hidalgo.
Precisely there, a little before the disappearance of Tadeo and Omar, on September 25 another group of 13 Mexican migrants disappeared who were intercepted by members of organized crime who took them in vans, according to what a minor migrant who managed to escape told the Prosecutor’s Office of Chihuahua. 
More than three months later, Maria, daughter of Amador Aguilar Mendoza, 55, and sister of Emmanuel Aguilar Bailon, 25, two of the migrants who disappeared that day, laments that they remain without news from their relatives. 
“Time passes and everything remains the same,” says the young woman in an interview with this media. And that multiple means are being put for searches. On December 20, for example, the Chihuahuan Prosecutor’s Office made an overflight with the support of a Black Hawk helicopter of the Ministry of National Defense to visit places in the desert of the border known as Rancho Cieneguilla, Rancho Bosque Bonito and Rancho Lomas de Arena, in the municipalities of Práxedis Guerrero and Guadalupe, in Chihuahua. In addition, elements of the Mexican Army also participated in the search efforts. But there were no results either. 
Read more: The 13 disappeared in Ojinaga: migrating to the US to meet the father or pay for his daughter’s career
“We recognize the Government of Chihuahua for the immediate response it has provided from the beginning and the attention it has given us. But their efforts have been overwhelmed by the situation facing that border area,” says Sheila Arias, Omar’s aunt. 
Activist Gabino Gomez, a member of the Center for Women’s Human Rights (CEDEHM) of Chihuahua that is accompanying Omar’s case, said that only with him came another 14 cases of missing persons in the area of Ojinaga and valle de Guadalupe where Omar and the 13 migrants disappeared. While Jesús Manuel Carrasco Chacón, district attorney of the northern zone, reported that last year they managed to rescue alive another 60 migrants who had also disappeared in the municipalities of Guadalupe and Práxedis Guerrero. 
For this reason, the relatives of Omar and the 13 migrants, but now those of Tadeo Salvador Nieves, asked the Federal Government to “pay attention” to the entire area of Ojinaga and valle de Guadalupe, where “it is evident that organized crime groups operate and control the area affecting our migrants.” 
“We cannot close our eyes to that reality, neither the authority nor civil society,” says Sheila Arias. 
For her part, Zaira demands attention from the authorities of the three levels, to whom she asks that they not conclude the searches for Omar, the 13 migrants, and that of her brother Tadeo. 
“We ask for your help to continue looking for them even under the stones,” the woman emphasizes.
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Original source in Spanish

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