08/16/11 – Mexican Navy (Secretaría de Marina Armada, Semar) spokesperson José Luis Vergara revealed in a recent interview that new evidence has led Semar to believe that organized crime groups are possibly behind the disappearance of four navy officers who were reported missing this month from the state of Veracruz. According to Milenio, authorities were able to draw this conclusion after investigating phone records belonging to the four disappeared men. Among the groups suspected is the notoriously brutal Los Zetas cartel, although this has not yet been confirmed.
Three officers were reported missing on August 1 when they failed to show up to the town of Progreso for scheduled training. They had been traveling along the street of Puerto de Veracruz in a privately owned vehicle. The fourth officer, a cadet, was also reported missing from Puerto de Veracruz when he did not resume his duties after his scheduled vacation period had ended on August 8. None of the officers’ identities have been released. Univisión reported that similar incidents have occurred in the past, noting that such occurrences involving organized crime members often result in the victims’ murders. It also pointed out, however, that no bodies have been found, perhaps indicating that the men are being held captive. The investigation is still ongoing.