Found alive and tied to a tree Alexis Cervantes, the basketball player who disappeared in Michoacán

Alexis Cervantes, during a game with the Jalisco Giants, in 2019.
Alexis Cervantes, during a game with the Jalisco Giants, in 2019.Giants of Jalisco

The police found alive on Tuesday the professional basketball player Alexis Cervantes and Marcos Sandoval, the driver of the taxi in which both were traveling the day they disappeared in Michoacán, according to a statement from the State Public Security Secretariat. According to the report, the two have been found gagged to a tree “on a gap in the municipality of Venustiano Carranza.” They have already been transferred to a hospital for a medical check-up, since they had injuries from blows, the newspaper reported. The Day.

César Manuel Ojeda, president of the Pacific Basketball Circuit and a friend of Cervantes, learned of the news at six in the morning, at which time the basketball player’s brother called to inform him that the player had appeared alive. . Ojeda clarifies by phone that the injuries suffered by both the athlete and the taxi driver are very minor, and they are only undergoing a routine check-up. Right now, they are being treated in a Morelia hospital. “We don’t know much yet. We are waiting for the report to go find you. What mattered most to us was his return.

Cervantes (32 years old) and Sandoval lost track of them on December 22 at around two in the afternoon in the vicinity of the Los Reyes municipality bus station. Since then, their whereabouts are unknown. The basketball player, a center in the Mexican professional league team Libertadores de Querétaro, had traveled to Michoacán to participate in a series of amateur tournaments. After the meetings, the athlete was preparing to travel to Guasave, the municipality of the State of Sinaloa from which he comes, to spend the Christmas holidays with his family. But on the way he was intercepted and never made it home.

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Cervantes took a bus on the Primera Plus line on December 21 in the direction of his homeland, but the vehicle had a problem halfway through and was forced to return, according to local press reports. At that moment, the pivot decided to make the trip aboard Sandoval’s taxi. When they hit the road, they were kidnapped by a criminal group. A few days later, a search operation began in which agents of the National Guard, the State Attorney General’s Office and municipal police participated, which ended on Tuesday. The information on where they have been held during these days has not yet come out.

Michoacán is one of the hottest spots in Mexico. The State, which does not reach five million inhabitants, accumulates some of the most gloomy records of violence in the country. It is the region with the most murders, one every four hours — only from January to November of this year there have been 2,016 homicides, according to the Executive Secretariat of the National Public Security System. According to official data, 4,242 people have disappeared since 1964, but the reality becomes more serious when one takes into account that of them, 3,800 have occurred in the last three years, according to the FGE.

Massacres take place with total impunity in Michoacán, whose inhabitants have been forced to get used to doses of extreme violence in a territory where the arm of the State cannot reach. Killings, bodies abandoned in the gutters or hanging from bridges and institutional offices leveled with Molotov cocktails are just some of the latest episodes. According to local media, a power struggle between rival cartels has been waged in the region for months, in which the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel stands out. Self-defense groups, armed commandos outside the law, also enter the equation, which added to everything creates a unique breeding ground for shootings and disappearances.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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